What does Samuel, Books Of mean in the Bible?


Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Samuel, Books of
1. Title . The two Books of Samuel are really parts of what was originally one book. This is shown not only by the fact that the narrative of Book I. is continued without the slightest interruption in Book II., and that the style, tone, point of view, and purpose are the same throughput, but also by their appearance as one book bearing the simple title ‘Samuel’ in the oldest known Hebrew MSS. The division of the Hebrew text into two books was first made in print by Daniel Bomberg in his Hebrew Bible (2nd ed. 1517). In doing so he was in part following the text of the Septuagint and the Vulgate, in which the Books of Samuel and Kings are described as the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Books of Kingdoms (LXX [1] ), or Kings (Vulgate). The title ‘Samuel,’ less accurately descriptive of the contents than that of ‘Kingdoms’ or ‘Kings,’ owes its origin to the prominent place held by Samuel in 1 Samuel 1:1-28 ; 1 Samuel 2:1-36 ; 1 Samuel 3:1-21 ; 1Sa 4:1-22 ; 1 Samuel 5:1-12 ; 1 Samuel 6:1-21 ; 1 Samuel 7:1-17 ; 1Sa 8:1-22 ; 1 Samuel 9:1-27 ; 1 Samuel 10:1-27 ; 1 Samuel 11:1-15 ; 1 Samuel 12:1-25 ; 1 Samuel 13:1-23 ; 1 Samuel 14:1-52 ; 1 Samuel 15:1-35 ; 1 Samuel 16:1-23 . A late Jewish interpretation regarded it as declaring Samuel’s authorship of the narrative; but this is impossible, in view of the fact that the history extends through the reign of David, long after the death of Samuel ( 1 Samuel 25:1 ).
2. Contents . The period covered by the Books of Samuel extends from the birth of Samuel to the close of David’s reign, i.e. approximately from b.c. 1070 to b.c. 970. The narrative falls into three main divisions: I.: Samuel and Saul, 1 Samuel 1:1-28 ; 1 Samuel 2:1-36 ; 1 Samuel 3:1-21 ; 1Sa 4:1-22 ; 1 Samuel 5:1-12 ; 1 Samuel 6:1-21 ; 1 Samuel 7:1-17 ; 1Sa 8:1-22 ; 1 Samuel 9:1-27 ; 1 Samuel 10:1-27 ; 1 Samuel 11:1-15 ; 1 Samuel 12:1-25 ; 1 Samuel 13:1-23 ; 1 Samuel 14:1-52 ; 1 Samuel 15:1-35 ; II.: The Rise of David, 1 Samuel 16:1-23 - 2 Samuel 5:3 ; III.: David as king of United Israel, 2 Samuel 5:4-24 . Division I. is made up of three sections: (1) The childhood and youth of Samuel, to the downfall of Eli’s house and the captivity of the Ark ( 1 Samuel 1:1 to 2 Samuel 1:1-272 ); (2) Samuel’s career as Judge, including his defeat of the Philistines, his anointing of Saul, and his farewell address ( 1 Samuel 7:2-12 ); (3) Saul’s reign till his rejection ( 1 Samuel 13:1-23 ; 1 Samuel 14:1-52 ; 1 Samuel 15:1-35 ). Division II. likewise includes three sections: (1) David at Saul’s Court ( 2 Samuel 19:1-4344 to 1 Samuel 21:1 ); (2) David as a fugitive outlaw ( 1 Samuel 21:2 - 1618089593_48 ); (3) David as king in Hebron ( 2 Samuel 2:1 to 2 Samuel 5:3 ). Division III. forms three more sections: (1) establishment of Jerusalem as the religious and national capital, and a brief summary of David’s reign ( 2 Samuel 5:4-8 ); (2) supplementary narratives, setting forth particularly David’s great sin and subsequent troubles ( 2 Samuel 9:1-13 ; 2Sa 10:1-19 ; 2 Samuel 11:1-27 ; 2 Samuel 12:1-31 ; 2 Samuel 13:1-39 ; 2 Samuel 14:1-33 ; 2 Samuel 15:1-37 ; 2 Samuel 16:1-23 ; 2 Samuel 17:1-29 ; 2 Samuel 18:1-33 ; 1618089593_4 ; 2 Samuel 20:1-26 ); (3) a series of appendixes ( 2 Samuel 21:1-22 ; 2 Samuel 22:1-51 ; 2 Samuel 23:1-39 ; 2 Samuel 24:1-25 ). 1 Kings 1:1 to 1 Kings 2:11 really belongs to 2Sam., since it relates the circumstances attending the death of David, and thus brings the narrative to its natural close.
3. Text and Versions . The text of Samuel is the worst in the OT; only Ezekiel and Hosea can approach it in this respect. Many passages are unintelligible on the basis of the Massoretic text. The large amount of corruption may be due in part to the relatively great antiquity of the text, much of the narrative being among the oldest writings in the Hebrew Bible; and, in part, to the fact that these books were not used in the ordinary synagogue services, and so were not so carefully transmitted as they otherwise would have been. Unfortunately, the oldest existing Hebrew manuscript of Samuel dates its origin no farther back than the tenth century of our era. With each copying and recopying during the many preceding centuries fresh opportunity for error was afforded; and the wonder is not that there are so many errors, but that there are not more. In any effort to recover the original text large use must be made of the Septuagint, which is based upon a Hebrew text at least as old as the 3rd cent. b.c., and has preserved the original reading in many cases, while showing traces of it in others. The Syriac and Vulgate versions are also useful, but to a far less extent.
4. Sources and Date . The Books of Samuel, like almost every other OT writing, are a compilation from various sources, rather than the result of a careful study of earlier sources presented in the form of a unified, logical, and philosophical statement of facts and conclusions. We are here given the sources themselves, and are in large part left to draw our own conclusions. The composite character of the books is evidenced (1) by the existence of differing literary styles within them; (2) by the presence of varying and conflicting theological standpoints; (3) by the fact that they exhibit radically different attitudes towards the founding of the monarchy (cf. e.g . 1Sa 8:1-22 ; 1 Samuel 9:1-10 ; 1 Samuel 9:16 ); and (4) by the appearance of two or more narratives of one and the same event. In illustration of this last point we may cite ( a ) the three accounts of Saul’s choice as king given in 1 Samuel 9:1-27 ; 1Sa 10:1-27 ; 1 Samuel 11:1-15 ; ( b ) the two accounts of David’s introduction to Saul in 1 Samuel 16:17 ff; 2Sa 1:1-4 ff.; ( c ) the twofold announcement of the fate of Eli’s house in 1 Samuel 2:27-36 ; 1 Samuel 3:11 ff.; ( d ) the double rejection of Saul in 1 Samuel 13:7-15 ; 1 Samuel 15:1-35 ; ( e ) the two accounts of David’s flight to Achish in 1 Samuel 21:10 ff; 1 Samuel 14:1-46 ff.; ( f ) the two narratives of David sparing Saul’s life in 1 Samuel 23:19 ff; 1 Samuel 26:1 ff. one of the most marked examples of a doublet; ( g ) the differing descriptions of the death of Saul given in 1 Samuel 31:1-13 and 2 Samuel 1:1-27 ; ( h ) the varying traditions of Absalom’s family found in 2 Samuel 14:25 ff; 2 Samuel 18:18 ; ( i ) the inconsistency of 1 Samuel 7:13 f. with 13 14; and ( j ) the story that Goliath was slain by David in 1 Samuel 17:1-58 , but by Elhanan in 2 Samuel 21:19 . Phenomena of this kind are much more easily accounted for on the supposition that we are dealing here with the works of different hands, than on the hypothesis of a single author upon whom alone all the responsibility for the contents of the books must be placed.
This fact of composite origin is granted by all students of the Books of Samuel. In the attempt, however, to resolve the narrative into its original elements, two different schools of analysts have been formed. To the one belong such scholars as Budde, Cornill, H. P. Smith, Driver, Nowack, Stenning, and Kent; to the other, Wellhausen, Kuenen, Löhr, Kittel, Stade, and Kennedy. Budde and his followers find two main sources running through the books and covering practically the same ground, though from differing points of view. These sources, which Budde himself assigns to the same school of prophetic writers that produced the J [2] and E [3] narratives of the Hexateuch, are supposed to have originated from the 9th to the 8th cents. b.c.; the J [2] source being the older of the two. These two sources were then supplemented and united by editors somewhere in the early part of the 7th cent. b.c.; and finally the books were given their present form by a Deuteronomic editor who revised the existing materials and added materials of his own some time in the Exile. Budde’s distribution of the materials among the sources is as follows [figures within parentheses in J [2] indicate later elements; in E [3] they designate the older portions of the document]:
J [2] = 1 Samuel 9:1 to 1 Samuel 10:7 , ( 1 Samuel 10:8 ), 1Sa 10:9-16 a, 1 Samuel 13:2-7 a, ( 1 Samuel 13:7-15 a.) 1 Samuel 13:15-18 , ( 1 Samuel 13:18-21 ) 1 Samuel 13:22 , 1 Samuel 27:1 , 1 Samuel 14:52 , 1 Samuel 16:14-23 , 1 Samuel 18:5-11 , 1Sa 18:20-30 , 1 Samuel 19:1 ; 1 Samuel 19:4-18 a, 1 Samuel 20:1-3 ; 1 Samuel 20:18-39 , 1 Samuel 22:1-4 ; 1 Samuel 22:6-10 a, 1 Samuel 22:11-18 , 1 Samuel 22:20 to 1 Samuel 23:14 a, 1 Samuel 23:19 a, 1 Samuel 23:20 to 1 Samuel 24:20 , 1 Samuel 25:2 ff., 1 Samuel 27:1 to 1 Samuel 28:15 , 1 Samuel 28:19 to 1 Samuel 31:13 ; 1 Samuel 17:55 ; 2 Samuel 1:11-12 ; 2 Samuel 1:17-23 ; 2 Samuel 2:1 to 2 Samuel 6:23 ; 2 Samuel 8:8-14 a, 2 Samuel 8:16-18 , 2 Samuel 9:1 to 2 Samuel 21:22 , 2 Samuel 23:7 bff., 2 Samuel 24:1-22 .
E [3] = 1 Samuel 1:1-5 ; 1 Samuel 1:7-28 ; 1 Samuel 2:11-26 ; Samuel, Books of
The authors of the books of Samuel were probably Samuel, Gad, and Nathan. Samuel penned the first twenty-four chapters of the first book. Gad, the companion of David (1 Samuel 22:5 ), continued the history thus commenced; and Nathan completed it, probably arranging the whole in the form in which we now have it (1 Chronicles 29:29 ).
The contents of the books. The first book comprises a period of about a hundred years, and nearly coincides with the life of Samuel. It contains (1) the history of Eli (1-4); (2) the history of Samuel (5-12); (3) the history of Saul, and of David in exile (13-31). The second book, comprising a period of perhaps fifty years, contains a history of the reign of David (1) over Judah (1-4), and (2) over all Israel (5-24), mainly in its political aspects. The last four chapters of Second Samuel may be regarded as a sort of appendix recording various events, but not chronologically. These books do not contain complete histories. Frequent gaps are met with in the record, because their object is to present a history of the kingdom of God in its gradual development, and not of the events of the reigns of the successive rulers. It is noticeable that the section (2 Samuel 11:2-12 : 29 ) containing an account of David's sin in the matter of Bathsheba is omitted in the corresponding passage in 1 Chronicles 20 .
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Samuel, Books of
The two books of Samuel were originally one. They are part of the collection that the Hebrews referred to as the Former Prophets, that is, the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings. (Concerning the significance of the name ‘Former Prophets’ see PROPHECY.)
Though the author of 1 and 2 Samuel is not named, it seems that he took much of his material from the records kept by such people as Samuel, Nathan, Gad, David and the writer of the book of Jasher (1 Samuel 10:25; 2 Samuel 1:18; 1 Chronicles 27:24; 1 Chronicles 29:29). The books of Samuel are named after the man who is the chief character at the beginning of the story and who anointed the two kings whose reigns occupy the remainder of the story. Together the two books cover about one hundred years, from the end of the period of the judges to the end of the reign of David.
Samuel, Books of,
are not separated from each other in the Hebrew MSS., and, from a critical point of view, must be regarded as one book. The present, division was first made in the Septuagint translation, and was adopted in the Vulgate from the Septuagint. The book was called by the Hebrews: "Samuel," probably because the birth and life of Samuel were the subjects treated of in the beginning of the work. The books of Samuel commence with the history of Eli and Samuel, and contain all account of the establishment of the Hebrew monarchy and of the reigns of Saul and David, with the exception of the last days of the latter monarch which are related in the beginning of the books of Kings, of which those of Samuel form the previous portion. [1] Authorship and date of the book ,--
As to the authorship. In common with all the historical books of the Old Testament, except the beginning of Nehemiah, the book of Samuel contains no mention in the text of the name of its author. It is indisputable that the title "Samuel" does not imply that the prophet was the author of the book of Samuel as a whole; for the death of Samuel is recorded in the beginning of the 25th chapter. In our own time the most prevalent idea in the Anglican Church seems to have been that the first twenty-four chapters of the book of Samuel were written by the prophet himself, and the rest of the chapters by the prophets Nathan and Gad. This, however, is doubtful.
But although the authorship cannot be ascertained with certainty, it appears clear that, in its present form it must have been composed subsequent to the secession of the ten tribes, B.C. 975. This results from the passage in (1 Samuel 27:6 ) wherein it is said of David, "Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah to this day:" for neither Saul, David nor Solomon is in a single instance called king of Judah simply. On the other hand, it could hardly have been written later than the reformation of Josiah, since it seems to have been composed at a time when the Pentateuch was not acted on as the rule of religious observances, which received a special impetus at the finding of the Book of the Law at the reformation of Josiah. All, therefore, that can be asserted with any certainty is that the book, as a whole, can scarcely have been composed later than the reformation of Josiah, and that it could not have existed in its present form earlier than the reign of Rehoboam. The book of Samuel is one of the best specimens of Hebrew prose in the golden age of Hebrew literature. In prose it holds the same place which Joel and the undisputed prophecies of Isaiah hold in poetical or prophetical language.
Holman Bible Dictionary - Samuel, Books of
Ninth and tenth books of English Bible following the order of the earliest Greek translation but combined as the eighth book of the Hebrew canon named for the major figure of its opening section. Along with Joshua, Judges, and Kings, the Books of Samuel form the “former prophets” in the Hebrew Bible. Many modern scholars refer to these four books as the Deuteronomistic History, since they show how the teaching of Deuteronomy worked itself out in the history of God's people.
The Bible does not say who wrote these books. Many Bible students think Samuel along with Nathan and Gad had major input, pointing to 1 Chronicles 29:29 as evidence. See 1 Samuel 1-3 ), the Ark (1 Samuel 4:1-7:1 ), the Rise of Kingship (1 Samuel 9:1-11:15 ), Battles of Saul (1 Samuel 13-15 ), the History of David's Rise to Power (1Samuel 16:142 Samuel 5:25 ), and the Succession to the Throne of David (2 Samuel 9-20 ; 1 Kings 1-2 ).
The Books of Samuel arose as a reflection upon the nature of human kingship in light of Israel's tradition that Yahweh was their king. See 1 Samuel 8:1 ) and the hope for kingship (2 Samuel 7:1 ) form the narrative tension for the Books. The final chapter (2 Samuel 24:1 ) does not solve the tension. It points further ahead to the building of the Temple, where God's presence and Israel's worship can be at the center of life leading the king to be God's humble, forgiven servant.
The Books of Samuel thus point to several theological themes that can guide God's people through the generations.
Leadership is the guiding theme. Can God's people continue with a loosely knit organization as in the days of the judges, or must they have “a king to judge us like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:5 )? Samuel does not explicitly answer the question. God does not wholeheartedly accept kingship as the only alternative. Kingship means the people have rejected God (1 Samuel 8:7 ; 1 Samuel 10:19 ). Still, kingship can flourish if the people and the king follow God (1 Samuel 12:14-15 , 1 Samuel 12:20-25 ). Saul showed God's threats could be soon realized (1 Samuel 13:13-14 ). A new family from a new tribe would rule. This did not mean eternal war among tribes and families. A covenant could bind the two families together (1 Samuel 20:1 ; 1 Samuel 23:16-18 ). Anger on one side does not require anger from the other as David's reactions to Saul continually show, summarized in 1 Samuel 24:17 : “Thou art more righteous than I: for thou has rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.” David neither planned the demise of Saul and his family nor rewarded those who did (2 Samuel 4:9-12 ). David established his kingdom and sought to establish a house for God (2 Samuel 7:2 ). The king, however, gave in to God's plan to establish David's house and let his son build the house for God (2 Samuel 7:13 ). The king's response shows the nature of true leadership. He expresses praise for God not pride in personal achievement (2 Samuel 7:18-29 ).
Working through His promise to David, God then worked to establish His own kingdom among His people. He could work through an imperfect king who committed the outlandish sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:1 ) because the king was willing to confess his sin (2 Samuel 12:13 ). The rule of God's king does not promise perfect peace. Even David's own household revolted against him. Human pride and ego did not determine history. God's promise to David could not be overthrown.
Other themes are subordinate to that of leadership for Israel. The call for covenant commitment and obedience, the forgiveness and mercy of God, the sovereignty of God in human history, the significance of prayer and praise, the faithfulness of God to fulfill prophecy, the need for faithfulness to human leaders, the holy presence of God among His people, the nature of human friendship, and the importance of family relationships all echo forth from these books.
1Samuel Outline
I. God Gives His People an Example of Dedicated Leadership (1 Samuel 1:1-7:17 ).
A. A dedicated leader is the answer to parental prayers (1 Samuel 1:1-28 ).
B. A dedicated leader comes from grateful, sacrificial parents who worship the incomparable God (1 Samuel 2:1-10 ).
C. A dedicated leader is a priest who faithfully serves God rather than seeking selfish interests (1 Samuel 2:11-36 ).
D. A dedicated leader is a prophet who is called by the Word of God and who faithfully delivers the Word of God (1 Samuel 3:1-4:15 ).
E. Superstitious use of religious relics is not a substitute for dedicated leadership (1 Samuel 4:16-22 ).
F. Only a dedicated priest, not foreign gods nor disobedient persons, can stand before God (1 Samuel 5:1-7:2 ).
G. A dedicated political leader is a man of prayer (1 Samuel 7:3-17 ).
II. Human Kingship Represents a Compromise with God by a People Who Have Rejected the Kingship of God (1 Samuel 8:1-15:35 ).
A. Hereditary kingship is a rejection of God which hurts His people and separates them from God (1 Samuel 8:1-22 ; compare Judges 8:22-9:57 ).
B. A dedicated king is a humble person from a humble family who knows he owes his position to God's choice (1 Samuel 9:1-10:27 ).
C. The dedicated king is a Spirit-filled deliverer (1 Samuel 11:1-15 ).
D. The dedicated leader is morally pure and uses the history of God's people to call them to obedience (1 Samuel 12:1-25 ).
E. Kingship depends on obedience to God, not human wisdom (1 Samuel 13:1-23 ).
F. A dedicated leader is used by God to unify and deliver His people (1 Samuel 14:1-23 ).
G. God delivers His dedicated leader from inadvertent sins (1 Samuel 14:24-46 ).
H. The king is responsible to defeat the enemies of the people of God (1 Samuel 14:47-52 ).
I. A disobedient king is rejected by God (1 Samuel 15:1-35 ).
III. God Raises Up New Leadership for His People (1 Samuel 16:1-31:13 ).
A. God gives His Spirit to the chosen person meeting His leadership qualifications (1 Samuel 16:1-13 ).
B. God provides unexpected opportunities of service for His chosen king (1 Samuel 16:14-23 ).
C. God uses the skills and faith of His leader to defeat those who would defy God (1 Samuel 17:1-58 ).
D. God provides His presence and the loyalty of friends to protect His chosen one from the jealous plots of an evil leader (1 Samuel 18:1-20:42 ).
E. God's priests affirm the special position of God's chosen leader (1 Samuel 21:1-9 ).
F. God protects His benevolent and faithful leader from the vengeance of evil enemies (1 Samuel 21:10-22:23 ).
G. God heeds the prayer of His chosen and delivers him from treacherous enemies (1 Samuel 23:1-29 ).
H. God honors the righteousness of His chosen leader (1 Samuel 24:1-22 ).
I. God avenges His chosen against the insults of foolish enemies (1 Samuel 25:1-39 ).
J. God provides family for His chosen (1 Samuel 25:39-44 ).
K. God rewards the righteousness and faithfulness of His chosen leader (1 Samuel 26:1-25 ).
L. The chosen leader cunningly begins building his kingdom even under adverse circumstances (1 Samuel 27:1-12 ).
M. God fulfills His prophecy and destroys disobedient leaders (1 Samuel 28:1-25 ).
N. God protects His chosen leader from compromising situations (1 Samuel 29:1-11 ).
O. God restores the property taken from His chosen leader (1 Samuel 30:1-20 ).
P. God's chosen leader shares His goods with the needy and with colleagues (1 Samuel 30:21-31 ).
Q. God destroys disobedient leaders (1 Samuel 31:1-7 ).
R. God honors people who express loyalty to their chosen leaders (1 Samuel 31:8-13 ).
2Samuel Outline
I. To Achieve His Purposes, God Honors Obedience Not Treachery (2 Samuel 1:1-6:23 ).
A. Those who dishonor God's chosen leaders are punished (2 Samuel 1:1-16 ).
B. God's leader honors the memory of his predecessors (2 Samuel 1:17-27 ).
C. God leads people to honor His obedient leader (2 Samuel 2:1-4 ).
D. God honors loyal, obedient people (2 Samuel 2:4-7 ).
E. God blesses efforts for peace (2 Samuel 2:8-28 ).
F. God strengthens His obedient leader (2 Samuel 2:29-3:19 ).
G. God's leader refuses to honor treachery and revenge (2 Samuel 3:20-4:12 ).
H. God fulfills His promises to His patient servant (2 Samuel 5:1-16 ).
I. God provides victory for His people (2 Samuel 5:17-25 ).
J. God's people must honor His holy presence (2 Samuel 6:1-23 ).
II. God Establishes His Purposes Through His Faithful Yet Fallible Servant (2 Samuel 7:1-12:31 ).
A. God promises to bless the house of David forever (2 Samuel 7:1-17 ).
B. God's servant praises the incomparable God (2 Samuel 7:18-29 ).
C. God gives victory to His faithful servant (2 Samuel 8:1-18 ).
D. God's servant shows kindness in memory of his departed friends (2 Samuel 9:1-13 ).

All Dictionary (5) Bridgeway Bible Dictionary (1) Easton's Bible Dictionary (1) Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible (1) Holman Bible Dictionary (1) Smith's Bible Dictionary (1)

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