Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024
the Fourth Week after Easter
StudyLight.org has pledged to help build churches in Uganda. Help us with that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel

F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' CommentaryMeyer's Commentary

- 1 Samuel

by Frederick Brotherton Meyer

Outline of First Samuel

The Establishment of the Monarchy

I. From the Birth of Samuel to the Anointing of Saul, I Samuel 1-8

1. Hannah’s Prayer and Its Answer , 1 Samuel 1:1-28

2. Samuel’s Consecration to Jehovah , 1 Samuel 2:1-21

3. The Evil Conduct of Eli’s Sons , 1 Samuel 2:22-36

4. Their Punishment Revealed to Samuel , 1 Samuel 3:1-21

5. The Death of Eli and His Sons; the Capture of the Ark , 1 Samuel 4:1-22

6. The Sojourn of the Ark in Philistia , 1 Samuel 5:1-12

7. The Return of the Ark to Israel , 1 Samuel 6:1-21 ; 1 Samuel 7:1-17

8. The Demand for a King , 1 Samuel 8:1-22

II. From the Anointing of Saul to the Anointing of David, I Samuel 9-15

1. The Meeting of Saul and Samuel , 1 Samuel 9:1-27

2. Samuel Anoints Saul King of Israel , 1 Samuel 10:1-16

3. Saul Proclaimed King by the People , 1 Samuel 10:17-27

4. Saul Rescues Jabesh-gilead from the Ammonites , 1 Samuel 11:1-15

5. Samuel’s Farewell Address , 1 Samuel 12:1-25

6. Saul’s Wars with the Philistines , 1 Samuel 13:1-23 ; 1 Samuel 14:1-52

7. Saul’s Failure to Destroy the Amalekites, His Rejection , 1 Samuel 15:1-35

III. From the Anointing of David to the Death of Saul, I Samuel 16-31

1. Samuel Anoints David to Succeed Saul , 1 Samuel 16:1-23

2. David’s Victory over Goliath , 1 Samuel 17:1-58

3. The Friendship of David and Jonathan , 1 Samuel 18:1-30 ; 1 Samuel 19:1-24 ; 1 Samuel 20:1-42

4. Saul Pursues David to Slay Him , I Samuel 21-26

5. David Goes over to the Philistines , 1 Samuel 27:1-12

6. Saul Consults the Witch of Endor , 1 Samuel 28:1-25

7. David Withdraws from Philistia and Conquers the Amalekites , 1 Samuel 29:1-11 ; 1 Samuel 30:1-31

8. Saul’s Last Stand against the Philistines , 1 Samuel 31:1-13


The two books of Samuel were originally one in Hebrew. The division was first made where the Old Testament was translated into Greek, the amount of space required by that language making it impracticable to write the entire book upon a single roll.

The authorship of these books cannot be determined, but there is abundant evidence that they embody the report of eye-witnesses. Some of the more prominent characters in the scenes described are name as writers in 1 Chronicles 29:29 .

The First Book of Samuel records the rise of a new political and spiritual order represented by the kings and the prophets. The establishment of the monarchy, with Saul as the first king, is an epochal event in the development of Israel’s national life.

Of no less importance is the appearance of the “schools of the prophets” under the leadership of Samuel. In these institutions we see the beginning of the movement which made Israel spiritually supreme among the nations.

e-Sword Note: The following material was presented at the end of 1 Samuel in the printed edition

Review Questions on First Samuel


( a ) How are the three main divisions of the book indicated?

( b ) Who are the leading characters?

( c ) In what relation do they stand to each other?


( d ) What was the original form of the two books of Samuel?

( e ) What may be said of their authorship?

( f ) Of what institutions do they record the beginning?

I Samuel 1-15

Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments .

1. What vow did Hannah make?

2. How was Samuel dedicated to the Lord?

3. What is the leading thought in Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving?

4. What was the sin of Eli’s sons?

5. How was Eli to blame for their wickedness?

6. What revelation did God make to Samuel?

7. How was the message received by Eli?

8. How did the Israelites suffer from their mistake about the Ark of the Covenant?

9. What did the capture of the Ark mean to Israel?

10. What was the Ark’s unheeded message to the Philistines?

11. What wrong estimate did the Philistines have of Israel’s God?

12. How did the Israelites provoke God when the Ark was returned?

13. Name five steps that a nation must take to be accepted by God.

14. Why was it wrong for the Israelites to ask for a king?

15. How were they warned by Samuel?

16. What was Saul’s mistaken estimate of Samuel?

17. What was Samuel’s noble attitude toward the coming king?

18. How did Samuel prepare Saul for his new duties?

19. What good qualities did Saul show in the beginning of his reign?

20. How did Saul rescue Jabesh-gilead from the Ammonites?

21. What was Samuel’s last message to Israel?

22. How did God endorse Samuel’s faith?

23. What was Saul’s first act of folly?

24. How did the Philistines embarrass Saul?

25. How did Jonathan achieve his victory over the Philistines?

26. Why did Saul command the army to refrain from food?

27. How was Jonathan rescued, from Saul’s wrath?

28. How did Saul fail to execute the charge concerning Amalek?

29. Why was Samuel’s last interview with Saul unsatisfactory?

I Samuel 16-31

Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments .

30. Why was David the chosen one of Jesse’s sons?

31. Why did Saul send for David?

32. Why could Goliath defy the armies of the living God?

33. What was David’s attitude toward Goliath?

34. What great quality did Saul fail to recognize in David?

35. How was David’s faith justified?

36. What made Jonathan a loyal friend, and Saul a jealous enemy, of David?

37. How did Saul’s jealousy show itself?

38. How did Saul seek to endanger David’s life? What was the outcome?

39. How did Jonathan shield David from Saul?

40. How was David protected at Naioth?

41. What sterling quality distinguished Jonathan’s character?

42. How did Jonathan and David plan to defeat Saul’s designs?

43. What sacrifice was Jonathan making in defending David?

44. What assistance did David receive at Nob?

45. What striking analogy is there between David’s band and the followers of Christ?

46. What was the blackest deed in Saul’s life?

47. How did the people of Keilah show their ingratitude to David?

48. From what two sources did David find comfort when pursued by Saul?

49. Why did David restrain himself from killing Saul in the cave at Engedi?

50. What was the temporary effect on Saul of David’s noble restraint?

51. Why did Nabal refuse to show David hospitality?

52. In what wise way did Abigail avert David’s wrath?

53. What was the end of Nabal?

54. How was Saul delivered a second time into David’s power?

55. What made Saul admit that he was playing the fool?

56. When fear entered David’s heart, how did his actions change?

57. To whom did Saul, rejected of God, resort for guidance?

58. What message did he receive by this means?

59. How was David spared from fighting with the Philistines against Israel?

60. What great adversity led David back to God?

61. In what noble way did David share the spoil of his victory over the Amalekites?

62. How did Saul perish?

adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile