Rise & Fall of Israel’s Kingdom
(Category 7 of 16)
Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of 1 Samuel, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of 1 Samuel, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how it works within the Bible’s overall framework.
In 1 Samuel, God reluctantly raises up kings to rule the Israelites. The first is a failure, and the second, David, is a faithful replacement.
Explore 1 Samuel
1 Samuel (RS)
The First Book of
THE Book of First Samuel describes the transition of leadership in Israel from
judges to kings. Three characters are prominent in the book: Samuel, the last
judge and first prophet; Saul, the first king of Israel; and David, the king-elect,
anointed but not yet recognized as Saul’s successor.
The books of First and Second Samuel were originally one book in the Hebrew
Bible, known as the “Book of Samuel” or simply “Samuel.” This name has been
variously translated “The Name of God,” “His Name Is God,” “Heard of God,” and
“Asked of God.” The Septuagint divides Samuel into two books even though it is
one continuous account. This division artificially breaks up the history of David.
The Greek (Septuagint) title is Bibloi Basileion, “Books of Kingdoms,” referring to
the later kingdoms of Israel and . First Samuel is called Basileion Alpha,
“First Kingdoms.” Second Samuel and First and Second Kings are called “Second,
Third, and Fourth Kingdoms.” The Latin Vulgate originally called the books of
Samuel and Kings Libri Regum, “Books of the Kings.” Later the Latin Bible combined
the Hebrew and Greek titles for the first of these books, calling it Liber I
Samuelis, the “First Book of Samuel,” or simply “First Samuel.”
The Family of Elkanah
1 NOW there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the amountains of Ephraim, and his name was bElkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of 1Elihu, the son of 2Tohu, the son of Zuph, can Ephraimite.
2 And he had atwo wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
3 This man went up from his city ayearly bto worship and sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in cShiloh. Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.
4 And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an aoffering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters.
5 But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, aalthough the LORD had closed her womb.
6 And her rival also aprovoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb.
7 So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.
8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not abetter to you than ten sons?”
9 So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting
CHAPTER 1 References
1 aJosh. 17:17,
b1 Chr. 6:27,
1 Chr. 6:34
2Toah, 1 Chr.
3 aLuke 2:41
4 aDeut. 12:17,
5 aGen. 16:1;
6 aJob 24:21
8 aRuth 4:15
9 a1 Sam. 3:3
10 aJob 7:11
8:1 dNum. 6:5
15 aPs. 42:4;
17 aMark 5:34
18 aRuth 2:13
on the seat by the doorpost of athe 1tabernacle of the LORD.
10 aAnd she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and 1wept in anguish.
11 Then she amade a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed blook on the affliction of Your maidservant and cremember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and dno razor shall come upon his head.”
12 And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth.
13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk.
14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”
15 But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have apoured out my soul before the LORD.
16 “Do not consider your maidservant a awicked1 woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.”
17 Then Eli answered and said, a“Go in peace, and bthe God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.”
18 And she said, a“Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman bwent her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
Samuel Is Born and Dedicated
19 Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned and came to their
house at Ramah. And Elkanah aknew Hannah his wife, and the LORD bremembered her.
20 So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name 1Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the LORD.”
21 Now the man Elkanah and all his house awent up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and his vow.
22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “Not until the child is weaned; then I will atake him, that he may appear before the LORD and bremain there cforever.”
23 So aElkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him. Only let the LORD 1establish 2His word.” Then the woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him.
24 Now when she had weaned him, she atook him up with her, with 1three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to bthe house of the LORD in Shiloh. And the child was young.
25 Then they slaughtered a bull, and abrought the child to Eli.
26 And she said, “O my lord! aAs your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the LORD.
27 a“For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him.
28 “Therefore I also have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he shall be 1lent to the LORD.” So they aworshiped the LORD there.
1 And Hannah aprayed and said:
b“My heart rejoices in the LORD; cMy 1horn is exalted in the LORD. 2I smile at my enemies, Because I drejoice in Your salvation.
2 “Noa one is holy like the LORD, For there is bnone besides You, Nor is there any crock like our God.
3 “Talk no more so very proudly; aLet no arrogance come from your mouth, For the LORD is the God of bknowledge; And by Him actions are weighed.
4 “Thea bows of the mighty men are broken, And those who stumbled are girded with strength.
5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
19 aGen. 4:1
20 1Lit. Heard
21 a1 Sam. 1:3
22 aLuke 2:22
b1 Sam. 1:11,
28 cEx. 21:6
23 aNum. 30:7,
10, 11 1confirm
24 aNum. 15:9,
10 bJosh. 18:1
Syr. a threeyear-
25 aLuke 2:22
26 a2 Kin. 2:2,
4, 6; 4:30
27 a[Matt. 7:7] 28 aGen. 24:26,
CHAPTER 2 References
1 aPhil. 4:6
dPs. 9:14; 13:5;
2 aEx. 15:11
3 aPs. 94:4
b1 Sam. 16:7
4 aPs. 37:15;
5 aPs. 113:9
6 aDeut. 32:39
7 aDeut. 8:17,
18 bPs. 75:7
8 aLuke 1:52
bJob 36:7 cJob
9 a[1 Pet. 1:5] b[Rom. 3:19] 10 aPs. 2:9 bPs.
18:13, 14 cPs.
d[Matt. 28:18] ePs. 21:1, 7
2:10 1Lit. sons
14 a1 Sam. 1:3
15 aLev. 3:3–5,
1 SAMUEL 2:16
And the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even athe barren has borne seven, And bshe who has many children has become feeble.
6 “Thea LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up.
7 The LORD amakes poor and makes rich; bHe brings low and lifts up.
8 aHe raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, bTo set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory.
c“For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, And He has set the world upon them.
9 aHe will guard the feet of His saints, But the bwicked shall be silent in darkness.
“For by strength no man shall prevail.
10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be abroken in pieces; bFrom heaven He will thunder against them. cThe LORD will judge the ends of the earth.
d“He will give estrength to His king, And fexalt the 1horn of His anointed.”
11 Then Elkanah went to his house at Ramah. But the child 1ministered to the LORD before Eli the priest.
The Wicked Sons of Eli
12 Now the sons of Eli were acorrupt; 1 bthey did not know the LORD.
13 And the priests’ custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a threepronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling.
14 Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; and the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up. So they did in aShiloh to all the Israelites who came there.
15 Also, before they aburned the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who sacrificed, “Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but raw.”
16 And if the man said to him, “They should really burn the fat
1 SAMUEL 2:17
first; then you may take as much as your heart desires,” he would then answer him, “No, but you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force.”
17 Therefore the sin of the young men was very great abefore the LORD, for men babhorred1 the offering of the LORD.
Samuel’s Childhood Ministry
18 aBut Samuel ministered before the LORD, even as a child, bwearing a linen ephod.
19 Moreover his mother used to make him a little robe, and bring it to him year by year when she acame up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
20 And Eli awould bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “The LORD give you descendants from this woman for the 1loan that was bgiven to the LORD.” Then they would go to their own home.
21 And the LORD avisited1 Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel bgrew before the LORD.
Prophecy Against Eli’s Household
22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, 1and how they lay with athe women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.
24 “No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the LORD’s people transgress.
25 “If one man sins against another, aGod1 will judge him. But if a man bsins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?” Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, cbecause the LORD desired to kill them.
26 And the child Samuel agrew in stature, and bin favor both with the LORD and men.
27 Then a aman of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: b‘Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house?
28 ‘Did I not achoose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon My altar, to burn , and to wear an ephod before Me? And bdid I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire?
29 ‘Why do you akick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My bdwelling place, and honor your sons more than cMe, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’
17 aGen. 6:11
b[Mal. 2:7–9] 1despised
18 a1 Sam.
2:11; 3:1 bEx.
19 a1 Sam. 1:3,
20 aGen. 14:19
b1 Sam. 1:11,
27, 28 1gift
21 aGen. 21:1
b1 Sam. 2:26;
22 aEx. 38:8
1So with MT,
LXX omit rest
25 aDeut. 1:17;
25:1, 2 bNum.
11:20 1Tg. the
26 a1 Sam.
2:21 bProv. 3:4
27 a1 Kin. 13:1
28 aEx. 28:1, 4
30 aEx. 29:9
bJer. 18:9, 10
31 a1 Kin.
32 aZech. 8:4
34 a1 Kin. 13:3
b1 Sam. 4:11,
35 a1 Kin. 2:35
b1 Kin. 11:38
36 a1 Kin. 2:27
CHAPTER 3 References
1 a1 Sam.
2:11, 18 bPs.
2 a1 Sam. 4:15
3 aEx. 27:20,
21 1palace or
7 a1 Sam. 2:12
30 “Therefore the LORD God of Israel says: a‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the LORD says: b‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and cthose who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.
31 ‘Behold, athe days are coming that I will cut off your 1arm and the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.
32 ‘And you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for Israel. And there shall not be aan old man in your house forever.
33 ‘But any of your men whom I do not cut off from My altar shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart. And all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age.
34 ‘Now this shall be aa sign to you that will come upon your two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: bin one day they shall die, both of them.
35 ‘Then aI will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. bI will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before cMy anointed forever.
36 a‘And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and say, “Please, 1put me in one of the priestly positions, that I may eat a piece of bread.” ’ ”
Samuel’s First Prophecy
1 Now athe boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And bthe word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.
2 And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow aso dim that he could not see,
3 and before athe lamp of God went out in the 1tabernacle of the LORD where the of God was, and while Samuel was lying down,
4 that the LORD called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!”
5 So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down.
6 Then the LORD called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.”
7 (Now Samuel adid not yet know the LORD, nor was the word of the LORD yet revealed to him.)
8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and
went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the LORD had called the boy.
9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, a‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 Now the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”
11 Then the LORD said to Samuel: “Behold, I will do something in Israel aat which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.
12 “In that day I will perform against Eli aall that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.
13 a“For I have told him that I will bjudge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because chis sons made themselves vile, and he ddid not 1restrain them.
14 “And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house ashall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
15 So Samuel lay down until 1morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision.
16 Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son!” He answered, “Here I am.”
17 And he said, “What is the word that the LORD spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. aGod do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the things that He said to you.”
18 Then Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. And he said, a“It is the LORD. Let Him do what seems good to Him.”
19 So Samuel agrew, and bthe LORD was with him cand let none of his words 1fall to the ground.
20 And all Israel afrom Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been 1established as a prophet of the LORD.
21 Then the LORD appeared again in Shiloh. For the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by athe word of the LORD. And the word of Samuel came to all 1Israel.
9 a1 Kin. 2:17
11 a2 Kin.
12 a1 Sam.
13 a1 Sam.
b1 Sam. 2:22
c1 Sam. 2:12,
17, 22 d1 Sam.
2:23, 25 1Lit.
15 1So with
and he arose
in the morning
17 aRuth 1:17
18 aIs. 39:8
19 a1 Sam.
39:2, 21, 23
c1 Sam. 9:6
20 aJudg. 20:1
21 a1 Sam.3:1,
God’s Kindness to Rebellious Israel
A aContemplation1 of Asaph.
1 GIVE ear, O my people, to my law; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a aparable; I will utter 1dark sayings of old,
3 Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us.
4 aWe will not hide them from their children, bTelling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.
5 For aHe established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That bthey should make them known to their children;
6 aThat the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and children,
7 That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments;
8 And amay not be like their fathers, bA stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation cthat did not 1set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9 The children of Ephraim, being armed and 1carrying bows, Turned back in the day of battle.
PSALM 78 References
title aPs. 74:
2 aMatt. 13:34,
sayings or riddles
4 aEx. 12:26,
27; Deut. 4:9;
6:7; Job 15:18;
Is. 38:19; Joel
1:3 bEx. 13:8,
5 aPs. 147:19
6 aPs. 102:18
8 a2 Kin.
17:14; 2 Chr.
9:7, 24; 31:27;
Judg. 2:19; Is.
9 1Lit. bow
10 a2 Kin.
11 aPs. 106:13
12 aEx. 7—12
Is. 19:11; 30:4;
13 aEx. 14:21
14 aEx. 13:21
15 aEx. 17:6;
[1 Cor. 10:4] 16 aNum. 20:8,
17 aDeut. 9:22;
Is. 63:10; Heb.
18 aEx. 16:2
19 aEx. 16:3;
20 aNum. 20:11
21 aNum. 11:1
11 And aforgot His works And His wonders that He had shown them.
12 aMarvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, bin the field of Zoan.
13 aHe divided the sea and caused them to pass through; And bHe made the waters stand up like a heap.
14 aIn the daytime also He led them with the cloud, And all the night with a light of fire.
15 aHe split the rocks in the wilderness, And gave them drink in abundance like the depths.
16 He also brought astreams out of the rock, And caused waters to run down like rivers.
17 But they sinned even more against Him By arebelling against the Most High in the wilderness.
18 And athey tested God in their heart By asking for the food of their fancy.
19 aYes, they spoke against God: They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20 aBehold, He struck the rock, So that the waters gushed out, And the streams overflowed. Can He give bread also? Can He provide meat for His people?”
21 Therefore the LORD heard this and awas furious;
So a fire was kindled against Jacob, And anger also came up against Israel,
22 Because they adid not believe in God, And did not trust in His salvation.
23 Yet He had commanded the clouds above, aAnd opened the doors of heaven,
24 aHad rained down on them to eat, And given them of the 1bread of bheaven.
25 Men ate angels’ food; He sent them food to 1the full.
26 aHe caused an east wind to blow in the heavens; And by His power He brought in the south wind.
27 He also rained meat on them like the dust, Feathered fowl like the sand of the seas;
28 And He let them fall in the midst of their camp, All around their dwellings.
29 aSo they ate and were well filled, For He gave them their own desire.
30 They were not 1deprived of their craving; But awhile their food was still in their mouths,
31 The wrath of God came against them, And slew the stoutest of them, And struck down the choice men of Israel.
32 In spite of this athey still sinned, And bdid not believe in His wondrous works.
33 aTherefore their days He consumed in futility, And their years in fear.
34 aWhen He slew them, then they sought Him; And they returned and sought earnestly for God.
35 Then they remembered that aGod was their rock, And the Most High God btheir Redeemer.
36 Nevertheless they aflattered Him with their mouth, And they lied to Him with their tongue;
37 For their heart was not steadfast with Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
38 aBut He, being full of bcompassion, forgave their iniquity,
PSALM 78 References
22 a[Heb. 3:18]
23 a[Mal. 3:10]
24 aEx. 16:4
34 a[Hos. 5:15] 35 a[Deut.
32:4, 15] bIs. 41:14;
38 a[Num. 14:
34:6 c[Is. 48:9] d1 Kin. 21:29
39 aJob 10:9
c[Job 7:7, 16] 40 aHeb. 3:16
42 1Lit. hand
44 aEx. 7:20
45 aEx. 8:24
46 aEx. 10:14
48 aEx. 9:19
50 1Or their
51 aEx. 12:29,
52 aPs. 77:20
53 aEx. 14:19,
20 bEx. 14:27,
54 aEx. 15:17
55 aPs. 44:2
And did not destroy them. Yes, many a time cHe turned His anger away, And ddid not stir up all His wrath;
39 For aHe remembered bthat they were but flesh, cA breath that passes away and does not come again.
40 How often they aprovoked1 Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert!
41 Yes, aagain and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember His 1power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy,
43 When He worked His signs in Egypt, And His wonders in the field of Zoan;
44 aTurned their rivers into blood, And their streams, that they could not drink.
45 aHe sent swarms of flies among them, which devoured them, And bfrogs, which destroyed them.
46 He also gave their crops to the caterpillar, And their labor to the a .
47 aHe destroyed their vines with hail, And their trees with frost.
48 He also gave up their acattle to the hail, And their flocks to fiery 1lightning.
49 He cast on them the fierceness of His anger, Wrath, indignation, and trouble, By sending angels of destruction among them.
50 He made a path for His anger; He did not spare their soul from death, But gave 1their life over to the plague,
51 And destroyed all the afirstborn in Egypt, The first of their strength in the tents of Ham.
52 But He amade His own people go forth like sheep, And guided them in the wilderness like a flock;
53 And He aled them on safely, so that they did not fear; But the sea boverwhelmed their enemies.
54 And He brought them to His aholy border, This mountain bwhich His right hand had acquired.
55 aHe also drove out the nations before them,
bAllotted them an inheritance by 1survey, And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.
56 aYet they tested and provoked the Most High God, And did not keep His testimonies,
57 But aturned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers; They were turned aside blike a deceitful bow.
58 aFor they provoked Him to anger with their bhigh places, And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images.
59 When God heard this, He was furious, And greatly abhorred Israel,
60 aSo that He forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, The tent He had placed among men,
61 aAnd delivered His strength into captivity, And His glory into the enemy’s hand.
62 aHe also gave His people over to the sword, And was furious with His inheritance.
63 The fire consumed their young men, And atheir maidens were not given in marriage.
PSALM 78 References
55 bJosh. 13:7;
58 aJudg. 2:12
60 a1 Sam.
61 aJudg. 18:30
62 a1 Sam.
63 aJer. 7:34;
64 a1 Sam.
65 aIs. 42:13
66 a1 Sam. 5:6
68 a[Ps. 87:2] 69 a1 Kin.
70 a1 Sam.
71 a[Is. 40:11] b2 Sam. 5:2
72 a1 Kin. 9:4
65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, aLike a mighty man who shouts because of wine.
66 And aHe beat back His enemies; He put them to a perpetual reproach.
67 Moreover He rejected the tent of Joseph, And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 But chose the tribe of , Mount Zion awhich He loved.
69 And He built His asanctuary like the heights, Like the earth which He has established forever.
70 aHe also chose David His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds;
71 From following athe ewes that had young He brought him, bTo shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance.
72 So he shepherded them according to the aintegrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
DREAM IT => PLAN IT => DO IT
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