The Books of Samuel
Samuel 8:19 - Nevertheless the people refused to obey the
voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king
Samuel 8:20 - That we also may be like all the nations; and
that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our
Samuel 8:21 - And Samuel heard all the words of the people,
and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.
Samuel 8:22 - And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto
their voice, and make them a king.
Ark Relief at
The ancient Ark of the
covenant of Israel is one the most famous items in all
of antiquity. There is no trace of the Ark of the
covenant, yet it is memorialized by this Scripture block
at the synagogue of Capernaum, created in Greco-Roman
style. In the Bible the Ark of the Covenant was captured
by the Philistines, and later returned because of sudden
plagues that happened upon their lands. Through the
valley of sorek it was taken back to Israel to Beth-shemesh.
The Old Testament - A Brief Overview
Bible Survey - Samuel
Summary of The Books of Samuel
Hebrew Name - Shemuel "asked of God"
Greek Name - Samoeul (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Samuel (According to Tradition)
Date - From 1171-1015 BC Approximately
Theme of 1 Samuel - The beginning of the kingdom
Theme of 2 Samuel - David, God's chosen king
Types and Shadows - In Samuel Jesus is God's anointed King
of 1 Samuel. 1-4 The problems and the high priesthood of Eli, The
birth of Samuel, Samuels calling as a prophet, the corruption of
Eli's sons, The death of Eli. 5-12 the history of Samuel
13-31 the history of Saul.
of 2 Samuel. 1-10 The prosperity and victories of King David,
11-19 David's grievous sins, the consequences of David's actions, the
rebellion of Absalom and his death. 20-34 David's restoration upon the
throne, the sin of David in numbering the people, David's punishment, David's
intercession and sacrifice.
The original ancient Hebrew manuscripts recorded the books of Samuel as only
one book. The first time these books were divided was in the Septuagint, the
Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures, and they were referred to as the First
and Second Books of Kingdoms. 1 and 2 Kings were referred to as the Third and
Fourth Books of Kingdoms. When looking closely at the King James version of the
Bible the titles are still arranged in this way.
Samuel is the name of the books in the ancient Hebrew text, because he was
the author and the main character in the early portions in the first book, and
because of his role as a prophet of God known from Dan to Beersheba, who had
anointed and had the biggest influence on the lives of King Saul and King
David. The Lord raised up the prophet Samuel at a time in the history of Israel
when they were disunited as a people and very determined to have a king reign
over them. God made Samuel a great man, he was a Judge (1 Samuel 7:6, 15-17),
and a Prophet (1 Samuel 3:20) and became God's chosen link between the
periods of the Judges and the United Kingdom.
According to Jewish tradition the books were written by Samuel himself. They
deal with the period in Jewish history from the time of Othniel the Judge
through the reign of King David in the 11th and 10th centuries BC. This is of
course one of the most important and significant times in the history of Israel,
because their government changed from a system of tribes and judges to a kingdom
by which the king would rule according to God's laws.
Although there are a few repetitive content and accounts a
clear outline is difficult, the contents of the two books may
be outlined as follows:
Outline of the Books of Samuel
I. The Life of Samuel (1 Samuel 1-15)
1) The prayer of Hannah for a son, the granting of the request and the
subsequent dedication of the child Samuel to the service of the Lord (1 Samuel 1:1-2:
2) The sin of the sons of Eli which resulted in their death and the loss of the
priesthood to the descendants of Eli (1 Samuel 2:12-36).
3) Samuel's vision concerning the house of Eli (1 Samuel 3).
4) The defeat of the Israelites and capture of the Ark by the Philistines and
the death of Eli (1 Samuel 4).
5) The Ark in Philistine territory (1 Samuel 5:1-7 :4).
6) The return of the Ark and the establishment of Samuel as a judge over Israel
(1 Samuel 7).
7) The appointment of Samuel's sons as judges and the consequent request for a
king. Samuel warns the Israelites of the perils of being ruled over by a king (1
8) Saul's meeting with Samuel (1 Samuel 9).
9) The anointing and election of Saul as king (1 Samuel 10-11).
10) Samuel's address to the people, in which he defends his own record and
exhorts them to walk in the way of the Lord (1 Samuel 12). From this time forward, he
serves as an adviser to the king.
II. The Reign of Saul (1 Samuel 13 - 2 Samuel 1)
1) The offering of sacrifice by Saul in Samuel's absence. This constituted
disobedience and resulted in God's disfavor toward Saul (1 Samuel 13).
2) Jonathan's rout of the Philistine army and his innocent breaking of Saul's
foolish vow (1 Samuel 14).
3) Saul's disobedience in sparing some of the Amalekites and their cattle (1
Samuel 15). Samuel's reply to Saul's feeble excuse was the familiar "to obey is better
than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams" (1 Samuel 15:22 ).
4) The anointing of David to be Saul's successor (1 Samuel 16).
5) David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17).
6) The love of Jonathan and David and the marriage of the latter to the daughter
of Saul (1 Samuel 18). Also included in this chapter is the first attempt of the
jealous Saul to kill David.
7) Saul's second attempt on David's life (1 Samuel 19).
8) The parting of Jonathan and David (1 Samuel 20).
9) David's exile (1 Samuel 20-24).
10) The death of Samuel and the marriage of David to Abigail after the death of
her churlish husband, Nabal (1 Samuel 25).
11) The gradual eclipse of Saul's power as he futilely sought to destroy David
and protect his kingdom at the same time (1 Samuel 26-30).
III. The Reign of David (2 Samuel 2-25)
1) The proclamation of David as king at Hebron and his reign over Judah from
2) The removal of the capital to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5).
3) The bringing of the ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6).
4) David's victories (2 Samuel 7-11:1).
5) David's sin with Bathsheba and the rebuke by Nathan the prophet (2 Samuel 11-12).
6) The rape of Tamar by Amnon, the revenge of Absalom and Amnon's murder; the
flight of Absalom (2 Samuel 13).
7) Absalom's return, his efforts to usurp the throne of David and his death
(2 Samuel 14-18).
8) David's return and Sheba's revolt (2 Samuel 19-20 ).
9) The famine and the victory over the Philistines (2 Samuel 21).
10) David's thanksgiving and last words (2 Samuel 22-23:7).
11) The names and exploits of David's "mighty men" (2 Samuel 23:8-39).
12) The census and the resultant plague (2 Samuel 24).
More About the Book of
The Story of the Bible - Part One - The Old Testament
More About the Book of
1 Samuel in the Picture
2 Samuel in the Picture
Timeline of the Ancient
Back to the Old Testament
Back to Bible
© Bible History Online (http://www.bible-history.com)
The Story of the Bible
The Old Testament
Adam and Eve
The Tower of Babel
Abraham the First Hebrew
Isaac, Son of Promise
Jacob and the 12 Tribes
Joseph and Egypt
Moses and the Exodus
The Giving of the Law
The Wilderness Wanderings
Joshua and the Promised Land
Samuel the Prophet
Saul, Israel's First King
The Divided Kingdom
The Northern Kingdom of Israel
The Southern Kingdom of Judah
The Assyrian Captivity
The Babylonian Captivity
The Return From Babylon
Bibliography and Credits
Summary of the Old Testament Books
Song of Solomon
Read the Old Testament Stories
The 7 Days of Creation
The Fall of Man
Cain and Abel