I  Samuel 

An Outline:

Introduction    Outline     Notable firsts

1. Introduction

In the Hebrew Bible, what we have as the two books of Samuel are in fact one book, simply called Samuel. According to Jewish tradition the first twenty four chapters of I Samuel was written by Samuel himself, and the remainder of the book plus II Samuel by Nathan and Gad. This has support from the  scripture quoted below, when read in other translations. The LXX is given here as one example.  Whilst this is not conclusive, it is  a possibility that I Chronicles is referring to the books of Samuel.

Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer, with all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.

I Chr.29:29-30  KJV

 And the rest of the acts of David, the former and the latter, are written in the history of Samuel the seer, and in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the history of Gad the seer,  concerning all his reign, and his power, and the times which went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the earth.

I Chr.29:29-30 LXX


2. Outline I Samuel

I Samuel deals with Israel's change from the period of the judges to the beginning  of the kings. There are four people about whom the events revolve: Eli, Samuel, Saul and David.  The table shows an outline of their histories. Along side David's history are  the Psalms he wrote  to show their context.

Concerning Main events



a) Birth of Samuel Ch.1  
b) Samuel with Eli Ch. 2  
c) Samuel called Ch.3 Note 3:20 Samuel established as a prophet
d) The Ark taken Ch. 4  



a) The Philistines smitten Ch.5  
b) The Ark returned Ch. 6  
c) The Philistines subdued Ch.7 Note 7:15 Samuel judged Israel
d) Israel demand a king Ch. 8  


Ch.9-15; 28; 30

a) Looks for his father's asses Ch. 9  
b) Anointed king by Samuel Ch.10  
c) The Ammonites slain Ch.11  
d) Samuel pleads with Israel Ch.12 Note 12:19-23 Praylessness is sin
e) Saul sins in offering the burnt offering. Ch.13  
f) Jonathan's victory Ch.14  
g) Saul disobeys God, and the kingdom is rent from his house Ch.15 Note 15:35
h) Consults a witch Ch.28  
i) Dies in battle Ch.30  


Ch.16-27; 29

a) Anointed king Ch.16
b) Kills Goliath Ch.17
c) Jonathan's friendship/Saul's jealousy Ch.18
d) David flees Ch.19 Ps. 59
e) David goes into exile Ch.20
f) With Ahimelech. Ch.21 Ch.21:7 Ps.52
g) At Addulum Ch.22 Ps.57
h) Fights the Philistines Ch.23 Ps.54?
i) Cuts Saul's skirt Ch.24
j) The incident with Nabal; marries Abigail Ch.25
k) David at the cave with Saul Ch.26 Ps.54?
l) Dwells with Achish Ch. 27,29  


3. Notable firsts

  1. The use of the title 'Lord of Hosts' 1:3  ( 281 altogether in scripture)
  2. The name of Messiah 2:10 ( His anointed)
  3. The first of  several  precious things in the OT: The Word of God 3:1 ( the others: Ps.49:8; Ps.72:14 & Ps.116:15; Ps.139:17; Prov.20:15)
  4. The words, Ichabod, 4:21; Ebenezer, 7:12 and God save the king, 10:24.