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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Samuel First and Second Books of

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Samuel, First and Second Books of. We cite this from Rice's Our Sixty-six Sacred Books: The two books of Samuel were originally one in the Hebrew Bible. Even the Massoretic note at the end of the second book, giving the number of verses, treats them as one book. The Septuagint regarded the books of Samuel and of Kings as a complete history of the Hebrew kingdom, and divided them into four books, calling them "Books of the Kingdoms." This division is followed in the Latin and Douay versions, where they are named the first, second, third, and fourth books of Kings. The modern division was introduced into Hebrew printed Bibles in 1518. The author of the two now called 1 and 2 Samuel is unknown. The name of the books probably arises from the fact that Samuel is the hero of the first part. Samuel could have written only 24 chapters of the first book, since the 2Šth chapter records his death. The contents indicate that official records may have been consulted by the writer, and national hymns were incorporated in the work, as the song of Hannah, 1 Samuel 2:1-10; David's song over Abner, 2 Samuel 3:33-34; his thanksgiving song, and his farewell song, 2 Samuel 22:1-51; 2 Samuel 23:1-7. The date of composition was not later than Solomon's time, as the language proves. "It is pure Hebrew, free from Aramaisms and late forms. Constructions such as are found in Kings are not found in Samuel." The difficulties are chiefly the adjustment of the chronology, the variations between the Hebrew and Greek texts, and the apparent discrepancies, as 1 Samuel 23:19; 1 Samuel 24:22, and chap. 26. The first book covers a period of about 80 years—1171 to 1056 b.c.—and the second book from 1056 to 1015 b.c.—the important era of the reign of David

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Samuel First and Second Books of'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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