Augustine Sokolowski

On September 2, the Church celebrates the memory of the prophet Samuel. The Prophet lived some three thousand years ago.

In the first Christian millennium, the memorial days of almost all known biblical prophets, minor and major, as well as some kings and righteous people of Israel were included in the liturgical calendar in Constantinople. Ecclesiastical hymnographers of the period dedicated hymns and songs to them.

Importantly, for the Emperors of Rome - those Basileoi of Byzantium - as the Germans began to pejoratively call the Great Orthodox Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries this was not just a reminder.

After all, they saw themselves not only as successors to Augustus and Constantine, but also to David, Solomon and … those prophets who accompanied the time of Old Testament history from the now celebrated Samuel to Malachi, and as it appeared then , they would bless the royal throne forever if it were pious. "But my kingdom is not of this world," Jesus said to Pilate.

In our day, of all the Old Testament prophets, only Elijah is venerated in popular devotion in the Orthodox Church.

It is very important to dedicate a few words to Samuel.

For by virtue of this inspired prophetic succession, God gave Israel Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and other prophets. After all, it was Samuel who created “prophetic schools,” that is some kind of congregations or schools, of future prophets.

Samuel first anointed, that is, blessed Saul for the kingdom, and then, when that first tragic king of Israel essentially cursed himself, made David king. That is, he actually established the kingdom of Israel, the throne of David, the kingdom of whose Son, the Lord Jesus, according to the Bible, will have no end.

“Jesus of Nazareth – King of the Jews” is the death sentence to the living God written on the Cross of the Lord by Pontius, this Gentile, nicknamed Pilate. It means, as the interpreters say, either an “arrow” or simply a “fur hat” as a sign of origin from some kind of freed slaves.

"What I wrote, I wrote," Pilate said to the Jews, who asked for a revision of the sentence. This indicates that the judgment pronounced by Rome is final and cannot be revised.This judgment of an empire whose emperors after Constantine will see themselves as successors to the kings of Judah! Let's also remember that before the 1917 revolution in the theological schools of the Russian Empire, which also considered itself the successor of Rome, the names of the Jewish kings were memorized by students!

Pontius' fur hat and Jesus' crown of thorns... According to legend, when Pilate died, the earth did not accept his body. Jesus is risen and reigns forever.

According to the Apocalypse, "Christ has made us kings and priests to God and to his Father" (Revelation 1:6). All of this means that by blessing David Samuel anointed us all for the kingdom.