Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
1 Samuel Chart from Charles Swindoll
Map on Left ESV Global Study Bible, on right Jensen's Survey of the OT
CLICK TO ENLARGE
Explanation - The following list includes not only commentaries but other Christian works by well known evangelical writers. Most of the resources below are newer works (written after 1970) which previously were available only for purchase in book form or in a Bible computer program. The resources are made freely available by archive.org but have several caveats - (1) they do not allow copy and paste, (2) they can only be checked out for one hour (but can be checked out immediately when your hour expires giving you time to read or take notes on a lengthy section) and (3) they require creating an account which allows you to check out the books free of charge. To set up an account click archive.org and then click the picture of the person in right upper corner and enter email and a password. That's all you have to do. Then you can read these more modern resources free of charge! I have read or used many of these resources but not all of them so ultimately you will need to be a Berean (Acts 17:11+) as you use them. I have also selected works that are conservative and Biblically sound. If you find one that you think does not meet those criteria please send an email at https://www.preceptaustin.org/
2 Kings : the power and the fury by Davis, Dale Ralph
Cyril Barber - Combines history and theology in his description of the events surrounding Israel's first two kings.
Preaching through the Bible : 1 Samuel by Eaton, Michael
First and Second Samuel by Johnson, Frank,
1 and 2 Samuel : an introduction and commentary by Baldwin, Joyce
A concise, competent, clear evangelical work using various sources, elucidating most passages well and showing their theological and practical relevance then and now.
1 Samuel by Klein, Ralph - Word Biblical Commentary Series. This is a cumbersome commentary for routine use.
Cyril Barber - Based on the latest Redaktionsgeschichte, this exposition makes a valuable contribution but needs to be used with discernment. The bibliographies at the beginning of each chapter are of the utmost value. Comments on the text are technical, and because Klein feels the text is in poor shape, he relies heavily on the LXX and other critical commentaries. Seminarians and pastors will find Klein's translation helpful, his research impeccable; but his explanation of the theme of 1 Samuel is lacking. However, his overall treatment is one that deserves careful consideration.
James Rosscup - An attempt to meet general readers’ needs. The approach is mildly critical. Ackroyd has a clear writing style and often is of help on the reading of a given text, historical setting, customs and explanation of the passage. The work is cursory.
Cyril Barber - One of the finest devotional commentaries ever produced. First published in 1887 as part of The Expositor's Bible (see below)
1 & 2 Samuel : a self-study guide by Jensen, Irving
James Rosscup - A thoroughly conservative work, very clearly written, in two sections, prophetism and the prophets. Wood under the first division goes into the identity, meaning of “to prophesy,” function, the Holy Spirit and prophecy, and other aspects. In the second, he discusses in some detail prophets before Samuel, Samuel, monarchy prophets, and the writing prophets from the ninth century to post-exilic days. This is a fine book that gives the student or pastor a much better, integrated understanding of the prophets behind the prophetic books.
Disciple's Study Bible : New international version 54 ratings Not that helpful for verse by verse study. Focuses on application of Christian doctrines. 10,000 annotations; doctrinal summaries, "Life Helps" section relate doctrine to everyday discipleship.
The Experiencing God Study Bible : the Bible for knowing and doing the will of God - Blackaby, Henry (1996) 1968 pages - CHECK THIS ONE! Each chapter begins with several questions under the title "PREPARE TO MEET GOD." Then you will interesting symbols before many of the passages. The chapter ends with a "DID YOU NOTICE?" question. This might make a "dry chapter" jump off the page! Read some of the 48 ratings
The David Jeremiah study bible - (2013) 2208 pages. 2,272 ratings Logos.com - "Drawing on more than 40 years of study, Dr. David Jeremiah has compiled a legacy resource that will make an eternal impact on generations to come. 8,000 study notes. Hundreds of enriching word studies"50+ Essentials of the Christian Faith" articles."
Compact Bible commentary by Radmacher, Earl D; Allen, Ronald Barclay; House, H Wayne, et al - 954 pages. 424 ratings Multiple contributors to the comments which are often verse by verse. The comments are brief but meaty and can really help your study through a given book. A sleeper in my opinion.
The Lion handbook to the Bible - (1999) 822 pages. This resource is absolutely loaded with very nice color pictures and charts.
NIV cultural backgrounds study Bible. bringing to life the ancient world of scripture Keener, Craig and Walton, John. Editors (2017)
The NIV study Bible by Barker, Kenneth L; Burdick, Donald W (1995) 2250 pages. Note this is the first edition. Here is a link to the 2011 version of the NIV Study Bible Note that this resource has been fully revised in 2020.
The Jewish Study Bible - Only OT - Interesting Jewish perspective.
Key word commentary : thoughts on every chapter of the Bible by Water, Mark
Eerdmans' family encyclopedia of the Bible (1978) 344 pages
Eerdmans' handbook to the Bible (1983) 688 pages
Tyndale handbook of Bible charts & maps by Wilson, Neil
The illustrated guide to Bible customs & curiosities by Knight, George W. (George William),
Today's Handbook of Bible times & customs by Coleman, William L
The Shaw Pocket Bible handbook - Editor - Walter Elwell (1984) 408 pages.
"This hardback is small in size but packed full of content: Brief summaries of every book of the bible, cultural, archaeological and historical info, word definitions, pictures, maps and charts." Worth checking!
The New Unger's Bible Dictionary by Unger, Merrill Frederick, 1909-
Survey of the Bible : introductory insights, background studies, book-by- book survey by Unger, Merrill Frederick
The Hodder Bible handbook by Unger, Merrill
Nelson's expository dictionary of the Old Testament by Unger, Merrill
The new encyclopedia of Christian quotations by Water, Mark
Dictionary of deities and demons in the Bible (DDD) - 950 pages (1995) Read some of the 65 ratings (4.8/5 Stars). A definitive in depth resource on this subject. Very expensive to purchase.
MICHAEL ANDRUS, et al - nice transcripts
PAUL APPLE 1 Samuel Commentary 189 page Pdf
ALBERT BARNES- Commentary
- 1 Samuel - Believers Chapel Dallas - Matt Heidelburg
- 1 Samuel - Believers Chapel Dallas- Geoff Brown
JAMES BERGEN - two resources that can be borrowed
James Rosscup on New American Commentary - The commentator is a professor at Hannibal-La Grange College, Hannibal, MO. He argues for the accurate, reliable, relevant Word of God. His excellent work reflects wide knowledge of biblical literature in the text and in footnotes. The writing flows with lucid vitality, and Bergen invests much from word study, grammar, customs, geographical details, etc. His appraisal of Eli is arresting (69), as are comments on Saul’s excuses of I Sam. 15 and David’s fight with Goliath. Bergen’s careful weighing of views about how Saul died ends with his harmonizing view that Saul fell on his sword (I Sam. 31), but in his final moments the Amalekite hastened his death (2 Sam. 1). This is a fine grappling with main details in the two books.
- 1 & 2 Second Samuel - Shepherd's Notes by Bergen, Robert D - Not very detailed but occasional interesting insights.
- 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary Bergen, Robert D.
BRIAN BELL - Sermons - often has very helpful insights
- I Samuel 4 Superstition Ain’t The Way
JIM BOMKAMP - Sermons
CAMBRIDGE BIBLE COMMENTARY
KENNETH CHAFIN - BORROW
Rosscup says this is part of "A 12-vol. set done by 12 men selected for unusual ability to show the Bible is alive in biblical exposition, with spiritual refreshment and insight. The authors seek to combine scholarship on biblical meaning, illustrations to spark applications, and outlines."
Cyril Barber - Pastoring a church with a good seminary library close by enabled Chafin to have access to the finest literary resources available. His treatment of the lives of Samuel, Saul, and David is helpful, even if it lacks depth that a thorough knowledge of human personality would enhance. In spite of this, preachers will find these chapters clearly outlined and their contents ably articulated.
- The Communicator's Commentary: 1, 2 Samuel Now published as The Preacher's Commentary
ADAM CLARKE - Commentary
THOMAS CONSTABLE - Expository Notes
W A CRISWELL
WILLIAM JOHN DEANE (AND THOMAS KIRK)
Cyril Barber “A pleasing exposition of the Biblical text.” – In this treatment of the lives of Samuel and Saul, Samuel is shown to possess an inner Godward orientation that motivated all he did. Saul is revealed as being motivated by external considerations. These two men-contemporaries for a time-explain for us the dynamics of success from God's perspective. In explaining 1 Samuel, Deane and Kirk provide the kind of practical application that will delight every devout Bible student. Recommended.
BOB DEFFINBAUGH - Sermons
- 4. The Rise of Samuel and the Fall of Eli and Sons (1 Samuel 3:1-4:22)
- 5. The Hands of Dagon and the Hand of God (1 Samuel 5:1-7:17)
JOHN DUMMELOW - COMMENTARY
EASY ENGLISH - Commentary
ESV STUDY BIBLE - BORROW
- ESV Study Bible - Excellent resource but not always literal in eschatology and the nation of Israel 6,004 ratings
EXPLORE THE BIBLE
EXPOSITOR'S BIBLE Commentary - William Blaikie
D Edmond Hiebert - A practical, warm-hearted exposition by a conservative scholar. Although written during the nineteenth century, it is rich in its interpretative contents, as, for example, on chapter 15.
Cyril J. Barber - One of the finest devotional commentaries ever produced.
Spurgeon on Blaikie's related life of David: "Dr. Blaikie is a good writer. This Life of David has supplied a great lack." (Lectures to my Students, Vol. 4: Commenting and Commentaries)
EXPOSITOR'S DICTIONARY OF TEXTS
DON FORTNER 1 Samuel Sermon Outlines
A C GAEBELEIN Annotated Bible
GENE GETZ - short videos emphasizing application
- 1 Samuel; Principle #8; 1 Sam. 3:19-4:2; Discerning the Truth: We should consult the Holy Scriptures as well as mature Christians to help us discern truth from error. Video
- 1 Samuel; Principle #9; 1 Sam. 4:3-11; Misplaced Faith: We must put our faith in the eternal, all-powerful God rather than in external symbols Video
- 1 Samuel; Principle #10; 1 Sam. 4:12-22; The Impact of Sin: To avoid causing others to stumble and fall into sin, we should live consistent godly lives. Video
JOHN GILL - Commentary
R P GORDON - BORROW
James Rosscup - This generally highly-regarded work offers much assistance verse by verse, using the RSV. The author comments a lot on the Hebrew text as to exegesis, word study, dealing with problems, etc.
- 1 & 2 Samuel by Gordon, R. P
- Book of 1 Samuel - Bible Survey
- 1 Samuel 1-4 Who was Eli in the Bible?
- 1 Samuel 4, 7, 14, 17, 31 Why were the Philistines and the Israelites always at war?
- 1 Samuel 4:1–11 Who was Amminadab in the Bible?
- 1 Samuel 4:18 What is the significance of a city gate in the Bible?
- 1 Samuel 4:21 What does the term “Ichabod” mean in the Bible?
L M GRANT - Commentary
DAVE GUZIK - Commentary
ROBERT HAWKER - Poor Man's Commentary
MATTHEW HENRY - Commentary
DAVID HOCKING - 62 page study "Learning to Trust God" in 1 Samuel (outline format)
- 1 Samuel (outline format) - Lot's of alliteration - Check it out
F B HOLE - Commentary
HOLMAN PUBLISHING - BORROW - Editor Jeremy Royal Howard
- HCSB Study Bible : Holman Christian Standard Bible - (2010) 2360 pages. Conservative. Good notes. Include Holman's excellent maps. Borrow
JAMIESON, FAUSSET, BROWN - Commentary
KEIL AND DELITZSCH 1 Samuel Commentary
JOHN KITTO - PICTORIAL BIBLE WITH NOTES
Spurgeon's Comments: "Then, of course, gentlemen, you will economize rigidly until you have accumulated funds to purchase Kitto’s Pictorial Bible. You mean to take that goodly freight on board before you launch upon the sea of married life. As you cannot visit the Holy Land, it is well for you that there is a work like the Pictorial Bible, in which the notes of the most observant travellers are arranged under the texts which they illustrate. For the geography, zoology, botany, and manners and customs of Palestine, this will be your counselor and guide....A work of art as well as learning."
KJV BIBLE PARALLEL BIBLE COMMENTARY - Edward Dobson, Charles Feinberg, E. Hindson, W. Kroll - NO RESTRICTIONS ON USE
Well done conservative commentary that interprets Scripture from a literal perspective. User reviews - 372 ratings - I have found the comments are very good but generally not in great depth. It is worth checking as you may glean additional insights on a passage. It is not strictly speaking verse by verse but does cover many verses.
- KJV Bible Commentary. - 3119 pages - allow copy and paste function
KJV STUDY BIBLE - General Editor - Edward Hindson - NO RESTRICTIONS ON USE
- The King James Study Bible Second Edition 2240 pages (2013) (Thomas Nelson) General Editor - Edward Hindson with multiple contributing editors. . 3,194 ratings. Pre-millennial. See introduction on How to Use this Study Bible.
PAUL E. KRETZMANN - Lutheran Perspective
LANGE'S COMMENTARY - J J VAN OOSTERZEE - Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
Spurgeon writes "Oosterzee in Lange is excellent."
D Edmond Hiebert - In keeping with the series to which it belongs, the massive material is presented in three parts: exegetical and critical, doctrinal and ethical, and homiletical and practical. Conservative in viewpoint. Valuable for those willing to dig into its vast stores of material, much of which is definitely dated.
CARL LANEY - BORROW - Everyman's Bible Commentary
James Rosscup - Laney, an assistant professor of Biblical literature at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary and more widely known for his volume The Divorce Myth, traces the lives of Samuel, Saul and David. This 1982 update for Moody Press’s Everyman’s Bible Commentary Series is a surprisingly resourceful paperback. Laney argues tersely for a 722 B. C. date for the Fall of Samaria. Thus, he prefers a time of writing for I & II Samuel sometime during or immediately following David’s lifetime. He dates the dividing of the kingdom as 931 B. C. Regarding textual matters, Laney does not overlook the lacuna of I Samuel 13:1 as he states that great benefit can be gleaned from the LXX in a study of these two books. One interesting sidelight is his citation of the “dynastic defense” motif evident in I Samuel 15 and II Samuel 8, a setting apparently not unlike 13th Century Hittite tradition. Laney’s discussion of God’s will in I Samuel 8:21, 22 is quite helpful. In I Samuel 28 the treatment of the Witch of Endor is thorough. He concludes that God caused Samuel himself to appear. In II Samuel 7, Laney sheds light on the covenant by picturing its threefold nature. Laney’s maps and graphics are well-placed and worthwhile. His treatment in 2 Samuel 24 of the two-sided nature of David numbering God’s people is also worthy of attention. This is a well researched and supported volume. There are few volumes on I and II Samuel which could rightly claim to be more helpful on expositional matters.—Jan Sattem
LIFE APPLICATION BIBLE - BORROW
JOHN LIGHTFOOT - Commentary
JOHN MACARTHUR- verse by verse - probably the best expositor in the last 100 years but very literal and conservative
- BORROW The MacArthur Study Bible
WILLIAM MACDONALD - BORROW
John MacArthur - "Concise yet comprehensive - the most complete single-volume commentary I have seen."
Warren Wiersbe - "For the student who is serious about seeing Christ in the Word."
- Believer's Bible Commentary - This resource is always worth checking. commentary on whole Bible. Often has pithy, practical and devotional comments.
ALEXANDER MACLAREN - sermons with a devotional bent
JAMES MCCULLEN - sermons and study notes
J VERNON MCGEE - Thru the Bible comments - ofte has pithy comments
EUGENE MERRILL - unfortunately note some of margins slightly cut off.
James Rosscup - Professor of Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary surveys both books with conservative expertise, dealing with Hebrew meaning, problems, customs, etc. He has a high view of inspiration and a good use of literature relevant in the area.
Bible Knowledge Commentary - Old Testament - 1 Samuel by Eugene Merrill
F B MEYER - Devotional
HENRY MORRIS - Defender's Study Bible Notes - well-known creationist. Conservative. Millennial.
- BORROW - The Defender's Study Bible
- 1 Samuel 4:1 beside Eben-ezer
- 1 Samuel 4:8 all the plagues
- 1 Samuel 4:18 judged Israel forty years
- 1 Samuel 4:21 glory is departed
- 1 Samuel 4:22 departed from Israel
ROBERT NEIGHBOUR - Living Water Commentary
TOMMY NELSON - mp3's but worth listening
- 1 Samuel 1:1-28 God's Purpose in Pain
- 1 Samuel 2:1-10 The Song of Hannah, Israel’s Incomparable God
- 1 Samuel 2:7-8 Israel’s Day of Camelot
- 1 Samuel 2:11 – 3:1 A Contrast in Priests- Samuel and the Sons of Eli
- 1 Samuel 3:1-19 The Passing of the Torch
- 1 Samuel 3:10-21 The Rise of the Prophet
- 1 Samuel 4:1-22 When God Departs
- 1 Samuel 5:1-12 Gentiles in the Hands of a Holy God
- 1 Samuel 6:1-21 How to Approach The Great King
- 1 Samuel 7:1-17 The Turning of a Nation’s History
NET BIBLE NOTES - somewhat technical but you can find some practical "nuggets"
JAMES NISBET'S - Church Pulpit Commentary
NIV STUDY BIBLE - BORROW - notes are brief but helpful.
- Zondervan NIV Study Bible - (2011) 2570 pages - use the new edition if available.
- The NIV Study Bible by Barker, Kenneth L; Burdick, Donald W (1995) 2250 pages. Note this is the first edition. This resource has been fully revised in 2020.
NKJV STUDY BIBLE - no restriction for use - Earl Radmacher, Ronald Allen, H. Wayne House
- NKJV Study Bible - 2345 pages. Allows copy/paste - notes are brief but conservative and well-done
OUR DAILY BREAD
PETER PETT - Commentary
MATTHEW POOLE - Commentary
PREACHER'S HOMILETICAL - Commentary - Includes Germ Notes, Illustrations, Homilies
REFORMATION STUDY BIBLE - study notes
- 1 Sam 4:1
- 1 Sam 4:3
- 1 Sam 4:4
- 1 Sam 4:6
- 1 Sam 4:8
- 1 Sam 4:10
- 1 Sam 4:11
- 1 Sam 4:13
- 1 Sam 4:18
- 1 Sam 4:21
ROB SALVATO - Sermons
- Eli (pdf)
JOHN SCHULTZ - 150 page commentary - Well done
SERMONAUDIO - PDF's of sermons - Be aware there might be some variation in quality so be a Berean!
- 1 Samuel 4 Sermons in PDF - 65 sermons (11/28/22)
SERMON BIBLE COMMENTARY
CHARLES SIMEON - Sermons
CHUCK SMITH - Sermon Notes
- 1 Samuel 4 Commentary
- 1 Samuel 4:3 The Folly of Religion -- Click 1 Samuel 4:3
- 1 Samuel 4:21 Ichabod -- Click 1 Samuel 4:21
JAMES SMITH - CLICK HERE FOR STUDIES LISTED BELOW
- 1 Samuel 4:1-11 THE LOSS OF THE ARK OF GOD. .
- 1 Samuel 5:6 THE ARK OF GOD IN THE HANDS OF THE PHILISTINES. .
RUSSELL SMITH - downloads Microsoft Word document
C. H. SPURGEON - Sermons, et al
JOHN STEVENSON - Sermons
DAVID TSUMURA - BORROW - New International Commentary on the Old Testament
Mathison (Ligonier) - The best intermediate-advanced-level commentary on the first book of Samuel is now the commentary by David Tsumura in the NICOT series. It is very well written and very thorough. Tsumura’s expertise in the languages of the ancient Near East is evident throughout.
THIRD MILLENNIUM STUDY NOTES
DEREK THOMAS - sermons
DAVID THOMPSON - sermons - average about 6 pages, verse by verse exposition. Literal. Conservative. (Audios are available but only pdf's are listed)
TODAY IN THE WORD - devotionals
JOHN TRAPP - Commentary
BOB UTLEY 1 Samuel Commentary - brief notes but offers interesting insights including Hebrew words with frequent topic addendums
HOWARD VOS - BORROW
James Rosscup - Vos was Professor of History and Archaeology, King’s College, Briarcliff Manor, New York, In this conservative work he gives a long outline at the outset, then incorporates this in his survey of I and 2 Samuel. For many Bible teachers, preachers, and lay people the exposition helpfully sums up what is said and some implications. It offers brief explanation of some main problems, such as the number judged at Beth Shemesh in I Samuel 6:19ff. and how to fill in the number of Saul’s years in 13:1.
- 1, 2 Samuel : Bible study commentary 1983. 166 pp.
WARREN WIERSBE - BORROW - Always worth checking for preaching/teaching points.
Rosscup - One of America’s most appreciated staunchly evangelical Bible conference teachers gives diligent, refreshing expositions. These are all of his 23 separate, earlier books in the “Be” series on the New Testament. He strikes a particular appeal with lay people as he crystallizes sections, deals with some of the verses, handles certain problems and backgrounds and applies principles. He is premillennial.
- Bible Exposition Commentary - Old Testament
- With the Word - Excellent chapter summaries. Good ideas for preaching or teaching. - 428 ratings
- Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament - useful for preaching or teaching 113 ratings
- Be successful (1 Samuel): Attaining Wealth That Money Can't Buy - 96 ratings
WYCLIFFE BIBLE COMMENTARY - BORROW
- Wycliffe Bible Commentary - OT and NT - Charles Pfeiffer - 1560 pages (1962). 214 ratings Less detailed than the KJV Bible Commentary.