Chapter-by-Chapter Summary of 1 Samuel

The book of 1 Samuel concerns the exploits of the righteous leader Samuel and the two men he anoints as king, Saul and David. Saul is challenged by David’s popularity and is eventually killed in a battle with the Philistines. David is a valiant warrior who must flee to the Philistines despite proving his loyalty to Saul.

Summary 1 Samuel 1: After many years of barrenness, Hannah’s prayers are answered. She gives birth to Samuel and gives him to Eli the priest so that he may serve Yahweh all the days of his life.

Summary 1 Samuel 2: Hannah thanks Yahweh by reciting a thanksgiving hymn. Eli’s sons corrupt the priesthood by stealing meat and sleeping with women who visit the temple. An angel appears to Eli and tells him his family will be punished accordingly.

Summary 1 Samuel 3: Yahweh appears to Samuel and portends the fall of Eli’s house. Although he is apprehensive, Samuel relates the bad news to Eli who accepts the prophecy as the will of Yahweh.

Summary 1 Samuel 4: After losing to the Philistines, the Israelites bring the ark with them into battle. They are routed and the Philistines capture the ark. Eli and his daughter-in-law die when they hear the disturbing news.

Summary 1 Samuel 5: The Philistines, who have the ark in their possession, are afflicted with hemorrhoids. The Philistine people beg their leaders to return the ark to the Israelites.

Summary 1 Samuel 6: The Philistines return the ark to the people of Beth Shemesh. After being punished by Yahweh for looking inside the ark, the people of Beth Shemesh ask the inhabitants of Kiriath Jearim to remove the ark from their midst.

Summary 1 Samuel 7: Samuel exhorts the Israelites to abandon their idols. They listen, and Yahweh grants them military success against the Philistines. Samuel travels throughout the land and serves as a pious leader in Israel.

Summary 1 Samuel 8: Samuel’s sons turn out to be corrupt leaders. The people tell Samuel they want a king and he is unable to convince them otherwise. Yahweh tells Samuel to heed the inimical request.

Summary 1 Samuel 9: Saul searches for his father’s missing donkeys and happens to meet Samuel. Samuel prepares a feast and tells Saul that he is destined for greatness.

Summary 1 Samuel 10: Samuel anoints Saul as king. He predicts many events that subsequently take place. When Saul returns home, Samuel assembles the people at Mizpah and publicly declares him as the first king of Israel.

Summary 1 Samuel 11: The Ammonites threaten to torture the people of Jabesh Gilead. Saul musters 330,000 troops and defeats the enemy with ease. The people celebrate Saul’s kingship at Gilgal.

Summary 1 Samuel 12: Samuel delivers a harsh speech in his old age. He criticizes the people for requesting a king, brings a miraculous rainstorm to scare them, and warns them to follow the will of Yahweh.

Summary 1 Samuel 13: In response to Saul’s offensive, the Philistines prepare to attack Israel. Saul assembles an army and offers a sacrifice before Samuel arrives. Samuel tells him he is doomed to lose the monarchy.

Summary 1 Samuel 14: Jonathan leaves the camp and kills twenty Philistine soldiers. The Philistines panic and are defeated by the Israelites. Saul, who forbade eating on the day of battle, almost kills his son for eating honey.

Summary 1 Samuel 15: Samuel instructs Saul to slaughter the Amalekites. Saul kills the Amalekite men, women, and children but spares the king and a few choice animals. Samuel informs Saul that he has been rejected by Yahweh. Samuel then kills the king of Amalek.

Summary 1 Samuel 16: Yahweh sends Samuel on a mission to anoint David as the future king. Saul is plagued by an evil spirit that is alleviated by David’s music.

Summary 1 Samuel 17: A mighty Philistine soldier named Goliath ridicules the Israelites. David travels to the battlefield and kills him with his sling. The Israelites attack and force the Philistines to retreat.

Summary 1 Samuel 18: Saul becomes jealous of David’s military victories. After failing to kill David with his own spear, Saul relegates David to the army’s front line. David succeeds in battle, marries Saul’s daughter Michal, and becomes more popular than the king.

Summary 1 Samuel 19: Saul fails to kill David. Michal helps David flee to Ramah where he stays with Samuel.

Summary 1 Samuel 20: David angers Saul when he skips the meal for the new moon. Jonathan betrays his father by helping David flee for his life.

Summary 1 Samuel 21: David convinces the priest Ahimelech to provide him with bread and a sword. David flees to the Philistine city of Achish where he feigns madness.

Summary 1 Samuel 22: David escapes from the Philistines and safekeeps his parents with the king of Moab. With the exception of one son named Abiathar, Saul has Ahimelech’s priestly family killed.

Summary 1 Samuel 23: The Philistines attack Keilah and are driven away by David. Saul chases David into the mountains but fails to capture him.

Summary 1 Samuel 24: Saul inadvertently enters David’s hiding place. Instead of killing him, David cuts off a corner of Saul’s garment as proof of his loyalty. Saul acknowledges David’s innocence and accepts his role as future king.

Summary 1 Samuel 25: David asks Nabal for provisions. Nabal spurns the request and is almost killed by David. Nabal’s wife Abigail appeases David by secretly giving him food and drink. Nabal dies and David takes Abigail as his wife.

Summary 1 Samuel 26: Saul chases after David. David sneaks into the Saul’s chambers, steals his personal items, and secretly returns to his own camp. Saul is contrite when he learns that David had the opportunity to kill him but chose not to.

Summary 1 Samuel 27: David flees to Philistia. He plunders the neighboring cities but manages to trick the Philistines by telling them he has raided Judah itself.

Summary 1 Samuel 28: The Philistines prepare to attack the Israelite army. Saul travels to En Dor, conjures up Samuel’s ghost, and is told he is doomed to fail. Although Saul is distraught, he and his men manage to travel back to the camp.

Summary 1 Samuel 29: The Philistines, with David in their ranks, prepare to attack the Israelites. David’s loyalty is questioned and he is sent home.

Summary 1 Samuel 30: David and his men return to Ziklag to find their homes burned, their possessions stolen, and their families kidnapped. The men pursue the guilty Amalekites and exact their revenge.

Summary 1 Samuel 31: Saul’s army is routed by the Philistines. His sons are killed and he commits suicide. The Philistines desecrate Saul’s body and the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead eventually bury his remains.

1 Samuel 31 – “The Philistine War; Saul’s Suicide and Burial”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Saul’s army is routed by the Philistines. His sons are killed and he commits suicide. The Philistines desecrate Saul’s body, but the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead eventually bury his remains.

II. Photo
Saul’s remains are interred: “Then they took the bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and they fasted for seven days.” (v. 13)

III. Important Verses
3-6: The battle raged around Saul, and some of the archers hit him, and he was severely wounded by the archers. Saul said to his arms-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, so that the uncircumcised may not run me through and make sport of me.” But his arms-bearer, in his great awe, refused; whereupon Saul grasped the sword and fell upon it.  When his arms-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him. Thus Saul and his three sons and his arms-bearer, as well as all his men, died together on that day.
8-10: The next day the Philistines came to strip the slain, and they found Saul and his three sons lying on Mount Gilboa. They cut off his head and stripped him of his armor, and they sent them throughout the land of the Philistines, to spread the news in the temples of their idols and among the people. They placed his armor in the temple of Ashtaroth, and they impaled his body on the wall of Beth-shan.
11-13. When the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard about it — what the Philistines had done to Saul — all their stalwart men set out and marched all night; they removed the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth-shan and came to Jabesh and burned them there. Then they took the bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and they fasted for seven days.

IV. Outline
1. The Israelites flee
2. Saul’s sons are killed
3-6. Saul commits suicide
7. The Philistines occupy the Israelite towns
8-10. The Philistines desecrate Saul’s body; They offer his armor to Ashtaroth
11-13. The men of Jabesh-gilead burn Sauls body and bury his bones

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Campbell, Antony F. “1 Samuel” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 7 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2003).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Klein, Ralph W. “1 Samuel” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 10 (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1983).
Photo taken from http://uaadoption.com/images/gift-card_tree-field.jpg

1 Samuel 30 – “Ziklag is Sacked; David Exacts Revenge”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
David and his men return to Ziklag to find their homes burned, their possessions stolen, and their families kidnapped. The men pursue the guilty Amalekites and exact their revenge.

II. Photo
David returns to Ziklag: “When David and his men came to the town and found it burned down, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive, David and the troops with him broke into tears, until they had no strength left for weeping.” (vv. 3-4)

III. Important Verses
1-4: By the time David and his men arrived in Ziklag, on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid into the Negeb and against Ziklag; they had stormed Ziklag and burned it down. They had taken the women in it captive, low-born and high-born alike; they did not kill any, but carried them off and went their way. When David and his men came to the town and found it burned down, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive, David and the troops with him broke into tears, until they had no strength left for weeping.
6a: David was in great danger, for the troops threatened to stone him; for all the troops were embittered on account of their sons and daughters.
6b-8: But David sought strength in the LORD his God. David said to the priest Abiathar son of Ahimelech, “Bring the ephod up to me.” When Abiathar brought up the ephod to David, David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue those raiders? Will I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall overtake and you shall rescue.”
17: David attacked them from before dawn until the evening of the next day; none of them escaped, except four hundred young men who mounted camels and got away.
21-25: When David reached the two hundred men who were too faint to follow David and who had been left at the Wadi Besor, they came out to welcome David and the troops with him; David came forward with the troops and greeted them.  But all the mean and churlish fellows among the men who had accompanied David spoke up, “Since they did not accompany us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we seized — except that each may take his wife and children and go.” David, however, spoke up, “You must not do that, my brothers, in view of what the LORD has granted us, guarding us and delivering into our hands the band that attacked us. How could anyone agree with you in this matter? The share of those who remain with the baggage shall be the same as the share of those who go down to battle; they shall share alike.” So from that day on it was made a fixed rule for Israel, continuing to the present day.

IV. Outline
1-2. The Amalekites raid Ziklag
3. David returns to a burnt city
4. The men lament
5. The status of David’s wives
6. David fears an insurrection
7-8. God tells David to attack
9-10. Only 400 of the 600 men advance
11-16. An Egyptian slave leads David to the marauders
17. David slaughters the Amalekites
18-20. All the people and possessions are recaptured
21-24. The men who stayed behind share in the booty
25. An Israelite practice
26-31. David sends booty to the elders of Judah

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Campbell, Antony F. “1 Samuel” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 7 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2003).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Klein, Ralph W. “1 Samuel” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 10 (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1983).
Photo taken from http://www.stolaf.edu/people/ceumb/research/Mongolia/Field3.jpg

1 Samuel 29 – “David is Sent Home”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The Philistines, with David in their ranks, prepare to attack the Israelites. David’s loyalty is questioned and he is sent home.

II. Photo
David is sent home: “Achish summoned David and said to him, ‘As the Lord lives, you are an honest man, and I would like to have you serve in my forces; for I have found no fault with you from the day you joined me until now. But you are not acceptable to the other lords. So go back in peace, and do nothing to displease the Philistine lords.’” (vv. 6-7)

III. Important Verses
3-5: The Philistine officers asked, “Who are those Hebrews?” “Why, that’s David, the servant of King Saul of Israel,” Achish answered the Philistine officers. “He has been with me for a year or more, and I have found no fault in him from the day he defected until now.” But the Philistine officers were angry with him; and the Philistine officers said to him, “Send the man back; let him go back to the place you assigned him. He shall not march down with us to the battle, or else he may become our adversary in battle. For with what could that fellow appease his master if not with the heads of these men? Remember, he is the David of whom they sang as they danced: Saul has slain his thousands; David, his tens of thousands.”
8-9: David, however, said to Achish, “But what have I done, what fault have you found in your servant from the day I appeared before you to this day, that I should not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?” Achish replied to David, “I know; you are as acceptable to me as an angel of God. But the Philistine officers have decided that you must not march out with us to the battle.

IV. Outline
1-2. The Philistines advance
3-5. The Philistine lords try to exclude David from the battle
6-10. Achish speaks with David
11. David returns home

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Campbell, Antony F. “1 Samuel” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 7 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2003).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Klein, Ralph W. “1 Samuel” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 10 (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1983).
Photo taken from http://trevinwax.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/getty_finger_pointing.jpg

1 Samuel 28 – “Saul’s Ominous Meeting at En-dor”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The Philistines prepare to attack the Israelite army. Saul travels to En-dor, conjures up Samuel’s ghost, and is told that he is doomed to fail. Although Saul is distraught, he and his men manage to travel back to the camp.

II. Photo
Saul visits a diviner: “At that, the woman asked, ‘Whom shall I bring up for you?’ He answered, ‘Bring up Samuel for me.’” (v. 11)

III. Important Verses
1-2: At that time the Philistines mustered their forces for war, to take the field against Israel. Achish said to David, “You know, of course, that you and your men must march out with my forces.” David answered Achish, “You surely know what your servant will do.” “In that case,” Achish replied to David, “I will appoint you my bodyguard for life.”
5-7: When Saul saw the Philistine force, his heart trembled with fear. And Saul inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by prophets. Then Saul said to his courtiers, “Find me a woman who consults ghosts, so that I can go to her and inquire through her.” And his courtiers told him that there was a woman in En-dor who consulted ghosts.
13-14: The king answered her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a divine being coming up from the earth.”  “What does he look like?” he asked her. “It is an old man coming up,” she said, “and he is wrapped in a robe.” Then Saul knew that it was Samuel; and he bowed low in homage with his face to the ground.
16-19: Samuel said, “Why do you ask me, seeing that the LORD has turned away from you and has become your adversary? The LORD has done for Himself as He foretold through me: The LORD has torn the kingship out of your hands and has given it to your fellow, to David, because you did not obey the LORD and did not execute His wrath upon the Amalekites. That is why the LORD has done this to you today. Further, the LORD will deliver the Israelites who are with you into the hands of the Philistines. Tomorrow your sons and you will be with me; and the LORD will also deliver the Israelite forces into the hands of the Philistines.”
20: At once Saul flung himself prone on the ground, terrified by Samuel’s words. Besides, there was no strength in him, for he had not eaten anything all day and all night.

IV. Outline
1-2. David and the Philistines prepare to march against Israel
3a. Retelling of Samuel’s death
3b. Saul’s ban on ghosts and spirits
4-5. Saul fears the Philistines
6. God does not answer him
7-14. Saul employs a diviner from En-dor to bring back Samuel
15-19. Samuel warns of defeat for Saul and kingship for David
20. Saul is overwrought
21-25a. Saul agrees to eat
25b. Saul and his men leave

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Campbell, Antony F. “1 Samuel” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 7 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2003).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Klein, Ralph W. “1 Samuel” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 10 (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1983).
Photo taken from http://z.about.com/d/healing/1/0/B/9/1/gi_wwcandles.jpg

1 Samuel 27 – “David Settles in Philistia”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
David flees to Philistia. He plunders the neighboring cities but manages to trick the Philistines, telling them that he has raided Judah itself.

II. Photo
David settles in Ziklag: “David said to Achish, ‘If you please, let a place be granted me in one of the country towns where I can live; why should your servant remain with you in the royal city?’ At that time Achish granted him Ziklag; that is how Ziklag came to belong to the kings of Judah, as is still the case.” (vv. 5-6)

III. Important Verses
1: David said to himself, “Some day I shall certainly perish at the hands of Saul. The best thing for me is to flee to the land of the Philistines; Saul will then give up hunting me throughout the territory of Israel, and I will escape him.”
4: And when Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he did not pursue him any more.
8-11: David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Gizrites, and the Amalekites — who were the inhabitants of the region of Olam, all the way to Shur and to the land of Egypt. — When David attacked a region, he would leave no man or woman alive; he would take flocks, herds, asses, camels, and clothing. When he returned and came to Achish, Achish would ask, “Where did you raid today?” and David would reply, “The Negeb of Judah,” or “the Negeb of the Jerahmeelites,” or “the Negeb of the Kenites.” David would leave no man or woman alive to be brought to Gath; for he thought, “They might tell about us: David did this.” Such was his practice as long as he stayed in the territory of the Philistines.

IV. Outline
1-4. David flees to Philistine Gath
5-6. David inhabits Ziklag
7. Chronology
8-11. David plunders his enemies; Achish is mislead
12. Achish trusts David

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Campbell, Antony F. “1 Samuel” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 7 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2003).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Klein, Ralph W. “1 Samuel” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 10 (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1983).
Photo taken from http://ferrelljenkins.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/ziklag_fjenkins_120809_152t.jpg

1 Samuel 26 – “David Evades Saul”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Saul chases after David. David sneaks into the Saul’s chambers, steals his personal items, and secretly returns to his own camp. Saul is contrite when he learns that David had the opportunity to kill him but chose not to.

II. Photo
David pleads with Saul: “Oh, let my blood not fall to the ground, away from the presence of the Lord! For the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea — as if he were hunting a partridge in the hills.” (v. 20)

III. Important Verses
1; The Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah and said, “David is hiding in the hill of Hachilah facing Jeshimon.”
6-12: David spoke up and asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, “Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?” And Abishai answered, “I will go down with you.” So David and Abishai approached the troops by night, and found Saul fast asleep inside the barricade, his spear stuck in the ground at his head, and Abner and the troops sleeping around him. And Abishai said to David, “God has delivered your enemy into your hands today. Let me pin him to the ground with a single thrust of the spear. I will not have to strike him twice.” But David said to Abishai, “Don’t do him violence! No one can lay hands on the LORD’s anointed with impunity.” And David went on, “As the LORD lives, the LORD Himself will strike him down, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go down to battle and perish. But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed! Just take the spear and the water jar at his head and let’s be off.” So David took away the spear and the water jar at Saul’s head, and they left. No one saw or knew or woke up; all remained asleep; a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen upon them.
19-21: [David said:] “Now let my lord the king hear his servant out. If the LORD has incited you against me, let Him be appeased by an offering; but if it is men, may they be accursed of the LORD! For they have driven me out today, so that I cannot have a share in the LORD’s possession, but am told, ‘Go and worship other gods.’ Oh, let my blood not fall to the ground, away from the presence of the LORD! For the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea — as if he were hunting a partridge in the hills.”  And Saul answered, “I am in the wrong. Come back, my son David, for I will never harm you again, seeing how you have held my life precious this day. Yes, I have been a fool, and I have erred so very much.”
25: Saul answered David, “May you be blessed, my son David. You shall achieve, and you shall prevail.” David then went his way, and Saul returned home.

IV. Outline
1. The Ziphites inform Saul of David’s location
2-3a. Saul pursues David
3b-5. David sees Saul
6-12. David enter’s Saul’s chambers, takes his personal items, but does not kill him
13-16. David ridicules Saul’s troops
17-24. David convinces Saul of his innocence
25a. Saul blesses David
25b. David and Saul part ways

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Campbell, Antony F. “1 Samuel” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 7 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2003).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Klein, Ralph W. “1 Samuel” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 10 (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1983).
Photo taken from http://www.sfu.ca/biology/faculty/williams/ebird/img/rl_partridge.jpg