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The Books of Samuel,[a] 1 Samuel
Samuel
and 2 Samuel, form part of the narrative history of Israel in the Nevi'im
Nevi'im
or "prophets" section of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, and are considered by many biblical scholars to belong to the Deuteronomistic history, a series of books (Joshua, Judges, Samuel
Samuel
and Kings) that constitute a theological history of the Israelites
Israelites
and aim to explain God's law for Israel under the guidance of the prophets.[1] According to Jewish tradition, the book was written by Samuel, with additions by the prophets Gad and Nathan;[2] modern scholarly thinking is that the entire Deuteronomistic history was composed in the period c. 630–540 BC by combining a number of independent texts of various ages.[3][4] Samuel
Samuel
begins with the prophet Samuel's birth[5] and God's call to him as a boy. The story of the Ark of the Covenant
Ark of the Covenant
that follows tells of Israel's oppression by the Philistines, which brought about Samuel's anointing of Saul
Saul
as Israel's first king. But Saul
Saul
proved unworthy and God's choice turned to David, who defeated Israel's enemies and brought the Ark to Jerusalem. God then promised David
David
and his successors an everlasting dynasty.[6]

Contents

1 Summary 2 Composition

2.1 Versions 2.2 Authorship and date of composition 2.3 Sources

3 Themes

3.1 Samuel 3.2 Saul 3.3 David

4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 Bibliography

7.1 Translations of 1 and 2 Samuel 7.2 Commentaries on Samuel 7.3 General

8 External links

Summary[edit]

Ernst Josephson, David
David
and Saul, 1878.

The childless Hannah vows to Yahweh
Yahweh
of hosts that if she has a son, he will be dedicated to him. Eli, the priest of Shiloh (where the Ark of the Covenant is located), blesses her, and a child named Samuel
Samuel
is born. Samuel
Samuel
is dedicated to the Lord as a Nazirite – the only one beside Samson
Samson
to be identified in the Bible. Eli's sons, Hophni and Phinehas, prove unworthy of the priesthood and are killed in battle during the Battle of Aphek, but the child Samuel
Samuel
grows up "in the presence of the Lord." The Philistines
Philistines
capture the Ark of the Covenant
Ark of the Covenant
from Shiloh and take it to the temple of their god Dagon, who recognises the supremacy of Yahweh. The Philistines
Philistines
are afflicted with plagues and return the ark to the Israelites, but to the territory of the tribe of Benjamin rather than to Shiloh. The Philistines
Philistines
attack the Israelites
Israelites
gathered at Mizpah in Benjamin. Samuel
Samuel
appeals to Yahweh, the Philistines
Philistines
are decisively beaten, and the Israelites
Israelites
reclaim their lost territory. In Samuel's old age, he appoints his sons Joel and Abijah as judges, but they are unworthy, and so the people clamour for a king. God directs Samuel
Samuel
to grant them a king despite his concerns, and gives them Saul
Saul
of the tribe of Benjamin. Saul
Saul
defeats the enemies of the Israelites, but sins against Yahweh. Yahweh
Yahweh
tells Samuel
Samuel
to anoint David
David
of Bethlehem
Bethlehem
as king, and David enters Saul's court as his armour-bearer and harpist. Saul's son and heir Jonathan befriends David
David
and recognises him as rightful king. Saul
Saul
plots David's death, but David
David
flees into the wilderness, where he becomes a champion of the Hebrews. David
David
joins the Philistines, but continues secretly to champion his own people, until Saul
Saul
and Jonathan are killed in battle at Mount Gilboa. At this point, David
David
offers a majestic eulogy, where he praises the bravery and magnificence of both his friend Jonathan and King Saul.[7] The elders of Judah anoint David
David
as king, but in the north Saul's son Ish-bosheth, or Ishbaal, rules over the northern tribes. After a long war, Ishbaal is murdered by Rechab and Baanah, two of his captains who hope for a reward from David; but David
David
has them killed for killing God's anointed. David
David
is then anointed King of all Israel. David captures Jerusalem and brings the Ark there. David
David
wishes to build a temple, but Nathan tells him that one of his sons will be the one to build the temple. David
David
defeats the enemies of Israel, slaughtering Philistines, Moabites, Edomites, Syrians and Arameans. David
David
commits adultery and has sex with Bathsheba
Bathsheba
and plots the death of her husband, Uriah the Hittite; for this Yahweh
Yahweh
sends disasters against his house. Nathan tells David
David
that the sword shall never depart from his house. For the remainder of his reign there are problems. Amnon
Amnon
(one of David's sons) rapes his half-sister Tamar (one of David's daughters). Absalom
Absalom
(another son of David) kills Amnon, rebels against his father, and David
David
flees from Jerusalem. Absalom
Absalom
is killed following the Battle of the Wood of Ephraim, David
David
is restored as king, and he returns to his palace. Finally only two contenders for the succession remain, Adonijah and Bathsheba's son Solomon. The Second Book
Book
of Samuel
Samuel
concludes with four chapters (chapters 21 to 24) which lie outside the chronological narrative of Saul
Saul
and David. The narrative is resumed with the first Book
Book
of Kings, which relates how, as David
David
lies dying, Bathsheba
Bathsheba
and Nathan ensure Solomon's elevation to the throne. The four supplementary[8] chapters cover a great famine during David's reign,[9] the execution of seven of Saul's remaining descendants, only Mephibosheth
Mephibosheth
being saved,[10] David's song of thanksgiving,[11] which is almost identical to Psalm 18, his last words,[12] a list of David's "mighty warriors",[13] an offering made by David
David
using water from the well of Bethlehem,[14] David's sinful census,[15] a plague over Israel which David
David
opted for as preferable to either famine or oppression,[16] and the construction of an altar on land he purchased from Araunah the Jebusite.[17] Composition[edit]

David
David
and Bathsheba, by Artemisia Gentileschi. David
David
is seen in the background, standing on a balcony.

Versions[edit] What it is now commonly known as 1 Samuel
Samuel
and 2 Samuel
Samuel
are called by the Vulgate, in imitation of the Septuagint, 1 Kings and 2 Kings respectively.[18] Then, what it is now commonly known as 1 Kings and 2 Kings would be 3 Kings and 4 Kings in old Bibles before the year 1516.[19] It was in 1517 that use of the division we know now today used by Protestant Bibles and adopted by Catholics began. Some Bibles still preserve the old denomination, for example, Douay Rheims bible.[20] 1 and 2 Samuel
Samuel
were originally (and, in some Jewish bibles, still are[21][citation needed]) a single book, but the first Greek translation, produced around the second century BCE, divided it into two; this was adopted by the Latin translations used in the early Christian church of the West, and finally introduced into Jewish bibles around the early 16th century.[22] The modern Hebrew text, called the Masoretic text, differs considerably from the Greek, and scholars are still working at finding the best solutions to the many problems this presents.[23] Authorship and date of composition[edit] According to passages 14b and 15a of the Bava Basra tractate of the Talmud, the book was written by Samuel
Samuel
up until 1 Samuel
Samuel
25, which notes the death of Samuel, and the remainder by the prophets Gad and Nathan. Critical scholars from the 19th century onward have rejected this idea. Martin Noth in 1943 theorized that Samuel
Samuel
was composed by a single author as part of a history of Israel: the Deuteronomistic history (made up of Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel
Samuel
and Kings).[24] Although Noth's belief that the entire history was composed by a single individual has been largely abandoned, his theory in its broad outline has been adopted by most scholars.[25] The most common view today is that an early version of the history was composed in the time of king Hezekiah
Hezekiah
(8th century BC); the bulk of the first edition dates from his grandson Josiah
Josiah
at the end of the 7th BC, with further sections added during the Babylonian exile
Babylonian exile
(6th century BC) and the work was substantially complete by about 550 BC.[26] Further editing was apparently done even after then: for example, the silver quarter-shekel which Saul's servant offers to Samuel
Samuel
in 1 Samuel
Samuel
9 almost certainly fixes the date of this story in the Persian or Hellenistic periods.[27] The 6th century BC authors and editors responsible for the bulk of the history drew on many earlier sources, including (but not limited to) an "ark narrative" (1 Samuel
Samuel
4:1–7:1 and perhaps part of 2 Samuel 6), a " Saul
Saul
cycle" (parts of 1 Samuel
Samuel
9–11 and 13–14), the "history of David's rise" (1 Samuel
Samuel
16:14-2 Samuel
Samuel
5:10), and the "succession narrative" (2 Samuel
Samuel
9–20 and 1 Kings 1–2).[28] The oldest of these, the "ark narrative," may even predate the Davidic era.[29] Sources[edit] The sources used to construct 1 and 2 Samuel
Samuel
are believed to include the following:[30]

Call of Samuel
Samuel
or Youth of Samuel
Samuel
(1 Samuel
Samuel
1–7): From Samuel's birth his career as Judge and prophet over Israel. This source includes the Eli narrative and part of the ark narrative.[31] Ark narrative (1 Samuel
Samuel
4:1b–7:1 and 2 Samuel
Samuel
6:1–20): the ark's capture by the Philistines
Philistines
in the time of Eli and its transfer to Jerusalem by David
David
– opinion is divided over whether this is actually an independent unit.[32] Jerusalem source: a fairly brief source discussing David
David
conquering Jerusalem from the Jebusites. Republican source: a source with an anti-monarchial bias. This source first describes Samuel
Samuel
as decisively ridding the people of the Philistines, and begrudgingly appointing an individual chosen by God to be king, namely Saul. David
David
is described as someone renowned for his skill at playing the harp, and consequently summoned to Saul's court to calm his moods. Saul's son Jonathan becomes friends with David, which some commentators view as romantic, and later acts as his protector against Saul's more violent intentions. At a later point, having been deserted by God on the eve of battle, Saul
Saul
consults a medium at Endor, only to be condemned for doing so by Samuel's ghost, and told he and his sons will be killed. David
David
is heartbroken on discovering the death of Jonathan, tearing his clothes as a gesture of grief. Monarchial source: a source with a pro-monarchial bias and covering many of the same details as the republican source. This source begins with the divinely appointed birth of Samuel. It then describes Saul
Saul
as leading a war against the Ammonites, being chosen by the people to be king, and leading them against the Philistines. David
David
is described as a shepherd boy arriving at the battlefield to aid his brothers, and is overheard by Saul, leading to David
David
challenging Goliath
Goliath
and defeating the Philistines. David's warrior credentials lead to women falling in love with him, including Michal, Saul's daughter, who later acts to protect David
David
against Saul. David
David
eventually gains two new wives as a result of threatening to raid a village, and Michal
Michal
is redistributed to another husband. At a later point, David
David
finds himself seeking sanctuary amongst the Philistine army and facing the Israelites
Israelites
as an enemy. David
David
is incensed that anyone should have killed Saul, even as an act of mercy, since Saul
Saul
was anointed by Samuel, and has the individual responsible, an Amalekite, killed. Court History of David
David
or Succession narrative (2 Samuel
Samuel
9–20 and 1 Kings 1–2): a "historical novel", in Alberto Soggin's phrase, telling the story of David's reign from his affair with Bathsheba
Bathsheba
to his death. The theme is of retribution: David's sin against Uriah the Hittite is punished by God through the destruction of his own family,[33] and its purpose is to serve as an apology for the coronation of Bathsheba's son Solomon
Solomon
instead of his older brother Adonijah.[24] Some textual critics have posited that given the intimacy and precision of certain narrative details, the Court Historian may have been an eyewitness to some of the events he describes, or at the very least enjoyed access to the archives and battle reports of the royal house of David.[34] Redactions: additions by the redactor to harmonize the sources together; many of the uncertain passages may be part of this editing. Various: several short sources, none of which have much connection to each other, and are fairly independent of the rest of the text. Many are poems or pure lists.

Themes[edit]

Hannah presenting Samuel
Samuel
to Eli, by Jan Victors, 1645.

The Book
Book
of Samuel
Samuel
is a theological evaluation of kingship in general and of dynastic kingship and David
David
in particular.[35] The main themes of the book are introduced in the opening poem (the "Song of Hannah"): (1), the sovereignty of Yahweh, God of Israel; (2), the reversal of human fortunes; and (3), kingship.[36] These themes are played out in the stories of the three main characters, Samuel, Saul
Saul
and David. Samuel[edit] Main article: Samuel Samuel
Samuel
answers the description of the "prophet like Moses" predicted in Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy
18:15–22: like Moses, he has direct contact with Yahweh, acts as a judge, and is a perfect leader who never makes mistakes.[37] Samuel's successful defence of the Israelites
Israelites
against their enemies demonstrates that they have no need for a king (who will, moreover, introduce inequality), yet despite this the people demand a king. But the king they are given is Yahweh's gift, and Samuel
Samuel
explains that kingship can be a blessing rather than a curse if they remain faithful to their God. On the other hand, total destruction of both king and people will result if they turn to wickedness.[24] Saul[edit] Main article: Saul Saul
Saul
is the chosen one, tall, handsome and "goodly",[38] a king appointed by Yahweh, and anointed by Samuel, Yahweh's prophet, and yet he is ultimately rejected.[39] Saul
Saul
has two faults which make him unfit for the office of king: he carries out a sacrifice in place of Samuel
Samuel
(1 Samuel
Samuel
13:8–14), and he fails to complete the genocide of the Amalekites
Amalekites
as God has ordered (1 Samuel
Samuel
15).[40] David[edit] Main article: David One of the main units within Samuel
Samuel
is the "History of David's Rise", the purpose of which is to justify David
David
as the legitimate successor to Saul.[41] The narrative stresses that he gained the throne lawfully, always respecting "the Lord's anointed" (i.e. Saul) and never taking any of his numerous chances to seize the throne by violence.[42] As God's chosen king over Israel, David
David
is also the son of God ("I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me..." – 2 Samuel
Samuel
7:14).[43] God enters into an eternal covenant (treaty) with David
David
and his line, promising divine protection of the dynasty and of Jerusalem through all time.[44] 2 Samuel
Samuel
23 contains a prophetic statement described as the "last words of David" (verses 1-7) and details of the 37 "mighty men" who were David's chief warriors (verses 8-38). The Jerusalem Bible
Jerusalem Bible
states that last words were attributed to David
David
in the style of Jacob
Jacob
(see Jacob's Blessing, Genesis 49) and Moses
Moses
(see Blessing of Moses, Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy
33). Its editors note that "the text has suffered considerably and reconstructions are conjectural".[45] 1 Kings 2:1-9 contains David's final words to Solomon, his son and successor as king. See also[edit]

Biblical judges Midrash Shmuel (aggadah) The Bible
Bible
and history History of ancient Israel and Judah Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) Kingdom of Judah

Notes[edit]

^ In Hebrew, 1 and 2 Samuel
Samuel
together comprise simply the " Book
Book
of Samuel" (ספר שמואל‬, Sefer Shmuel). For purposes of chapter and verse numbering, the book is treated as divided into two parts: 1 Samuel
Samuel
and 2 Samuel.

References[edit]

^ Gordon 1986, p. 18. ^ 1 Chronicles 29:29 ^ Knight 1995, p. 62. ^ Jones 2001, p. 197. ^ 1 Samuel
Samuel
1:1-20 ^ Spieckerman 2001, p. 348. ^ 2 Samuel
Samuel
1:17–27 ^ Sub-heading in Jerusalem Bible ^ 2 Samuel
Samuel
21:1 ^ 2 Samuel
Samuel
21:2-9 ^ 2 Samuel
Samuel
22:1-51 ^ 2 Samuel
Samuel
23:1-7 ^ 2 Samuel
Samuel
23:8-39 ^ 2 Samuel
Samuel
23:13-17 ^ 2 Samuel
Samuel
24:1-9 ^ 2 Samuel
Samuel
24:10-17 ^ 2 Samuel
Samuel
24:18-25 ^ Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/First and Second Books of Kings ^ Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Third and Fourth Books of Kings ^ Douay Rheims bible ^ Barron, Robert (2015-04-28). 2 Samuel
Samuel
(Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible). Brazos Press. ISBN 9781441221964.  ^ Gordon 1986, pp. 19–20. ^ Bergen 1996, pp. 25–27. ^ a b c Klein 2003, p. 316. ^ Tsumura 2007, pp. 15–19. ^ Walton 2009, pp. 41–42. ^ Auld 2003, p. 219. ^ Knight 1991, p. 853. ^ Tsumura 2007, p. 11. ^ Jones, pp. 197–99 ^ Soggin 1987, pp. 210–11. ^ Eynikel 2000, p. 88. ^ Soggin 1987, pp. 216–17. ^ Kirsch, Jonathan (2009). King David: The Real Life of the Man Who Ruled Israel. Random House LLC. pp. 307–09. ISBN 9780307567819.  ^ Klein 2003, p. 312. ^ Tsumura 2007, p. 68. ^ Beytenbrach 2000, pp. 53–55. ^ 1 Samuel
Samuel
9:2: King James Version ^ Hertzberg 1964, p. 19. ^ Klein 2003, p. 319. ^ Dick 2004, pp. 3–4. ^ Jones 2001, p. 198. ^ Coogan 2009, pp. 216, 229–33. ^ Coogan 2009, p. 425. ^ Jerusalem Bible, footnote at 2 Samuel
Samuel
23:1

Bibliography[edit] Translations of 1 and 2 Samuel[edit]

Samuel
Samuel
1 and 2 at Bible
Bible
Gateway

Commentaries on Samuel[edit]

Shmuel I – Samuel
Samuel
I (Judaica Press) translation [with Rashi's commentary] at Chabad.org Shmuel II – Samuel
Samuel
II (Judaica Press) translation [with Rashi's commentary] at Chabad.org Auld, Graeme (2003). "1 & 2 Samuel". In James D. G. Dunn and John William Rogerson. Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. Eerdmans. ISBN 9780802837110.  Bergen, David
David
T. (1996). 1, 2 Samuel. B&H Publishing Group. ISBN 9780805401073.  Gordon, Robert (1986). I & II Samuel, A Commentary. Paternoster Press. ISBN 9780310230229.  Hertzberg, Hans Wilhelm (1964). I & II Samuel, A Commentary (trans. from German 2nd edition 1960 ed.). Westminster John Knox Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0664223182.  Tsumura, David
David
Toshio (2007). The First Book
Book
of Samuel. Eerdmans. ISBN 9780802823595. 

General[edit]

Breytenbach, Andries (2000). "Who Is Behind The Samuel
Samuel
Narrative?". In Johannes Cornelis de Moor and H.F. Van Rooy. Past, Present, Future: the Deuteronomistic History and the Prophets. Brill. ISBN 9789004118713.  Coogan, Michael D. (2009) A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
in its Context Oxford University Press Dick, Michael B (2004). "The History of "David's Rise to Power" and the Neo-Babylonian Succession Apologies". In Bernard Frank Batto and Kathryn L. Roberts. David
David
and Zion: biblical studies in honor of J.J.M. Roberts. Eisenbrauns. ISBN 9781575060927.  Eynikel, Erik (2000). "The Relation Between the Eli Narrative and the Ark Narratives". In Johannes Cornelis de Moor and H.F. Van Rooy. Past, present, future: the Deuteronomistic history and the prophets. Brill. ISBN 9789004118713.  Halpern, Baruch (2001). David's Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King. Eerdmans. ISBN 9780802827975.  Jones, Gwilym H (2001). "1 and 2 Samuel". In John Barton and John Muddiman. The Oxford Bible
Bible
Commentary. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198755005.  Klein, R.W. (2003). "Samuel, books of". In Bromiley, Geoffrey W. The International Standard Bible
Bible
Encyclopedia. Eerdmans. ISBN 9780802837844.  Knight, Douglas A (1995). "Chapter 4 Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy
and the Deuteronomists". In James Luther Mays, David
David
L. Petersen and Kent Harold Richards. Old Testament
Old Testament
Interpretation. T&T Clark. p. 62. ISBN 9780567292896.  Knight, Douglas A (1991). "Sources". In Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard. Mercer Dictionary of the Bible. Mercer University Press. ISBN 9780865543737.  McCarter Jr., P. Kyle (1984). II Samuel: A New Translation With Introduction and Commentary By. Anchor Bible. ISBN 9780385068086. Schleffer, Eben (2000). "Saving Saul
Saul
from the Deuteronomist". In Johannes Cornelis de Moor and H.F. Van Rooy. Past, Present, Future: the Deuteronomistic History and the Prophets. Brill. ISBN 9789004118713.  Soggin, Alberto (1987). Introduction to the Old Testament. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 9780664221560.  Spieckerman, Hermann (2001). "The Deuteronomistic History". In Leo G. Perdue. The Blackwell Companion to the Hebrew Bible. Blackwell. ISBN 9780631210719.  Van Seters, John (1997). In Search of History: Historiography in the Ancient World and the Origins of Biblical History. Eisenbrauns. ISBN 9781575060132.  Walton, John H (2009). "The Deuteronomistic History". In Andrew E. Hill, John H. Walton. A Survey of the Old Testament. Zondervan. ISBN 9780631210719. 

External links[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: 1 Samuel
Samuel
(Bible)

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: 2 Samuel
Samuel
(Bible)

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Books of Samuel.

Wikiquote has quotations related to: First Book
Book
of Samuel

Masoretic Text

Samuel
Samuel
A - Mikraot Gedolot Haketer - online edition, Menachem Cohen, Bar Ilan University (Hebrew) Samuel
Samuel
B - Mikraot Gedolot Haketer - online edition, Menachem Cohen, Bar Ilan University (Hebrew) שמואל א Shmuel Aleph – Samuel
Samuel
A (Hebrew – English at Mechon-Mamre.org) שמואל ב Shmuel Bet – Samuel
Samuel
B (Hebrew – English at Mechon-Mamre.org)

Jewish translations

1 Samuel
Samuel
at Mechon-Mamre (Jewish Publication Society translation) 2 Samuel
Samuel
at Mechon-Mamre (Jewish Publication Society translation)

Christian translations

Bible: 1 Samuel
Samuel
public domain audiobook at LibriVox Bible: 2 Samuel
Samuel
public domain audiobook at LibriVox

Related articles

Introduction to the book of 1 Samuel
Samuel
from the NIV Study Bible Introduction to the book of 2 Samuel
Samuel
from the NIV Study Bible Introduction to the book of 2 Samuel
Samuel
from Forward Movement

Books of Samuel History books

Preceded by Judges Hebrew Bible Succeeded by Kings

Preceded by Ruth Christian Old Testament

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