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Background

December 17, 2009

     The author of I Samuel is definitely Samuel. The author of II Samuel is thought to be Nathan and/or Gad who followed Samuel in that Samuel died before David ascended to the throne of Israel.

     I and II Samuel were originally a single book which was divided into two books because of its’ size. I Samuel chronicles the Life of Samuel and Israel’s first King, Saul. The appointment of David as successor to Saul is also chronicled. II Samuel chronicles the reign of David together with I Chronicles 11-29. Overall, Samuel covers about 100 years, from 1050 to 950 BC.

     Samuel was a special gift from God to Elkanah and Hannah and also to Israel. He grew up in Ephraim under the tutelage of Eli, the high priest. In Hebrew, Samuel’s name means “name of God” or “godly name”. Samuel had a special purpose and that was to lead Israel back to repentance and back to worshipping God. He was God’s last judge, His second prophet [after Moses], and priest. His father was a Levite [Kohathite clan] living in Ephraim but not a descendent of Aaron [I Chronicles 6:33-34]. Even so, Samuel became Israel’s priest confirming that the Levites were no more faithful to the Lord God than the other tribes. Actually, Samuel’s overall responsibility was the same as that of Moses. Moses was also a judge, prophet, and priest. Even their purposes were the same, to lead Israel back to worshipping the Lord God Almighty.

     A simple outline of I and II Samuel would be:

            I. Samuel’s life I Samuel 1:1-8:21

           II. Saul as King I Samuel 9:1-16:13

          III. David’s Rise I Samuel 16:14-31:13

          IV. David as King II Samuel 1:1-24:25

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