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The Rev. Paul Roberts

A Fresh Read

1 Samuel 3:1-20

2nd Sunday of Epiphany - Year B

January 18, 2015

The Rev. Paul Roberts, Sr. (PCUSA)


In a 2010 biblical commentary entitled The Africana Bible--Reading Israel's Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora, published by Fortress Press, Dr. Randall C. Bailey, a noted Old Testament scholar from Atlanta, writes:

Traditionally, the book of Judges gets its name from the charismatic leaders who rescue the Israelites' from foreign oppression, such as Jephthah, Abimelech, and Gideon, who are called Major Judges. With a surface reading of the book and an appreciation for the patriarchal nature of the biblical materials, one would think that the book is designed to lift up new heroes for the people. The problem is that all of the male heroes are flawed. Othniel cannot speak up to get a good land allotment. Barak will not go to war without Deborah. Gideon keeps testing God. Ehud is left-handed (which parenthetically was regarded by the ancients as a defect). Manoah cannot get the angel to recognize his authority. Samson fails to free his people and fails to curtail his womanizing.

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