Study 0 From the Book of 1 Samuel is the Introduction to the Book
The two books of Samuel formed a single work known as “Samuel” in the Hebrew Canon. The Septuagint translators made the division. They grouped 1 and 2 Samuel with the two books of Kings to form the four ‘Books of the Kingdoms’. The story is that of the development of the nation from the state described at the end of Judges to the established monarchy under David and the events of David’s reign.
The chief religious theme is that Israel are the people of God, who alone is their true Ruler. First, they are rebuked for their decadence and sin by Samuel, who accedes to their demands for a king. But, he warns them fully of the consequences. Saul, the sort of king the people wanted, is anointed at God’s command and his history proves the danger to the nation of a self-willed leader.
Finally, David is appointed and leads the people with the one aim of pursuing the will of God, until in his turn he falls into sin. The incidental events are all evidences of the inherent sinfulness of the natural man and proof of the enabling power of God granted to those who go forward in faith, as Samuel and David did. The underlying history is a continuation of that of the Pentateuch and Judges, with the theme ‘a people for my name’