Notes ... on the Books of Samuel, by S.R. Driver

| Updated: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 | Tagged: ot, hebrew, samuel.

Among the many valuable contributions S.R. Driver made to the student of the Hebrew Bible, his “notes” on Samuel are among the most enduring. First published in 1889, the much revised second edition of 1913 added another 100 pages of text. Driver’s purpose for the volume is more clearly seen from the full title: Notes on the Hebrew Text and Topography of the Books of Samuel with an Introduction on Hebrew Palaeography and the Ancient Versions and Facsimiles of Inscriptions and Maps.

One of the hidden gems is that “palaeographic” introduction, as Driver discusses the Gezer “calendar”, the Siloam Tunnel inscription, several Aramaic papyri, and mentions many others besides.

The main interest, of course, remains his discussion of the Hebrew text of 1 & 2 Samuel. In spite of the impact of the Dead Sea Scrolls on the study of Samuel, Driver’s discussions retain considerable value for the reader of the MT. For example, his reflections on the theologically loaded 1 Samuel 2:25 show to good effect not only his instinct on the Hebrew, but the contribution of his classical background.

There are at least three good scans on, but to my eye the best of these is one of the University of Toronto copies which does a good job also on the fold-out maps located at various points in the volume.