AUTHORS: Samuel and others
DATE: 930 B.C. and later
The two books of Samuel are named for the key figure of the early chapters, the prophet Samuel. Samuel’s authorship of a book is attested to in 1 Samuel 10:25, however, it’s not possible that Samuel wrote more than part of 1 Samuel because his death is recorded in chapter 25. First Chronicles 29:29 indicates that Nathan and Gad also wrote about the events recorded in Samuel so they are thought to be the likely authors of the two books that bear Samuel’s name.
Samuel was the last judge in the 350-year span of the time of the judges. First Samuel covers a period of about 115 years, from the birth and childhood of Samuel to the beginning of the reign of King David. God raised up Samuel during one of the darkest periods of Israel’s history to call the people to a revival of true worship of Yahweh (the LORD; Acts 3:24). Samuel served God as a prophet (1 Sam 3:20), a priest (1 Sam 2:18, Ps 99:6, Jer 15:1), and a “king” (a ruler/a judge; 1 Sam 7:15). Samuel’s anointings of Saul (10:1) and David (16:13) as kings of Israel is recorded in 1 Samuel making it a record of history that bridges from the time of apostasy and sin during the time of the judges to God’s establishment of the united Kingdom of Israel.
First Samuel focuses on three men chosen by God for His service: Samuel, Saul, and David. (Second Samuel centers exclusively on David.) The narrative of 1 Samuel tells how a nation suffers under poor leadership and how the people of the nation are blessed under righteous leaders. It tells of the effects of sin and the blessings of holiness. Well-known historical accounts in the book include David and Goliath (chapter 17), David and Jonathan (chapter 18), and Saul and the witch of Endor (chapter 28).
OUTLINE OF 1 SAMUEL
I. Samuel, the Last Judge, 1:1-8:22
A. His Early Life and Call, 1:1-3:21
1. His mother, 1:1-2:10
a. Her sorrow, 1:1-8
b. Her supplication, 1:9-18
c. Her son, 1:19-23
d. Her sacrifice, 1:24-28
e. Her song, 1 Sam 2:1-10
2. His ministry, 2:11-3:21
a. The situation at Shiloh, 2:11-36
b. The summons to Samuel, 3:1-21
B. His War with the Philistines, 4:1-7:1
1. The capture of the ark by the Philistines, 4:1-22
a. The defeat of Israel, 4:1-11
b. The death of Eli, 4:12-18
c. The departure of the glory: Ichabod, 4:19-22
2. The curse of the ark on the Philistines, 5:1-12
3. The return of the ark by the Philistines, 6:1-7:1
C. His Revival Ministry to Israel, 7:2-17
D. His Warning to Israel Concerning their Demand for a King, 8:1-22
II. Saul, the First King, 1 Sam 9:1-31:13
A. The Rise of Saul, 9:1-11:15
1. The choosing of Saul, 9:1-27
2. The coronation of Saul, 10:1-27
3. The conquest of the Ammonites, 11:1-15
B. The Reminder by Samuel, 12:1-25
C. The Rejection of Saul, 13:1-15:35
1. His sinful offering, 13:1-22
2. His rash vows, 13:23-14:52
3. His partial obedience, 15:1-35
D. The Replacement of Saul by David, 16:1-23
1. David chosen and anointed, 16:1-13
2. David employed at Saul’s court, 16:14-23
E. The Rise of David over Saul, 17:1-18:30
1. David’s defeat of Goliath, 17:1-58
2. David’s friendship with Jonathan, 18:1-4
3. David’s relations with Saul, 18:5-16
4. David’s marriage, 18:17-30
F. The Rejection of David by Saul, 19:1-26:25
1. David protected by Jonathan, 19:1-10
2. David protected by Michal, 19:11-17
3. David protected by Samuel, 19:18-24
4. David protected by Jonathan, 20:1-42
5. David protected by Ahimelech, 21:1-9
6. David protected by Achish, 21:10-15
7. David and his band of men, 22:1-26:25
a. In the cave of Adullam and in Mizpah, 22:1-5
b. Saul slays the priests, 22:6-23
c. At Keilah, 23:1-12
d. In the wilderness of Ziph, 23:13-29
e. At Engedi, David spares Saul, 24:1-22
f. David and Abigail, 25:1-44
g. In the wilderness of Ziph, David spares Saul again, 26:1-25
G. The Refuge of David in Philistine Territory, 27:1-31:13
1. David becomes a Philistine servant, 27:1-28:2
2. Saul consults the medium at En-dor, 28:3-25
3. David dismissed by the Philistines, 29:1-11
4. David destroys the Amalekites, 30:1-31
5. The Philistines and the death of Saul, 31:1-13
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