God sends Samuel to Bethlehem, a village not far from the high rock of the Jebusites, later named Jerusalem, but quite a distance from Gilgal and Gibeah, places associated with King Saul.
By this time, it is no secret that Samuel is in conflict with Saul, even those in the small towns have heard and so when the city elders see Samuel approaching, they begin to get nervous and wonder if they will get mixed up in the mess and power play. Anxiously they ask, “do you come in peace?” Samuel assures them that he has and is only there to perform a sacrifice.
The elders, as well as Jesse and his sons, are to be made holy so they can attend the sacrifice. It is there that Samuel sees Eliab, whose names means ‘my God is father’, the oldest of Jesse’s sons.
Samuel is sure that he is one God has sent him for, but if we have been paying attention to the patterns set up in the narrative, we know it isn’t going to be that simple. Israel’s sto…