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1 & 2 Samuel were originally published as the book of "First Book of Kings" by the people of God of the Old Testament times. This volume begins the annals of the nation of ancient "Israel," going from the latter days of the period of the judges (God-called leaders among the tribes) through the life of its greatest king, David.

Echoing the account of the last judge among the Israelites, Samson, the birth and calling of the prophet Samuel is a major theme of 1 Samuel. He is seen in the background even after he anoints Saul, the first king of the united kingdom of Israel. 1 Samuel tells the tale of two men. Saul is the people's choice: tall and handsome but at first reluctant to "take the job" of king. David is an unlikely candidate for the job, but chosen for his faith in God.

Second Samuel begins with the death of Saul, and then weaves the tale of a very human servant of God - faults and all - as he rules the young nation to greatness. David is found to have family problems, some of which might be attributed to taking of multiple wives, which ultimately lead to a loss of effectiveness in administrative duties. However, after civil war led by his own family, he passes a stable nation to his son Solomon.

Authorship Edit

Though there is no claim in the books to who wrote them, tradition holds that Samuel, with help from prophets Nathan and Gad, wrote most of the material.[1] The final form had to be in the days of the divided kingdom after the death of Solomon.[2]

Outline Edit

I Samuel Edit

I. The Closing Days of the Judges

A. The Judgeship of Eli 1:1--4:22
B. The Judgeship of Samuel 5:1--8:22

II. United Israel under Monarch

A. The ascendancy of Saul 9:1--15:35
1. Chosen as King 9:1--12:25
2. National victories and Personal failures 13:1--15:35
B. The Conflict of Saul and David
1. David's Rise to fame 16:1--17:58
2. Saul's controversy with David 18:1--31:13

II Samuel Edit

I. David rules at Hebron

A. David learns of Saul's death 1:1-16
B. David's lament over Saul and Jonathan 1:17-27
C. David's contest with Israel 2:1--4:12

II. David rules at Jerusalem

A. The Capture of Jerusalem 5:1-25
B. The Bringing up the Ark 6:1-23
C. The Davidic Covenant 7:1-29
D. The extension of the kingdom 8:1--10:19
E. David's sin with Bathsheba 11:1--12:31
F. The sins of Amnon and Absalom 13:1--14:33

III David's flight and return 15:1--17:23

A. Absalom's usurpation and David's escape 17:24--19:7
B. The Civil War 17:24--19:7
C. David's return to Jerusalem 19:8-43

IV. Last days of David's reign

A. Sheba's rebellion 20:1-26
B. Gibeonite's revenge 21:1-14
C. War against Philistia 21:15-22
D. Song of Deliverance 22:1-51
E. David's last testimony 23:1-7

V. Addendum

A. David's mighty men 23:8-9
B. David's unwise census 24:1-25

References Edit

  1. See online reference in Wikipedia. Also The King James Study Bible (Brindle, et al, editors), page 453.
  2. 1 Samuel 27:6 "Ziklag belongs to kings of Judah to this day."