Bible Commentaries

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

1 Samuel

Book Overview - 1 Samuel

by John Gill

INTRODUCTION TO 1 SAMUEL

This book, in the Hebrew copies, is commonly called Samuel, or the Book of Samuel; in the Syriac version, the Book of Samuel the Prophet; and in the Arabic version, the Book of Samuel the Prophet, which is the First Book of the Kings; and the Septuagint version, the Book of the Kingdom: it has the name of Samuel, because it contains an history of his life and times; and the Jews sayF1T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 14. 2. it was written by him; and as it may well enough be thought to be, to the end of the twenty fourth chapter; and the rest might be written by Nathan and Gad, as may he gathered from 1 Chronicles 29:29 as also the following book that bears his name; and both may be called the Books of Kings, because they give an account of the rise of the kings in Israel, and of the two first of them; though some think they were written by Jeremiah, as Abarbinel; and others ascribe them to Ezra: however, there is no doubt to be made of it that this book was written by divine inspiration, when we consider the series of its history, its connection and harmony with other parts of Scripture; the several things borrowed from it, or alluded to in the book of Psalms, particularly what is observed in Psalm 113:7, seems to be taken out of 1 Samuel 2:8, and the sanction which the Lord gives to it, by referring to a fact in it, whereby he stopped the mouths of the Scribes and Pharisees cavilling at his disciples, Matthew 12:3, compared with 1 Samuel 21:3, yea, even, as HuetiusF2Demonstrat. Evangel. Prop. 4. p. 199. observes, some Heathen writers have by their testimonies confirmed some passages in these books, which they seem to have been acquainted with, as Nicolaus of DamascusF3Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 7. c. 5. sect. 2. , and EupolemusF4Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 30. ; it contains an history of the government of Eli, and of the birth of Samuel, and his education under him; of the succession of Samuel in it, and the resignation of it to Saul, when he was chosen king; of his administration of his office, and of things done in the time of it, both before and after his rejection, and of the persecution of David by Saul, and is concluded with his death.