Again, just racing through the narrative portions. This really is a just the facts man style story telling.
This passage includes the loss of the arc and the death of Eli’s kids and Eli. As foretold, the boys die on the same day, the day they lost the arc to the Philistines. Eli dies falling back in his chair–I just watch the movie Logan last night and am seeing Patrick Stewart as Eli, btw–and the wife of one of the boys gives birth to a boy and names him Icabod. If you didn’t think it was a weird name before, it mean “No Glory.”
Anyway, Samuel gets them straightened out, and then we have this argument about a king. It’s really interesting. The people want a king, literally because everyone else has one. Samuel basically says, “Seriously, here’s all of the crap a king will do to you.” The people don’t care. Then God tells Samuel, “Look, it’s really a burn on me, not you. You did your best.”
So, the Deuteronomists are really conflicted on this whole monarchy thing. I mean, the tale of the Levites Concubine is unbelievably horrible and is blamed 100% on not have a king. But then you have Samuel, who is unquestionably a man of God, is beside himself that these dummies want a king.
It’s hard not to see connections with America’s role with local and federal power. Although it oscillates with the party in power, the party in power represents ideology. Like everything from Joshua forward, we have lots of fodder for conversation.