The Seer: The Life of the Prophet Samuel and its Relevance Today

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Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos
Publication Data: Levadia, Greece: Birth of the Theotokos Monastery, 2013
Format: softcover
Number of Pages: 323
Dimensions (l × w × h): 23.5 cm × 17.0 cm × 1.7 cm
ISBN: 978‒960‒7070‒83‒8

Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos

“I remember that at the start of my priestly ministry, when I was in Edessa, I met a Priest who was a Diocesan Preacher of long standing. I took the opportunity to ask how I could serve the people in such a way that I[...]would be found worthy of fulfilling my mission. As an expert on Holy Scripture but also an experienced labourer in the Church, he spoke to me then about the life of the Prophet Samuel. Among other things, he told me in moving words, ‘I admire his obedience and his dedication to God.’ This spurred me on to a more thorough study of everything concerning this great prophetic figure. I wanted to know him better. I began to study the First Book of Kingdoms in the Old Testament. From the very start I was fascinated by the manner of his birth, his life in the Temple and the whole course of his life as God’s Prophet to the Israelite people. I read about him and many times felt great contrition. I saw clearly that the Prophet Samuel, whom the people called ‘the man of God’ and ‘the seer’, was linked with crucial historical events concerning the Israelite people. He was a Judge and eventually he anointed Saul and then David King. His whole life conveys important messages, even to people today. Reading the account of his life brings an appreciation of the greatness of his mother, Hannah, who bore him through prayer, prayer of the heart. It teaches how children can be brought up in a godly way, the significance of the Temple and worship for good education. It shows how rulers should govern the people and what authority means: why it exists and how it should be exercised. It enables the reader to discern the attitude that someone should have towards his spiritual father, the consequences of sin, and many other issues.”


Preface to the English Edition
1. God, Hannah and Elkanah
   The Value of the Old Testament
   God’s Providence
   Hannah’s Despondency
   Elkanah’s Reaction
2. Hannah's Prayer
   Interpretative Comments on Hannah’s Prayer
   Noetic Prayer of the Heart
3. Samuel’s Birth, Nursing and Dedication
   Conception and Birth
   Nursing Samuel
   Samuel’s Dedication
4. Hannah’s Prayer of Thanksgiving
   The Form of Hannah’s Prayer
   The Content of the Prayer
   Interpretations of the Prayer
5. Samuel in the Temple
   The Temple and its Importance
   Worship and Children
   Bringing Up Children in the Church
   Ecclesiastical Life and the Home
6. God’s Revelation to Samuel
   God’s Manifestation to Samuel
   The Theology of Revelation
   The Difference between Natural and Supranatural Revelation
   The Difference between Revelation and Speculation
   The Difference between Revelation and Vision
   Confirmation of Revelational Experience
7. The Content of the Revelation
   God’s Message
   The Sin of Eli’s Sons
   The Priest Eli’s Error
   Samuel’s Attitude
8. The Words of the Prophets
   Samuel’s Appointment as Prophet
   Genuine Prophets
   Contemporary Prophetic Words
   Accepting Prophets and Prophetic Words
9. Samuel’s Mission
   The Judges and their Task
   Samuel as a Judge
      a) Teaching and Advising the People
      b) Curing the People
      c) Judging the People
10. Samuel’s Children
   Why Children from Devout Families Rebel
   How Parents Benefit
11. The Search for a King
   The People’s Ingratitude
   The People’s Apostasy
   Samuel’s Dispassion
   God’s Consent and Permission
12. God and History
   Samuel and Saul Meet
   God Directs History
   God Enlightens Different People
   The Search for Saints
   The Man of God—the Seer
13. The Gift of Foresight and Clear Sight
   Samuel and the People
   The Gift of Foresight
   The Holy Fathers on the Gift of Foresight
   How Saul is Presented
14. Saul’s Anointing as King
   Oil and the Greeting
   The Task of Rulers
   Visible Confirmations
15. Energies of the Holy Spirit
   The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
   The Energy of the Holy Spirit in Saul
   Saul’s Discernment
16. The People Choose Saul
   Samuel’s Address
   How Saul was Chosen
   Saul’s Enthronement
17. Samuel’s Dispassion
   Giving Account of His Work
   Samuel Rebukes the People
   The People’s Repentance and Samuel’s Prayer
18. Saul’s Two Sins
   The Sacrifice without Samuel
   Refusal to Obey God
   The Prophet Samuel’s Attitude
   Our Attitude to the Spiritual Father
19. God’s Regret—Samuel’s Prayer
   God’s Regret
   The Cause of the Sin
   Patristic Interpretations of Saul and His Fall
   Samuel’s Distress and His Vigil
20. Saul’s Final Fall and Samuel’s Grief
   Saul’s Regret and Lack of Repentance
   Samuel’s Grief
21. Samuel’s Consolation and David’s Appointment
   Samuel is Consoled by God
   David’s Appointment
22. Death of the Prophet Samuel
   Death in the Orthodox Tradition
   Samuel’s Virtues
23. The Prophet Samuel and the Church
Translator’s Bibliography
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