The Old Testament | The Books of History

1 Samuel

Things to know
Where does the book begin?

The book begins in the last days of the time of the judges.

Where does the book end?

The book ends with the story of the death of Israel’s first king.

People to know


Places to go

Samuel was born.
1 Samuel 1

Saul became the first king of Israel.
1 Samuel 10

God rejected Saul as king.
1 Samuel 15

David fought Goliath.
1 Samuel 17

Saul talked to a wicked woman.
1 Samuel 28

The Story of 1 Samuel

1 Samuel tells the story of the first king of Israel. For many years, Israel did not have a king. God chose special judges to lead the people.

This book is the story of how Israel* came to have a king. Samuel told the story. He was the last of the judges that led the people in Israel*.  God chose Samuel to serve him even before he was born.[1] Samuel’s mother prayed for a child and God answered her prayer. Samuel grew up serving God and helping the priests who cared for God’s Tent. The people soon saw that God had chosen him to be a prophet*.[2] It was not easy for Samuel in his early years as a judge*. The army of Israel* lost many fights. Their land was filled with their enemies.[3] But Samuel led the people well. He helped them to remember God again.

But, when Samuel grew old, he made his sons the new leaders. But his sons did not follow God. So the elders* said to Samuel, You are old, and your sons do not live right. They are not like you. Now, give us a king to rule us like all the other nations.’[4] The people did not want to trust* God to bring another judge*. They wanted a king. Samuel was very unhappy with the people. He warned them that a king would not always be easy to follow. But God told Samuel to listen to the people and give them a king. Soon, God helped Samuel choose the first king for Israel. His name was Saul.

Saul did many good things when he first became king. But it was not long until he did not listen to Samuel. It was not long until he did not obey God.[5]  Saul was the kind of king that Israel* had wanted. He built an army and helped defeat their enemies.  But he was not the kind of king that the Lord* wanted. He did not obey the words of God.[6]  So God decided that Saul would no longer be the king.  But God did not remove Saul right away. God told Samuel to choose another king while Saul was still in power.  Samuel soon chose David to be the new king. But God wanted David to serve Saul before he took over for him.

David was the youngest son of Jesse. They were part of the family of Judah.  He was a great soldier even when he was only a young man. He killed Goliath* with only a stone. This made the people very happy. But this made Saul very angry. Saul began to hate David. For many years, David had to run from Saul. Saul tried to kill David many times. But God watched over David.

This book tells many great stories about David.  He was a brave man. He loved God.  He trusted God, even when he was in danger.

The sad story of Saul ends at the end of the book. His enemies defeated him and he took his own life. He died and the people buried him.[7]  Soon, David would be the new king.  1 Samuel tells us stories that show that David was a good man. When we read 2 Samuel, we see how David became a great king.

  • [1] 1 Samuel 1:11
  • [2] 1 Samuel 3:19-21
  • [3] 1 Samuel 4:1-11; 7:14
  • [4] 1 Samuel 8:4-5
  • [5] 1 Samuel 13:9-14
  • [6] Deuteronomy 18:15
  • [7] 1 Samuel 31:4

The Old Testament | The Books of History