Article Index

Names of the Book


English:  1 Samuel
Hebrew:  שׁמוּאל א
Transliterated:  Shemuel Alef
Other names:   



Wrote the book:  Primarily Samuel plus Nathan and Gad
(see 1 Chronicles 29:29)
Are the key people:  Eli, Hannah, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, David
Is it written to:  The people of Israel



Eli and Samuel and the war with the Philistines  (1 Samuel 1:1-7:17)
Samuel and Saul and G-d's rejection of Saul for his disobedience (1 Samuel 8:1-15:35)
Saul and David and Saul's rejection of David (1 Samuel 16:1-31:13)



Was it written:  unknown
Did the events occur:  c 1100-1000 BCE
Was it canonized:  c 499-100 BCE
(see the Timeline of the Tanakh)



Was it written:  unknown location in Israel
Did the events occur:  The land of Israel: Ephraim, Shiloh, Ebenezer, Ashdod, Mizpah, and others



1 Samuel was written to inform us that: 
G-d is King
G-d is in control
G-d appoints various kinds of leaders (judges, prophets, priests, and kings)
G-d requires obedience
G-d is faithful even when we aren't



First Samuel is a historical narrative that records the establishment and early periods of Israel's monarchy.  After the time of the Judges, Samuel leads Israel as prophet, priest, and judge.  Israel demands Samuel set a king over them like the nations around them and G-d directs Samuel to anoint Saul as Israel's first king.  David kills the giant Philistine, Goliath, and consequently enters Saul's court where he becomes the friend of Saul's son, Jonathan.  David later becomes the leader of Saul's armies and enjoys great success in battle.  Saul turns away from G-d and disobeys His commands so Samuel anoints David to succeed Saul to the throne.  Saul becomes violently jealous towards David as a result, which forces him to flee. The book concludes with Saul's death in battle at the hands of the Philistines.



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Yom Rivi'i, 14 Iyar, 5784 - Pesach Sheini

Wednesday, May 22, 2024


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