THE BOOK OF I SAMUEL
1. The Book:
A. I Samuel describes the transition of leadership in Israel from Judges to Kings. There are three main
characters in the book; Samuel, the last Judge and first Prophet, Saul, the first King of Israel, and David, the
B. In the Hebrew manuscripts, I & II Samuel form one book, as do I & II Kings and I & II Chronicles. The first
book of Samuel covers a distinct period of time from the birth of Samuel to the death of Saul, approximately 94 years.
C. The author is anonymous but it is traditionally excepted that Samuel wrote most of it.
D. The theme for I Samuel is: God rules in the lives of men and nations. All through these books there is an
interweaving of the lives of men and nations.
E. Samuel is a type of Christ in that he is a Prophet, Priest and Judge. David is one of the primary Old
Testament types of Christ. NOTE - David is born in Bethlehem, works as a shepherd and rules as King of
Israel. Romans 1:3 "Seed of David according to the flesh." Rev. 22:16 "The root and the offspring of David."
F. Our key word for I Samuel is "Transition". This critical transition in Israel is from the rule of God
through Judges to his ruling Israel through the Kings.
2. Survey of I Samuel
I Samuel is built around three key men:
- Samuel: The last of the Judges Chapter 1 - 8
- Saul: The first of the Kings Chapter 8 - 31
- David: The Anointed Successor Chapter 16 - 31
The three personalities overlap, but it is obvious as to who is the prominent character.
1. The first transition of National Leadership Chapter 1 - The birth of the New Leader (Note Hannah's request).
Chapter 2 - The need of a new Leader.
Chapter 3 - The transition begins. Samuel receives the
Recognition as Leader in Israel. ver.20____________________
This is where we read of God ordaining a Prophet for this soon to come transition. Samuel is not only the last Judge,
but scripturally speaking, the Prophetic order begins with Samuel.
2. Chapters 4 - 8 The Judgeship of Samuel Chapters 4 - 6 The Ark of the Lord is featured in these
Chapters, showing again the need of Samuel's Leadership.
Read the Death of Eli. 4:18____________________________
Read again of the Sin of Eli 3:13
The Ark of the Lord is taken by the Philistines and they pay dearly.
Chapter 7 Israel is victorious under Samuel's Leadership. The Ark is returned but mishandled by
Chapter 8 Israel rejects Samuel's sons as leaders due to their perverted judgment. They also desire a King to
rule over them, thus rejecting God as their King. 8:7___________________________________________________________
Chapters 8 - 12 The second transition of leadership from Samuel the Judge, to Saul the King, bringing us to part 2.
Saul: The First King
Early in Saul's reign as King he experienced some success (Chapter 13:1-4), but later fails Israel and God which
brings about his decline.
Saul's Sinful Sacrifices 13:12-13__________________________
Saul fails to completely obey God's command 15:9___________
Compare ver. 3_____________________________________________
See 16:14 - "The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul".
See 18:7-11 - Saul tried to kill David because of jealousy
See Chapter 28:7-20 Saul's final downward plunge is "witchcraft" and in Chapter 31, suicide.
This is the third transition of National Leadership: Saul - David.
Chapter 16 David was chosen by the Lord through Samuel, to be the successor to Saul 16:12-13__________________________
David was not enthroned until the death of Saul. We will then study his reign as King in II Samuel.
Chapter 17 - David defeats Goliath 17:45___________________
Chapter 18 -Jonathan, Saul's son, loved David. Israel elevates David over Saul, and David was hated by Saul
through the rest of I Samuel. ver 9________________________
Chapters 18 - 20 - Saul attempts to slay David:
- By throwing a javelin at David.
- By tricking David to fight the Philistines.
- By commanding his servants to kill David.
- By sending his messengers to kill David.
- By coming to kill David at Samuel's house.
- By commanding Jonathan to bring David to be killed.
David continues to escape from the hand of Saul, and on two occasions spares Saul's life when he has the opportunity to
take it. (24 & 26) David joins with the Philistines 27:1
Chapters 21 - 27 - The rise of David while in exile 21:10__
David builds an army in the wilderness. 22:1-2_____________
Chapter 29 - David is spared from fighting Israel. NOTE: In
Chapter 30 God answering David. ver. 8_____________________
This was a time of testing and preparation for David. Read Psalms 56.
1. Name the three personalities of this book.
2. Who was Samuel?
3. What is the central message of this book?
4. What part of man does God look upon? (Give chapter &
5. Was David enthroned in I Samuel?
For Next Week:
Read II Samuel and review notes.