Church Education Trust

Church and the Bible

BHB009  First Samuel


1 Samuel

"The structuring of the Kingdom."

Key Verse: 1 Samuel 5:22-23.

"And Samuel said, has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected he word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king."

Key word: Prayer.

Key Theme: The place of prayer in the life of the nation.


The book of 1 Samuel is the best know of the six historical books concerning the nation of Israel. First Samuel records the transition from theocracy (directed by God) to monarchy ( led by a human king).

It is a book that highlights three great leaders in the nation, firstly there was Samuel who held the special place in the religious affairs of the nations as a prophet. His ministry led Isreal to religious revival, the return of the ark of the covenant and the defeat of the Philistines.

Secondly there was king Saul who began his reign in a very positive way but later degenerated into acts of evil. Foolishly Saul assumed the role of a priest, he dissobeyed God`s command to destroy the Amalekites and incurred  God`s wrath on his life and reign and so he was replaced  as king.

Thirdly Samuel anointed David as Saul`s sucessor. David was pursued on a number of occasions by Saul who wanted to kill him. David fled and found refuge among the Philistines. Eventually Saul and his ons were killed by the Philistines in battle at Gilboa, this opened the way for david to take up his position as the new king of the nation.


Ch.1.        Birth and early years of Samuel.

Ch.2.        Eli`s family failure, moral decline and lawlessness.

Ch.3.        The call of Samuel.

Ch.4.        Eli`s family judged.

Ch.5-6.     The Ark of the Covenant returned.

Ch.7.        Samuel the Judge.

Ch.8.        Israel demands a king.

Ch.9-11.   Saul anointed king.

Ch.12.      Samuel`s farewell address.

Ch.13.      Saul`s failures.

Ch.14.      Jonathan`s the hero.

Ch.15.      Saul`s failures.

Ch.16.      David anointed King.

Ch.17.      David battles with Goliath.

Ch.18-20. David flees from Saul.

Ch.21.      David flees to Nob and Gath.

Ch.22.      David at Adullam.

Ch.23.      David rescues Keilah.

Ch.24.      David spares the life of Saul. (1)

Ch.25.      David, Nabal and Abigail.

Ch.26.      David spares the life of Saul. (2)

Ch.27.      David`s unbelief.

Ch.28.      Saul and the medium.

Ch.29.      Davids seeks refuge with the Philistines.

Ch.30.      David challenged and restored by God.

Ch.31.      The death of Saul.


In the Hebrew Bible 1&2 Samuel are one complete book and have been known as the book of Samuel.In the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible i.e. the Septuagint the book of Samuel is divided into two books even though it is a constant record. The division breaks up the account of the life and rule of David.


The authorship of 1&2 Samuel is anonymous but Hebrew tradition accredit its authorship to Samuel. If that is the case he could not have written about his death in 1 Samuel 25. While thisis a fact it is also a fact that Samuel did write a book. (1 Samuel 10:25) It could have been that a single compiler put the book together after comiling the written works of Samuel, Nathan the prophet and David the king.


If Samuel was the author of the materials contained in the first 24 chapters of 1 Samuel then the date could have been around 1015 B.C. which is recognised to be the date of his death.That being the case and because the last days of king David would have been 971 B.C. then it is reasonable to suggest that these books were compiled over a long period of time by a number of authors. It is also interesting to note that reference to the divided kingdom is recorded in 1 Samuel 27:6 which would have happened after the death of Solomon in 931 B.C.


Firstly the book of Samuel give a prophetically - orientated history of Isreal`s monarchy period. The transition of the leadership of the nation lead by Judges to Kings is a very important theme in this book. The theme of Messiah or anointed one is used in chapter 2:10, this Messianice theme continues right up until Christ comes in to the world.

< back to previous page >

©2008 Church Education Trust