Old Testament

The Books of Samuel

Dr. Joel S. Baden
rembrandt David Playing the Harp before Saul 1656 v2

The story of the Hebrew people moves from the time of nomadic tribes governed by judges who emerged in the time of crisis to the era of Israelite monarchy. It is in the books of Samuel that we read the stories of Samuel, Saul, and, of course, the main character of the Hebrew Bible: David, the greatest king of Israel and the ancestor of the messiah.

Whether historically accurate or not, these stories are among the most psychologically realistic portrayals of humans, in all their complexity, in the entire Bible. They deal with all manner of human emotion: temptation, failure, and redemption. For the drama of its plot and characters, Samuel is a truly remarkable text. This study brings these stories to life, while challenging much of what we usually think about them.


Yale Bible Study