Intro to First Samuel

First Samuel - Workshop One

  • Theme: Our God Provides
  • Interesting Facts About First Samuel
    • 1 and 2 Samuel form one book in the ancient Hebrew manuscripts. They were not divided into two books until the Old Testament was translated into Greek.
      • We don’t know who wrote the books; certainly, it is assumed Samuel was a major contributor, but, much of the book takes place after his death in 1 Samuel 25.
      • They are called the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, not because Samuel wrote all of them, but because they describe his great ministry in Israel and the legacy of it.
    • 1st and 2nd Samuel are named after the person who our sovereign God used to establish the rule by kings (monarchy) in Israel.
      • Samuel not only anointed both Saul and David, Israel's first two kings, but he also gave definition to the new order of God's rule over Israel.
      • Samuel's role as God's representative in this period of Israel's history is close to that of Moses (see Ps 99:6; Jer 15:1) since he, more than any other person, provided for covenant continuity in the transition from the rule of the judges to that of the monarchy.
    • 1st Samuel relates God's establishment of a political system in Israel headed by a human king.
      • Before the author describes this momentous change in the structure of the theocracy (God's kingly rule over his people), he effectively depicts the complexity of its context.
  • Chronology: Historical Context
    • 1105 b.c. Birth of Samuel (1Sa 1:20)
    • 1080 Birth of Saul
    • 1050 Saul anointed to be king (1Sa 10:1)
    • 1040 Birth of David
    • 1025 David anointed to be Saul's successor (1Sa 16:1-13)
    • 1010 Death of Saul and beginning of David's reign over Judah in Hebron (1Sa 31:4-6; 2Sa 2:1,4,11)
    • 1003 Beginning of David's reign over all Israel and capture of Jerusalem (2Sa 5)
    • 997-992 David's wars (2Sa 8:1-14)
    • 991 Birth of Solomon (2Sa 12:24)
    • 980 David's census (2Sa 24:1-9)
    • 970 End of David's reign (2Sa 5:4-5; 1Ki 2:10-11)
  • Brief Outline of First Samuel
    • Historical Setting for the Beginning of Kingship in Israel (chs. 1-7)
      • Samuel's Birth, Youth and Call to Be a Prophet (chs. 1-3)
      • Israel Defeated by the Philistines; the Ark of God Taken and Restored (chs. 4-7)
      • The Beginning of Kingship in Israel under the Guidance of Samuel (8:1;16:13)
    • The Rise of Saul (chs. 8-12)
      • The people's sinful request for a king (ch. 8)
      • Samuel anoints Saul privately (9:1;10:16)
      • Saul chosen to be king publicly (10:17-27)
      • Saul's choice as king confirmed (11:1-13)
      • Saul's reign inaugurated at a covenant renewal ceremony (11:14;12:25)
      • Saul's Kingship a Failure (13:1;16:13)
  • Text: 1 Samuel 1:1-3
    • There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim. [2] Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not. [3] Each year Elkanah would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of Heaven’s Armies at the Tabernacle. The priests of the LORD at that time were the two sons of Eli—Hophni and Phinehas.
  • Learning to look at the text.
    • What are Chiastic structures in the Bible? Should we look for them?
      • Chiasms are evident throughout much of 1 and 1 Samuel. They are frequently used by the writers of the books of the Bible as they inspired by the Holy Spirit.
        • Question: "So, What is a chiasm / chiastic structure in the Bible?"
        • Answer: A chiasm (also called a chiasmus) is a literary device in which a sequence of ideas is presented and then repeated in reverse order.
          • The result is a “mirror” effect as the ideas are “reflected” back in a passage.
          • Each idea is connected to its “reflection” by a repeated word, often in a related form.
          • The term chiasm comes from the Greek letter chi, which looks like our letter X. Chiastic pattern is also called “ring structure.”
    • An example of a Chiastic structure in Samuel 1:1-8
      • Prologue Of Samuel's Birth
        • A = Lineage.
        • B = Hannah was childless.
        • C = Every year.
          • A (1:1) Genealogy of Elkanah
            • B (1:2) Hannah was childless
              • C (1:3a) Every year
          • A' (1:3b) Sons of Eli
            • B' (1:4-6) "The LORD had made her barren" (1:5)
              • C' (1:7-8) Every year
    • Within the passage look for Cross-References with regards to:
      • Marriage
        • Proverbs 18:22 NLT
          • The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD.
        • Matthew 19:4-6
          • “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’” 5 And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
      • Children
        • 2 Kings 4:14-17 NLT
          • Later Elisha asked Gehazi, “What can we do for her?” Gehazi replied, “She doesn’t have a son, and her husband is an old man.” [15] “Call her back again,” Elisha told him. When the woman returned, Elisha said to her as she stood in the doorway, [16] “Next year at this time you will be holding a son in your arms!” “No, my lord!” she cried. “O man of God, don’t deceive me and get my hopes up like that.” [17] But sure enough, the woman soon became pregnant. And at that time the following year she had a son, just as Elisha had said.
      • Worship and Offerings
        • Deuteronomy 12:10-11 NLT
          • But you will soon cross the Jordan River and live in the land the LORD your God is giving you. When he gives you rest from all your enemies and you’re living safely in the land, [11] you must bring everything I command you—your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, your sacred offerings, and your offerings to fulfill a vow—to the designated place of worship, the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored.
      • Using a good study bible look up the side column references for 1 Samuel 1:1-3.
  • Discovery: 1 Samuel 1:1-3
    • Q. What do we know about Elkanah and his family?
      • He was from a location northwest of modern Jerusalem called Zuph.
    • Q. Where was Elkanah from and where was he going?
      • Each year he went to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice. Shiloh was where the tabernacle that enclosed the Ark of the Covenant was kept.
        • Shiloh, 3271 a city of Ephraim It was located ten miles north of Bethel on the east side of the highway that ran from Bethel to Shechem (Judges 21:19). It is the place where Israel set up the tabernacle soon after they entered Canaan (Joshua 18:1). Here the boy Samuel ministered and became the first of a long line of Hebrew prophets. The Philistines defeated Israel about 1050 B.C., captured the ark of the covenant, and probably burned Shiloh (Jeremiah 7:12; 26:6; Psalm 78:60). By the time of Jeroboam, the town was again inhabited (1 Kings 14:2).
      • In his adult life Samuel had lived in the area of Zuph. 1 Sam 9:5-6
    • Q. Around what year did this event occur?
      • 1105
    • Q. Who does Elkanah worship?
      • Our Lord and God.
    • Q. What is God’s specific name in this passage?
      • "Lord of Hosts" JHWH (Jahweh, Jehovah). It is the likely English form of the name represented by the Hebrew letters YHWH. The Lord revealed this unique name for himself to Moses at the burning bush and told him to instruct the Israelites to call on him by this name (Exodus 3). English translations of the Bible usually render this term as “Lord,” with small capital letters. (YHWH can also be translated God, in small capitals.)
    • Q. What does God’s name tell us about God’s power over the difficult circumstances of our lives?
      • Exodus 3:13 (NLT)
        • 3 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” 14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations.
  • Application
    • Why are you studying God's word:
      • Individually?
      • Or, as a group?
    • How will this study influence your relationship to God?
      • 2 Peter 3:18 NLT
        • ...you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.
      • 2 Peter 3:17-18 ESV
        • You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. [18] But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
  • Your Questions and Thoughts
    • ..