Study Guide

1 Samuel Traditions and Customs

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Traditions and Customs

As the good Tevye says inĀ Fiddler on the Roof, traditions let us know who we are. It's because of our traditions (along with some other important stuff) that society functions and cultures thrive. 1 Samuel talks about a number of different traditions and customs. Many of them center on the religious customs at the temple at Shiloh. Back in the biblical days, it wasn't possible for people to go to temple every week. Most were only able to make the journey once a year. People sacrificed, prayed, feasted, and talked with old friends at their temple. It was here that a woman named Hannah prayed for a child and because God granted her request, she allowed her son Samuel to live at the temple. Every year, Hannah began her own tradition of bringing him a robe.

Questions About Traditions and Customs

  1. The temple was the main place where people got together every year. Where do you meet you with your family and friends for special occasions like holidays? And what other purposes does the temple serve in the story?
  2. In one story, David has soldiers who fight and others who stay with the army's belongings, but all share in the spoils. Do you think this is fair or should those put in harm's way get first dibs? What do you make of this tradition?
  3. What non-religious traditions are present in 1 Samuel? What purpose do you think these traditions serve?

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