Some character analogies in 1 Samuel

  • Cameron Boston Smith

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis (PhD)


This project discusses the function of various analogies in the book of 1 Samuel, with a particular focus on how these analogies contribute to characterisation. The characters who receive the most discussion are Hannah, Samuel, Saul and God. The thesis does not attempt to explore any of these characters fully, or to establish definitive interpretations of any particular analogy, recognising that interpretations vary according to context and interpreter. The aim is rather to demonstrate the value of a reading model which considers the importance of analogy, by exploring how analogies contribute to an overall reading of the text. In light of the analogies discussed in this study, some observations are made concerning each main character. Hannah is seen to be heroic, blessed by God despite the difficulties of her circumstances and the obstacles in her path. Samuel is shown in a negative light, as self-interested and unwilling to relinquish political power. Saul is understood as carrying the seeds of his destruction with him from the very beginning of his career, struggling and failing to undo the sins of his ancestors. God remains obscure, but some light is cast on his decision to bless the request for a monarchy in 1 Sam 8.
Date of Award16 Jun 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of St Andrews
SupervisorWilliam Arthur Tooman (Supervisor)

Access Status

  • Full text open

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