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- 1 Samuel
by Gary H. Everett
STUDY NOTES ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
Using a Theme-based Approach
to Identify Literary Structures
By Gary H. Everett
THE BOOKS OF 1 AND 2 SAMUEL
January 2013 Edition
All Scripture quotations in English are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. Some words have been emphasized by the author of this commentary using bold or italics.
All Old Testament Scripture quotations in the Hebrew text are taken from Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: With Westminster Hebrew Morphology, electronic ed., Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society, Westminster Seminary, 1996, c1925, morphology c1991, in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004.
All New Testament Scripture quotations in the Greek text are taken from Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology), eds. Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft (United Bible Societies), c1966, 1993, 2006, in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004.
All Hebrew and Greek text for word studies are taken from James Strong in The New Strong's Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, c1996, 1997, in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004.
The Crucifixion image on the book cover was created by the author’s daughter Victoria Everett in 2012.
© Gary H. Everett, 1981-2013
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form without prior permission of the author.
Foundational Theme How to Serve the Lord with All Our Strength
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Structural Theme The Calling and Justification of the David Lineage
INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOKS OF 1 AND 2 SAMUEL
Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures supports the view of the verbal, plenary inspiration of the biblical text of the Holy Scriptures, meaning that every word originally written down by the authors in the sixty-six books of the Holy Canon were God-breathed when recorded by men, and that the Scriptures are therefore inerrant and infallible. Any view less than this contradicts the testimony of the Holy Scriptures themselves. For this reason, the Holy Scriptures contain both divine attributes and human attributes. While textual criticism engages with the variant readings of the biblical text, acknowledging its human attributes, faith in His Word acknowledges its divine attributes. These views demand the adherence of mankind to the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures above all else. The Holy Scriptures can only be properly interpreted by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an aspect of biblical scholarship that is denied by liberal views, causing much misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures.
Introductory Material - The introduction to the books of 1 and 2 Samuel will deal with its historical setting, literary style, and theological framework.  These three aspects of introductory material will serve as an important foundation for understanding God’s message to us today from this divinely inspired book of the Holy Scriptures.
 Someone may associate these three categories with Hermann Gunkel’s well-known three-fold approach to form criticism when categorizing the genre found within the book of Psalms: (1) “a common setting in life,” (2) “thoughts and mood,” (3) “literary forms.” In addition, the Word Biblical Commentary uses “Form/Structure/Setting” preceding each commentary section. Although such similarities were not intentional, but rather coincidental, the author was aware of them and found encouragement from them when assigning the three-fold scheme of historical setting, literary style, and theological framework to his introductory material. See Hermann Gunkel, The Psalms: A Form-Critical Introduction, trans. Thomas M. Horner, in Biblical Series, vol. 19, ed. John Reumann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1967), 10; see also Word Biblical Commentary, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007).
“We dare not divorce our study from understanding the historical setting of every passage of Scripture
if we are going to come to grips with the truth and message of the Bible.”
(J. Hampton Keathley) 
 J. Hampton Keathley, III, “Introduction and Historical Setting for Elijah,” (Bible.org) [on-line]; accessed 23 May 2012; available from http://bible.org/seriespage/introduction-and-historical-setting-elijah; Internet.
Each book of the Holy Scriptures is cloaked within a unique historical setting. An examination of this setting is useful in the interpretation of the book because it provides the context of the passage of Scripture under examination. The section on the historical setting of the books of 1 and 2 Samuel will provide a discussion on its title, historical background, authorship, date and place of writing, recipients, and occasion. This discussion supports the Jewish tradition that Samuel the prophet was the most likely author of the books of 1 and 2 Samuel.
I. The Title
There are a number of ancient titles associated with the books of 1 and 2 Samuel.
A. The Ancient Jewish Title “Samuel” - In the earliest Hebrew canon and in the Masoretic Text, 1 and 2 Samuel form a single book called “Samuel” ( שמואל ), and 1 and 2 Kings form a single book called “Kings” ( מלכים ). Origen (c. 185 c. 254) testifies to the use of this single title for “Samuel” by the Jews in his day.  Jerome (A.D. 342 to 420) was familiar with this title as well.  Scholars tell us that in the sixteenth century Daniel Bomberg (d. 1549), a printer of Hebrew books, introduced the divisions of the books of Samuel and Kings into 1 and 2 Samuel , 1 and 2 Kings in the first publication of his Rabbinic Hebrew bible in Venice in 1516.  Thus, the Hebrew titles ( א שמואל ) (1 Samuel) and ( ב שמואל ) (2 Samuel) can be found in the modern, standard work Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. 
 Eusebius, the early Church historian, writes, “the First and Second of Kings, among them one, Samouel, that is, ‘The called of God’; the Third and Fourth of Kings in one, Wammelch David, that is, ‘The kingdom of David’; of the Chronicles, the First and Second in one, Dabreiamein, that is, ‘Records of days’;” Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.25.1-2 , trans. Arthur C. McGiffert under the title The Church History of Eusebius, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, A New Series, vol. 1, eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff (Oxford: Parker and Company, c1890, 1905), 272-3.
 Jerome says, “Then comes Samuel, which we call First and Second Kings. The fourth is Malachim, that is, Kings, which is contained in the third and fourth volumes of Kings. And it is far better to say Malachim, that is Kings, than Malachoth, that is Kingdoms. For the author does not describe the Kingdoms of many nations, but that of one people, the people of Israel, which is comprised in the twelve tribes.” See Jerome, “Prefaces to the Books of the Vulgate Version of the Old Testament: The Books of Samuel and Kings,” trans. W. H. Freemantle, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, vol. 6, eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff (New York: The Christian Literature Company, 1893), 489-90.
 C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Books of Samuel, in Clark’s Foreign Theological Library, fourth series, vol. 9. trans. James Martin (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1880), 1; Henry Preserved Smith, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Books of Samuel, in The International Critical Commentary (Edinburgh: T & T. Clark, c1899, 1951), xi.
 Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, eds. A. Alt, O. Eißfelt, P. Kahle, and R. Kittle (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung, c1967-77).
B. The Ancient LXX Title “1 and 2 Kingdoms” - Stete says the divisions of the Hebrew books of Samuel and Kings originated in the LXX, which divided them into four books, and collected them under one general title called “Books of the Kingdoms” (βίβλοι βασιλειῶν). KD explains that the “Kingdoms” refer to the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah.  Melito, bishop of Sardis (d. c. 190),  Origen, and Jerome knew these four books by the Greek title “1, 2, 3, 4 Kings.” The Latin Vulgate followed the LXX with these four books collected under the general title “Liber Regnorum,” with Jerome modifying the title to “Liber Regum.”  They understood these two books contained the history of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah from their founding unto their demise.
 C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Books of Samuel, in Clark’s Foreign Theological Library, fourth series, vol. 9, trans. James Martin (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1880), 1.
 Eusebius writes, “‘I learned accurately the books of the Old Testament, and send them to thee as written below. Their names are as follows: Of Moses, five books: Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy; Jesus Nave, Judges, Ruth; of Kings, four books; of Chronicles, two; the Psalms of David; the Proverbs of Solomon, Wisdom also, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job; of Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah; of the twelve prophets, one book; Daniel, Ezekiel, Esdras. From which also I have made the extracts, dividing them into six books.’ Such are the words of Melito.” Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 4.26.14 , trans. Arthur C. McGiffert under the title The Church History of Eusebius, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, A New Series, vol 1, eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff, (Oxford: Parker and Company, c1890, 1905), 206.
 Biblia Sacra juxta Vulgatam Clementinam (Ed. electronica), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2005); David Erdmann, The Books of Samuel, trans. C. H. Toy and John A. Broadus, in A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, vol. 5, ed. John Lange (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1877), 2; A. F. Kirkpatrick, The First Book of Samuel, in The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, ed. J. J. J. Perowne (Cambridge: The University Press, 1884), 9.
C. The Modern Title “1 and 2 Samuel” Jerome restored the divisions of Samuel and Kings, so that modern English bibles followed his division of Samuel into 1 and 2 Samuel , 1 and 2 Kings.  This title reflects the main character of the book, in the prophet and judge Samuel served as the founder of the kingdom of Israel, anointing both Saul and David as kings. He exerts more influence upon the founding of the kingdom than any other individual.
 Henry B. Swete, An Introduction to Old Testament in Greek (Cambridge: University Press, 1902), 214.
II. Historical Background
A. Internal Evidence - The actual writing down of many events during the times of the kings of Israel and Judah was performed by a recorder (2 Samuel 8:16-17).
2 Samuel 8:16-17, “And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder ; And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Seraiah was the scribe ;”
However, we know that David was inspired to speak the words of 2 Samuel 22:1 thru 1 Samuel 23:7.
2 Samuel 22:1, “And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul:”
2 Samuel 23:1, “Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,”
It is possible that one early source for the books of Samuel are referred to in Scripture as the book of Samuel the seer (1 Chronicles 29:29). It is possible that the book of Kings is referred to in 2 Chronicles 32:32 as the book of the kings of Judah and Israel (2 Chronicles 32:32). In addition, it may be possible that the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles are mentioned in the book of 2 Kings as the chronicles of the kings of Judah (2 Kings 20:20). However, most scholars believe that these books being referred to in the Scriptures are different writings than the inspired Scriptures, simply being the royal chronicles of the kings that were recorded by the king’s recorder, and still in existence at the time.
1 Chronicles 29:29, “Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer , and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,”
2 Chronicles 32:32, “Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel .”
2 Kings 20:20, “And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah ?”
The Scriptures do record that fact that Samuel did do some writing, as recorded in 1 Samuel 10:25. This may be a reference to the books of Joshua, Judges and Ruth, books that lay the foundation for the nation of Israel, as implied in this verse. However, no passage of Scripture can confirm what Samuel actually wrote. The fact that one of writings of Samuel was laid up before the Lord implies that it was seen as inspired by God. So, it is almost certain that some of the Old Testament Scriptures:
1 Samuel 10:25, “Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book , and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.”
It is possible that Samuel either wrote or provided the information for 1 Samuel 1:1 up to 1 Samuel 25:1, which records his death.
If Samuel did in fact contribute to the writing of the book of 1 Samuel, which does not seem likely, it is obvious that another writer would have continued compiling the book after the death on Samuel in chapter 25. In 1 Samuel 25:2, immediately after Samuel's death, the passage begins, “And there was a man in Maon.” This passage begins the same way that the epilogue of Judges 17:1 begins, “And there was a man of mount Ephraim.”
Judges 17:1, “ And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.”
1 Samuel 25:2, “ And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.”
So, both the book of Judges and the book of 1 Samuel open a new part of the book using the same phrase, “And there was a man.” This implies that both of these books were edited after the initial writings took place, perhaps by the same editor. Note that John 3:1 begins the same way, which shows a Hebrew characteristic of writing:
John 3:1, “ There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:”
One possible editor, or compiler, mentioned in Scripture is Hezekiah. In the book of Isaiah, he is mentioned as an author (Isaiah 38:9). In the book of Proverbs, he is mentioned as one who copied out, or complied, the proverbs of Solomon (Proverbs 25:1). It is possible that King Hezekiah is the one who gathered and complied the book of Samuel, the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes, and even the earlier books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth into their present form.
Isaiah 38:9, “The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness:”
Proverbs 25:1, “These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.”
Evidence of this type of editing is seen the book of Judges. The first sixteen chapters of Judges were written before King David took the city of Jerusalem around 1000 B.C. (Judges 1:21). The epilogue of Judges, chapters 17 thru 21, are written after the fall of the northern kingdom, which is mentioned in Judges 18:30 as the “captivity of the land,” a reference to the Assyrian captivity of Northern Israel. This captivity took place around 722 B.C. Hezekiah's reign fell between 715 to 690 B.C., just when the fall of the northern kingdom was fresh on the minds of the people of Judah.
Judges 1:21, “And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day .”
Judges 18:30, “And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land .”
Additional evidence of Hezekiah as a biblical writer and composer is seen in his intense zeal to restore temple worship. He used the words of David and of Asaph in this restored worship, and probably had to organize much of this material so that it could be used in his day. Hezekiah was an organizer, and would have made efforts to organize the sacred Scriptures for public use.
2 Chronicles 29:30, “Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer . And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.”
In conclusion, it is possible that Samuel, the prophet, could have been written a large of 1 Samuel, then Hezekiah would have complied and completed the books of 1 and 2 Samuel.
B. External Evidence - If we look outside of biblical literature for clues to authorship and into other ancient Jewish literature from which much Jewish tradition is found, the Babylonian Talmud says that Samuel wrote his own book as well as the books of Judges and Ruth.
“And who wrote all the books? Moses wrote his book and a portion of Bil’am [Numbers, xxii.], and Job. Jehoshua wrote his book and the last eight verses of the Pentateuch beginning: “And Moses, the servant of the Lord, died.” Samuel wrote his book, Judges, and Ruth. David wrote Psalms, with the assistance of ten elders, viz.: Adam the First, Malachi Zedek, Abraham, Moses, Hyman, Jeduthun, Asaph, and the three sons of Korach. Jeremiah wrote his book, Kings, and Lamentations. King Hezekiah and his company wrote Isaiah, Proverbs, Songs, and Ecclesiastes. The men of the great assembly wrote Ezekiel, the Twelve Prophets, Daniel, and the Book of Esther. Ezra wrote his book, and Chronicles the order of all generations down to himself. [This may be a support to Rabh’s theory, as to which, R. Jehudah said in his name, that Ezra had not ascended from Babylon to Palestine until he wrote his genealogy.] And who finished Ezra’s book? Nehemiah ben Chachalyah.” ( Babylonian Talmud, Tract Baba Bathra (Last Gate), 1.Mishna 5) 
 Michael L. Rodkinson, New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, vol. 13 (New York: New Talmud Publishing Company, 1902), 45.
The book of 1 Samuel covers the period of Israel's history from Samuel's birth, about 1150 B.C., until the death of Saul at about 1010 B.C. This would be a period of one hundred and forty (140) years.
Note the use of the phrase “Unto this day” in the books of Samuel:
1 Samuel 5:5, “Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day .”
1 Samuel 6:18, “And the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fenced cities, and of country villages, even unto the great stone of Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the LORD: which stone remaineth unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite.”
1 Samuel 27:6, “Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day .”
1 Samuel 30:25, “And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day .”
2 Samuel 4:3, “And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day .”
2 Samuel 6:8, “And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day .”
2 Samuel 18:18, “Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king's dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day , Absalom's place.”
LITERARY STYLE (GENRE)
“Perhaps the most important issue in interpretation is the issue of genre.
If we misunderstand the genre of a text, the rest of our analysis will be askew.”
(Thomas Schreiner) 
 Thomas R. Schreiner, Interpreting the Pauline Epistles, second edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, c1990, 2011), 11.
Within the historical setting of the early period of the Kingdom of Israel, the author of the book of Judges chose to write using the literary style of the historical narrative. Thus, the books of 1 and 2 Samuel is assigned to the literary genre called “historical narrative literature.”
A. The Main Character of the Narrative History - King David is the main character in the books of 1 and 2 Samuel. We see David in the book of 2 Samuel as a man of intense emotion. He experienced intense grief:
The book of Psalms
1 Samuel 20:41, “And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.”
2 Samuel 1:17-27
2 Samuel 3:32, “And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept.”
2 Samuel 13:36, “And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that, behold, the king's sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore.”
2 Samuel 13:39, “And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.”
2 Samuel 15:30, “And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.”
2 Samuel 18:33, “And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
2 Samuel 19:4, “But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
He experienced anger:
2 Samuel 13:21, “But when king David heard of all these things, he was very wroth.”
“Scholarly excellence requires a proper theological framework.”
(Andreas Kösenberger) 
 Andreas J. Kösenberger, Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2011), 161.
Based upon the historical setting and literary style of the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, an examination of the purpose, thematic scheme, and literary structure to this book of the Holy Scriptures will reveal its theological framework. This introductory section will sum up its theological framework in the form of an outline, which is then used to identify smaller units or pericopes within the books of 1 and 2 Samuel for preaching and teaching passages of Scripture while following the overriding message of the book. Following this outline allows the minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to take his followers on a spiritual journey that brings them to the same destination that the author intended his readers to reach.
VIII. Thematic Scheme
The prophecy by Hannah in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 is the theme of the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. God lifts up the humble men and nations and he brings the proud low.
IX. Literary Structure
X. Outline of Book
I. Israel Under Samuel’s Judgment 1 Samuel 1:1 to 1 Samuel 7:17
II. Israel Under Saul’s Reign 1 Samuel 8:1 to 1 Samuel 15:35
II. Saul’s Decline and David’s Exile 1 Samuel 16:1 to 1 Samuel 31:13
IV. Reign of King David 2 Samuel 1:1 to 2 Samuel 24:25
A. Judgment of His Adversaries 2 Samuel 1:1-27
B. Establishment of His Throne 2 Samuel 2:1 to 2 Samuel 5:25
C. Institution of National Worship 2 Samuel 6:1-23
D. God Makes a Covenant with David 2 Samuel 7:1-29
E. The Prosperity of David’s reign 2 Samuel 8:1 to 2 Samuel 10:19
F. David’s Sin and Judgment 2 Samuel 11:1 to 2 Samuel 19:8
G. David’s Restoration as king 2 Samuel 19:9 to 2 Samuel 21:22
H. Epilogue to David’s reign 2 Samuel 22:1 to 2 Samuel 23:39
I. David’s Final Intercession for Israel 2 Samuel 24:1-25
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EXEGESIS AND COMMENTS
the First Week of Advent