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I Samuel – Chapter 11
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Nachash, ruler of Ammon, attacked the city of Yaveish. They asked for a pact, in which case they would agree to serve him. He said, “One one condition – each of you must put out his right eye.” (The commentators explain this to symbolically refer to a number of things, for example dissolving the Sanhedrin.) […]
I Samuel – Chapter 10
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Shmuel anointed Shaul with oil – the commentators differ as to whether this was the shemen hamishcha, the special oil prepared by Moses, which was used to anoint the kings of the Davidic dynasty. Then, Shmuel gave Shaul three signs. First, he would meet two men who would tell him that his lost donkeys were […]
I Samuel – Chapter 9
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A man from the Tribe of Benjamin named Kish had a tall, handsome son named Shaul (Saul). One day, Kish’s donkeys went missing, so he sent Shaul and a servant to go look for them. Shaul traveled far and wide, but he didn’t find the donkeys. After a while, Shaul suggested that they return home, […]
I Samuel – Chapter 8
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Having grown old because of the rigors of his job, Shmuel appointed his sons to assist him. They turned out to be unfit for the job; they took bribes and judged dishonestly. The Elders approached Shmuel and said that since he was getting too feeble to handle the task, and since his sons were unfit […]
I Samuel – Chapter 7
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The people of Kiryas Ye’arim took the Ark and put it in the house of a man named Avinadav, where it would reside for twenty years. Shmuel then presided over a national teshuvah movement. (“Teshuvah” means repentance, or a return to G-d.) The Jews discarded their idols and turned to G-d. At a national gathering […]
I Samuel – Chapter 6
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The Philistines asked their priests what to do about the fiasco with the Ark. They didn’t say to send it back, but they did say, IF they were going to send the Ark back, a gift should be included to appease G-d. The gift was five golden hemorrhoids and five golden mice, to represent the […]
I Samuel – Chapter 5
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Having captured the Ark from the Jews, the Philistines took it to the city of Ashdod and put it in the house of their idol, Dagon, who was possibly in the form a merman. The logic behind this move was that the “gods” would probably enjoy hanging out together. The next day, however, the Philistines […]
I Samuel – Chapter 4
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Israel went to war against the Philistines. The Jews lost the battle, so they brought the Ark out to the battlefield. The Philistine forces became scared that G-d Himself had joined the fray, but their leaers encouraged them to be brave. The Philistines won this battle, too. Eli’s sons, Chofni and Pinchas, were both killed […]
I Samuel – Chapter 3
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One night, G-d called to Shmuel. Shmuel wasn’t training to be a prophet, so he didn’t know what he was hearing. He assumed it was Eli calling him. Eli said, “I didn’t call you” and sent Shmuel back to bed. G-d called a second time; once again, Shmuel ran to Eli, who again dismissed him. […]
I Samuel – Chapter 2
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When Chana brought Shmuel to the Tabernacle, she sang a song of praise to Hashem that is full of prophetic meaning. As with Deborah’s song in Judges, there’s no way a synopsis can do it justice, so make sure you read it for yourself. Shmuel remained with Eli in the Tabernacle, to be trained in […]