Judges beginSamuel born Saul born Samuel becomes judge Saul becomes king David born David anointed; Goliath slain David becomes king over Judah David becomes king all Israel Solomon becomes king The kingdom is divided 
1375 B.C.
(1220 B.C.)
 1080 1075
 10401025  10101003 970  930

                                                       2 Samuel Time
 Judges begin to ruleSaul becomes king  Saul dies; David is king over JudahDavid becomes king over all Israel  David and Bathsheba sinSolomon born  David's census David dies; Solomon made king The kingdom is divided  
1375 B.C.
(1220 B.C) 
1010  1003
 997 (?) 991980 (?)  970 930

Vital statistics

 Purpose:  To record the life of Samuel, Israel's last judge; the reign and decline of Saul, the first king; and the choice and preparation of David, Israel's greatest king. 
 Author:Possibly Samuel, but also includes writings from the prophets Nathan and Gad (1 Chronicles 29:29)
Original audience:  The people of Israel 
 Setting: The book begins in the days of the judges and describes Israel's transition from a theocracy (led by God) to a monarchy (led by a king). 
 Key verses:  Do everything they say to you, the Lord replied, "for they are rejecting me, not you. They don't want me to be their king any longer... Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them" (8:7, 9).
 Key people: Eli, Hannah, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, David.

The United Kingdom under Saul, David, and Solomon 

      1004 Ish-boshet & Abner     


40 Years


1051                                 1011

David 40 Years

Hebron 7.5 Years

Jerusalem 32.5 Years

1011                       971


40 Years


971                      931

 1049 Battle of Ebenezer Ark was captured by Philistines. 1 Samuel 4:1-11; 5:12 Samuel 2:8; 4:1-7971 Temple started 480 years after exodus 



Saul’s Action
Offered a sacrifice when it was not his place to do so (1 Sam. 13:7–12).
Told that his kingdom would not continue (13:14).
Made a foolish curse (14:24, 38–39).
Curse fell on Jonathan and disunity was created (14:44–45).
Spared Agag and spoils of battle (15:8–9).
Rejected by God from being king (15:26–28).
Lost fellowship with God (24:17; 26:21).
Unanswered prayer (28:6).
Visited a medium (28:7–8).
Doom predicted (28:16–20).
Took his own life (31:4).
End of dynasty (31:6).
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (2 Sm 1.1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

King Saul’s Decline and Fall

A presumptuous sacrifice
Loss of kingdom foretold (13:14)
A foolish curse
Curse falls on Jonathan (14:24, 44)
Spared Agag and flocks
Loss of kingdom (15:28)
Lost fellowship with God
Unanswered prayer (28:6)
Visits a medium
Doom predicted (28:19)
Takes his own life
End of dynasty (31:4, 6)
New Geneva study Bible. 1997, c1995 (electronic ed.) (1 Sm 28.12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Israelites versus Philistines

The Israelites and Philistines were archenemies and constantly fought. Here are some of their confrontations, found in 1 and 2 Samuel.

When the Israelites trusted God for the victory, they always won.

Location of the Battle




Aphek to Ebenezer


The Ark was captured and Eli's son killed

1 Samuel 4:1-11



After the Ark was returned, the Philistines planned to attack again, but God confused them. Israel chased the Philistines back to Beth-car

1 Samuel 7:7-14


Israelites under Jonathan

One detachment destroyed

1 Samuel 13:3, 4


A standoff

The Israelites lost their nerve and hid

1 Samuel 13:6-17



Jonathan and his armor bearer said it didn't matter how many enemies there were. If God was with them, they would win. They began the battle, and the army completed it.  

1 Samuel 13:23-14:23

Valley of Elah


David and Goliath

1 Samuel 17:1-58



David killed 200 Philistines to earn a wife

1 Samuel 18:178-30



David protected the threshings floors from Philistine looters

1 Samuel 23:1-5

Aphek, Jezreel, to Mount Gilboa


Saul and Jonathan killed

1 Samuel 29:1; 31:1-13



The Philistines tried to capture King David

2 Samuel 5:17-25



There was very little trouble with the Philistines after this defeat

2 Samuel 8:1



Abishai saved David from a Philistine giant

2 Samuel 21:15-17



Other giants were killed, including Goliath's brother

2 Samuel 21:18-22

The Problems with having a King

Problems (warned by Samuel) Referent  Fulfilment 
 Drafting young men into the army 8:11, 12 14:52- "So whenever Saul observed a young man who was brave and strong, he drafted him into his army." 
 Having the young men "run before his chariots" 8:11 2 Samuel 15:1- "Absalom bought a chariot and horses, and he hired fifty bodyguards to run ahead of him."
 Making slave laborers 8:12, 17 2 Chronicles 2:17, 18- Solomon assigned labores to build the Temple. 
 Taking the best of your fields and vineyards 8:14 1 Kings 21:5-16 - Jezebel stole Naboth's vineyard
 Using your property for his personal gain 8:14-16 1 Kings 9:10-14 - Solomon gave away 20 towns to Hiram of Tyre 
 Demanding a tenth of your harvest and flocks  8:15, 17 1 Kings 12:1-16 - REhoboam was going to demand heavier taxation than Solomon . 

Life of David versus Life of Saul

 Life of David Life of Saul
 David was God's kind of king
 (2 Samuel 7:8-16)
 Saul was man's kind of king
(1 Samuel 10:23. 24)
 David was a man after God's heart
 (Acts 13:22)
 Saul was a man after people's praise (1 Samuel 18:6-8)
 David's kingship was eternal (through Jesus) (2 Samuel 7:29) Saul's kingship was rejected
 (1 Samuel 15:23)
 David was kind and benevolent 
(2 Samuel 9; 1 Chronicles 19:2)
 Saul was cruel
 (1 Samuel 20:30-34; 22:11-19)
 David was forgiving 
 (1 Samuel 26)
 Saul was unforgiving
 (1 Samuel 14:44; 18:9)
 David repented
 (2 Samuel 12:13; 24:10)
 When confronted, Saul lied
 (1 Samuel 15:10-31)
 David was courageous 
 (1 Samuel 17:1; 1 Chronicles 18)
 Saul was fearful
 (1 Samuel 17:11; 18:12)
 David was at peace with God
 (Psalms 4:8; 37:11)
 Saul was separated from God
 (1 Samuel 16:14)

The Blueprint

   A. ELI AND SAMUEL (1:1-7:17)
  1. Samuel's birth and childhood
  2. War with the Philistines 
   We see vivid contrast between young Samuel and Eli's sons. Eli's sons were selfish, but Samuel was helpful. Eli's sons defrauded people, but Samuel grew in wisdom and gave the people messages from God. As an adult, Samuel became a prophet, priest, and judge over Israel. A person's actions reflect his character. This was true of Samuel and of Eli's sons. It is also true of us. Strive, like Samuel, to keep your heart pure before God. 
   B. SAMUEL AND SAUL (8:1-15:35)
  1. Saul becomes king of Israel
  2. God rejects Saul for disobedience 
   Saul showed great promise. He was strong, tall, and modest. God's Spirit came upon him, and Samuel was his counselor. But Saul deliberately disobeyed God and became evil king. We must not base our hopes or future on our potential. Instead, we must consistently obey God in all areas of life. God evaluates obedience, no potential.
   C. SAUL AND DAVID (16:1-31:13)
  1. Samuel anoints David
  2. David and Goliath
  3. David and Jonathan become friends
  4. Saul pursues David
  5. Saul's defeat and death   
   David quickly killed Goliath but waited patiently for God to deal with Saul. Although David was anointed to be Israel's next king, he had to wait years to realize this promise. The difficult circumstances in the times of waiting often refine, teach, and prepare us for the future responsibilities God has for us.   

First Samuel Overview