Category: A group of biblical books that have a similar literary genre or main themes and have been placed together as a major section of the Bible.
Historical: The narrative books of the Old Testament that recount Israel’s rise and fall in the land of Canaan, leading to their exile in Babylon.
Literary Style: A unique style of writing that follows recognized literary conventions and language patterns.
Narrative: A story sequence in which characters are placed in a setting and involved in a developing plotline.
Epic Narrative: A narrative that is intentionally placed in an ambiguous historical setting in order to make larger claims about the nature of reality and human purpose.
God reluctantly raises up kings to rule the Israelites. The first is a failure, and the second, David, is a faithful replacement.
Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of 1 Samuel, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of 1 Samuel, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how it works within the Bible’s overall framework.
About 1 Samuel
Samuel is an exciting Book in the Bible. It's split into two parts due to its large size. The Book of 1 Samuel focuses on the characters Samuel, Saul, and David and their roles in shaping God's growing nation Israel.
When reading 1 Samuel, note the realistic depictions of real people in history. Each one has their own strengths, weaknesses, and goals just like we do.
Take special note of the recurring themes of pride and humility throughout its chapters, starting with Hannah's story in Chapters 1-2. In Chapter 2, she sings a song about God opposing the proud and giving grace to the humble, which is exactly what happens in the matters of Saul and David. Their story reminds us of humility and trusting God with our own lives.
Hannah and Samuel
God answers Hannah's anguished prayers for a son, and she dedicates Samuel to the Lord's service. Samuel grows wise, becoming Israel's judge and leading prophet.
Philistines vs Israel
Israel struggles with the Philistines' continued rise in power. They irreverently bring God's Ark into battle and it's stolen, but God's mercy brings it back.
Israel Wants a King
Israel insists that Samuel give them a king like other nations. This displeases Samuel and he asks God, who chooses Saul as the first king.
The Tragedy of Saul
Saul becomes proud and disobeys God, who tears Israel away from him and gives it to someone else. Saul descends slowly into madness and dies.
David - God's King
Samuel anoints the young shepherd David as God's new king. David defeats Goliath and becomes Saul's assistant, but Saul hunts David, who trusts in God.