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All Articles For Day of Shadows

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The book of Samuel cannot well be understood without a knowledge of its connection with the book of the Judges. The book of Samuel continues the narrative of the book of Judges. This can be made plain. Judges 13:2 is a notice to the effect that “the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.” This notice is followed by the narrative of the birth and exploits of Samson of whom we read at I Sam. 15:1 that he judged Israel forty years...

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As was said, to teach Hannah to pray, the Lord closed her womb and raised up unto her an adversary—this Peninnah, the other of Elkanah’s two wives—to taunt Hannah in her childless condition. Peninnah, as was explained, was the unloved wife. To compensate her for the want of her husband’s affection, the Lord opened her womb, so that she bore Elkanah several children, sons and daughters. Still she was dissatisfied and fretful, as it was only too evident to her that Elkanah’s heart was with his barren wife. She wanted, besides children, her husband’s love, to which she was also...

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In the way of her prayer, God would save Hannah, according to His word by giving her a man-child. This was her confidence, which was not put to shame. She bare a son and “called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord.” Yet the name Samuel is a compound of the Hebrew word shamah, to hear, and the noun el, God, so that the thought conveyed is that she named him “heard of God” because she asked him of the Lord. It indicates that she wanted her child to stand out in the mind of...

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The sons of Eli were wicked men. The narrator calls them “sons of Belial, who knew not God.” First he portrays their wickedness with respect to the sacrificial meal of the offering. The law specified (Leviticus 7:31-35) the portion of the sacrifice which the sons of Aaron should receive; namely, the breast and the right shoulder. But while the meat was in the pan, Eli’s sons took whatever flesh their hook could spear. The law required also that the fat and other choice portions should be burned on the altar as a sweet savor unto the Lord. (1 Sam. 3:3-5)....

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“And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli.” This Scripture statement bears on the status and occupation of Samuel prior to his calling to the prophetic office. He was assistant to the priests, definitely to the high priest, Eli. Ministering to the priests was the occupation of a common Levite. Samuel was a Levite. As already has been noticed in a previous article, the first Book of the Chronicles (1 Sam. 6:22-28) contains a genealogical line that descends from the second son of Levi to Samuel and his sons. The law placed the common Levites under the jurisdiction...

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As has already been remarked, if it be considered that the age of the judges numbered some 375 or possibly 400 years, and that this whole period knew but four prophets, three of whom were obscure men whose words were exceedingly few, we feel the force of the statement that the “word of the Lord was precious in those days, there being no vision breaking through and spread abroad.” As has already been fully explained, this notice can only mean that in those days—the age of the judges—no new revelations were added to those already given in preceding centuries, that,...

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Having called Samuel and revealed to him the doom of Eli’s house, “the Lord appeared again in Shiloh,” so we read, “for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.” As was pointed out, this statement closes the third chapter. The narrative continues at chapter 4:1 as follows, “And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. . . A It is evident, as already has been observed, that here the narrative flows on in unbroken continuity. The word of Samuel that came to all Israel of chapter 4:1 is the revelation of the...

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The Philistines fought, “and Israel—so we saw—was smitten, and they fled every man to his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.” So had the Lord made a beginning of performing against Eli all things which He had spoken concerning his house (chap. 3:12). What the sacred writer relates in the immediate sequel shows that Eli, however deserving of punishment on account of his failure to restrain his wicked sons, was nevertheless, in...

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Let us now turn to the book of Job and read at versos five and six of chapter 42 as follows, “Then Job answered the Lord and said. I have heard thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job was a true believer, tried perhaps, as no other believer—with, the exception of Christ—has ever been tried, the reason being that the Lord wanted to provide His people with an outstanding example of the indestructibility of their faith. Job’s case can be briefly stated. God...

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We turn to the second verse of the first chapter of Ecclesiastes and read, “Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” Doubtless, no other book in the Bible has suffered so many misapprehensions in a theological point of view, as the book of Ecclesiastes. It has been accused of many contradictions within itself, of being inconsistent, of lacking unity, and coherence on account of absence of plan and connection. The inspiration of its contents has been attacked. Very early this was doubted on account of the supposed moral levity and skepticism of its teachings—a skepticism...

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