THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL,
OTHERWISE CALLED, THE FIRST BOOK OF THE KINGS.
IN this book is contained the history of the Israelites under the two last judges, Eli and Samuel, and under Saul, the first king in Israel; for their form of government was now changed, God, at the people’s desire, appointing Saul to be a king over them, instead of raising them up judges as formerly. We have likewise, in this book, an account of God’s rejection of Saul from the throne, for his disobedience, and of his choosing David in his stead. This and the following book are styled the books of Samuel, because the first contains his story, and in both of them are related the transactions of two kings anointed by him. Samuel himself, probably, wrote the first twenty-four chapters of this book, and the rest, with the second book, might be written by Nathan or Gad, or some other prophet of those times. See 1 Chronicles 29:29. A few passages seem to have been inserted by Ezra, when he collected and revised the books of sacred Scripture. This first book of Samuel contains the history of about eighty years; of which forty passed under the government of Eli, as high-priest and judge, 1 Samuel 4:18; and the other forty under the government of Samuel and Saul, as may be seen Acts 13:21.