The First Book Of Samuel

The First Book Of Samuel

Leslie S. Rainey


First Samuel is the best known of the six historical books. It is a Book of transition. It marks the transition of the theocracy established under Moses to the monarchy begun in Saul. It also marks the transition from the national influence of the priest to the prophet. The long period of the Judges, with its unsettled government, here ends with the judgeship of Samuel, and now commences five centuries of monarchy (1095-586 B.C.).

The message of the Book is the power of prayer for all experiences of life whether nationally or individually.

The author of the Book is no doubt Samuel who wrote most of it, and perhaps Nathan or Gad completing it (1 Chron. 29:29).

The Book is rich in character study and like a patch work quilt for skill, beauty and design. Each painting of a life affords a choice insight into spiritual truth for all who will consider it. Think of the touching account of Samuel and his childhood, the story of David and Goliath, men like Eli, Saul, Samuel, and David. Then again lesser characters like Elkanah, Hannah, Phinehas, Jonathon, Nabal, Michal, Abigail, Hophni.

CONTRIBUTION to the Faith once for all delivered to the Saints.

1. The first mention of the Name “Messiah,” found in the prayer of Hannah (2:10).

2. The first use of the title “Lord of Hosts” which denotes the God of Heaven and earth (1:3).

3. The value and preciousness of the Word of God (3:1).

4. The first mention of such names as “Ichabod” (4:21); “Ebenezer” (7:12); and “God save the King” (10: 24).

5. The word “Seer” (9:9) is the name for prophet. He not only had prophetic insight but possessed power to foretell, and forthtell.

6. The first mention of the “School of the Prophets” (10:5) and (19:20). Samuel laid the foundation and fostered the rapid growth of a grand system of national education. At Ramah he trained men to be Israel’s teachers but he did not confine himself to this. Most of the great ornaments of David’s court were his disciples and it is probable that large numbers of wealthy and more promising youth of the kingdom went to his schools simply to learn something of these wonderful arts of reading and writing, which opened so new a world to the youth of a race always distinguished for its intellectual aptitudes. And through them Samuel raised the whole people mentally and morally. Trained men henceforth were never lacking for service both at the court throughout the land.

7. The constant mention of the Holy Spirit is noticeable. — see Judges: Othniel (3:10); Gideon (6:34); Jephthah (11:29); Samuel (14:6; 15:14). In Samuel we also notice (a) Regeneration (10:6, 9). (b) Righteous wrath (11:6). (c) Prudence and power (16:13). (d) Preserver from evil (16:14).


I The Story of Samuel (1-2).

(a) The Birth of Samuel (1:1-2).

(1) The patience of Hannah (1:8).

(2) The prayer of Hannah (1:9-16).

(3) The present of Hannah (1:2128).

(4) The praise of Hannah (2:1-10).

(b) The call of Samuel (3:1-21).

(c) The environment of Samuel (11.12-36).

(d) The work of Samuel (4:9-15).

(e) The testimony of Samuel (12: 1-25).

II The Story of Saul (13:31).

(a) His rise (13:1-23).

It evokes praise and pain. At the start he seeks the “Seer” and at the end, the “witch” of Endor: pride (v. 1-4), presumption (v. 5-18), perdicament (v. 19-23).

(b) His rebuke 14:1-52).

(a) He despised the priesthood (13. 12).

(b) He despised the Prophetic office (15).

(c) He despised Kingship (15:23).

(c) His rebellion and Ruin (16 to the end).

(a) Saul’s rebellion (16 to 18:5).

(b) Self interest (v. 1-7) — note three times the mention of evil spirit (16:14, 23; 18:10, 19:9).

(c) Personal jealousy (18:6-30).

(d) Satanic domination (19 to 28:2).

(e) Complete apostasy (28:3 to the end).