The First Book of


King James Version


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Samuel's mother Hannah presents wine, flour, three bulls and her child Samuel before the priest Eli saying: "For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD." (1 Samuel 1:1-28). Gerbrand van den Eeckhout - Hannah presenting her son Samuel to the priest Eli ca.1665 Image Source

1 Samuel Summary

First Samuel covers the first part of the lifetime of the last biblical judge Samuel. It describes Samuel's birth, the annointing of Saul as the first king of Israel and Samuel's preparing to make David the new king.

Key people include Eli, Goliath, Hannah, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, and David. First Samuel begins with the birth of Samuel whom is "lent" to God by his mother a Nazarite named Hannah after her prayers are answered to bear a child (1 Samuel 1). Samuel annoints Saul as the first king of Israel. The Israelites lose the Ark of the Covenant and some 30,000 men in a battle with the Philistines. The Ark is later returned in an oxcart pulled by two cows. As Saul proves an unworthy leader, God instructs Samuel instruct Saul he has been rejected and to prepare David to become the new king. Samuel anoints David as a young boy and David fells the Philistine giant Goliath in a faceoff between the Israelites and Philistines. Saul is overcome by jealousy and hatred and pursues David to keep the throne. However, later on Saul takes his own life after becoming wounded and losing on the battlefield. First Samuel is one of a series of books (along with Joshua, Judges, Second Samuel, First Kings and Second Kings) which covers the theological history of the Israelites and explains God's law under the guidance of the prophets.

Most Searched Verse in 1 Samuel 
Most searched verse in 1 Samuel with 6,600 average monthly searches on Google.

  • But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

    God, 1 Samuel 16:7

David, the son of Saul's servant Jesse, is summoned to play the harp before Saul to help cheer him up. Since Saul had disobeyed God's commands, "the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him." This marks the beginning of a transition from the leadership of Saul to the eventual leadership of David although no person is aware of it yet (1 Samuel 16:14-23). Image Source

1 Samuel Chapter Summaries

1 Samuel Chapter 31

The Philistines fight against and defeat Israel, killing Saul's three sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchi-shua. Saul is seriously wounded by archers so he falls on a sword, taking his own life. Israel flees from Philistines. The Philistines strip the dead of their belongings, cut off Saul's head and sent it to their people and "fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan" (v. 9-10). The men of Jabesh-gilead then took the bodies of Saul and his son's under the cover of night from "Beth-shan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days" (v. 12-23).

The Israelite David (a son to king Saul's servant Jesse) has hit the Philistine Goliath on the forehead with a stone and uses Goliath's own sword to behead him. David had no previous battle experience but when he brought food to the warriors he witnessed the threats from Goliath. David convinces Saul of his combat ability since he had killed both a lion and a bear as a shepherd. Saul offers David to use his armour and sword to fight Goliath, but David prefers the sling and stones he is used to alongside "the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel" for moral support and encouragement (1 Samuel 1-51). Anton Robert Leinweber (1845-1921) Image Source


The King James Bible text is sourced from the BibleForgeDB database ( within the BibleForge project ( Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

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