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Return to ISamuel Next 




Victor M. Eskew




A.     The books of I & II Samuel were originally one book in the Hebrew Bible.

1.       They were known simply as Samuel.  (NOTE:  The books of I & II Kings were known as Kings).

2.       They were not separated in the Hebrew Bible until A.D. 1517.

3.       The Septuagint was the first translation to separate the books into two units. 

a.       The books were known as First and Second Kingdoms.

b.      The books of First and Second Kings were known as Third and Fourth Kingdoms.


B.      The book of I Samuel lies within the books of history.  The book involves a time of huge transition in the nation of Israel


C.     In this lesson, we will briefly introduce the book.


I.                    THE NAME OF THE BOOK


A.     The book is named for one of its principal characters, Samuel.

1.       Samuel was the son of Hannah and Elkanah (I Sam. 1:19-20).

2.       After he was weaned from his mother, he grew up at the temple under the oversight of Eli, a priest and judge of Israel (I Sam. 1:24; 2:18).

3.       Samuel would assume the positions of judge, priest, and prophet in Israel.


B.      The name Samuel means:  “asked of God” (I Sam. 1:20).

1.       Hannah was barren and prayed for a son (I Sam. 1:11).

2.       God granted her prayer and gave her Samuel (I Sam. 1:20).


II.                 THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK


A.     Many believe the first 24 chapters were written by Samuel (See I Sam. 25:1).


B.      After this, prophets such as Nathan and Gad could have been the authors (I Chron. 29:29).


C.     Many believe the author was an unnamed prophet of Judea who wrote the book during the time of the divided kingdom (See “Date of the Book”).


D.     The book’s inspiration and veracity is proven in the New Testament.

1.       Jesus mentions an event that is recorded in I Samuel (Matt. 12:3-4).

2.       Paul summarizes the events of I Samuel in Acts 13:20-22).


III.              THE DATE OF THE BOOK


A.     The date of the writing of much of the book was during the time when Samuel was the judge of Israel.

1.       He may have written the first 24 chapters (See I Chron. 29:29).


Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer…

2.       Samuel, however, dies in I Samuel 25:1. 

3.       If this is the case, then the first 24 chapters were written some time before his death and after 1050 B.C. when Saul was anointed king over Israel.


B.      There is an interesting statement found in I Samuel 27:6.


Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day:  wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day.


1.       Notice the words “unto the kings of Judah unto this day.

2.       The writer was writing during the time of the divided kingdom. 

3.       Most believe the rest of the books of I Samuel and all of II Samuel was written by an anonymous prophet who lived round Jerusalem.  This prophet may have used the works of men like Samuel, Nathan, and Gad in his writings (I Chron. 29:29).


IV.              THE THEME OF THE BOOK:  Give Us A King


V.                 KEY VERSE:  I Samuel 8:5


And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways:  now make us a king to judge us.  And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.




A.     We read of the death of Samson, the judge before Eli, in Judges 16:30.


B.      The book of I Samuel opens and we find that Eli is the judge and priest of Israel (I Sam. 1:9).

1.       We do not know the circumstances that brought Eli to his leadership position.

2.       Eli was an old man, 98 years of age (I Sam. 4:18).

3.       His sons was “sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord” (I Sam. 2:12).

4.       Eli died having judged Israel forty years (I Sam. 4:18).


C.     Samuel assumed three positions in Israel:  priest, judge, and prophet.

1.       When he grew old, he made his sons to be judges (I Sam. 8:10).

2.       “And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment” (I Sam. 8:3).

3.       It was at that time the elders of Israel met with Samuel and requested a king.




A.     The main purpose:  The book of I Samuel “presents in detail the transitional phase between the period of the judges and the period of the kings…Samuel bridged the gap between the periods of the judges and kings in that he was the last one to serve as a judge in all Israel…and that he anointed the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David” (Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, Zodhiates, 373).


B.      Other purposes:

1.       Saul will reveal the negative side of the monarchy during his reign.

a.   The wrong selection committee:  the people of Israel

b.   The wrong motive:  like the nations around us

c.   The wrong criterion:  choice young man, goodly, from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people (I Sam. 9:2).

d.   The wrong tribe:  Benjamin (I Sam. 9:1)

2.   We will see the development of the function of prophets within Israel.  Samuel will
                   develop the school of the prophets (I Sam. 10:5; 19:20).

3.   The book is filled with stories from which we glean many positive lessons.




A.     Samuel


B.      Saul


C.     David




A.     Samuel is a type of Jesus Christ:  prophet, priest and judge.


B.      There are several notable firsts in the book:

1.       Lord of hosts (I Sam. 1:3)

2.       Anointed (messiah) (I Sam. 2:12)

3.       Ichabod (I Sam. 4:21)

4.       Ebenezer (I Sam. 7:12)

5.       God save the king (I Sam. 10:24)


C.     LESSON:  God works His purposes even when man rejects Him.


X.                  BRIEF OUTLINE


i.                    Samuel:  The Last Judge of Israel (I Sam. 1-7)


ii.                  Saul:  The First King of Israel (I Sam. 8-30)




A.     It is interesting that God’s Word had foretold of there being a king over God’s people.

1.       It was in a promise made to Abraham (Gen. 17:6).

2.       It was foretold by Moses in one of his sermons to Israel on the plains of Moab (Deut. 17:14-20).


B.      In this book, we will cover about 100 years of Hebrew history.  Let’s begin our journey.













Elkanah’s Household

I Samuel 1:1-8

Victor M. Eskew




1.       Outline the text


i.                    I Samuel 1:1-3


ii.                  I Samuel 1:4-5


iii.                I Samuel 1:6-8


2.       What is the meaning of the name “Elkanah”? (v. 1)



3.       List three things that we learn about Elkanah in verses 1-3.








4.       Where is Ramathaim-zophim? (v. 1)



5.       What do we know about Elkanah’s ancestors? (v. 1)


A.     Jeroham


B.      Elihu


C.     Tohu


D.     Zuph


6.       What is the meaning of “Hannah”? (v. 2)


7.       What is the meaning of “Peninnah”? (v. 2)


8.       Why is it significant to note that Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not? (v. 2)




9.       To which “yearly” celebration did Elkanah go every year? (v. 3)


10.   Define:  worship (v. 3)


11.   Define:  sacrifice (v. 3)


12.   To which city did Elkanah go to worship? (v. 3)


13.   Who was Eli? (v. 3)


14.   What were the names of Eli’s two sons? (v. 3)


15.   When Elkanah offered, what did he give to Peninnah and her children? (v. 4)


16.   What did Elkanah give to Hannah? (v. 5)


17.   What is the meaning of “worthy”? (v. 5)


18.   Why did Elkanah give Hannah a “worthy portion”? (v. 5)


19.   Who shut up Hannah’s womb? (v. 5)


20.   What did Peninnah do to Hannah? (v. 6)


21.   Define:  fret (v. 6)


22.   How did Hannah react to Peninnah’s actions each year at the feast? (v. 7)


23.   T – F    Elkanah understood Hannah’s grief. (v. 8)


24.   In what way was Elkanah mistaken about his gifts to Hannah? (v. 8)


25.   What are some of the things that we learn about polygamy from this section of Scripture?