Friday, May 15, 2009
1 Samuel 29-31; Luke 3:7-38
1 Samuel 29-31
There are a number of things to note about this section. First, the reign of Saul begins and ends with the men of Jabesh-Gilead (compare ch 11 with 31:11-13). Second, while Saul and the men of Israel are being slaughtered by the Philistines, David and those with him enjoy remarkable success over their enemies, and they are providentially prevented from having to go into battle against their fellow Israelites. Third, David uses the spoils of war to cement relations with those Israelites he had been serving, even while being persecuted by Saul (see 30:26-31). Thus the stage is set for the beginning of Saul's reign.
This section summarizes the ministry of John the Baptist, which is preparatory to the ministry of Christ, and ends with Jesus' baptism. The temptation of Jesus follows his baptism (as in Matthew and Mark), but Luke puts off that by inserting at this point the genealogy of Jesus back through David to Adam. This genealogy differs from that of Matthew in two respects. First, Matthew's genealogy goes back only to Abraham, while Luke's goes all the way back to Adam. Second, they are obviously different genealogies, in that several of the names differ. These differences have been accounted for in a number of ways, but the most plausible explanation is that Matthew traces the legal genealogy through Joseph (see how Matt 1:16 is worded), while Luke traces the physical descent through Mary. This also explains in part the fact that Luke traces it back all the way Adam, demonstrating that through Mary, Jesus is the promised seed of woman.