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Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 1

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

Verse 1


parWalking Thru The Bible

1 & 2 SAMUELpar

AUTHOR: Much of these two books were written by the prophet whose name the books bear, Samuel. But not all of it could be authored by him, for it records his death and some subsequent events. 1 Chronicles 29:29-30 provides the information for us that the material in this time of Israel’s history was recorded by Samuel, and the prophets Nathan and Gad who followed him.

Samuel was Judge, Prophet and Priest. He was a Levite, a descendant of Kohath (1 Chron. 6:26, 33), and was not redeemed at birth but was dedicated to the Lord from his infancy (thus he belonged to God and God’s use). Geographically he was an Ephraimite.

DATE: First Samuel begins with the birth of Samuel in about 1100 BC to the death of King Saul in 1010 BC. Second Samuel begins at that time frame and continues with Israel’s history till the death of David in 970 BC.

STRUCTURE: The events of 1st and 2nd Samuel cover roughly 130 years. The lives of three great men of this period overlap in the first book. The prominent characters of FIRST SAMUEL are:

SAMUEL: The Last of the Judges -- Ch. 1 - 8

SAUL: The First of the Kings -- Ch. 8 - 15

DAVID The Anointed Successor -- Ch. 16 - 31

The book of SECOND SAMUEL is the "Book of David’s Reign." It opens with David reigning in Judah immediately after Saul’s death. The book closes just before David’s death when he "was old and stricken in year." Its structure looks like this:

David’s Triumphs -- Ch. 1 - 12

David’s Troubles -- Ch. 13 - 24

IMPORTANT CHARACTERS: Three great characters and many other important ones, are found in this time of Israel’s history. We are probably more familiar with the stories of this part of the Old Testament than any other.

The stories of Eli, Samuel, Saul and David stand at the forefront, but also there are the stories of Saul’s general Abner, and David’s general Joab, and of Goliath, Jonathan and the rebellion of David’s son Absalom against his father, and David and Bathsheba’s sin which all occur within the time frame of these two books of the Old Testament. There are many lessons to be learned from man’s weakness and sin and God’s love and forgiveness. We learn that obedience will be rewarded and disobedience will be severely punished.

OUTLINE: A more detailed outline of First Samuel would be:

Ch. 1 - 12 Judgeship of Samuel

1:1-2:11 Birth and infancy of Samuel

2:12-3:21 Childhood of Samuel

4:1-22 Loss of the ark and end of Eli’s house

5 - 7 Captivity of the Ark

8 - 10 Installation of Saul as Israel’s first king

11 - 12 Samuel’s retirement

Ch. 13 - 31 Reign of Saul

13 - 14 Early days of Saul’s reign and victories

15 God’s rejection of Saul

16 David chosen as Saul’s successor

17 David’s meeting with Goliath

18 Saul’s reception of David into his court

19 David’s flight from Saul’s court

20 David’s farewell to Jonathan

21 David’s flight from Saul to Gath

22 - 23 Saul’s reprisals against & pursuit of David

24 Saul’s life spared by David

24 - 26 David’s continued flight from Saul

27 David’s second flight to Gath

28 -29 Preparations for Saul’s last battle

30 David’s return to Ziklag

31 Saul’s last battle, his and Jonathan’s death.

Some Lessons For Us From The Book of First Samuel

1. From Eli, Samuel, and David we learn that it is possible for great men to fail as fathers.

2. From Saul we also learn that great advantages and remarkable opportunities do not guarantee success.

3. We learn that there is nothing that will take the place of obedience to God (1 Samuel 15:22).

4. The experiences of the past are recorded to provide lessons of warning and encouragement for the present (Romans 15:4).

1Sam 1.1

Verse Comments

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 1". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/1-samuel-1.html. 2021.
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