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The Book of Samuel

Updated on October 15, 2014

What is the Book of Samuel all about?

Samuel was a Hebrew leader during the middle 1000 B.C. He was a prophet, priest, judge, and ruler. At this time, judges ruled the Hebrew tribes. Samuel, a judge help unite all the Israelites under a monarchy. He selected Saul, first king of Israel, and also chose David to succeed Saul. Samuel led in the struggling against the Philistines.

Samuel was born into a peasant family. His mother, Hannah, dedicated him at an early age to the service of God at the shrine at Shiloh. Some scholars believe that he did not only became a priest although, he also organized and led an important order of prophets.

The two books of Samuel in the Old Testament are named after him prominence in 1 Samuel. They tell the story of the Hebrews from the birth of Samuel to the closing days of King David, a period of about a hundred years. The books are collections of stories written by a various authors. They contain the important records of David.

The second book focuses squarely on David, who succeeded Saul as King of Israel. We follow David through his victories and failings as he fights enemies external which is the Philistines, internal which is his own son Absalom, and inside him his own murder of Uriah. The book ends near the end of David's life, with his kingship and legacy firmly established in Israel.

David versus Goliath in the book of Samuel

This photo of my article is about David and Goliath facing each other for a battle and it is related to the book of Samuel.
This photo of my article is about David and Goliath facing each other for a battle and it is related to the book of Samuel. | Source

Who wrote the Book of Samuel?

According to tradition, the prophet Samuel wrote much of his book . After his death, the remaining parts were filled in by Gad the seer, and Nathan the prophet.

Just like Joshua and Judges, modern scholars believe that the books of Samuel belongs to the Deuteronomistic history, and have thus have multiple authors, and a post-exile redactor.

Since the sections on David's life and career as king are very detailed, the author of that part at least lived during the reign of David's son, Solomon. Other parts were probably written during the divided monarchy before the fall of Samaria which is the capital of Northern Kingdom, since the book makes a distinction between the men of "Israel" and "Judah".

The various works were eventually combined form a uniform narrative, by an editor who probably lived during the post-exile period which is 4th Century B.C.

Questions to be answered in the Book of Samuel

There are several questions that is needed to be answered in the Book of Samuel

Originally, Samuel was just one book. It was split into two when the book was translated into the Greek Septuagint. It's still one book for the Jews.

Who will Challenge the King?

Why was Saul rejected?

Why was Saul failed?

Why everyone watch Goliath?

Why is Saul a Prophet?

Video of 1 Samuel


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    • Steve Ho Ong profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Ho Ong 

      4 years ago from Dumaguete City

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