Belongs to the "historical books" according to the Catholic canon and according to the Hebrew canon to the "previous prophets". It is entitled Samuel because of the man and prophet that God chose to establish the monarchy in Israel and consolidate the Hebrew nation with its own identity.
It is a historical bookoriginally written in Hebrew, which describes events in the history of Israel that can be placed approximately at the beginning of the eleventh century and the beginning of the tenth century BC. In other words, it relates what happened in a period of 130 years, beginning with the birth of the judge and prophet Samuel and ending with the last days in the life of Samuel. King David. The author or authors of this book are unknown, as with most Old Testament biblical texts, but historical clues suggest that it is a compilation of various sources relating to the time of Samuel, Saul, and David.
Some scholars argue that the books of Samuel 1-2 and Kings 1-2 were one book or scroll but for practical reasons it was separated into four parts to make it easier to read and study.
The book of Samuel-1 tells the story of the last judge and first prophet Samuel and the establishment of the monarchy in Israel, which begins with King Saul and continues with the great exploit of the young shepherd David, who defeats the Philistine Goliath. It is Samuel, who by God's will chose Saul and David and laid the foundations of the nation of Israel.
In this book the religious message transcends the historical narrative and prevails through its reading that the king of Israel must be a man of God, a religious leader of his people who was accompanied by a prophet to guide him according to the divine will. In relation to this religious and theocratic vision the king is an instrument of God's rule over his people and God is recognized as the supreme king of his people.
In the book of Samuel-1 the narrative revolves around three characters: Samuel, judge and prophetSaul the first king chosen by God, his life and his mistakes and David who personifies the religious, moral and statesmanship values of a worthy king, but this first book only narrates the beginnings of David. It is a period of transition between the time of anarchy of the Judges and the political, religious and social instability of Israel at that time and the beginning of the monarchy, towards a prosperous and peaceful nation. It is also the appearance of the great prophets who will accompany the king and communicate God's will to Israel.
The contents of the Book of Samuel-1 describe the life of Samuel and his call to be a prophet of GodThe defeat of the Hebrews and the loss of the ark of the covenant to the Philistines are also recounted. In these crucial moments God chooses Saul as king and allows him to win the battle against the Ammonites and be accepted by the tribes of Israel as the highest authority of all the Hebrew people. But Saul's reign was overshadowed by his unstable behavior until his death. God turns away from Saul and orders Samuel to anoint a new king for his people, this king is David.
The book of Samuel-1 is divided into the following parts
- Samuel's childhood and his activity as prophet and judge of Israel (1-7)
- Institution of the monarchy (8-12)
- Victories and Saul's reprobation (13-15)
- David's rise and Saul's decline (16-31)