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The Blue Letter Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Overview for 1 & 2 Samuel

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1 & 2 SAMUEL

I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. (Hosea 13:11)

The books of 1 and 2 Samuel give us the origin of the kingdom. The two books of Samuel were classified as one in the Jewish canon. They are the first two of four books of Kings in the Latin Vulgate.

WRITER: The name of Samuel is identified with these two historical books, not because he was the writer primarily, but because his story occurs first and is so prominent. He anointed as king both Saul and David. Samuel is considered the author up to 1 Samuel 25 (his death). Nathan and Gad completed the writing (1 Chronicles 29:29 ASV).


1. The rise of the kingdom.
2. The story of Hannah.
3. The story of little Samuel.
4. The story of David and Goliath.
5. The friendship of David and Jonathan.
6. King Saul’s visit to witch of Endor.
7. God’s covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7.
8. David’s great sin — Bathsheba.
9. David’s rebellious son — Absalom.


Prayer — 1 Samuel opens with prayer; 2 Samuel closes with prayer.
Kingdom — The change of the government from a theocracy to a kingdom; God’s covenant with David.
Prophet — The rise of the office of prophet, who became the messenger of God in place of the priest.

KEY VERSE: 1 Samuel 10:25

COMMENT: There is a striking contrast between the characters in the Book of Judges and those in the two books of Samuel. The men in Judges seem to be ordinary and average, while here the characters are outstanding and above the average. There are 6 who stand out in 1 Samuel. They are Hannah, Eli, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, and David. First Samuel is a transitional book from the era of the judges to the kingdom. The kingdom foreshadows the coming millennial kingdom in some respects. There are certain profound global lessons for us in the setting up of the kingdom. The world needs:

1. A king with power who exercises his power righteously;
2. A king who will be in full dependence upon God and who can be trusted with power; and
3. A king who is in full obedience to God.


1 Samuel 15:22 — Samuel’s word about obedience
1 Samuel 25:29 — Abigail’s word about David’s relationship to God
2 Samuel 3:33 — Abner’s epitaph
2 Samuel 7 — God’s covenant with David (note the 7 “I wills”)
2 Samuel 18:33 — David’s grief over Absalom
2 Samuel 22 — Song of David (Psalm 18)
2 Samuel 24:24 — David’s rebuke against a cheap religion

Outline for Ruth ← Prior Section
Comments for 1 Samuel Next Section →
Notes for Ruth ← Prior Book
Comments for 2 Samuel Next Book →
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