The ninth and tenth books of The Bible
The first book tells the story of Samuel who is dedicated by his mother to the priesthood. He grows up to be the most important religious figure of his day and helps establish the Israelite kingship.
The second book tells of the kingship of David, Israel's greatest king and ancestor of Jesus.Joseph Heller
's God Knows
is a modern — and not a little meta
— retelling of the Books of Samuel.
The Books of Samuel are followed by the Books of Kings
These books contain the following tropes
- All Crimes Are Equal: In part of Samuel's harsh rebuke to Saul's incomplete genocide and rejection as King of Israel, he states in I Samuel 15:23 that rebellion is just as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness is just as evil as idolatry.
- Artifact Title: Samuel only played a significant role in the beginning of the first book, then died in the middle and is not mentioned in the second. Those books focus more on the King David.
- ...And That Little Girl Was Me: Nathan tells David a story about a rich man who stole a poor man's pet lamb. But when David expresses outrage, Nathan reveals that the rich man was an allegory for David's Uriah Gambit and lays down "The Reason You Suck" Speech speech.
- Babies Ever After: God was so pleased at Hannah giving her firstborn to His service after years of infertility that He made her quite fertile from that point on. She proceeds to have five more children.
- Combat by Champion: David Versus Goliath, the most famous example in history.
- David Versus Goliath: Trope Namer.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Saul getting rejected as king just because he did some of Samuel's duties may seem like this but remember that the high priest makes sure the king does God's commands to the letter. Saul tries to bypass this and concentrate all power on himself. He was a tyrant in the making.
- Dream Team: David assembles an elite squad of thirty "mighty men" to be his personal guard. All of them had impressive achievements in battle, including one who killed 800 Philistines in one day, one who singlehandedly defended an entire field, and one who "killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day."
- Driven to Suicide: Saul, eventually.
- Evil Prince: David's sons Amnon (raped his half-sister) and Absalom (led a rebellion).
- Eye Scream: Saul's first great act was saving a city under siege from a warlord who would allow them to live if they allowed him to gouge out their eyes.
- Fatal Flaw
- Saul's tendency to follow his own way rather than waiting for a command from God.
- David's inability to control his children.
- Joab's violence.
- Hereditary Curse: God does this to David's family after David has an affair with Bathsheba and has her husband killed.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: David and Jonathan.
- Holy Is Not Safe: The Ark of the Covenant proves to be an equal-opportunity Doomsday Device in 1 Samuel 4-7. The Israelites bring the Ark onto the field of battle, which scares the Philistines into fighting harder instead. They capture it, then make the mistake of keeping it in the same room as an idol of Dagon. God breaks the statue and smites the Philistines with a plague of tumors and rats. The Philistine cities play hot potato with the Ark for a while before sending it back to Israel with a guilt offering. Aaaand the Israelites promptly have a whole bunch of people die from looking into the Ark.
- Honor Before Reason: During a battle with the Philistines, Saul disrupted his own army by making them swear that they will not eat or drink until they have won. They had no choice but to obey, and the enemy escaped. Only Jonathan thought this was dumb.
- Improbable Weapon User: The Philistines had a monopoly on weapons so the Israelites (with the exception of Saul & Jonathan) had to weaponise their farm tools.
- Lampshade Hanging: "As I served your father, so shall I serve you."
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Penninah has children, and lords it over Hannah, who has none. Hannah eventually does conceive, but not without divine intervention.
- Mistaken For Drunk: When Hannah is praying for a child, Eli (the priest) assumes she's drunk. When she corrects him, he apologizes, and says something along the lines of "May God grant you what you ask for."
- Morality Pet - Mephiboseth, Jonathan's crippled son, it this to David.
- Naked First Impression: David first sees Bathsheba bathing outdoors. Thus begins the affair.
- Offered the Crown: Saul, then David.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: The Rephaim, including Goliath. David and friends make a name for themselves by killing a few of these in battle.
- The story begins with Elkanah, who had two wives, Penninah and Hannah.
- Also, David has Michal and Bathsheba, plus several other women.
- Punished for Sympathy: 1 Samuel 15:18-23, where King Saul is chastised by Samuel because he had spared only one Amalekite which is King Agag as well as the sheep and cattle which were valuable. This is where God has officially rejected Saul as king of Israel.
- The Purge
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: David's Mighty Men.
- Redemption Equals Affliction: David repents of pulling the Uriah Gambit as well as committing adultery. Although God forgave him, He allowed David and Bathsheba's child to die in infancy.
- Rejected Apology: Saul repents to God for the incomplete genocide of the Amalekites, but Samuel informs him that God won't accept it and has now rejected him as King of Israel.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Saul's attempts at killing David and saving his dynasty end up dooming it.
- Shotgun Wedding: Though passed off by David as an Honorable Marriage Proposal; he married Bathsheba (after killing her husband off) because he got her pregnant.
- Suck Sessor:
- Eli's sons sucking leads the way for Samuel to become the priest; then, Samuel's just as terrible sons lead the way to Saul being crowned.
- Saul sees Jonathan as this, since Jonathan cares more about his friendship with David than the throne, but being the suck-sessor to a terrible king is hardly a bad thing.
- The Uriah Gambit: Trope Maker and Trope Namer, but not in the same event. The Trope Maker is Saul sending David on missions to get him killed (unsuccessful), whereas the Trope Namer is David sending Uriah to his death.
- Twenty Bear Asses: Ur Example, 100 Philistine foreskins.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Nathan reaming out David for his adultery.
- There's also Samuel chewing out Saul for burning an offering without waiting for him to arrive to Gilgal and later for sparing King Agag and the cattle and sheep when God commanded him to kill all Amalekites.