The Agora
Bible Articles and Lessons: 1-9

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1Sa / 2Sa, overview

Author: Possibly Samuel, Nathan and Gad (see 1Ch 29:29).

Period: c. 1100 BC (the birth of Samuel) to c 970 (the close of David's reign).

Title: In the original Heb text 1 and 2 Samuel are counted as one book called "Samuel." In the LXX, the book was divided into two due to the length of the scrolls then in use. In the Greek OT, the Books of Samuel are referred to as the First and Second Books of Kingdoms. The Latin Vulgate entitles the same books the First and Second Books of Kings.

Summary: 1Sa is the first of two historical books that illustrate Israel's tradition from a loose confederation of tribes to a strong and united nation. It portrays the anointing of the first king of Israel, Saul, by the prophet Samuel. It then recounts the degenerating reign of Saul and his loss of the throne to David, a man after God's own heart. 2Sa begins with the death of Saul and the ascension of David to the throne. The rest of the book records military conquests and political intrigues during David's reign. It concludes with the blessing of Solomon by David.

Key verses:

"We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles" (1Sa 8:19–20).

"When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever" (2Sa 7:12–13).


Childhood of Samuel (1Sa 1:1--3:21)
Capture and return of the ark (1Sa 4:1-7:2)
Monarchy (1Sa 7:3--12:25)
War and Saul's rejection (1Sa 13:1--15:35)
The rise of David (1Sa 16:1--18:30)
Rivalry between Saul and David (1Sa 19:1--20:42)
Civil war (1Sa 21:1--26:25)
War with Philistines (1Sa 27:1--31:13)
David, king in Hebron (2Sa 1:1--4:12)
David, king in Jerusalem (2Sa 5:1--10:19)
David's personal life (2Sa 11:1--12:31)
Trouble in David's court (2Sa 13:1--20:26)
Appendix (2Sa 21:1--24:25)

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