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Headword: Samouêl
Adler number: sigma,80
Translated headword: Samuel
Vetting Status: high
The prophet. After praying to the Lord, Hanna gave birth to this man, whom she called Samuel, meaning "'requested of God,'" as "one might say."[1] Then "when" his mother "recalled her prayer" to God, which she prayed to Eli the high priest, "she handed him over to Eli, thereby having devoted him to God to become a prophet.[2] Therefore both his hair was left uncut, and his drink was water. And he spent his life being brought up in the temple, but to Elkanah[3] from Hanna were born three sons and a daughter.[4] Now when Samuel had turned twelve, he began to prophesy.[5] And one time while he was sleeping, God called him by name. But Samuel, supposing he had been summoned by the high priest, went to him. When the high priest said he had not called, God did this a total of three times. Eli, once the truth dawned on him, said to him, 'No, Samuel, I was silent just as before; but God is the one who is calling. But communicate[6] to him, "Here I am."' When God again spoke, Samuel heard it and asked God to speak about his oracles, for he would not fail him in whatever service he might desire. And God said,[7] 'Since you are here, learn that a calamity shall befall the Israelites[8] and the sons of Eli will die on the same day'.[9]
Greek Original:
Samouêl, ho prophêtês. touton egennêsen Anna euxamenê pros kurion: hon Samouêl ekalese, Theaitêton hôs an tis eipoi. kai anamnêstheisa hê mêtêr autou tês euchês, hên êuxato pros Hêlei ton archierea, paredidou Hêlei, anatitheisa tôi theôi prophêtên genêsomenon. komê te oun autôi aneito, kai poton hudôr ên. kai diêgen en tôi hierôi trephomenos, Alkanêi d' ek tês Annês huieis geinontai treis kai thugatêr. Samouêl de peplêrôkôs etos dôdekaton proephêteuse. kai pote koimômenon onomasti ekalesen ho theos. ho de nomisas hupo tou archiereôs pephônêsthai paraginetai pros auton. ou phamenou de kalesai tou archiereôs, ho theos eis tris touto poiei, kai Hêlei diaugastheis phêsi pros auton: all' egô men, Samouêl, sigên hôs kai to prin êgon: theos d' estin ho kalôn. alla sêmaine pros auton, hoti paratunchanô. kai tou theou phthenxamenou palin akousas êxiou lalein epi tois chrômenois: ou gar husterêsein auton, eph' hais an thelêseie diakoniais. kai ho theos, epei paratunchaneis, manthane sumphoran Israêlitais esomenên kai tou Hêlei paidas miai hêmerai tethnêxomenous.
After the opening gloss, this entry closely follows Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 5.346-350: see web address 1. Exact quotations from Josephus (without distinguishing minor word-order variations) are indicated here by quotation marks, with ellipses included in footnotes.
[1] Josephus uses the term qeai/thtos, which LSJ (s.v., web address 2) translates as "obtained from the gods," but which Thackeray and Marcus in the Loeb edition of Josephus translate as "asked of God," which is certainly in keeping with the Biblical text (1 Samuel [LXX 1 Kingdoms] 1:20). Other etymologies existed in the later Christian books of sacred names. For example, "request(ed) from God" (going along with biblical derivation), "servant who listens to God" (adding the term "servant," perhaps from 1 Sam 3:9, and identifying the Hebrew root of the element שמו Shemu as though from שמע shma`, the Hebrew word for "hear"); "law of their God" (taking שמו Shemu as the Hebrew שׂים sim "place, put" [sc. "decree"]) or "there is God himself" (taking "Shemu" as from the Hebrew word שם sham, there"); and finally, "request or listening to God" (Lagarde, p. 184, lines 51, 55; p. 198, line 53; p. 204, line 30). On the derivation of "Sam" to a Hebrew word meaning law, see Wutz, vol. 1, p.116.
[2] 1 Samuel 1:22-28.
[3] The father of Samuel and husband of Hanna.
[4] cf. 1 Samuel 2:21. Josephus reads "other sons and three daughters," according to the Loeb edition, which does indicate a textual problem at this point, namely, the omission of "other." Niese's text follows the manuscripts that omit "other." I did not have access to the critical apparatus of Niese's edition, but it should be checked. The Suda may perhaps preserve here a more original fragment of Josephus; otherwise it is a correction of Josephus to conform to biblical data. The former seems a likely possibility since the Suda quotes Josephus and not the biblical text, which reads "and she bore in addition three sons and two daughters" (Septuagint [Rahlfs], in agreement with the Hebrew Bible). The Suda and Josephus use the verb gi/nomai; the LXX uses ti/ktw.
[5] The age is not mentioned in Scripture.
[6] The Suda omits te, which Josephus has here.
[7] The Suda omits the verb "said."
[8] The Suda omits the phrase found in Josephus: "surpassing the speech or belief of them that are present."
[9] Compare 1 Samuel 3:10-14. The Suda has minor textual variations from Josephus in this last phrase.
Biblia Hebraica. K. Elliger and W. Rudolph, eds. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung, 1967-1976
Josephus. Antiquitates Judaicae. H.St.J. Thackeray, et al., trans. 10 vols. Loeb. Cambridge: Harvard, 1926-1965
Lagarde, P. Onomastica Sacra. Goettingen, 1870
Septuaginta. A. Rahlfs, ed. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1935
Wutz, F. Onomastica Sacra. 2 vols. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrich'sche Buchhandlung, 1914-1915
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: biography; children; clothing; dialects, grammar, and etymology; food; historiography; religion; women
Translated by: Lee Fields on 25 April 2001@22:49:55.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 25 April 2001@23:04:01.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 30 July 2004@08:01:52.
Raphael Finkel (Added Hebrew.) on 11 August 2004@17:04:34.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 11 November 2005@06:17:42.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics; raised status) on 20 December 2013@05:16:50.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 30 September 2014@01:28:55.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 13 February 2015@08:01:19.
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