1 Samuel
Bible Book Summary
1 Samuel Summary
by Jay Smith

1st Samuel is a story of Narrative History and includes a great deal of Drama. It is written by the last of the Judges for which the book is named, Samuel. It was written at about 930 B.C. Key personalities include Eli, Hannah, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, and David. It was written to show Israel how they chose a king but in the process, they blatantly neglected and abandoned God.

•    In chapters 1-7, Samuel is born to Hannah as a Nazirite, dedicate to God. Soon after, Samuel was brought to the tabernacle to serve God. During this time, the Israelites are in a vicious battle with the Philistines and they lose the Ark of the Covenant, which is captured by the Philistines. Struck down by deadly plagues, the Philistine are happy to return it to the rightful owner in an oxcart pulled by two cows.

•    From chapters 8-15, the Israelites select, who they believe, will be a great king. Samuel anoints Saul to be king and although things go well at first, as usual, trouble looms in the near future. Due to continuous bad decisions and direct disobedience to God’s will, Samuel informs Saul that God has rejected him as the rightful King.

•    In Chapters 16-31, God selects His King who is David, and he is called, “a man after God’s own heart” (13:14). Samuel anoints David as a young boy, and several years later stands up to a Philistine giant in front of both the armies of the Israelites and Philistines. With God as his protector, David drops the oversized soldier with one simple stone claiming victory for Israel and displaying true leadership. Saul, eaten away by envy and jealousy and driven by hate, begins to pursue David in fear of losing his throne. Although David could have easily taken his life twice, he respected his king in a Godly manner. In the end, Saul tragically takes his own life while losing on the battlefield.

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