Baseball Tonight Exegesis

“Fill thine horn with oil . . . and go” is ESPN Baseball Tonight host Steve Berthiaume’s  unique catchphrase. In a previous post I briefly declared my appreciation for it. I’ve noticed that people end up on my blog while searching for the meaning of the phrase, so I thought I would discuss it.

The phrase is taken from the King James Version of I Samuel 16:1.

And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.

The Lord instructs Samuel to stop grieving about the evilness of King Saul. The oil Samuel is instructed to take with him is for anointing the next king, which would be King David (his anointing takes place in verse 13).

So why does Steve Berthiaume use the line as a catchphrase? I really do not know. He seems to use it when a Philadelphia Phillie hits a homerun, so maybe he is saying “Phil thine horn with oil and go.”

I like it because it’s not often the Old Testament makes an appearance on ESPN. Catchphrases have license to be unique, strange, or vague. And who doesn’t like hearing the word thine once in a while?

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