The passage I selected, 1 Samuel 1:28, tells the story of the birth of Samuel and begins with a story about Samuel’s mother, Hannah, who prays for a child during the family’s annual pilgrimage to worship at Shiloh. Eli, the priest at Shiloh, hears her prayer and tells Hannah that her prayer will be answered. Hannah promises the Lord that if she is granted a child, she will return him to the Lord and his life will be dedicated to the Lord’s work. The birth of Samuel was the first step in Gods plan to give Israel deliverance from their Philistine enemies. Samuel evolves as an important figure in telling the story of the Israelites’ move from the judges’ leadership to the establishment of a kingship.
1 Samuel is presented in the form of a narrative account of the life and contributions of Samuel. Like most of the bible, scholars have tried to determine the author, date of writing, purpose of the text and the historical and chronological order of events.
The author is unknown. Some scholars believe Zabud, son of the prophet Nathan, a priest and the “personal adviser” to King Solomon, wrote the text shortly after Solomon’s death. Others believe Samuel himself wrote the text, while some scholars believe the priest, Ahimaaz, was the author. Most do agree that the composition and editing took place in several stages over a considerable period of time.
Scholars also believe the text of 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel were originally one manuscript. These scholars believe the book of Samuel was written as a part of a whole sequence beginning with Joshua and ending with Kings. Others believe two literary sources lay behind the present form of Samuel. Though differences have been noted, such as the story of David and Goliath being...