Bible Study: 1 Samuel

The Penman

Since Samuel died prior to the end of 1 Samuel, he cannot be the author of the entire book which bears his name, nor of 2 Samuel. Scholarship is uncertain as to the author.

Its Pivotal Location

We move from a Theocracy to a Monarchy in the first book of Samuel.

The Prominent People

  • The Ministry of Samuel – The Seer – chs 1-7
  • The Monarchy of Saul – The Sovereign – chs 8-15
  • The Maturing of David – The Successor – chs 16-31

The Prophetic Office

Samuel is the first recognized as the line of the prophets (Act 3:24; 13:20; Heb 11:32), although Abraham and Moses were earlier referred to as prophets.

Parenting

  • The good and the bad
  • Eli and his sons
  • Samuel and his sons
  • Saul and his son and daughter

Power

We see its use and abuse in Eli’s sons and in Saul

Pictures of Leadership

  • What was Weak in Eli’s Leadership
  • What was Worthy in Samuel’s Leadership
  • What was Worthless in Saul’s Leadership

Prayer and Praise

Note how 1 Samuel begins with the prayer of Hannah and 2 Samuel ends with the praise of David (2Sa 22). Notice how many similar thoughts and words are in each of these, almost serving as bookends to the two books.

Principles

Note the recurring principles which are interspersed throughout 1 Samuel. As you study them you will find that they usually occur at a time of failure.

  • 1 Sam 2:30 – Failure of Priesthood – Principle of Priority – Put God First
  • 1 Sam 6:20 – Failure of Leaders – Lesson of Sanctity – Fear God Above All
  • 1 Sam 7:3 – Failure of a Generation – Lesson in Recovery – Seek God First
  • 1 Sam 12:1,17-24 – Failure of the People – Principle of Fidelity – Trust God First
  • 1 Sam 14:1,4-6 – Failure of the Army – Lesson in Capability – See God First
  • 1 Sam 15:1-9,22-23 – Failure of the King – Lesson in Loyalty – Please God First
  • 1 Sam 16:6-7 – Failure of the Prophet – Lesson in Suitability – Live for God First

Points to Trace

The Importance of Garments

2:18,19,28; 4:12; 17:5,38,54; 15:27; 18:4; 22:18; 23:6; 31:9

The Times of Grief

  • Hannah, for a son and recovery of the nation (1:10-11)
  • Phinehas’ wife, in loss of the ark and the glory (4:20-22)
  • Bethshemesh, in light of judgment of God (6:19)
  • Israel, over need for restoration (7:2)
  • Samuel, re. Saul (15:11,35; 16:1)
  • Jonathan (20:34); all Israel (25:1)
  • David and his men (30:4-6)

The Gifts for the Altar

(and the significant role they play in the turning points of the narrative) – 1:3,24,25; 6:14; 7:9-10; 11:15; 13:9; 15:22; 16:2,3

The Emphasis on Government:

  • The Judges – Eli – Family Favor
  • The Elders (4:16) – Faulty Discernment
  • The Priests (Hophni and Phinehas) – Flawed Character
  • The King – Saul – Failure in Obedience