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The Role of the Secondary Characters in the Story of the Anointing of Saul (I Samuel ix-x)

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image of Vetus Testamentum

In this article I address the roles of the secondary characters in the story of the anointing of Saul as king (I Sam. ix-x). This story contains more than the usual number of secondary characters in a biblical narrative, with some of them playing strange or unusual roles. Through literary analysis of the story's structure and its key words, it becomes clear that the secondary characters play a central role in the story. The hidden message of the story, arising from the chiastic structure of this unit, the molding of the main character, and the molding of the secondary characters surrounding him, is that the king of Israel does not come to be chosen by chance; his selection is guided by God. This message is important for the reader, but the development of the story shows that Saul himself learns the same lesson over the course of the events.

Affiliations: 1: Ramat-Gan, Israel


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