Please read as much of I Samuel as possible. Don't worry too
much abour remembering all the details. Instead, focus on
figuring out answers to the questions below. Notice that the
questions are mostly from the first chapters, and we will be spending
quite a bit of time there. However, I'll also spend time looking
at Saul and David. I think you will find there stories
1. Both Judges and I Samuel are part of what is called the Deuteronomic history. Do you see any continuity between these books? Do they connect likewise with the book of Deuteronomy? What similarities do you see between I Samuel and Judges? Does it seem to you likely that they are by a common author?
2. What seems to you most probable context for the writing of I Samuel? When during Hebrew history was the book written? Why did the author write this particular book?
3. What sources does the writer seem to have at his disposal? Are there conflicts between his sources? If so, how does he resolve them?
4. What is the basic structure of I Samuel? Is the organization strictly chronological?
5. Why does the story begin where it does? Why the story of the man with two wives?
6. How well does having two wives work out for Elkanah? Why the problems?
7. Why is Hannah so concerned with her inability to have children?
8. Why does Hannah make the particular vow she makes regarding her child?
9. Note particularly Hannah's prayer in chapter 2. What is Hannah's theology? What does she think God is like?
10. What do you think of Eli? What are his postive qualities? What are his faults?
11. Notice the behavior of Eli's sons. Why are they like this? Why do they take ark into battle? What does the author of the book seem to think about the strengths and weaknesses of theocratic government?
12. What does the author think of monarchy? What does he see as the strengths of this kind of government? The weaknesses?
13. What kind of man is Samuel? What kind of a leader is he? What are his weaknesses?
14. How would you describe Saul? In what ways is he a good leader?
15. Where does Saul go wrong?