1 Samuel Commentaries

1 Samuel Commentary, Sermon, Illustration, Devotional

Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
1 Samuel Chart from Charles Swindoll









1 Samuel 2 Samuel 1 Kings 1 Kings 2 Kings


1-4 5-10 11-20 21-24 1-11 12-22 1-17 18-25



  1 Chr
  1 Chr

2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

Legend: B.C. dates at top of timeline are approximate. Note that 931BC marks the division of the Kingdom into Southern Tribes (Judah and Benjamin) and Ten Northern Tribes. To avoid confusion be aware that after the division of the Kingdom in 931BC, the Southern Kingdom is most often designated in Scripture as "Judah" and the Northern Kingdom as "Israel." Finally, note that 1 Chronicles 1-9 is not identified on the timeline because these chapters are records of genealogy.

Source: Ryrie Study Bible

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  • Excerpt - What's the big idea? First Samuel chronicles the beginning of Israel’s monarchy, following the lives of the prophet Samuel, the ill-fated King Saul, and God’s ultimate choice of David as king. Several themes feature prominently.
  • Providence: God repeatedly made everyday events work for His purposes. He used Hannah’s contentious relationship with Peninnah (1 Samuel 1:1–28), led Saul to Samuel during Saul’s search for lost donkeys (9:1–27), and caused David to learn of Goliath while taking food to his brothers (17:1–58). These are but a few examples.
  • Kingship: As the divine King, God designated a human vice-regent, David, to rule over His people. This history validates David’s house as the legitimate rulers of Israel. It also fulfills Jacob’s promise that the scepter will never depart from Judah, David’s tribe (Genesis 49:10).
  • Reversal of human fortune: Hannah’s barrenness gave way to children (1 Samuel 1:1–28; 2:21); Samuel became prophet instead of Eli’s sons (2:12; 3:13); Saul rose to prominence though he was from a lowly tribe; and David was anointed king though he was the youngest son (16:1–13). Normal human patterns were reversed by God so that His plan could be furthered, showing His sovereignty over all.
  • How do I apply this? God is still sovereign in the twenty-first century. He will accomplish His purposes with or without our cooperation. But as was true in the lives of Samuel, Saul, and David, our response to God’s call affects our outcome. Will we obey Him as Samuel and David did and live lives marked by blessing? Or will we, like Saul, try to live on our own terms? “To obey is better than sacrifice,” Samuel told Saul (1 Samuel 15:22). That truth still speaks to us today.
  • 1 Samuel - Introduction - excellent summary, includes outline - John MacArthur - Here is an excerpt from MacArthur's introduction

    There are four predominant theological themes in 1 and 2 Samuel. The first is the Davidic Covenant. The books are literarily framed by two references to the “anointed” king in the prayer of Hannah (1 Sam. 2:10) and the song of David (2 Sam. 22:51). This is a reference to the Messiah, the King who will triumph over the nations who are opposed to God (see Gen. 49:8–12; Num. 24:7–9, 17–19). According to the Lord’s promise, this Messiah will come through the line of David and establish David’s throne forever (2 Sam. 7:12–16). The events of David’s life recorded in Samuel foreshadow the actions of David’s greater Son (i.e., Christ) in the future.

    A second theme is the sovereignty of God, clearly seen in these books. One example is the birth of Samuel in response to Hannah’s prayer (1 Sam. 9:17; 16:12, 13). Also, in relation to David, it is particularly evident that nothing can frustrate God’s plan to have him rule over Israel (1 Sam. 24:20).

    Third, the work of the Holy Spirit in empowering men for divinely appointed tasks is evident. The Spirit of the Lord came upon both Saul and David after their anointing as king (1 Sam. 10:10; 16:13). The power of the Holy Spirit brought forth prophecy (1 Sam. 10:6) and victory in battle (1 Sam. 11:6).

    Fourth, the books of Samuel demonstrate the personal and national effects of sin. The sins of Eli and his sons resulted in their deaths (1 Sam. 2:12–17, 22–25; 3:10–14; 4:17, 18). The lack of reverence for the ark of the covenant led to the death of a number of Israelites (1 Sam. 6:19; 2 Sam. 6:6, 7). Saul’s disobedience resulted in the Lord’s judgment, and he was rejected as king over Israel (1 Sam. 13:9, 13, 14; 15:8, 9, 20–23). Although David was forgiven for his sin of adultery and murder after his confession (2 Sam. 12:13), he still suffered the inevitable and devastating consequences of his sin (2 Sam. 12:14).

  • Introduction to 1-2 Samuel - ESV Study Bible (note maps are also included in this introduction) - excerpt

Global Message of 1 Samuel

Purpose - The purpose of 1 Samuel is to highlight two major events: the establishment of the monarchy in Israel (chs. 8–12); and the rise of David to be king after Saul (chs. 16–31). After ruling for a while, Saul was rejected by the Lord in favor of David (chs. 15–16), though Saul stayed on the throne until his death at Mount Gilboa (ch. 31). Later, in 2 Samuel 7, God promises David and his house an eternal dynasty. The book of 1 Samuel establishes the principle that obedience to the word of God is the necessary condition for a king to be acceptable to the God of Israel.

First and Second Samuel deal with a transitional period in the history of ancient Israel. There is a transition of leadership first from the priest Eli to the judge Samuel, then from the judge Samuel to the king Saul, and then from Saul to David. Samuel thus is the link between the judgeship and the kingship in Israel. He is the prophet God uses to anoint both Saul and David. The kingdom of Saul was also transitional. Under Saul, Israel was more than a loose confederation that gathered together whenever there was a common threat, but there was no strong central rule such as existed later. The story of the rise of David in the second half of 1 Samuel prepares for the full-scale kingship of David in 2 Samuel.

1 Samuel Key Themes

  1. God’s kingship. God is King of the universe and always has been. No human king can assume kingship except as a deputy of the divine King.
  2. God’s providential guidance. God providentially and individually guided the lives of chosen people such as Hannah, Samuel, and David. Even the life of Saul was in God’s providential care (see 1 Sam. 9:16). God’s timing is always perfect (see 1 Samuel 9 and the end of 1 Samuel 23), for he is the Lord of history.
  3. God’s sovereign will and power. God chooses or rejects people according to his absolute sovereign will and purpose. He may change his way of dealing with individuals according to his plan and purpose, but his decision is always just and right. At the same time, he is merciful and gracious.

Therefore, obedience to God’s word is of prime importance. Only God’s grace allows sinful human beings to be in relationship with the holy God. Only the God-given way of approaching him through sacrifice can prepare humans to come closer to God. Believers can only wait on God, who will do his will according to his own purpose. What is impossible for humans is possible for God. This should encourage believers to put their faith in the one who is sovereign over the entire creation.



The name Samuel is from a Hebrew word which has been variously translated as: “the name of God,” “his name is God,” “his name is mighty,” or “heard of God.”
One is not surprised that the Jews have esteemed Samuel second to Moses among their leaders. The psalmist (Psalm 99:6), and God speaking to Jeremiah (Jer 15:1), classified Samuel with Moses as an interceding priest. Samuel held the honor of being the last of the judges (1 Sam 7:6, 15–17) and the first of the new order of prophets (1 Sam 3:20; Acts 3:24; 13:20). The stature of the prophetic office during the years of the kingdoms can be traced back to Samuel’s life and ministry. He probably was the founder of a school of prophets (cf. 1 Sam 10:5).

2. Saul.

Saul (Heb., Sa-ul, “asked,” i.e., of God) was the first king of Israel; son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin. He was a choice young man in the prime of life when he was placed on the throne. He was a physical “giant” (1 Sam 10:23), industrious, generous, honest, and modest. God chose him to institute Israel’s monarchy, but three times during his reign he disqualified himself from the high office. The story of Saul (1 Sam 9–31) is one of the most pathetic accounts of God’s servants. J. Barton Payne cites four degenerations in Saul’s experience:

striking appearance, 1 Sa 9:2 pride, 1 Sa 18:8
initiative, 1 Sa 11:7 rebellion, 1 Sa 20:31
bravery, 1 Sa 13:3 recklessness, 1 Sa 14:24
patriotic Spirit-filling, 1 Sa 11:6 demon possession, 1 Sa 16:14

3. David.

David, son of Jesse, was a man after God’s heart, and in a life-span of about seventy years, he “served his own generation by the will of God” (Acts 13:36, KJV). T. H. Jones describes David:

He stood out as a bright and shining light for the God of Israel. His accomplishments were many and varied; man of action, poet, tender lover, generous foe, stern dispenser of justice, loyal friend, he was all that men find wholesome and admirable in man, and this by the will of God, who made him and shaped him for his destiny.

David was Israel’s greatest king, designated by God as the Messianic forerunner of Christ. He is the only person in Scripture with the name David. There are fifty-eight New Testament references to him. (Read Rom 1:3 and Rev 22:16 for two examples.)

David’s career was marred by heinous sins, but his honesty and contrition in acknowledging and confessing those sins brought God’s forgiveness. (Read his prayer of Psalm 51.)

Overlappings in 1 Samuel

First Three Kings of Israel

Main Characters in 1 Samuel

The Man Samuel in 1 Samuel 1-8

Jensen suggests that you read 1 Samuel with this outline in mind:

  1. Samuel’s Birth and Call (1 Sa 1:1–4:1a)
  2. The Ark of the Lord (1 Sa 4:1b–7:2)
  3. Samuel the Judge (1 Sa 7:3–8:22)
  4. Saul the King (1 Sa 9:1–12:25)
  5. Saul Rejected (1 Sa 13:1–15:35)
  6. David Anointed (1 Sa 16:1–17:58)
  7. David Flees Saul (1 Sa 18:1–21:9)
  8. David in Exile (1 Sa 21:10–28:2)
  9. Last Days of Saul’s Reign (1 Sa 28:3–31:13)

Paul Apple's Commentary on 1 Samuel has the following introduction... (Source)

Jeffries: The best introduction to the Book of 1 Samuel expresses in one declarative sentence the full impact of the social, political, historical and theological dynamics which characterized God’s Chosen People at the time of its writing:

Judges 21:25NKJV “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

a. Historically, 1 Samuel is the record of Israel’s political transformation from a marginal tribal community rendered impotent by the presence of the Philistines to a centralized independent monarchy which became a world-class power.

b. When the narrative begins -- 1100 - 1050 B.C. -- Israel was in moral and spiritual chaos. The terrible civil war against the tribe of Benjamin ( Judges 19 - 21 ) had broken the heart of the already-struggling nation, and years of undisciplined religion -- the refusal to obey Jahweh -- had removed the people from the source of their spiritual power. Having lost all governing authority and the ability to defend themselves, their disobedience had finally removed their one abiding resource. The nation was in danger of complete collapse.

Davis: “Triumph and tragedy are the two words which best describe the content of the books of Samuel. Some of Israel’s greatest moments of glory and darkest hours of defeat are retold with simplicity and candor. The stories retold in these books are of significant value didactically for this present age. The faith and the failures of both great and small are viewed in the light of sovereign grace. Historically the books are masterpieces of national record. The campaigns of Joshua conducted about 1400 B.C. enabled the children of Israel to occupy the hill country and certain sections of the lowlands. However, with that occupancy came the gradual infiltration of Canaanitic social and religious practices. These had a tremendous negative effect on the progress of Israelite colonization. Due to the subtle infiltration of Baalism, the spiritual life of Israel very quickly degenerated into a state of apostasy. The rise of divinely appointed judges during this period provided mainly for military needs. Under many of the judges there was a noticeable spiritual decline, and in many cases, this was either initiated or permitted by the judges themselves. In addition to the internal strife and spiritual weakness there was increasing military pressure upon Israel from the outside. It was in this context that the prophet Samuel made his appearance, and a most important one it was. He was a very capable physician coming to the aid of Israel at a time when her fever was at the highest.”

ESV Charts and Notes Related to 1 Samuel

Short notes on the main characters from ESV

Below is an interesting outline from Dale Ralph Davis'

Part 1—A Prophet from God’s Grace 1 Samuel 1–7

  • Cradle and Kingdom—1 Samuel 1:1–2:10
  • Judgment Begins at the House of God—1 Samuel 2:11–36
  • Prophets Profit—1 Samuel 3:1–4:1a
  • Rabbit-Foot Theology—1 Samuel 4:1b–22
  • Arkeological Discoveries—1 Samuel 5:1–7:1
  • New Mercies—1 Samuel 7:2–17

Part 2—A King in God’s Place 1 Samuel 8–14

  • The King Thing—1 Samuel 8:1-22
  • Lost and Found—1 Samuel 9:1–10:16
  • A Lost King?—1 Samuel 10:17–27
  • A Hopeful Beginning—1 Samuel 11:1-15
  • Covenant—Accusing and Assuring—1 Samuel 12:1-25
  • Tarnish on the Crown—1 Samuel 13:1-23
  • Sad Success—1 Samuel 14:1-52

Part 3—A Man after God’s Heart 1 Samuel 15–31

  • Rejecting the Chosen—1 Samuel 15:1-35
  • Looking on the Heart—1 Samuel 16:1-23
  • Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth—Thud!—1 Samuel 17:1-58
  • The Shadow of the Almighty—1 Samuel 18:1-9:24
  • How Do You Spell Security?—1 Samuel 20:1-42
  • Desperation—1 Samuel 21:1–22:5
  • Even Now Many Antichrists Have Come—1 Samuel 22:6–23
  • The God Who Provides—1 Samuel 23:1-29
  • This Is the Day! Or Is It?—1 Samuel 24:1-22
  • Preventive Providence—1 Samuel 25:1-44
  • The Spear Makes the Point—1 Samuel 26:1-25
  • What Can a God-less Text Teach Us?—1 Samuel 27:1–28:2
  • And It Was Night—1 Samuel 28:3–25
  • Accepting the Philistines as Your Personal Savior—1 Samuel 29:1-11
  • When the Bottom Drops Out—1 Samuel 30:1-31
  • The End?—1 Samuel 31:1-13

Outline of 1 Samuel - John Hannah - Hannah's Bible Outlines (excellent resource)

  1. The judgeship of Samuel  (1 Sa 1:1-7:17)
    1. The birth and parentage of Samuel  (1 Sa 1:1-2:10)
      1. The ancestry of Samuel  (1 Sa 1:1)
      2. The barrenness of Hannah  (1 Sa 1:2-8)
      3. The prayer of Hannah  (1 Sa 1:9-18)
        1. The vow  (1 Sa 1:9-11)
        2. The blessing of Eli  (1 Sa 1:12-18)
      4. The birth of Samuel  (1 Sa 1:19-20)
      5. The dedication of Samuel  (1 Sa 1:21-28)
      6. The song of Hannah  (1 Sa 2:1-10)
        1. Praise for Jehovah's person  (1 Sa 2:1-3)
        2. Praise for Jehovah's power  (1 Sa 2:4-8)
        3. Praise for prophetic assurances  (1 Sa 2:9-10)
    2. The call of Samuel  (1 Sa 2:11-3:21)
      1. The failure of Eli's house  (1 Sa 2:11-36)
        1. The presence of Samuel at Shiloh  (1 Sa 2:11)
        2. The degeneracy of Eli's sons  (1 Sa 2:12-17)
        3. The blessing upon Elkanah and Hannah  (1 Sa 2:18-21)
        4. The warning of Eli to his sons  (1 Sa 2:22-26)
        5. The prophecy against Eli's house  (1 Sa 2:27-36)
      2. The summons of Samuel  (1 Sa 3:1-21)
        1. The call to Samuel  (1 Sa 3:1-9)
        2. The word to Samuel  (1 Sa 3:10-15)
        3. The words related to Eli  (1 Sa 3:16-18)
        4. The fame of Samuel  (1 Sa 3:19-21)
    3. The deliverance by Samuel  (1 Sa 4:1-7:17)
      1. The defeat of Israel  (1 Sa 4:1-7:2)
        1. The judgment upon Eli's house  (1 Sa 4:1-22)
          1. The historical setting  (1 Sa 4:1-4)
          2. The death of Eli's sons  (1 Sa 4:5-11)
          3. The death of Eli  (1 Sa 4:12-18)
          4. The birth of Ichabod  (1 Sa 4:19-22)
        2. The capture of the Ark  (1 Sa 5:1-7:2)
          1. The judgment upon the Philistines  (1 Sa 5:1-12)
            1. Upon their god, Dagon  (1 Sa 5:1-5)
            2. Upon the people  (1 Sa 5:6-12)
          2. The return of the Ark  (1 Sa 6:1-7:2)
            1. The counsel of the Philistines  (1 Sa 6:1-9)
            2. The Ark at Bethshemesh  (1 Sa 6:10-21)
              1. The return of the Ark  (1 Sa 6:10-16)
              2. The symbols in the Ark  (1 Sa 6:17-18)
              3. The judgment because of the Ark  (1 Sa 6:19-21)
            3. The Ark at Kiriath-jearim  (1 Sa 7:1-2)
      2. The victory of Israel  (1 Sa 7:3-17)
        1. Samuel's promise of deliverance  (1 Sa 7:3-4)
        2. The defeat of the Philistines  (1 Sa 7:5-14)
        3. Samuel's ministry summarized  (1 Sa 7:15-17)
  2. The reign of Saul  (1 Sa 8:1-31:13)
    1. The rise of King Saul  (1 Sa 8:1-15:35)
      1. The demand of Israel for a king  (1 Sa 8:1-22)
        1. The failure of Samuel's successors  (1 Sa 8:1-3)
        2. The request of the elders of Israel  (1 Sa 8:4-9)
          1. The request of the elders  (1 Sa 8:4-6)
          2. The counsel to Samuel  (1 Sa 8:7-9)
        3. The Lord's warning about the request  (1 Sa 8:10-18)
        4. The request renewed  (1 Sa 8:19-22)
      2. The anointing of Saul to be King  (1 Sa 9:1-10:16)
        1. Saul's ancestry and stature  (1 Sa 9:1-2)
        2. Saul's encounter with Samuel  (1 Sa 9:3-27)
          1. The search for the donkeys  (1 Sa 9:3-4)
          2. The request for Samuel's aid  (1 Sa 9:5-14)
            1. The suggestion of Saul's servant  (1 Sa 9:5-10)
            2. The directions of the women  (1 Sa 9:11-14)
          3. The preparation of Samuel  (1 Sa 9:15-17)
          4. The meeting of Saul and Samuel  (1 Sa 9:18-27)
        3. Saul's anointing by Samuel  (1 Sa 10:1-16)
          1. The anointing and instructions by Samuel  (1 Sa 10:1-8)
          2. The prophesying of Saul  (1 Sa 10:9-13)
          3. The return of Saul  (1 Sa 10:14-16)
      3. The vindication of Saul as king  (1 Sa 10:17-11:15)
        1. Saul's appointment as king  (1 Sa 10:17-27)
        2. Saul's defeat of the Ammonites  (1 Sa 11:1-11)
          1. The threat to Jabesh-gilead  (1 Sa 11:1-5)
          2. The defeat of Nahash  (1 Sa 11:6-11)
        3. Saul's approval by Israel  (1 Sa 11:12-15)
      4. The final address of Samuel  (1 Sa 12:1-25)
        1. Samuel's integrity cited  (1 Sa 12:1-5)
        2. Samuel's plea for obedience to the Lord  (1 Sa 12:6-18)
        3. Samuel's words of comfort  (1 Sa 12:19-25)
      5. Saul's initial conflict with the Philistines  (1 Sa 13:1-14:52)
        1. The scattering of Israel's army  (1 Sa 13:1-7)
        2. The impetuousness of Saul  (1 Sa 13:8-14)
          1. Saul's sin  (1 Sa 13:8-10)
          2. Saul's excuses  (1 Sa 13:11-13)
          3. Saul's rejection announced  (1 Sa 13:14)
        3. The oppression of Israel  (1 Sa 13:15-23)
        4. The route of the Philistines  (1 Sa 14:1-23)
          1. Jonathan's approach to the Philistines  (1 Sa 14:1-5)
          2. Jonathan's engagement of the Philistines  (1 Sa 14:6-15)
          3. Jonathan's scattering of the Philistines  (1 Sa 14:16-23)
        5. The foolish oath of Saul  (1 Sa 14:24-46)
          1. Jonathan's unknowing disobedience  (1 Sa 14:24-30)
          2. Israel's sin of eating blood  (1 Sa 14:31-35)
          3. Jonathan blamed for Israel's sin  (1 Sa 14:36-42)
          4. Jonathan rescued from death  (1 Sa 14:43-46)
        6. The summary of Saul's military prowess  (1 Sa 14:47-48)
        7. The family of Saul  (1 Sa 14:49-51)
        8. The war with the Philistines  (1 Sa 14:52)
      6. Saul's failure and rejection as king  (1 Sa 15:1-35)
        1. Samuel's instructions to destroy Amalek  (1 Sa 15:1-3)
        2. Saul's defeat of the Amalekites  (1 Sa 15:4-9)
        3. Samuel's disclosure of Saul's failure  (1 Sa 15:10-19)
        4. Saul's reply  (1 Sa 15:20-24)
          1. His excuse  (1 Sa 15:20-23)
          2. His request for forgiveness  (1 Sa 15:24)
        5. Saul's rejection by the Lord  (1 Sa 15:25-31)
        6. Samuel's slaying of Agag  (1 Sa 15:32-35)
    2. The decline of King Saul and the rise of David  (1 Sa 16:1-31:13)
      1. David in the court of Saul  (1 Sa 16:1-19:17)
        1. The anointing of David  (1 Sa 16:1-23)
          1. The Lord's instructions to Samuel  (1 Sa 16:1-3)
          2. Samuel's selection of the Lord's anointed  (1 Sa 16:4-13)
          3. David in Saul's court  (1 Sa 16:14-23)
        2. The slaughter of Goliath by David  (1 Sa 17:1-58)
          1. The defiance of Goliath  (1 Sa 17:1-11)
          2. The arrival of David  (1 Sa 17:12-30)
            1. The sons of Jesse  (1 Sa 17:12-16)
            2. The mission of David  (1 Sa 17:17-19)
            3. The fear of Israel  (1 Sa 17:20-25)
            4. The inquiry of David  (1 Sa 17:26-27)
            5. The rebuff of David's brothers  (1 Sa 17:28-30)
          3. The request of David  (1 Sa 17:31-40)
          4. The confrontation with Goliath  (1 Sa 17:41-49)
          5. The defeat of the Philistines  (1 Sa 17:50-54)
          6. The inquiry of Saul  (1 Sa 17:55-58)
        3. The separation of David from Saul  (1 Sa 18:1-19:17)
          1. Jonathan's love for David  (1 Sa 18:1-5)
          2. Saul's jealousy of David  (1 Sa 18:6-9)
          3. Saul's attempts to kill David  (1 Sa 18:10-19:17)
            1. His attempt to spear David  (1 Sa 18:10-16)
            2. His attempt to have David killed by the Philistines  (1 Sa 18:17-30)
              1. Saul's aborted promise of Merab  (1 Sa 18:17-19)
              2. Saul's promise of Michal  (1 Sa 18:20-30)
            3. His attempt to spear David again  (1 Sa 19:1-17)
              1. Saul's promise of safety  (1 Sa 19:1-7)
              2. Saul's attempt on David  (1 Sa 19:8-10)
              3. Saul's pursuit of David  (1 Sa 19:11-17)
      2. David in exile from Saul  (1 Sa 19:18-31:13)
        1. His flight to Samuel at Ramah  (1 Sa 19:18-24)
        2. The plot to ascertain Saul's motives  (1 Sa 20:1-42)
          1. The plot formulated  (1 Sa 20:1-23)
          2. The intentions of Saul revealed  (1 Sa 20:24-34)
          3. The separation of David and Saul  (1 Sa 20:35-42)
        3. His flight to Ahimelech at Nob  (1 Sa 21:1-9)
          1. His request for food  (1 Sa 21:1-7)
          2. His request for weapons  (1 Sa 21:8-9)
        4. His flight to Achish, king of Gath  (1 Sa 21:10-15)
        5. His flight to the cave of Adullam  (1 Sa 22:1-2)
        6. His flight to Mizpah of Moab  (1 Sa 22:3-5)
        7. Saul's vengeance on Ahimelech  (1 Sa 22:6-23)
          1. The discovery of Ahimelech's aid to David  (1 Sa 22:6-10)
          2. The massacre of Ahimelech, the priests and Nob  (1 Sa 22:11-19)
          3. The escape of Abiathar  (1 Sa 22:20-23)
        8. David's defeat of the Philistines at Keilah  (1 Sa 23:1-13)
          1. David's defeat of the Philistines  (1 Sa 23:1-5)
          2. Saul's pursuit of David  (1 Sa 23:6-13)
        9. His flight in the wilderness of Ziph  (1 Sa 23:14-23)
        10. His flight in the wilderness of Maon  (1 Sa 23:24-27)
        11. His flight in the wilderness of Engedi  (1 Sa 23:28-24:22)
          1. The sparing of Saul's life  (1 Sa 23:28-24:7)
          2. The words of David to Saul  (1 Sa 24:8-15)
          3. The reply of Saul to David  (1 Sa 24:16-22)
        12. His flight in the wilderness of Paran  (1 Sa 25:1-44)
          1. The death of Samuel  (1 Sa 25:1)
          2. The refusal of Nabal  (1 Sa 25:2-13)
          3. The intercession of Abigail  (1 Sa 25:14-31)
          4. The acceptance by David  (1 Sa 25:32-35)
          5. The death of Nabal  (1 Sa 25:36-38)
          6. The marriage of Abigail to David  (1 Sa 25:39-42)
          7. The marriage of Ahinoam to David  (1 Sa 25:43)
          8. The fate of Michal  (1 Sa 25:44)
        13. His flight in the wilderness of Ziph  (1 Sa 26:1-25)
          1. The Ziphites again inform on David  (1 Sa 26:1-5)
          2. David again spares Saul  (1 Sa 26:6-12)
          3. David's words to Abner  (1 Sa 26:13-16)
          4. David's words to Saul  (1 Sa 26:17-20)
          5. Saul's reply  (1 Sa 26:21-25)
        14. His flight to Philistia  (1 Sa 27:1-31:13)
          1. His stay in Gath  (1 Sa 27:1-4)
          2. His residence at Ziklag  (1 Sa 27:5-7)
          3. His lies  (1 Sa 27:8-12)
          4. The Philistine advance on Israel  (1 Sa 28:1-31:13)
            1. Saul's consultation with the witch of Endor  (1 Sa 28:1-25)
              1. Saul's search for spiritual aid  (1 Sa 28:1-7)
              2. Saul's conversation with the woman of Endor  (1 Sa 28:8-14)
              3. Samuel's discourse with Saul  (1 Sa 28:15-19)
              4. Saul's fear  (1 Sa 28:20-25)
            2. The departure of David from the Philistine ranks  (1 Sa 29:1-30:31)
              1. The reaction of the Philistine lords  (1 Sa 29:1-5)
              2. The dismissal of David  (1 Sa 29:6-11)
              3. The Amalekites raid Ziklag  (1 Sa 30:1-6)
              4. The pursuit of David after the Amalekites  (1 Sa 30:7-31)
                1. The inquiry of the Lord  (1 Sa 30:7-10)
                2. The finding of an Egyptian slave  (1 Sa 30:11-15)
                3. The slaughter of the Amalekites  (1 Sa 30:16-20)
                4. The dividing of the spoils  (1 Sa 30:21-31)
            3. Saul's defeat by the Philistines  (1 Sa 31:1-13)
              1. The death of Saul  (1 Sa 31:1-6)
              2. The dishonoring of Saul  (1 Sa 31:7-10)
              3. The recovery of Saul's body  (1 Sa 31:11-13)

Sidlow Baxter - In the Hebrew manuscripts, 1 and 2 Samuel form but one book, as also do 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles. Their division into two books each, as we now have them, originates with the so-called Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, said to have been made in the third century B.C. In the Septuagint, 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings are called, respectively, the First, Second, Third and Fourth Books of the Kingdoms (the plural word "Kingdoms" meaning the two kingdoms, Judah and Israel). The Latin Vulgate - Jerome's famous translation of the entire Bible into Latin, in the fourth century A.D. - continues the Septuagint division of Samuel and Kings into two books each, but calls them the First, Second, Third and Fourth Books of the Kings (not Kingdoms). It is from this that there came the sub-titles to these four books in, our Authorized Version...For sheer interest, 1 Samuel is unsurpassed. Not only does it recount eventful history; it is eventful history interwoven with the biographies of three colourful personalities - Samuel, Saul, David. Fix it well in the mind - and the memory will easily retain it - that 1 Samuel is the book of the transition from the theocracy to the monarchy; and the book of the three remarkable men - Samuel, the last of the judges, Saul, the first of the Kings, and David, the greatest of the kings. If we remember this, we cannot easily forget the central spiritual message of the book. God had called Israel into a unique relationship with Himself; and God Himself was Israel's King invisible. Through disobedience the people had brought chastisement upon themselves from time to time, but were willing to attribute much of this, later, to the fact that they had no human and visible king, such as the surrounding nations had: and now, at length, as Samuel ages, and his sons prove perverse, the people make it the occasion to press for a human king. The fateful choice is recorded in chapter 8 which should be read carefully. It was a retrograde step, dictated merely by seeming expediency. It was the way of human wisdom, not of faith in God. It was taking the lower level. It was a refusing of God's best, for the second best - and there is much difference between the two. The people thought it would solve their many problems, and make things wonderfully easier, if only they could have a human and visible king such as the neighbouring peoples had; but, alas, they were quickly to learn how self-deceived they were in thinking so, for new troubles were now to break upon them through the very king they had demanded: and herein lies the central message of 1 Samuel to us, namely: Troubles increased through choosing the seemingly easier but lower way of human wisdom, in preference to God's way - by choosing less than God's best.

God has His best things for the few
Who dare to stand the test; 
God has His second choice for those
Who will not take His best.
It is not always open ill
That risks the promised rest; 
The better often is the foe
That keeps us from the best.
And others make the highest choice,
But when by trials pressed,
They shrink, they yield, they shun the cross,
And so they lose the best.

As a character study Samuel has few peers; and as a factor in the early growth of his nation he is equaled only by Moses. The ministry of Samuel marks the institution of the monarchy. From now onwards we are to see Israel under the kings. Besides this, the appearance of Samuel marks the institution of the prophetic office. There were those in Israel, even before Samuel's time, on whom the mantle of prophecy had fallen (Num 11:25; Judg 6:8). Moses himself is called a prophet (Deut 18:18). But there was no organised prophetic office. Samuel founded the schools of the prophets, and originated the prophetic order. In a very real sense, therefore, he is "the first of the prophets"; and this distinction is recognised in the New Testament, as the following verses shew:

  • "Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days" - (Acts 3:24)
  • "And, after that, He (God) gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet" - (Acts 13:20).
  • "And what shall I more say? - for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon ... and Samuel and the prophets" - (Heb 11:32).

Samuel, then, is a significant figure. He ends the period of the Judges; he heads the order of the prophets; he originates the first great educational movement in the nation; he places Israel's first king on the throne, and later anoints David, the greatest of all Israel's kings.  (excerpt from Explore the Book)

Henrietta Mears on 1 Samuel - excerpts from What the Bible is All About...

Royal history begins with the book of Samuel. The long period of the rule of the judges ends with Samuel. When Samuel came into power the people were in an awful state. They had practically rejected God, and we hear them clamoring for an earthly king (1 Samuel 8:4-7). This book begins the five-hundred-year period of the kings of Israel (approximately 1050-586 b.c.). The events recorded in 1 Samuel cover a period of about 115 years from the childhood of Samuel through the turbulent times of Saul to the beginning of the reign of the king whom God chose—David. In the personal lives of these three men this book gives us an exceedingly graphic picture of these times. Samuel was the last of the judges; Saul was the first of the kings. The record brings us up to the time when David is ready permanently to establish the monarchy and God is ready permanently to establish David's throne (Psalm 89). The book may be divided under the names of three of its chief characters—Samuel (1 Samuel 1-7); Saul (1 Samuel 8-15); and David (1 Samuel 16-31). The history of this book is presented to us in the attractive cloak of biography. Everyone likes a true story.

Samuel, the King Maker (1 Samuel 1-7) - Samuel—"name of God" is the meaning of his name....He was preeminently a man of prayer. This first book that bears his name is a marvelous study in the place and power of prayer, illustrated from life. He was a child of prayer (1 Samuel 3:1-19); he brought victory to his people through prayer (1 Samuel 7:5-10); when the nation wanted a king, Samuel prayed unto the Lord (1 Samuel 8:6); intercessory prayer was the keynote of his life (1 Samuel 12:19-23)....Eli was both judge and priest at this time. He had ruled for forty years. He was an indulgent father and as a result his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, also priests, were allowed to act in a most disgraceful manner. As a result there was moral corruption and God warned Eli of the downfall of his house. Fungus growth in a tree usually is not detected for a long time. Everything seems right outwardly; but when the crash suddenly comes, the state of the tree is seen. Israel had been sinning for a long time. At length the catastrophe came in the disaster recorded at this time (1 Samuel 4)....

The Philistines were Israel's powerful enemies living to the southwest on the coast. Perhaps this renewed action on their part was due to the death of Samson. The battle soon went against Israel. They wondered why God had deserted them. While warring against God they asked God to war for them. Read the account of the revival at Mizpeh (1 Samuel 7). We cannot win while we war against God! Apart from the immediate causes, rebellion against God is the root reason for tragic wars today. Civilization in general has not been seeking first and always the glory and will of God. The United States has failed to meet this test, as well as all other nations. Civilized nations have failed, as they were bound to do, and they always will fail as long as God is left out.

After Israel's first defeat by the Philistines, did they do right by looking to the Ark of God for protection (1 Samuel 4:3-7, 10)? The Ark of God was a very poor substitute for the God of the Ark. Many people think that when they wear religious symbols or perform religious rituals or give money to charitable causes that they will be safe. They think that these things are a charm, or talisman, to bring them victory. Can you give some illustrations of this?  "Man's extremity is God's opportunity!" Although at the time the loss was terrible, yet God overruled for good. Through Samuel God provided (1) deliverance from the Philistines, (2) preparation for the kingdom, (3) a permanent sanctuary instead of a tabernacle at Shiloh and (4) a better priesthood.

Samuel was the last of the judges, the first of the prophets and the founder of the monarchy. Besides this, he started a school of the prophets, a kind of seminary. The record of this great man's life is beyond reproach. It is hard to find a single mistake that Samuel made. God always gives us the best we will take, for his mercy endureth forever. We are free human agents. We can choose for ourselves; but we may well tremble at the consequences. We must choose God's best or our own way. "The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh" (1 Samuel 3:21). God revisited Shiloh! For Shiloh had been left. Read Judges 21:19-21. The place of worship had been turned into a place of feasting and dancing. Shiloh was the location of the house of God from the days of Joshua to Samuel. David moved it to Jerusalem. The Ark was removed by the Philistines in Samuel's childhood and from then on Shiloh ceased to be of great importance (1 Samuel 4:3, 11). What brought about this timely revival? Three things: A praying mother, 1 Samuel 1, A chastened people, 1 Samuel 2, A faithful prophet, 1 Samuel 3. We need a praying band of Christians, a people brought to a sense of their need, and a consecrated preacher to bring about revival.....God cannot do much for people who do not feel they need anything. God pities that person. There are those who think they are "all right."

"Well," said Samuel, "if you really mean business, you've got to show me. Do something. Prove it. How? Put away your strange gods" (author's paraphrase of 1 Samuel 7:3). "Put away" might be translated "cut it out." If you mean business, God will mean business. Religion is not just a matter of emotion but also of the will. It is often easy for us to talk big, but it is another thing to live up to what we say. We often make promises to God that we never keep. How sad that sometimes our lives shout, "Lie!" to what our lips say. The people began to lament and Samuel took advantage of this and called on them to return to their God and put away their idols. Samuel erected an altar and called it Ebenezer (1 Samuel 7:12). Ebenezer means "stone of help." Christ our victory is called "the stone" in both the Old Testament and the New (Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42; see also Daniel 2:35).

Saul, the King Chosen (1 Samuel 8-15) - God never intended Israel to have any king but Himself. He would send them great leaders and these in turn would receive their orders directly from Him. But Israel in her falling away had become restless. They wanted a king like the other surrounding nations. We find God granting their request. Here is a great lesson. We either can have God's best or His second best, His directive will or His permissive will. Saul, their first king, was a failure. He was handsome to look at, he was tall and of a noble mien. He started out splendidly. He proved to be an able military leader. He defeated the enemies about him—the Philistines, the Amalekites and the Ammonites. Saul was humble at first, but we find him becoming proud and disobedient to God. No man had a greater opportunity than Saul and no man ever was a greater failure. His jealousy of David bordered on insanity....Saul failed God in several ways: Saul's presumption at God's altar (1 Samuel 13:11-13)  Cruelty to his son Jonathan (1 Samuel 14:44)  Disobedience in the matter of Amalek (1 Samuel 15:23)  His jealousy and hatred of David (1 Samuel 18:29)  His sinful appeal to the witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28:7)....

David, the King Proven (1 Samuel 16-31) - As the third division of the book opens we see Samuel mourning for Saul. God rebukes him and tells him to arise and anoint the new king (1 Samuel 16:1).  David, "the apple of God's eye," was one of the greatest characters of all times. He made great contributions to the history of Israel both spiritually and nationally. In this book we see David as a shepherd lad, a minstrel, an armor bearer, a captain, the king's son-in-law, a writer of psalms and a fugitive. He was anointed three times and was to be the founder of the royal line of which the King of kings came.

The closing chapter of our book is draped in black. It gives the closing picture of one of the most disastrous failures. Saul died on the field of battle by his own hand. Advantages and opportunities in youth never guarantee success in manhood. One must keep true to God. Saul's undoing was not so much disobedience, as half-hearted obedience (1 Samuel 15). He was a victim of human pride and jealousy.

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Links below to lectures related to 1Samuel study


The lawless state of God's people, described in the Book of Judges, is continued in the early part of 1Samuel, and seems to reach its height when the priests were given over to wickedness [ch. 2], [culminating in the loss of] the Ark of the Lord [to] the hands of the Philistines [ch. 4]. We have a solemn lesson of the result of failure in parental discipline, even on the part of good parents. Of the sons of Eli we read: ''The sin of the young men was very great before the Lord,'' and ''Eli restrained them not.'' In the same way, the sons of even righteous Samuel ''walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment'' [1Sam 8:3], until the people of Israel made their behavior the excuse to demand a king. David also seems to have shown an inability to rule his own house, as is evident in the rebellion of both Absalom and Adonijah. Of Adonijah, we read: ''And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so?'' [1Kin 1:6]. David, evidently, had not acted the father's part in chastening his son.

Samuel, Saul, and David stand out as the three central figures of 1 & 2 Samuel.

Samuel's Name.

Samuel himself was a picture of our Saviour. The meaning of his name was one of the perplexities of Hebrew scholarship till the year 1899, when the Twelfth Congress of Orientalists held its meeting at Rome, and Professor Jastrow, of Philadelphia, showed that, in the Assyrian, which is closely allied to the Hebrew tongue, the word sumu means son, and he translated ''Samuel'' as ''son (or offspring) of God.'' Hannah, in the depth and sincerity of her surrender, gave up her first-born son to God utterly [ch. 1].

He was ''God's son'' from the moment of his birth. ''Therefore I have given him to the Lord'' (not ''lent'' as in the A.V.). The word, common to the Babylonian and Hebrew tongues before their separation, becomes a witness to the antiquity of the book. It disappeared from the language of the Israelites so completely that no Jewish student of the Bible, ancient or modern, was able to explain it. But it is evident that it was in common use in Hannah's day; for she wanted every one to know that he was altogether the Lord's own, and she must have chosen a word, therefore, which every one could understand.

The name ''God's son'' takes us a step further. The resemblance between Hannah's Song and that of Mary, the mother of Jesus, [is remarkable]. Mary's Song is not a repetition of Hannah's, yet both see the same vision. It is a vision of the earth's full salvation, and of the Lord's Christ. ''The adversaries of the Lord,'' sings Hannah, ''shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall He thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and He shall give strength unto His King, and exalt the horn of His anointed'' -- that is of His Messiah (1Sam 2:10). ''He hath showed strength with His arm,'' responds Mary: ''He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts... He hath holpen His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; as He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever'' (Luk 1:51-55).

Hannah's Song, and the name she gave her child, are alike a prophecy of Christ. She has the honor of being the first to use the name ''Messiah.''

The Lord of Hosts.

Another and most majestic Divine title occurs for the first time in the first chapter of this book, and that is ''The Lord of Hosts.'' The Rev. A. Craig Robinson bases upon this fact the following argument:

''The Divine title 'Lord of Hosts' never occurs in the Pentateuch; it occurs for the first time in 1Samuel 1:3. After this, it occurs very frequently, especially in the prophets-- 281 times in all. If the Pentateuch was written by a multitude of writers in the later age, when this title for Jehovah was so much in vogue, how is it that not one of them has in the Pentateuch used this expression even once?''

That Jehovah of Hosts was a title of Christ, we see from comparing Isa 6:1-3 with John 12:41, and Isa 8:13,14 with 1Peter 2:5-8.

Samuel was a type of Christ (Ed: See caveats regarding Typology - Study of Biblical types) in combining the offices of prophet, priest, and ruler. The Schools of the Prophets founded by him are a foreshadowing of the Lord's service in pouring out His Spirit upon apostles, evangelists, and teachers.

Above all, Samuel was a picture of Christ in his life of prayer and intercession. From the time that God ''called Samuel''-- the story we have loved from childhood [ch. 3] -- his life was one of continual communion. Samuel had access to the ear of God, and his own ear was open to God's voice. He and Moses are God's chosen examples of intercessors. ''Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be toward this people'' (Jer 15:1). Samuel said to the rebellious nation, ''God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you'' [1Sam 12:23]. ''Jesus... ever liveth to make intercession for them'' [Heb 7:25].

A Friend.

In Jonathan we have another picture of Christ, showing the love and friendship of our Heavenly Friend. ''There is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother'' [Prov 18:24]. He, the King's Son, was not ashamed to own the shepherd lad [as] his friend, and Jesus is not ashamed to call us brethren [Heb 2:11]. ''The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and he loved him as his own soul'' [1Sam 18:1]. Jesus, ''having loved His own which were in the world, loved them to the uttermost'' (John 13:1, R.V. margin).

Jonathan made an everlasting covenant with David (1Sa 18:3; 20:15,16; 23:18): ''He stripped himself of the robe that was on him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.'' So Christ stripped Himself of His glory, and He has covered us with the robe of His righteousness, and has armed and girded us for the fight. Jonathan strengthened David's hands in God (1Sa 23:16), and the Lord says to us, ''My strength is made perfect in weakness'' [2Cor 12:9]. The picture falls short, as all pictures do, of the glorious reality. Jonathan, at the risk of his own life (1Sa 20:33), sought to reconcile his father to David. Christ laid down His life as ''the propitiation for our sins'' (1John 2:2). He is our Mediator, our Advocate with the Father, and has made us sharers of His throne in glory.

The Shepherd King.

Both as Shepherd and as King, David is a type of our Saviour (Ed: See Typology - Study of Biblical types). In 1Samuel, we have the account of David's long season of preparation for the Kingdom.

The little town of Bethlehem is the birthplace alike of David and of his greater Son. The quiet years of toil with his father's flock remind us of the years spent at Nazareth and in the carpenter's shop. Many of the Psalms recall David's watch over the flock:

''When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers,
the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained;
What is man, that Thou are mindful of him?
and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?'' (Psa 8:3,4)

''The heavens declare the glory of God;

and the firmament showeth His handywork...'' (Psa 19:1)

On the same plains round Bethlehem, the shepherds kept watch over their flocks by night, while the star which guided the wise men shown over their heads, when, lo, the angel of the Lord brought them the good tidings of great joy, of the birth, in the city of David, of a Saviour which is Christ the Lord. ''And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men'' [Luke 2]. Those who have watched the sunrise from those plains where David must often have watched it, tell us that no words can describe its magnificence. ''In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun; which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race'' (Psa 19:4,5).

Psalm 23.

In the Shepherd Psalm, David surely describes his own care of the sheep. How often he had led them by still waters, and caused them to lie down in green pastures, and many a time he must have had to lead them down one of the gorges of the wilderness of Judea. This wilderness is fifty miles long, and ten miles broad, with many valleys just such as are described by the [Hebrew] word gay in this Psalm. There are eight different words for valley in Hebrew, but gay signifies a deep, rocky gorge, some of them only two or three feet wide at the bottom, almost as dark as night even in the daytime, because of the steep, rocky sides rising 800 feet high on each side. Here the hyenas stalk the sheep if they get separated from the shepherd. But with his club the shepherd does battle both with wild beast and with wilder Bedaween [sic.], and reassures the sheep with the touch of his staff in the dark valley. More than once David had risked his life, and left the rest of the flock, to rescue one lamb from the mouth of the lion or bear. The good shepherd has always to take his life in his hand and be ready to lay it down. With what confidence David says, ''Jehovah is my Shepherd, I shall not want.'' And the Son of David responds, ''I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep'' [John 10:11]. He leaves the ''ninety and nine'' and goes [into the wilderness] after the one that was lost, until He finds it [Mat 18:11-14].

The Eastern sheep-fold is an enclosure, open to heaven, with a small place of shelter at the back, and enclosed with a rough, stone wall. At one corner, there is a tiny doorway, but every shepherd is himself the door. He sleeps in the doorway to guard the sheep at night. He stands in the doorway as they come home in the evening, and examines every sheep before it goes in. He has a bowl of water for the thirsty sheep, and a bowl of oil for the wounded ones; he anoints with oil those whose heads have been bruised against the rocks. The imagery of the twenty-third Psalm does not change in the middle, as some have thought, to that of an indoor bancquet; the imagery of the shepherd's care is sustained throughout.

The Shepherd and the King were blended in David and in David's Son. A true king must always have the heart of a shepherd. When David saw the Angel of the Lord about to destroy Jerusalem, he cried: ''I it is that have sinned, and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? Let Thine hand be on me... but not on Thy people'' (1Chron 21:17).

''I will set up one Shepherd over them, and He shall feed them, even My Servant David; and He shall be their Shepherd'' (Ezek 34:23). He is --

  • The Good Shepherd in death. John 10:11. See Psalm 22.
  • The Great Shepherd in resurrection. Heb 13:20. See Psalm 23.
  • The Chief Shepherd in glory. 1Peter 5:4. See Psalm 24.



The book of 1 Samuel [say: ''First Samuel''] is a book of transition. It outlines the change from the theocracy established under Moses to the monarchy begun under [king] Saul. The book also marks the transition from priests to prophets as the central figure of God's dealing with Israel. First Samuel is really a continuation of the book of Judges, with Ruth as a parenthesis. The key thought is ''choosing a king,'' and the key verse reads, ''Now, therefore, behold the king whom ye have chosen'' (1Sam 12:13).


  • Close of the Period of the Judges (1 Samuel 1-7)
  • Early life of Samuel (1 Samuel 1-3)
  • Judgments on Eli and loss of the Ark (1 Samuel 4:1-7:2)
  • Samuel as judge (1 Samuel 7:3-17)
  • Beginning of the Monarchy (1 Samuel 8-31)
  • Appointment of the first king (1 Samuel 8-10)
  • Saul's reign until his rejection (1 Samuel 11-15)
  • The fall of Saul and rise of David (1 Samuel 16-31)

As the book of 1 Samuel opens, lawlessness is reaching its height in Israel. The threshold of the book also depicts in symbol the spiritual state of Israel. After first considering the significance of losing the ark of the covenant, we shall see how Samuel and David reflect Christ, and how Saul represents his countertype. (Ed: See caveats regarding Typology - Study of Biblical types)


Chapter 4 of 1Samuel records the story. The people had forgotten God. The priesthood was corrupted. Eli, the high priest, had no control over his sons, who were also priests. We are told, ''Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord; for men abhorred the offering of the Lord'' (1Sam 2:17). How sad! Men who had no real knowledge of God were in charge of holy things.

To make matters worse, the Philistine armies had moved up against Israel and were defeating them. So the elders of Israel decided to get the ark of the covenant from Shiloh and carry it into battle. They reasoned this way: ''It may save us out of the hand of our enemies'' (1Sam 4:3). The ark symbolized God's presence with His people. But Israel failed to distinguish between having 'a form of godliness' and knowing God's presence in their midst. Not only was Israel defeated in the battle with the Philistines, but that heathen people also killed the two sons of Eli and captured the ark. Ungodly men cannot preserve the power of true faith. They turn the most holy things into ridicule. Furthermore, the Lord will not protect empty ritual when the Spirit is gone. Sin always brings defeat.

But let's get back to the primary thought of these studies. Perhaps someone is asking, ''Where in this book of apostasy, sin, and defeat do we see the Lord Jesus?'' First Samuel is really a biography of three men: Samuel, Saul and David. We shall consider each of them, probing to see how the Lord Jesus is pictured either by comparison or contrast.


The Lord Jesus is pictured often in the life of Samuel. During that period when Eli and his licentious sons occupied the office of the priesthood, a glimmer of hope came to the land in the person of a praying mother [1Samuel 1]. Take note of the fact that conditions in Israel just prior to our Lord's first coming were similar. To Hannah was born a son whom she called ''Samuel.'' That name means ''heard of God'' or ''sons of God.'' Read again Hannah's prayer in the first ten verses of 1Samuel 2. This prayer was prophetic, looking forward to a day of deliverance. An interesting parallel can be observed in the prayer of Hannah and Mary's prayer, the Magnificat, recorded in Luke 1:46-55.

Similarities between Christ and Samuel may be seen in the growth of Samuel, his acceptance as prophet and priest, and his place as a ruler. Samuel's activity was terminated when the people, demanding a king, rejected him (1Sam 8:7).


The people did not want Samuel as their judge and ruler; consequently, God let them have a king of their choosing. By comparison, how pertinent are these words of our Lord: ''I am come in My Father's name, and ye receive Me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive'' (John 5:43).

So, Saul was chosen king over Israel. He was head and shoulders above other men. He made an awesome sight as he stood among the people. The ''morning'' of Saul's life was calm and bright. How wonderful if he would have said something like, ''Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee!'' ...But no.

''There is a line by us unseen
But crosses every path,
The hidden boundary between
God's patience and His wrath.''

Saul had crossed that line. Consequently, the ''midday'' of his life was cloudy and threatening. His ''afternoon'' was cold and dark; his ''evening'' was terrifying with the thunderstorms of despair and suicidal blackness.

Much about Saul suggests Satan's counterfeit, [the] Antichrist. The Lord Jesus came in the Father's name and was rejected. Antichrist will come like Saul of old, the people's choice. He will be received and exalted. But he will bring a holocaust of war, famine, despair, and death.


A child was born in Bethlehem of the tribe of Judah. This lad, who was destined to be Israel's greatest king, spent his youth in his father's fields. How like our Lord, who spent His childhood in Joseph's carpenter shop.

David was anointed as king long before he was recognized. He was sought and hunted by Saul, who desired his death even though he had done nothing to deserve it. David's first public act was the meeting of Goliath; similarly, our Lord's first experience, following His baptism, was His temptation by Satan in the wilderness.

The first part of David's reign was met with great acclaim by the nation. The Lord Jesus was met in His triumphal entry with cries of ''Hosanna to the son of David!''

It was not long, though, until David was rejected by Israel and had to hide in the cave of Adullam. John tells us that Jesus ''came unto His own, and His own received Him not'' (John 1:11). A strange company of men gathered with David in that cave-- some 400 of them. Who were they? They were the distressed, the debtors, the discontented. But somehow they were attracted to David [cp. Mat 11:28; Luke 5:30-32]. The inspired writer to the Hebrews said, ''Let us go forth, therefore, unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach'' (Heb 13:13). You would find it most interesting to read the story of these men who joined David and who were faithful to him at the time of his rejection (2Sam 23:8-39). Paul wrote to young Timothy, ''If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us'' (2Tim 2:12).

Christ is the anointed of God. No doubt about it, Jesus Christ will reign! However, we are living in the time of His rejection. It will not always be so, for coronation time is coming!

Verse by Verse Teaching Notes
Life of David

Click for Pdf of the 24 studies listed below on David

  • David #1: 1 Samuel 16:1-23
  • David #1: 1 Samuel 16:1-23
  • David #2: 1 Samuel 17:1-58
  • David #3: 1 Samuel 19:1 – 20:42
  • David #4: 1 Samuel 21:1 – 22:23
  • David #5: 1 Samuel 23:1-29 & 24:1-22
  • David #6: 1 Samuel 25:1-44
  • David #10: 2 Samuel 3:1 – 4:12
  • David #11: 2 Samuel 5:1 – 6:23
  • David #12: 2 Samuel 7:1 – 8:18
  • David #10: 2 Samuel 3:1 – 4:12
  • David #11: 2 Samuel 5:1 – 6:23
  • David #12: 2 Samuel 7:1 – 8:18
  • David #13: 2 Samuel 9:1 – 10:19
  • David #14: 2 Samuel 11:1-27
  • David #15: 2 Samuel 12:1-31
  • David #16: 2 Samuel 13:1-39
  • David #17: 2 Samuel 14:1 – 15:37
  • David #18: 2 Samuel 16:1-23
  • David #19: 2 Samuel 17:1 – 18:33
  • David #20: 2 Samuel 19:1-43
  • David #21: 2 Samuel 20:1 – 21:22
  • David #22: 2 Samuel 22:1-51
  • David #23: 2 Samuel 23:1 – 24:25
  • David #24: 1 Kings 1:1-2:12

1 Samuel Commentary

189 page Pdf Recommended

1 Samuel Commentary

1 Samuel Commentary

Multiple Comments, Illustrations, Homilies


1 Samuel Sermon Notes
Calvary Chapel

1 Samuel Sermon Notes

1 Samuel Sermon Notes
Calvary Chapel, Green Bay

Expository Sermon Notes
1 Samuel
Calvary Baptist

Updated December 22, 2015. Well Done

1 Samuel Sermon Notes
Calvary Chapel

1 Samuel

  • Click for brief critique


Sermon Notes (Pdf)
1 Samuel

Flagstaff Christian Fellowship Excellent

14 part study on King David from 1 and 2 Samuel

1 Samuel
Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown

Published 1871 Excellent Commentary

See also index to the Unabridged Version of this well done commentary

1 Samuel
Conservative, Millennial

Sermon Notes
1 Samuel

1 Samuel Commentary Notes

1 Samuel Commentary

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
1 Samuel

1 Samuel Devotionals

1 Samuel
W G Blaikie

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)

Warren W. Wiersbe - If you can locate the six-volume edition of the Expositor’s Bible, buy it immediately! It takes up less space than the original fifty-volume set, and not everything in the original set is worth owning. Samuel H. Kellogg on Leviticus is a classic; so is Alexander Maclaren on the Psalms and on Colossians. (A Basic Library for Bible Students)

Cyril J. Barber - This set, originally published in 1903, contains expositions by both conservative and liberal theologians. The most important works are by Dod (Genesis), Chadwick (Exodus and Mark), Kellogg (Leviticus), Blaikie (Joshua, I and II Samuel), Adeney (Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther), Maclaren (Psalms), Moule (Romans), Findlay (Galatians and Ephesians), Plummer (Pastoral Epistles and the Epistles of James and Jude), and Milligan (Revelation.) (The Minister’s Library)

1 Samuel Sermon Outlines

1 Samuel

1 Samuel

Related to
Book of 1 Samuel

1 Samuel Notes

1 Samuel Commentary

Conservative, Evangelical, Millennial

Notes are brief but this is an excellent modern commentary

1 Samuel Commentary

Relating to 1 Samuel

1 Samuel Commentary

10,000 Illustrations
 1 Samuel


1Samuel 16:7 - More for Less- Have you checked the labels on your grocery items lately? You may be getting less than you thought. According to U.S. News & World Report, some manufacturers are selling us the same size packages we are accustomed to, but they are putting less of the product in the box. For example, a box of well-known detergent that once held 61 ounces now contains only 55. Same size box, less soap. How something is wrapped doesn’t always show us what’s on the inside. That’s true with people as well. We can wrap ourselves up in the same packaging every day—nice clothes, big smile, friendly demeanor—yet still be less than what we appear to be. (Our Daily Bread, June 22, 1992)

1 Samuel 17 - Godly Leadership

1. Looks for Opportunities to make a Difference. 1Sa 17:20-24

2. Has ability to see the Real Issue. 1Sa 17:26

3. Is an Encourager of Men. 1Sa 17:32a

4. Is Willing to be Personally involved. 1Sa 17:32b

5. Values Past accomplishments for Present challenges. 1Sa 17:33-36

6. Has an unquestionable Dependence on God for victory. 1Sa 17:37

7. Avoids Power Doubters. 1Sa 17:28, 33

8. Never Leads in someone Else’s Armour. 1Sa 17:38-40

9. Always Sizes up the Opposition and makes sure he has adequate resources to Overcome. 1Sa 17:45

10. Remembers whose Battle it Really is. 1Sa 17:47

11. Never Backs off from a formidable Challenge. 1Sa 17:48

12. Makes Double sure the Enemy is Defeated. 1Sa 17:51

13. Is usually Sought out by Others. 1Sa 17:55-58

Biblical Sermons, H. W. Robinson, Baker, 1989, p.51 (sermon by James Rose)

A Critical & Exegetical Commentary
1 Samuel
Henry P Smith (1904)

Lessons from the Life of David


1 Samuel Commentary

James Rosscup writes "Keil, C. F. and Franz Delitzsch. Commentary on the Old Testament. 25 volumes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1950. This is the best older, overall treatment of a critical nature on the Old Testament Hebrew text verse by verse and is a good standard work to buy. The student can buy parts or the whole of this series. Sometimes it is evangelical, at other times liberal ideas enter." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

1 Samuel Commentary

1 Samuel
C H Toy and John A Broadus

Spurgeon's Comments on Lange's Series: "These volumes are not all of equal value, but as a whole, they are a grand addition to our stores. The American translators have added considerably to the German work, and in some cases these additions are more valuable than the original matter. For homiletical purposes these volumes are so many hills of gold, but, alas, there is dross also, for Baptismal Regeneration and other grave errors occur....We are very far from endorsing all Zöckler’s remarks." (Caveat: Be a Berean - Acts 17:11)

Sermons 1 Samuel

Commentary on 1 Samuel
Thru the Bible

Our Daily Homily
1 Samuel

Through the Bible Commentary
1 Samuel

David: Shepherd, Psalmist, King

Samuel: The Prophet

1 Samuel
Conservative, Evangelical


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Outlines, Maps, Sermons, Commentaries on 1 Samuel


Challies rates Dale Ralph Davis book #1 - Click for an except 1 Samuel Commentary

JAMES ROSSCUP - Best commentaries on 1 Samuel

  • Keil, C. F. and Franz Delitzsch. Commentary on the Old Testament.  This is the best older, overall treatment of a critical nature on the Old Testament Hebrew text verse by verse and is a good standard work to buy. The student can buy parts or the whole of this series. Sometimes it is evangelical, at other times liberal ideas enter.
  • Ackroyd, Peter R. The First Book of Samuel (Cambridge Bible Commentary). Cambridge: U. P., 1971. 238 pp.  This is much the same as his work on the second book of Samuel (cf. that entry). Ackroyd, Peter R. The Second Book of Samuel (Cambridge Bible Commentary). Cambridge: U. P., 1977. 247 pp. 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.
  • Anderson, A. A. 2 Samuel (Word Biblical Commentary). 1989. 302 pp.  Conservatives will find much to aid them here in meticulous exegetical detail and giving of different views, all done quite readably. One is soon aware, however, of the nonconservative perspective, as in supposing errors as to historical fact, misstatements, and portions ineptly inserted by an exilic redactor (cf. pp. 118–19, 132, 161, 168 etc.). Users will have to use the work with much carefulness but can glean heavy profit from places where he contributes well. Anderson is Honorary Fellow in theology, University of Manchester, England. His introduction takes up theories of composition that specialized scholars can follow completely, even if they do not agree. Many things said in Samuel are attributed to the artistic skill of the author, and one gains the impression that to Anderson they are not historically reliable (xxxiv, etc.). The form/structure/setting sections have much that can help evangelicals and much that gives liberal slants biased on ideas of theoretical sources. Careful advanced students can sift out much and leave much. Like Klein’s work on I Samuel, the flow is broken in many ways, so the use of the commentary for any but specialist students will be slow plodding and spotty in benefit.
  • Baldwin, Joyce C. 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988. 299 pp.   A concise, competent, clear evangelical work using various sources, elucidating most passages well and showing their theological and practical relevance then and now.
  • Barber, Cyril J. and Carter, John. I Samuel, Always a Winner. A Bible Commentary for Laymen. Glendale, CA: G/L Publications, 1977. 160 pp.   Sunday School or Bible class teachers and laypeople in general can gain good ideas on how to present material, how to explain some of the main customs and resolve certain problems. The book is simple, well-organized, refreshing for a series of Bible readings in devotional times, but also has frequent things that stimulate for preaching.
  • Barber, Cyril J. The Book of Second Samuel. Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux, 2000.   Barber, a keen student aggressive to explain passages, surveys each segment in its main flow, and offers relational application. He uses provocative titles, vivid writing, often careful reasons for views, and valuable leads for teachers and preachers. He articulates lessons such as David’s making decisions as regarding the Amalekite claiming to have killed Saul, David covering up sin, and problems to which wrong choices can lead (2 Sam. 13ff). Overall the work is a good catalyst for speakers, surveying students, and lay readers.
  • Bergen, Robert D. 1, 2 Samuel (New American Commentary). Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1996.   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.
  • Evans, Mary J. 1 and 2 Samuel (New International Critical Commentary). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2000.   A lecturer in OT at London Bible College did well-studied, lucid comments on verses, with added notes on certain details after each section. She covers most bases, resolves many problems, and elucidates customs, word meanings, and the like. She has no firm solution on some verses, such as the number left out in I Sam. 13:1. She believes that the Amalekite found Saul dead, and took advantage, supposing that David would reward him (2 Sam. 1). She shows richness from wide reading awareness on many points.
  • Gordon, R. P. 1 and 2 Samuel: A Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986. 375 pp.   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.
  • Klein, Ralph W. I Samuel (Word Bible Commentary). Waco, TX: Word, 1983. 307 pp.   A detailed work that often assumes liberal, hard-to-follow ideas positing literary strands from various sources in the book. Klein feels that some accounts cannot be harmonized (xxx). Theories of textual criticism will be a frequent problem for many evangelicals, and much is unclear except to specialists. Still, a lot in the general summary explanations of passages is helpful for the patient and shows how things fit. For more advanced scholarly use the many lists of literature on sections can offer aid, and notes on technical matters in verses specify word meanings, readings, etc. The reader, however, will meet with many liberal perspectives. For the most part the helpful flow of I Samuel bogs down even for serious students in the mixture of explanation and heavy material or theory from Klein’s critical system.
  • Laney, J. Carl. First and Second Samuel. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1982. 132 pp.   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
  • McCarter, P. Kyle Jr. I Samuel: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Anchor Bible). NY: Doubleday, 1980. 475 pp.   McCarter writes this liberal work out of an immensely broad awareness of scholarly literature (cf. his 14-pp. bibliography, textual notes and informed way of handling many of the problem texts). He goes after the meaning of a passage, seeks to reach defensible conclusions, provides one of the best recent, up-to-date commentaries for more advanced students needing technical help on I Samuel, and is conversant with critical studies. Cf. also his work II Samuel in the Anchor Bible (553 pp.). He was at the time Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia.
  • Merrill, Eugene. “I and II Samuel,” Bible Knowledge Commentary, ed. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck. Volume I. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1983.  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.
  • Meyer, F. B. (1847–1929)  Choice Notes on Joshua–2 Kings.  published this originally in 1895. He left a big witness as a Christian, husband and expositor on the spiritual life. Here he is clear, simple, to the point, and practical in application. The book is especially suited for pastors, Sunday School teachers and laypersons. Sometimes he overdoes things, as in seeing Hittites and confederates as depicting “The evil habits of the old past” (p. 12). Yet in many cases he is apt, as using Gideon to show the need to look to God for adequacy. He sees Saul as unsaved, having the Spirit on him but not in him (103).
  • Vos, Howard F. 1, 2 Samuel (Bible Study Commentary). Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1983. 166 pp.   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.







A Chronological Daily Bible Study of the Old Testament- 7-Day Sections with a Summary-Commentary, Discussion Questions, and a Practical Daily Application



DEREK THOMAS - sermons 

EXPLORE THE BIBLE - Lifeway study helps

MICHAEL ANDRUS, et al - nice transcripts

MARK DEVER - audios






GENE GETZ - short videos emphasizing application

  • 1 Samuel; Principle #1; 1 Sam. 1:1-8; Marital Relationships: To experience marital fulfillment as God intended, we must practice the one man-one woman plan instituted in the Garden of Eden. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #2; 1 Sam. 1:9-18; Sincere Commitments: We should feel free to make personal commitments to God that are based on God's future provisions.Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #3; 1 Sam. 1:19-28; Child Dedication: Parents are to dedicate their children to the Lord and commit to teaching them to do God's will. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #4; 1 Sam. 2:1-11; Prayers of Praise: We should always praise and thank God for his blessings, especially when we have experienced specific answers to prayer. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #5; 1 Sam. 2:12-26; A Biblical Profile: When we select and appoint spiritual leaders, we are to use a biblical profile of maturity. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #6; 1 Sam. 2:27-36;A Well-Managed Family: Fathers are to lead their children to grow and mature spiritually, morally, and ethically.Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #7; 1 Sam. 3:1-18; Human Responsibility: We are to take full responsibility for our failures, never blaming God or anyone else. Video
  • 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
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #11; 1 Sam. 5:1-7:1; Our Eternal God: Though many of the values in our culture are out of harmony with the biblical values, we are to continue to reflect God's eternal power and glory in all that we do. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #12; 1 Sam. 7:2-6;Lukewarm Christianity: To experience God's presence and power, we must serve Him wholeheartedly. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #13; 1 Sam. 7:7-14; The Power of Prayer: To be able to serve God wholeheartedly and be victorious over Satan, we must seek His help through prayer. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #14; 1 Sam. 7:15-8:3; Parental Dissapointments: Parents must not ignore the power of a worldly environment to lead their children astray. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #15; 1 Sam. 8:4-9; Handling Rejection: When we experience rejection for doing what is right, we should remember it is God Himself who is ultimately being rejected. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #16; 1 Sam. 8:10-22; God-Centered Decisions: In using the freedom God has given us, we should always make decisions that are within His will. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #17; 1 Sam. 9:1-17; God's Faithfulness: In terms of our eternal life in Christ, we must depend on God's faithfulness, not ours. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #18; 1 Sam. 9:18-10:10; God's Empathy: When we are overwhelmed with our weaknesses, we are to seek God's help, being assured that God empathizes with our humanness and desires to help us. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #19; 1 Sam. 10:17-27;Hero Worship: In our hearts, we are never to allow spiritual leaders to take precedence over God. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #20; 1 Sam. 11:14-12:5; Modeling Godly Character: To earn the right to be heard, we must consistently model godly character that refl ects the life of Jesus Christ. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #21; 1 Sam. 12:6-22; A Second Chance: Even though we walk out of God?s will, we are to take comfort that He always desires to give us another opportunity to follow Him fully. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #22; 1 Sam. 12:23-25; A Shepherds Heart: We are to develop a heart of love and concern even for those who may reject our ministry. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #23; 1 Sam. 13:1-14;  Self-Justification: We are to take full responsibility for our sinful actions and avoid making excuses to protect ourselves. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #24; 1 Sam. 13:15-14:46; Being Teachable: All adults should be open to what God may want to teach them through the younger generation. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #25; 1 Sam. 15:1-35; Prideful Behavior: We must be on guard against prideful behavior, which Satan wants to use to lead us into rebellion against God. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #26; 1 Sam. 16:1-13; Determining Heart Attitudes: When we select leaders, we are to use biblical criteria that measure internal Christlike qualities. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #27; 1 Sam. 16:14-23; Security in Christ: Though God will discipline us when we persistently sin, we are to take comfort in the fact that it is for our own good and we are secure in His eternal love. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #28; 1 Sam. 17:12-28; Jealous Reactions: When we have feelings of anger and jealousy, we must be on guard since these normal emotions can become very sinful. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #29; 1 Sam. 17:31-37; Youthful Service: We should encourage young people to be bold and courageous in their service for God. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #30; 1 Sam. 17:38-47;  Honoring God: When Satan and his evil forces a ack us, one of our major goals should be to uphold God's reputation. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #31; 1 Sam. 17:48-18:4; True Friendship: We are to honor one another, be devoted to one another, and even be willing to lay down our lives for one another. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #32; 1 Sam. 18:5-20:42; Self-destructive Behavior: We must never allow jealousy and anger to go unchecked since both emotions can lead to very sinful and destructive behavior. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #33; 1 Sam. 21:1-15; The Power of Fear: When we become fearful, we must be on guard against the temptation to regress to a itudes and actions that are self focused. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #34; 1 Sam. 22:1-2; Regaining Spiritual Focus: When we feel alone and isolated, we should refocus our thoughts on who God is and what He wants to do for us when we trust Him. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #35; 1 Sam. 22:3-4; Honoring Parents: Adult children are to honor and care for their parents. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #36; 1 Sam. 22:5-23;Making No Excuses: When we violate God?s will and in the process hurt others, we are to take full responsibility for our actions. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #37; 1 Sam. 23:1-6; Seeking God's Wisdom: When we have to make strategic decisions, we are to pray and seek wisdom from God and His Word. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #38; 1 Sam. 23:7-24; Selfish Motives: We must resist the temptation to convince ourselves that God approves of our actions when, in actuality, we are driven by selfish motives. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #39; 1 Sam. 24:1-22; False Repentance: Even though we may be overcome with guilt and remorse, we must not automatically conclude that we have experienced true repentance. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #40; 1 Sam. 25:1-44; Personal Confrontation: When we see a fellow Christian about to walk out of the will of God, we should be willing to confront that person humbly and sensitively. Video
  •  1 Samuel; Principle #41; 1 Sam. 26:1-25; Respect Plus Accountability: We are to respect those who have spiritual leadership roles in the church, but they must still be held accountable for irresponsible and sinful actions. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #42; 1 Sam. 27:1-12; Spiritual Regression: We must be on guard against regressing to self-centered patterns of behavior. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #43; 1 Sam. 28:1-25; Finishing Well: As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, our goal should always be to conclude our lives on earth fulfilling God's will. Video
  • 1 Samuel; Principle #44; 1 Sam. 29:1-30:31; Sincere Prayer: We should remember that God, as our heavenly Father, is always available when we sincerely seek His help. Video


DAVID HOCKING - 62 page study "Learning to Trust God" in 1 Samuel (outline format)





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."


Spurgeon comments: "Exceeding meritorious. Refer to it frequently....They are not exactly a commentary, but what marvelous expositions you have there! You have reading more interesting than any novel that was ever written, and as instructive as the heaviest theology. The matter is quite attractive and fascinating, and yet so weighty, that the man who shall study these volumes thoroughly, will not fail to read his Bible intelligently and with growing interest."



LIFEWAY - sermons



HENRY MORRIS - conservative, literal study notes from a leading creationist commentator


The Kingdom of David and Solomon

David's Rise to PowerDavid in Conquest of CanaanDavid's Wars of ConquestKingdom of David and SolomonThe United Monarchy under Solomon (1)The United Monarchy under Solomon (2)Solomon's Economic EnterprisesSolomon's Building ActivitiesSolomon's TempleJerusalem in the Time of David and Solomon

The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah

The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah (1)The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah (2)The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah (3)The Campaign of ShishakConflicts between Israel and Aram-DamascusThe Omride DynastyThe Golden Ages of the 9th & 8th centuries BCEPhoenician Trade and CivilizationTrade Routes throughout the Middle EastTravel Routes throughout PalestineElijah and ElishaThe Revolt of JehuThe Rise of AssyriaIsrael & Judah in the days of Jeroboam II and UzziahThe Assyrian Empire under Tiglath-Pileser IIIThe Syro-Ephraimite WarTiglath-Pileser III's CampaignsFall of Samaria and Deportation of IsraelitesThe Fall of the Kingdom of IsraelAssyrian Districts after the Fall of SamariaProphets of the 8th Century BCE

Judah Alone amid International Powers

Hezekiah's Preparation for RevoltJudah under King HezekiahHezekiah's JerusalemSennacherib's Campaign against JudahAssyria in the 7th century BCEThe Rise of the Neo-Babylonian EmpireThe Reign of JosiahThe Districts of Judah under King JosiahThe Golden Age of King Josiah; Nebuchadnezzar's Campaigns against Judah

P G MATTHEW - sermons


JAMES MCCULLEN - sermons and study notes

G CAMPBELL MORGAN - short summaries of each chapter







RAYMOND SAXE - pleas report any bad links using their simple form

  • 1 Samuel 1:1-8 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 1:9-19 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 2:1-7 portion (remainder lost) (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 2:4-8 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 2:11-26 (pdf)
  • Eli (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 3:1-21 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 3:20-4:1 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 5-6 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 7:1-17 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 8:1-8 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 8:1-22 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 10:1-7 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 12:1-25 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 12:1-25, rev. 2 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 13:1-14 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 15:1-35 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 16:1-23 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 17:1-58 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 18:1-30 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 19:1-24 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 21-22 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 21:1-15 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 23:1-29 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 24:1-22 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 25:1-44 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 26:1-27:4 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 27:1-12 (pdf)
  • 1 Samuel 28:3-25 (pdf)


  • 1 Samuel 3 THE CALL OF SAMUEL. .
  • 1 Samuel 4:1-11 THE LOSS OF THE ARK OF GOD. .
  • 1 Samuel 7 EBENEZER. .
  • 1 Samuel 9 SAUL, THE CHOICE YOUNG MAN. .
  • 1 Samuel 10 SAUL, THE ANOINTED. .
  • 1 Samuel 11 SAUL, THE COURAGEOUS. .
  • 1 Samuel 13:1-14 SAUL, THE DISOBEDIENT. .
  • 1 Samuel 15 SAUL, THE CASTAWAY. .
  • 1 Samuel 18:29 SAUL, THE ENEMY. .
  • 1 Samuel 28, 31 SAUL, THE SUICIDE. .
  • 1 Samuel 16:1-13 DAVID'S CALL. .
  • 1 Samuel 17 DAVID'S VICTORY. .
  • 1 Samuel 18:1-4; 2 Samuel 1:26 DAVID AND JONATHAN. .
  • 1 Samuel 25 DAVID AND ABIGAIL. .

RUSSELL SMITH - downloads Microsoft Word document

JOHN SCHULTZ - 150 page commentary - Well done

R C SPROUL - devotional thoughts



  • 1 Samuel 3 -  “Let Him Do What Seems Good to Him”



DEREK THOMAS - sermons 












  • 1 Samuel 1 A Woman's Supplication Brings Blessing to a Nation















See Also
















KEITH GREEN - his pithy song on this famous verse

































1 Samuel

Synchronizes with Thomas Constable's Notes

1 Samuel

Sermons on 1 Samuel
South Woods Baptist Church

Church Pulpit Commentary
1 Samuel

Devotional Illustrations

Updated August 1, 2017

1 Samuel

Joseph Parker - People's Bible - Rosscup: This work, later called Preaching Through the Bible (Baker Book House), is rich in its applications and exhortations, though often not particularly helpful for the reader who is looking for exposition that stays right with the text. Treatment of the texts is sermonic. (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An annotated bibliography of selected works)

Book of 1 Samuel

Title Book/Chapter/Verse Subject Author
Standing Tall, Falling Hard 1 Samuel Saul; Patience; Humility; Obedience Mark Adams
Mother's Helper - Mother's Day 1 Samuel 1 Mother; Mother's Day; Faith; Prayer; Hope J. Mike Minnix
A Tribute To Mothers 1 Samuel 1 Mother; Mother's Day J. Gerald Harris
A Fresh Look at Hannah's Gift 1 Samuel 1:26-28 Mother's Day; Family; Mother Bobby F. Atkins
Marriage and Mentoring 1 Samuel 2:22-25 Children; Parenting Ernest L. Easley
How Will The Church Survive: A Call To Christian Parenting 1 Samuel 3:1-10 Parenting; Church Life; Families; Home; Children Gary Barber
Here I Raise My Ebenezer 1 Samuel 7:1-12 Memory; Remembering; Memorial Day David E. Owen
The Danger of Disobedience 1 Samuel 15 Disobedience; Judgment; Pride; Repentance; Confession J. Mike Minnix
Facing The Giants In Your Life 1 Samuel 17 New Year; Courage; Giants, Facing Sammy Burgess
David and Goliath 1 Samuel 17 Victory; Faith; Giants, Overcoming Paul E. Brown
In the Land of Giants 1 Samuel 17 Problems; Goliath; Giants Jerry N. Watts
The Power of One 1 Samuel 17:33 Significance; Dedication J. Mike Minnix
Thy Love To Me Is Wonderful 1 Samuel 18:1-4 Love, God's Donnie L. Martin
Playing The Fool 1 Samuel 26:21 Fool; Foolish Paul E. Brown
Staying By The Stuff 1 Samuel 30:24 Faithfulness David E. Owen

1 Samuel Commentary

The Life of David

1 Samuel Commentary

2 Samuel

Various Authors (1884)

Sermons on 1 Samuel

1 Samuel

Studies on the Life of David
Peninsula Bible Church

Sermon Notes 1 Samuel

Calvary Chapel, Vista, California

1 Samuel

Sermons 1 Samuel

John Piper says that Horae Homileticae "is the best place to go for researching Simeon's theology. You can find his views on almost every key text in the Bible. He did not want to be labeled a Calvinist or an Arminian. He wanted to be Biblical through and through and give every text its due proportion, whether it sounded Arminian as it stands or Calvinistic. But he was known as an evangelical Calvinist, and rightly so. As I have read portions of his sermons on texts concerning election and effectual calling and perseverance he is uninhibited in his affirmation of what we would call the doctrines of grace....What Simeon experienced in the word was remarkable. And it is so utterly different from the counsel that we receive today that it is worth looking at." (Brothers, We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering) (Bolding added)

1 Samuel Sermon Notes
Calvary Chapel

1 Samuel

Notes below similar to C2000 Series

All of Spurgeon's
Sermons on 1 Samuel

1 Samuel Devotionals

Morning and Evening, Faith's Checkbook

Studies in 1 Samuel


Only Chapter 1 Complete Click For Sermons on 1 Samuel 2:1ff

A Hebrew Family B. Dale 1 Samuel 1:1-8
Anomalies of Providence W. G. Blaikie, D. D. 1 Samuel 1:2-7
Childless Parents A. Whyte, D. D. 1 Samuel 1:2-7
Hannah the Matron T. Guthrie, D. D. 1 Samuel 1:2-7
Polygamy not Primeval Argyll, Unity of Nature. 1 Samuel 1:2-7
The Folly of Polygamy T. E. Redwar, M. A. 1 Samuel 1:2-7
The Lord of Hosts B. Dale 1 Samuel 1:3, 11
A Religious Use of Annoyance J. Parker, D. D. 1 Samuel 1:7
Hannah W. Jay. 1 Samuel 1:7
Provocations in Domestic Life H. W. Beecher. 1 Samuel 1:7
The House of God Helen Plumptre. 1 Samuel 1:7
Womanly Endurance F. W. Robertson. 1 Samuel 1:7
The Temple of the Lord B. Dale 1 Samuel 1:9
The Lord of Hosts B. Dale 1 Samuel 1:3, 11
Effectual Prayer B. Dale 1 Samuel 1:9-13
God Sought in Trouble Helen Plumptre. 1 Samuel 1:10-11
Prayer At the Point of Agony Joseph Parker, D. D. 1 Samuel 1:10-11
The Success of Hannah's Prayer, and the Reasons for It Dean Goulburn. 1 Samuel 1:10-11
About Setting Our Hearts Upon Things Dean Goulburn. 1 Samuel 1:11
Vows B. Dale 1 Samuel 1:11
Hannah as a Worshipper J. S. Exell, M. A. 1 Samuel 1:13
Prayer in the Heart The Quiver. 1 Samuel 1:13
Effectual Prayer B. Dale 1 Samuel 1:9-13
Christian Charity in Estimating Others Spurgeon, Charles Haddon 1 Samuel 1:13-17
Hannah W. Jay. 1 Samuel 1:13-17
Mistaken Judgment Helen Plumptre. 1 Samuel 1:13-17
Of the Sinfulness of Rash Judgments Dean Goulburn. 1 Samuel 1:13-17
On Judging Others J. Parker, D. D. 1 Samuel 1:13-17
Harsh Judgment Meekly Answered D. Fraser 1 Samuel 1:13-18
Undeserved Rebuke B. Dale 1 Samuel 1:13-18
A Woman of a Sorrowful Spirit Spurgeon, Charles Haddon 1 Samuel 1:15-16
Hannah's Gracious Disposition C. Ness. 1 Samuel 1:15-16
Specific Objects in Prayer Spurgeon, Charles Haddon 1 Samuel 1:17
Early Morning Prayer   1 Samuel 1:19
Samuel's Birth and Infancy B. Dale 1 Samuel 1:19-28
Early Training of Children G. B. Ryley. 1 Samuel 1:23
The Father Must Take His Part in the Spiritual Culture of Children G. B. Ryley. 1 Samuel 1:23
Of Infant Baptism and of Childlike Children Dean Goulburn. 1 Samuel 1:24-28
The Duty of Presenting Children to God in the Way of Religious Education D. Wilson. 1 Samuel 1:24-28
A Prayer and its Issue F. B. Meyer, B. A. 1 Samuel 1:27-28
A Praying Mother R. R. Booth, D. D. 1 Samuel 1:27-28
A Praying Mother Monday Club Sermons 1 Samuel 1:27-28
Asked and Heard of the Lord G. B. Ryley. 1 Samuel 1:27-28
Children and Cheapness J. H. Hollowell. 1 Samuel 1:27-28
Hannah W. Jay. 1 Samuel 1:27-28
Obtaining the Greatly Desired H. O. Mackey. 1 Samuel 1:27-28
Parentage and Piety R. Steele. 1 Samuel 1:27-28
Prayer Answered Helen Plumptre. 1 Samuel 1:27-28
Prayer Answered W. G. Blaikie, D. D. 1 Samuel 1:27-28
Prayer Exemplified in the Case of Hannah T. E. Hankinson, M. A. 1 Samuel 1:27-28
Spiritual Transmutations J. P. Gledstone. 1 Samuel 1:27-28
The Duty of Intercessory Prayer H. Richard. 1 Samuel 1:27-28
A Mother's Formative Influence on the Characters of Her Children Footsteps of Truth. 1 Samuel 1:28
Samuel, the Child-Christian C. H. Parkhurst, D. D. 1 Samuel 1:28
The Connection Between God and Children to be Cultivated W. G. Blaikie, D. D. 1 Samuel 1:28
The Dedication of Samuel T. Guthrie, D. D. 1 Samuel 1:28
Vows Fulfilled W. G. Blaikie, D. D. 1 Samuel 1:28


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Outline & References

Notes on the Text

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

1 Samuel Devotionals
Devotionals on Every Chapter

1 Samuel Commentary

1 Samuel Commentary



DISCLAIMER: Before you "go to the commentaries" go to the Scriptures and study them inductively (Click 3 part overview of how to do Inductive Bible Study) in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). Remember that Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. Any commentary, even those by the most conservative and orthodox teacher/preachers cannot help but have at least some bias of the expositor based upon his training and experience. Therefore the inclusion of specific links does not indicate that we agree with every comment. We have made a sincere effort to select only the most conservative, "bibliocentric" commentaries. Should you discover some commentary or sermon you feel may not be orthodox, please email your concern. I have removed several links in response to concerns by discerning readers. I recommend that your priority be a steady intake of solid Biblical food so that with practice you will have your spiritual senses trained to discern good from evil (Heb 5:14-note).