Reference: Samuel, The Books Of
One book in Hebrew; the Septuagint divided it into two. The Talmud (A.D. 500) is the earliest authority that ascribes the book to Samuel (Baba Bathra 14:2). The Hebrew give it his name because its first part treats of his birth, life, and work. His death recorded in 1 Samuel 25 proves he did not write it all. The Talmud's view, adopted by learned Christian fathers, may be true of the first 24 chapters. That Samuel wrote memoirs, which Nathan the prophet and Gad the seer supplemented, appears from 1Ch 29:29; "now the acts ("history": dibrei) of David the king, first and last, behold they are written in the book ("history": dibrei) of Samuel the seer, and in the book ("history") of Nathan the prophet, and in the book ("history") of Gad the seer." Nehemiah is said in 2Ma 2:13 to have "gathered together the acts in the kings and the prophets." The internal notices favor a date of the memoirs used in compiling 1 and 2 Samuel before the due organization of the temple and Mosaic ritual.
For sacrifices are mentioned with tacit approval, or at least without apology, at other places (Mizpeh, Ramah, Bethel, and Araunah's threshing floor) than before the door of the tabernacle or temple, the only place permitted by the law (1Sa 7:9-10,17; 9:13; 10:3; 14:35; 2Sa 24:18-25). On the contrary the writer of 1 and 2 Kings stigmatizes the high places to Jehovah and blames the kings who sanctioned or connived at them (1Ki 15:14; 22:43; 2Ki 12:3; 14:4; 15:4,35; 16:4; 21:3). In the disestablishment of the Mosaic ritual consequent on the Philistine capture of the ark, and in the unsettled times that followed, even the godly followed Moses less strictly. Hence he is but twice mentioned in all Samuel, and then only as joined with Aaron in delivering Israel out of Egypt; the law is never mentioned (1Sa 12:6,8).
In Joshua "Moses" occurs 56 times; in Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, after the captivity, when a return to the Mosaic standard, was the watchword of the civil and religious restoration, 31 times; in Kings, ten times; in the unsettled era of Judges, three times. Its early date is also implied by its purity of Hebrew as compared with the so-called Chaldaisms of Kings and the still more alloyed language of Chronicles. The passage (1Sa 27:6) "Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day" implies the division between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, but this is probably the comment of the last reviser. If it be the compiler's, then the compilation was made subsequently to the division. Though it does not record David's death it certainly takes it for granted (2Sa 5:5). This passage favors the view that the composition was shortly after his death.
That the composer used various existing materials appears from the distinct, but not irreconcilable, accounts of Saul's first acquaintance with David (1Sa 16:14-23; 17:55-58), also of Saul's death (1Sa 31:2-6,8-13; 2Sa 1:2-12), also of the origin of the proverb "is Saul also among the prophets?" (1Sa 10:9-12; 19:22-24). (See DAVID.) Summaries or endings of different memoirs incorporated by the composer appear in 1Sa 7:15-17; 14:47-52; 2Sa 8:15-18. The only book quoted is the Book of Jasher ("the upright", namely, "nation"), 2Sa 1:18, the bow song or elegy over Saul and Jonathan; once elsewhere (Jos 10:13).
The allusion to "the Lord's king and His anointed" (1Sa 2:10) does not imply that kings already existed, and that therefore this is not Hannah's genuine utterance (for she lived before any king in Israel), but prophetically points on to the necessary culmination of God's kingdom in the coming Messiah, and in David His typical forefather. Probably an inspired member of the schools of the prophets composed the book, incorporating in abridged form existing memoirs and records; so thought Theodoret, Athanasius, and Gregory. A recorder, remembrancer, or chronicler (mazkir) is first mentioned in David's reign (2Sa 8:16; 20:24). The details as to David in Bathsheba's affair, and of Amnon and Tamar, etc., etc., must have been furnished by contemporary memoirs written By persons having intimate access to the royal family. Prophets are prominent in Samuel.
Levites are mentioned only twice (1 Samuel 6; 2Sa 15:24), but thirty times in 1 Chronicles alone, containing David's history. The inspired author being of the prophetic schools naturally embodies Nathan's memoir as to his dealing with David in the Bathsheba sin, and in respect to the promise of permanence to his seed and throne (2 Samuel 7; 12), and Gad's dealing with him at the time of the plague (2 Samuel 24; also 1Sa 22:5). The phrase "Lord of hosts," 62 times found in Isaiah, occurs twice as often in Samuel as in all the other Old Testament histories put together. An undesigned coincidence confirming both occurs between 1Ch 10:12 (which omits notice of the burning), the men of Jabesh Gilead "buried Saul's and his son's bones," and 1Sa 31:12, "they burnt the bodies"; the bones in fragments alone remained after the burning.
Hannah's song must have been preserved by Samuel and incorporated by the compiler. The latter too derived from records David's elegies, 2Sa 1:19-27; 3:33-34; David's psalm, 2Sa 22:2-51; and his last words, 2Sa 23:1-8. Samuel contains, but Chronicles omit, David's kindness to Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9); the story of Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11; 12); Absalom's rebellion (2 Samuel 13); the Gibeonites hanging Saul's seven sons (2 Samuel 21); the war with the Philistines (2Sa 21:15-17); David's song (2 Samuel 22), and last words (2 Samuel 23). Dates are seldom given. The period included is somewhat under 155 years, 1171-1015 B.C. The internal evidence of places, times, etc., accords with truthfulness. Christ stamps Samuel as canonical (Mt 12:1-4; compare Ac 3:24; Heb 11:32).
and the sun standeth still, and the moon hath stood -- till the nation taketh vengeance on its enemies; is it not written on the Book of the Upright, 'and the sun standeth in the midst of the heavens, and hath not hasted to go in -- as a perfect day?'
Jehovah -- broken down are His adversaries, Against them in the heavens He thundereth: Jehovah judgeth the ends of earth, And giveth strength to His king, And exalteth the horn of His anointed.'
And Samuel taketh a fat lamb, and causeth it to go up -- a burnt-offering whole to Jehovah; and Samuel crieth unto Jehovah for Israel, and Jehovah answereth him; and Samuel is causing the burnt-offering to go up -- and the Philistines have drawn nigh to battle against Israel -- and Jehovah doth thunder with a great noise, on that day, upon the Philistines, and troubleth them, and they are smitten before Israel.
And Samuel judgeth Israel all the days of his life, and he hath gone from year to year, and gone round Beth-El, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all these places; read more. and his returning is to Ramath, for there is his house, and there he hath judged Israel, and he buildeth there an altar to Jehovah.
and his returning is to Ramath, for there is his house, and there he hath judged Israel, and he buildeth there an altar to Jehovah.
At your going in to the city so ye do find him, before he doth go up in to the high place to eat; for the people do not eat till his coming, for he doth bless the sacrifice; afterwards they eat, who are called, and now, go up, for at this time ye find him.'
'And thou hast passed on thence, and beyond, and hast come in unto the oak of Tabor, and found thee there have three men going up unto God to Beth-El, one bearing three kids, and one bearing three cakes of bread, and one bearing a bottle of wine,
And it hath been, at his turning his shoulder to go from Samuel, that God turneth to him another heart, and all these signs come on that day, and they come in thither to the height, and lo, a band of prophets -- to meet him, and prosper over him doth the Spirit of God, and he prophesieth in their midst. read more. And it cometh to pass, all his acquaintance heretofore, see, and lo, with prophets he hath prophesied, and the people say one unto another, 'What is this hath happened to the son of Kish? is Saul also among the prophets?' And a man thence answereth and saith, 'And who is their father?' therefore it hath been for a simile, 'Is Saul also among the prophets?'
And Samuel saith unto the people, 'Jehovah -- He who made Moses and Aaron, and who brought up your fathers out of the land of Egypt!
'When Jacob hath come in to Egypt, and your fathers cry unto Jehovah, then Jehovah sendeth Moses and Aaron, and they bring out your fathers from Egypt, and cause them to dwell in this place,
And Saul buildeth an alter to Jehovah; with it he hath begun to build altars to Jehovah.
and Saul captured the kingdom over Israel, and he fighteth round about against all his enemies, against Moab, and against the Bene-Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines, and whithersoever he turneth he doth vex them. And he maketh a force, and smiteth Amalek, and delivereth Israel out of the hand of its spoiler. read more. And the sons of Saul are Jonathan, and Ishui, and Melchi-Shua; as to the name of his two daughters, the name of the first-born is Merab, and the name of the younger Michal; and the name of the wife of Saul is Ahinoam, daughter of Ahimaaz; and the name of the head of his host is Abner son of Ner, uncle of Saul; and Kish is father of Saul, and Ner father of Abner is son of Ahiel. And the war is severe against the Philistines all the days of Saul; when Saul hath seen any mighty man, and any son of valour, then he doth gather him unto himself.
And the Spirit of Jehovah turned aside from Saul, and a spirit of sadness from Jehovah terrified him; and the servants of Saul say unto him, 'Lo, we pray thee, a spirit of sadness from God is terrifying thee; read more. let our lord command, we pray thee, thy servants before thee, they seek a skilful man, playing on a harp, and it hath come to pass, in the spirit of sadness from God being upon thee, that he hath played with his hand, and it is well with thee.' And Saul saith unto his servants, 'Provide, I pray you, for me a man playing well -- then ye have brought him in unto me.' And one of the servants answereth and saith, 'Lo, I have seen a son of Jesse the Beth-Lehemite, skilful in playing, and a mighty virtuous man, and a man of battle, and intelligent in word, and a man of form, and Jehovah is with him.' And Saul sendeth messengers unto Jesse, and saith, 'Send unto me David thy son, who is with the flock.' And Jesse taketh an ass, with bread, and a bottle of wine, and one kid of the goats, and sendeth by the hand of David his son unto Saul. And David cometh in unto Saul, and standeth before him, and he loveth him greatly; and he is a bearer of his weapons. And Saul sendeth unto Jesse, saying, 'Let David, I pray thee, stand before me, for he hath found grace in mine eyes.' And it hath come to pass, in the spirit of sadness from God being on Saul, that David hath taken the harp, and played with his hand, and Saul hath refreshment and gladness, and the spirit of sadness hath turned aside from off him.
And when Saul seeth David going out to meet the Philistine, he hath said unto Abner, head of the host, 'Whose son is this -- the youth, Abner?' and Abner saith, 'Thy soul liveth, O king, I have not known.' And the king saith, 'Ask thou whose son this is -- the young man.' read more. And when David turneth back from smiting the Philistine, then Abner taketh him and bringeth him in before Saul, and the head of the Philistine in his hand; and Saul saith unto him, 'Whose son art thou, O youth?' and David saith, 'Son of thy servant Jesse, the Beth-Lehemite.'
And he goeth -- he also -- to Ramath, and cometh in unto the great well which is in Sechu, and asketh, and saith, 'Where are Samuel and David?' and one saith, 'Lo, in Naioth in Ramah.' And he goeth thither -- unto Naioth in Ramah, and the Spirit of God is upon him -- him also; and he goeth, going on, and he prophesieth till his coming in to Naioth in Ramah, read more. and he strippeth off -- he also -- his garments, and prophesieth -- he also -- before Samuel, and falleth down naked all that day and all the night; therefore they say, 'Is Saul also among the prophets?'
And Gad the prophet saith unto David, 'Thou dost not abide in a fortress, go, and thou hast entered for thee the land of Judah;' and David goeth and entereth the forest of Hareth.
And Achish giveth to him in that day Ziklag, therefore hath Ziklag been to the kings of Judah till this day.
and the Philistines follow Saul and his sons, and the Philistines smite Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, sons of Saul. And the battle is hard against Saul, and the archers find him -- men with bow -- and he is pained greatly by the archers; read more. and Saul saith to the bearer of his weapons, 'Draw thy sword, and pierce me with it, lest they come -- these uncircumcised -- and have pierced me, and rolled themselves on me;' and the bearer of his weapons hath not been willing, for he is greatly afraid, and Saul taketh the sword, and falleth upon it. And the bearer of his weapons seeth that Saul is dead, and he falleth -- he also -- on his sword, and dieth with him; and Saul dieth, and three of his sons, and the bearer of his weapons, also all his men, on that day together.
And it cometh to pass on the morrow, that the Philistines come to strip the wounded, and they find Saul and his three sons fallen on mount Gilboa, and they cut off his head, and strip off his weapons, and send into the land of the Philistines round about, to proclaim tidings in the house of their idols, and among the people; read more. and they place his weapons in the house of Ashtaroth, and his body they have fixed on the wall of Beth-Shan. And they hear regarding it -- the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead -- that which the Philistines have done to Saul, and all the men of valour arise, and go all the night, and take the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, from the wall of Beth-Shan, and come in to Jabesh, and burn them there,
and all the men of valour arise, and go all the night, and take the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, from the wall of Beth-Shan, and come in to Jabesh, and burn them there, and they take their bones, and bury them under the tamarisk in Jabesh, and fast seven days.
and he saith to teach the sons of Judah 'The Bow;' lo, it is written on the book of the Upright: -- The Roebuck, O Israel, On thy high places is wounded; How have the mighty fallen! read more. Declare it not in Gath, Proclaim not the tidings in the streets of Ashkelon, Lest they rejoice -- The daughters of the Philistines, Lest they exult -- The daughters of the Uncircumcised! Mountains of Gilboa! No dew nor rain be on you, And fields of heave-offerings! For there hath become loathsome The shield of the mighty, The shield of Saul -- without the anointed with oil. From the blood of the wounded, From the fat of the mighty, The bow of Jonathan Hath not turned backward; And the sword of Saul doth not return empty. Saul and Jonathan! They are loved and pleasant in their lives, And in their death they have not been parted. Than eagles they have been lighter, Than lions they have been mightier! Daughters of Israel! for Saul weep ye, Who is clothing you in scarlet with delights. Who is lifting up ornaments of gold on your clothing. How have the mighty fallen In the midst of the battle! Jonathan! on thy high places wounded! I am in distress for thee, my brother Jonathan, Very pleasant wast thou to me; Wonderful was thy love to me, Above the love of women! How have the mighty fallen, Yea, the weapons of war perish!'
and the king lamenteth for Abner, and saith: -- 'As the death of a fool doth Abner die? Thy hands not bound, And thy feet to fetters not brought nigh! As one falling before sons of evil -- Thou hast fallen!' and all the people add to weep over him.
in Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years, over all Israel and Judah.
and Joab son of Zeruiah is over the host, and Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud is remembrancer,
and lo, also Zadok, and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God, and they make the ark of God firm, and Abiathar goeth up, till the completion of all the people to pass over out of the city.
and Adoram is over the tribute, and Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud is the remembrancer,
And again have the Philistines war with Israel, and David goeth down, and his servants with him, and they fight with the Philistines; and David is weary, and Ishbi-Benob, who is among the children of the giant -- the weight of his spear is three hundred shekels weight of brass, and he is girded with a new one -- speaketh of smiting David, read more. and Abishai son of Zeruiah giveth help to him, and smiteth the Philistine, and putteth him to death; then swear the men of David to him, saying, 'Thou dost not go out again with us to battle, nor quench the lamp of Israel.'
and he saith: 'Jehovah is my rock, And my bulwark, and a deliverer to me, My God is my rock -- I take refuge in Him; My shield, and the horn of my salvation, My high tower, and my refuge! My Saviour, from violence Thou savest me! read more. The Praised One, I call Jehovah: And from mine enemies I am saved. When the breakers of death compassed me, The streams of the worthless terrify me, The cords of Sheol have surrounded me, Before me have been the snares of death. In mine adversity I call Jehovah, And unto my God I call, And He heareth from His temple my voice, And my cry is in His ears, And shake and tremble doth the earth, Foundations of the heavens are troubled, And are shaken, for He hath wrath! Gone up hath smoke by His nostrils. And fire from His mouth devoureth, Brands have been kindled by it. And He inclineth heaven, and cometh down, And thick darkness is under His feet. And He rideth on a cherub, and doth fly, And is seen on the wings of the wind. And He setteth darkness Round about Him -- tabernacles, Darkness of waters -- thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him Were brands of fire kindled! Thunder from the heavens doth Jehovah, And the Most High giveth forth His voice. And He sendeth forth arrows, And scattereth them; Lightning, and troubleth them; And seen are the streams of the sea, Revealed are foundations of the world, By the rebuke of Jehovah, From the breath of the spirit of His anger. He sendeth from above -- He taketh me, He draweth me out of many waters. He delivereth me from my strong enemy, From those hating me, For they were stronger than I. They are before me in a day of my calamity, And Jehovah is my support, And He bringeth me out to a large place, He draweth me out for He delighted in me. Jehovah recompenseth me, According to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands, He doth return to me. For I have kept the ways of Jehovah, And have not done wickedly against my God. For all His judgments are before me, As to His statutes, I turn not from them. And I am perfect before Him, And I keep myself from mine iniquity. And Jehovah returneth to me, According to my righteousness, According to my cleanness before His eyes. With the kind Thou shewest Thyself kind, With the perfect man Thou shewest Thyself perfect, With the pure Thou shewest Thyself pure, And with the perverse Thou shewest Thyself a wrestler. And the poor people Thou dost save, And Thine eyes on the high causest to fall. For Thou art my lamp, O Jehovah, And Jehovah doth lighten my darkness. For by Thee I run -- a troop, By my God I leap a wall. God! Perfect is His way, The saying of Jehovah is tried, A shield He is to all those trusting in Him. For who is God save Jehovah? And who a Rock save our God? God -- my bulwark, my strength, And He maketh perfect my way; Making my feet like hinds, And on my high places causeth me to stand, Teaching my hands for battle, And brought down was a bow of brass by mine arms, And Thou givest to me the shield of Thy salvation, And Thy lowliness maketh me great. Thou enlargest my step under me, And mine ankles have not slidden. I pursue mine enemies and destroy them, And I turn not till they are consumed. And I consume them, and smite them, And they rise not, and fall under my feet. And Thou girdest me with strength for battle, Thou causest my withstanders to bow under me. And mine enemies -- Thou givest to me the neck, Those hating me -- and I cut them off. They look, and there is no saviour; Unto Jehovah, and He hath not answered them. And I beat them as dust of the earth, As mire of the streets I beat them small -- I spread them out! And -- Thou dost deliver me From the strivings of my people, Thou placest me for a head of nations; A people I have not known do serve me. Sons of a stranger feign obedience to me, At the hearing of the ear they hearken to me. Sons of a stranger fade away, And gird themselves by their close places. Jehovah liveth, and blessed is my Rock, And exalted is my God -- The Rock of my salvation. God -- who is giving vengeance to me, And bringing down peoples under me, And bringing me forth from mine enemies, Yea, above my withstanders Thou raisest me up. From a man of violence Thou deliverest me. Therefore I confess Thee, O Jehovah, among nations. And to Thy name I sing praise. Magnifying the salvations of His king, And doing loving-kindness to His anointed, To David, and to his seed -- unto the age!'
And these are the last words of David: -- 'The affirmation of David son of Jesse -- And the affirmation of the man raised up -- Concerning the Anointed of the God of Jacob, And the Sweetness of the Songs of Israel: The Spirit of Jehovah hath spoken by me, And His word is on my tongue. read more. He said -- the God of Israel -- to me, He spake -- the Rock of Israel: He who is ruling over man is righteous, He is ruling in the fear of God. And as the light of morning he riseth, A morning sun -- no clouds! By the shining, by the rain, Tender grass of the earth! For -- not so is my house with God; For -- a covenant age-during He made with me, Arranged in all things, and kept; For -- all my salvation, and all desire, For -- He hath not caused it to spring up. As to the worthless -- As a thorn driven away are all of them, For -- not by hand are they taken; And the man who cometh against them Is filled with iron and the staff of a spear, And with fire they are utterly burnt In the cessation.' These are the names of the mighty ones whom David hath: sitting in the seat is the Tachmonite, head of the captains -- he is Adino, who hardened himself against eight hundred -- wounded at one time.
and the high places have not turned aside; only, the heart of Asa hath been perfect with Jehovah all his days,
And he walketh in all the way of Asa his father, he hath not turned aside from it, to do that which is right in the eyes of Jehovah; only the high places have not turned aside, yet are the people sacrificing and making perfume in high places.
and all the men of valour rise and bear away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, and bring them in to Jabesh, and bury their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fast seven days.
And the matters of David the king, the first and the last, lo, they are written beside the matters of Samuel the seer, and beside the matters of Nathan the prophet, and beside the matters of Gad the seer,
At that time did Jesus go on the sabbaths through the corn, and his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck ears, and to eat, and the Pharisees having seen, said to him, 'Lo, thy disciples do that which it is not lawful to do on a sabbath.' read more. And he said to them, 'Did ye not read what David did, when he was hungry, himself and those with him -- how he went into the house of God, and the loaves of the presentation did eat, which it is not lawful to him to eat, nor to those with him, except to the priests alone?
and also all the prophets from Samuel and those following in order, as many as spake, did also foretell of these days.