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1st Samuel Theology and Themes

Welcome to our new section on Grace Nation Ministries, this is something that has been on my heart for a while. This is going to be a place that I post all of my theological breakdowns of books and passages.

1st Samuel Theology and Themes Ch. 1-7

1st Samuel Outline and Theology

  1. Samuel: Miraculous Birth, Contrasts with Eli’s Sons (1-7)
  2. Saul’s Rise (8-11)
  3. Saul loses the kingship (12-16)
  4. David’s Rise, and Saul’s fall (17-31)

Special Focus Topics

  • Content summary: transition from theocracy (God is the king) to monarchy
  • Messianic themes in 1 & 2 Samuel

Little Consensus on the Central Theological Theme of 1 & 2 Samuel

Scholars Have Proposed:

  • God’s Sovereignty
  • God’s provision of leadership
  • Trust and Obedience
  • Scholars have not really figured out what the underlying message of the book is.
  • My Opinion: The need for a messianic king
    • This is supported by 1Sam 2:10b and 1Sam 2:35
    • This theme can take the other four themes and combine them into one central theme.
    • What are the 3 messianic roles in chapter 3?
      • Prophet (3:8,21) Samuel is the prophet
      • Priest (3:1-21) Eli is the priest
      • King (3:11) God is the king, It is still a theocracy, however the 2nd person of the trinity Jesus (The Son) In verse 10 it says that the Lord stood in the room (v.10) So it is fair to say that it was the Son, a Theophany (When God comes and takes human form, but he is not incarnate at this time.)
    • What are the 3 messianic roles in chapter 7?
      • Prophet (7:3) Samuel is telling the nation, to return to the Lord.
      • Priest (7:9-10) Samuel is the priest offering up burnt offering to the Lord.
      • King (7:5) Samuel is commanding to gather all of Israel up. It even calls Samuel a judge, which in the previous book we see that the Judges ruled over the nation.

Messianic Themes Overview

  • Messiah in the OT usually assumes the role of a prophet, priest, or king
  • Samuel as prophet and priest, 1Sam 3.
  • Samuel as judge, proto-king (king before there was a king) 1Sam 7.
  • Samuel also anointed, Saul the unfaithful king. & David, the faithful king. He anointed both, and this is a messianic sign that we will dive into soon.
  • Samuel is the best messianic figure in the entire OT


What parallels do you see do you see in 1Sam 2:18-26, and Luke 2:41-52?

  • Both sets of parents were traveling to the temple
  • Both passages put a heavy stress on the mothers both of Jesus and of Samuel.
  • Both take place at the temple of the Lord
  • 1st Sam2:26 The boy Samuel continued to grow in stature with the lord. Luke 2:51-52, and Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with the Lord. Both passages end in the same way.
  • 1st Sam is about a messianic figure, and Jesus is the promised messiah, Luke is supposed to send us back to Samuel and people of that day with their OT fluency would have recognized the language. 1st Sam sets the stage for the ultimate messiah because of the messianic themes that are all over 1st

Messianic Themes Anointing in the OT

  • Signified Consecration to serving God
  • Symbolic of the Holy Spirit’s anointing (1st Sam16:13; Isa61:1)
  • Foreshadowing of the NT: we have an anointing (1st John 2:27. Greek: chrisma)
  • In the ANE (Ancient Near East), kings were anointed by religious leaders. Kings were thought to be agents of their god(s). even Pagans did this, God is speaking to
  • 1Sam 10:1,6 Samuel anoints Saul, and the Holy Spirit came upon Him.

Messianic Themes: Israelites Kings

  • Provided physical deliverance through God
  • Provided spiritual leadership towards God
  • Experienced enablement from God



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