The Old Testament Study - Samuel
reported by John-Peter Gernaat
In April the Old Testament Study took a further step: to the book of Samuel. Many of the stories of the Old Testament become a prefiguring of the great story of the incarnation of the Christ and the three years leading to the great Mystery of Golgotha and the Resurrection. We have encountered this in the name of Joshua. His name in the original language is the same name as Jesus: (from Wkikpedia) “Yeshua or Y'shua (ישוע; with vowel pointing Hebrew: יֵשׁוּעַ, romanized: Yēšūaʿ) was a common alternative form of the name Hebrew: יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, romanized: Yəhōšūaʿ, lit. 'Joshua') in later books of the Hebrew Bible and among Jews of the Second Temple period. The name corresponds to the Greek spelling Iesous (Ἰησοῦς), from which, through the Latin IESVS/Iesus, comes the English spelling Jesus.” The name means: the one who saves, that was Joshua’s role. Michaël provided a list of so many of the stories that are a pre-figuring.
Names in this story reveal a lot of the story. Samu-el is a reference to El or God. In Hebrew it meant ‘request from God’ when Samuel’s mother named him or ‘gift from God’. But, fundamentally it had come to mean ‘a son from God’ or even ‘a son of God’. Samuel’s name is son of God, a great prefiguring. Samuel’s father, Elkanah (El-kanah means ‘God has purchased’ or ‘made it his own’) had two wives, one named Penninah meaning ‘pearl’ (physical beauty) and Hannah meaning ‘favour’ or ‘grace’ (spiritual beauty). Elkanah favours Hannah, meaning that he favoured grace from God over a precious pearl. Annually they go to Shiloh (meaning town of tranquillity or peace). The priest in Shiloh is Eli (El-I, ‘ascend to God’ – he lifts the people to El through YHWH: Yahweh of the Elohim) with two sons, Hophni (boxer) and Phinehas (brazen of mouth).
Hannah had no children while Penninah had children. The story can be read in 1 Samuel chapters 1 and 2. Hanna petitions YHWH for a son. The word is Sha-al or sha-ul which is also the name Saul, the first King of Israel whom Samuel will anoint. Before the King of Kings walked the earth the people request a prefiguring, a king. Hannah is graced with a son and when the boy, whom she names Samuel, is weaned she fulfils a promise that he will serve YHWH. The presentation of Samuel to YHWH is done with three offerings: a three-year old bull: the death of the strong bull, flour (bread) and wine. She promises that he will be a Nazir or Nazirite which meant that he would take the ascetic vow described in Numbers 6:1-21. Michaël described beautifully how the petition of Hannah to YHWH is reciprocated by the petition of YHWH to Hannah for the child to bring about the salvation of the nation of Israel. There is a working together of the mighty angelic being YHWH and the human being. Hannah praises God with a song and we hear a version of this song when Mary meets her cousin Elizabeth and realises she is pregnant. Mary has a feeling that she is carrying a Samu-el (a son of God) when she magnified the Lord in song.
We continued to read the calling of Samuel and the Ark of the Covenant falling into the hands of the Philistines and the events that led to the return of the Ark.
Then the people of Israel demanded a King and Samuel, through YHWH, agrees that they should have a king. We then read the story of the calling of Saul. Samuel anoints Saul with oil. This is the first anointing of a king. Samuel tells Saul what he will encounter on his journey following their meeting, which events are all to confirm the message from YHWH, and thereafter he can “do whatever seems good to you”. Saul must decide through his own Ego what is good for him to do. This is an anointing of kingship into the human family of the consciousness soul experience. Then Saul must wait seven days to receive instruction from Samuel. Saul must wait out the days for a new creation to land in him (seven days of Creation). Saul experiences that ‘another heart’ enters him as he leaves Samuel, he becomes another man. When Samuel brings all the people of Israel together he uses the casting of lots to confirm for the people that Saul is chosen by YHWH and the people chant “God save the king”. This is the first time that a king has not arisen out a genealogical line but by an anointing brought about by YHWH as the representative of God.
When we consider the Christ-in-me and ourselves as king through the indwelling “I” the question may arise: “How do I save myself?” We may be lowly, as Saul describes himself as the lowest person in Israel, but we can each help co-create our salvation.
Now anointing is given to king as well as to priest and prophet. We receive the anointing before death for the three roles after death. The anointing provides the strength to cross the threshold and to ‘become another man’ and also to return across the threshold.
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