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Identifying three streams of concern in the books of Samuel (politics, people, and preaching), Mary Evans demonstrates how each of these manifests itself in the underlying and unifying theme of power-and powerlessness. She then uses this concept of power as a fascinating matrix for interpreting the events God ordains and the characters God uses in biblical history. Evans defends her case for the unity of the books that we divide into 1 and 2 Samuel with a sensitivity to the composition of the text and the intentionality of the various "writers" who had a hand in bringing the different accounts together. The discussion interacts with the parallel material in Chronicles and Kings and recognizes the importance of the themes of covenant and law, especially from the Deuteronomic perspective. The commentary, with its additional notes, also includes a good breadth of references to scholarly debate and discussion on various issues. Evans brings the often theologically difficult text of Samuel and the complex characters of Samuel, Saul, David, and others into sharp focus for the contemporary reader while offering fresh insights and perspectives on the ancient text.

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