My Study Bible

1st Samuel

ספר שמואל

Sefer Shmuel

The two books of Samuel שְׁמוּאֵל Šəmūʾēl appears to be constructed from the Hebrew Śāmū (שָׂמוּ)+ ʾĒl, meaning “God has set” or “God has placed”. This meaning relating to the idea of God setting/placing a child in the womb, alongside Hannah dedicating Samuel as a Nazirite to God. offer an insightful glimpse into the historical transition from a theocracy to a monarchy in ancient Israel. It chronicles the moment when the Israelites were transitioning from a religious government system to a political one, marked by the establishment of the monarchy. The books start with the events of the last days of the Judges, and culminates with the elderly king, David, securely enthroned over Israel and Judah.

While the identity of the author remains unclear, the statement made in 1 Chronicles 29:29 suggests that Samuel may have collaborated with Nathan and Gad in writing these books. Nevertheless, these books provide us with valuable insight into the shaping of the society and government systems in ancient Israel that have impacted the world to this day.