Four years ago, I came across an interesting reference in the New Testament to a verse in the Hebrew Bible. At the end of Luke’s narrative of the birth and childhood of Jesus, he writes:
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
It’s almost a direct quotation of 1 Sam 2:26. But why would Luke quote this verse here? Why compare the childhood of Jesus to Samuel? The answer to these questions did not come to me until this past semester while taking the Dead Sea Scrolls seminar when my teacher (Dr. Curt Niccum) pointed out a peculiar reference in one of the scrolls.
But before we can get to that scroll reference, a bit of background on the expectation of the messiah in the first century is necessary.