The pilgrimage to Shiloh (1 Sam 1:1-1:8)

There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim. His name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah. The name of the other was Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to Yahweh of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of Yahweh.”

Now we begin the story of Samuel in the Book of Samuel. There was a man Elkanah who had two wives. One gave him children and the other did not. The barren wife is like Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and the mother of Samson. Luke also has Elizabeth with the John the Baptist in this tradition within the New Testament. Important people had unusual births. This is much like Leah and Rachel with Jacob who has one wife childless. Elkanah went to Shiloh to offer sacrifices on a yearly basis. Elkanah was also the name of the 2nd son of Korah. Zuphite is only mentioned here and nowhere else. Jeroham and Elihu are common biblical names, but Tohu and Zuph are unique to here. Eli had two priestly sons at Shiloh. The temple at Shiloh was an important place of sacrifice to Yahweh and his armies or hosts.

“On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah, he gave a double portion, because he loved her even though Yahweh had closed her womb. Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because Yahweh had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of Yahweh, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah said to her. ‘Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

Shiloh was a clear place of worship in Ephraim as it was called the house of Yahweh. Obviously there was tension between the 2 wives. Elkanah liked Hannah, the sterile wife with the closed womb, more than Peninnah who had sons and daughters. Peninnah would provoke Hannah. Thus Hannah got upset. Elkanah tried to console her by saying that he himself was more than the equivalent of 10 sons.

Outline of the Book of 1 Samuel

Outline of the Book of 1 Samuel


1 Samuel General Structure (per Jerusalem Bible)


I – Samuel

1. The childhood of Samuel

The pilgrimage to Shiloh (1 Sam 1:1-1:8)

The prayer of Hannah (1 Sam 1:9-1:18)

The birth and consecration of Samuel (1 Sam 1:19-1:28)

The Canticle of Hannah(1 Sam 2:1-2:11)

The useless sons of Eli (1 Sam 2:12-2:17)

Samuel at Shiloh (1 Sam 2:18-:20)

The other children of Hannah (1 Sam 2:21-2:21)

The sins of the sons of Eli (1 Sam 2:22-2:25)

Samuel grows in stature (1 Sam 2:26-2:26)

The announcement of the punishment for Eli’s two sons (1 Sam 2:27-2:36)

Yahweh’s call to Samuel (1 Sam 3:1-3:9)

Yahweh reveals to Samuel the fall of the house of Eli (1 Sam 3:10-3:18)

Samuel continues to grow as a prophet (1 Sam 3:19-4:1)


2. The Ark of the Covenant among the Philistines

The Ark of the Covenant in the Israelite-Philistine war (1 Sam 4:1-4:9)

Philistine victory and the capture of the Ark of the Covenant (1 Sam 4:10-4:11)

The death of the priest Eli (1 Sam 4:12-4:18)

Death of the wife of Phinehas at child birth (1 Sam 4:19-4:22)

The Philistine god Dagon and the Ark of the Covenant (1 Sam 5:1-5:5)

The setbacks and tumors of the Philistines with the Ark of the Covenant (1 Sam 5:6-5:12)

The Philistines return the Ark of the Covenant (1 Sam 6:1-6:12)

The ark at Beth-shemesh (1 Sam 6:13-6:19)

The ark at Kiriath-jearim (1 Sam 6:20-7:2)

Samuel calls for repentance (1 Sam 7:3-7:6)

Samuel the liberator (1 Sam 7:7-7:14)

Samuel the judge (1 Sam 7:15-7:17)


II – Samuel and Saul

1. Institution of the Kingdom

The sons of Samuel (1 Sam 8:1-8:3)

The people demand a king (1 Sam 8:4-8:9)

The problems with a king (1 Sam 8:10-8:22)

Saul (1 Sam 9:1-9:2)

Saul and his father’s lost donkeys (1 Sam 9:3-9:10)

Saul meets Samuel (1 Sam 9:11-9:21)

Saul eats with Samuel (1 Sam 9:22-9:25)

Samuel anoints Saul (1 Sam 9:26-10:1)

Samuel instructs Saul on where to go (1 Sam 10:1-10:8)

The return home of Saul (1 Sam 10:9-10:16)

Yahweh is not happy about the idea of a king (1 Sam 10:17-10:19)

Saul is chosen as king by a lottery (1 Sam 10:20-10:27)

The threat of Nahash, the Ammonite (1 Sam 11:1-11:4)

Preparing for the battle against the Ammonites (1 Sam 11:5-11:10)

Victory against the Ammonites (1 Sam 11:11-11:11)

Saul is proclaimed king (1 Sam 11:12-11:15)

The integrity of Samuel (1 Sam 12:1-12:5)

Samuel reminds them of Yahweh’s help to their ancestors (1 Sam 12:6-12:11)

Samuel reminds them of their recent history (1 Sam 12:12-12:15)

Samuel reminds them that they must serve Yahweh (1 Sam 12:16-12:25)


2. Beginning of the Reign of Saul

The age and reign of Saul (1 Sam 13:1-13:1)

Preparing to fight the Philistines (1 Sam 13:2-13:7)

Rupture between Samuel and Saul (1 Sam 13:8-13:15)

Preparing for war (1 Sam 13:16-13:23)

Jonathan attacks the Philistine garrison (1 Sam 14:1-14:14)

The general battle (1 Sam 14:15-14:23)

The interdiction oath of Saul (1 Sam 14:24-14:24)

Jonathan violates Saul’s interdiction (1 Sam 14:25-14:30)

Ritual fault of the people eating the blood of the animals (1 Sam 14:31-14:35)

Jonathan recognizes his culpability and is saved by the people (1 Sam.14:36-11:46)

The reign of Saul continues against his enemies (1 Sam 14:47-14:48)

The family of Saul (1 Sam 14:49-14:52)

The holy war against the Amalekites (1 Sam 15:1-15:9)

Saul is rejected by Yahweh (1 Sam 15:10-15:11)

Samuel confronts Saul (1 Sam 15:12-15:21)

The Oracle of Samuel (1 Sam 15:22-15:23)

Saul implores in vain for forgiveness (1 Sam 15:24-15:31)

Samuel kills Agag (1 Sam 15:32-15:33)

Departure of Samuel (1 Sam 15:34-15:35)

III – Saul and David

1. David

Yahweh sends Samuel to Bethlehem (1 Sam 16:1-16:5)

The anointing of David (1 Sam 16:6-16:13)

David enters the service of Saul (1 Sam 16:14-16:23)

Goliath defies the Israelite army (1 Sam 17:1-17:11)

David with his father and brothers (1 Sam 17:12-17:19)

David arrives at the battle camp (1 Sam 17:20-17:30)

David offers to fight Goliath (1 Sam.17:31-17:39)

The preparations for the combat (1 Sam 17:40-17:47)

David defeats the Philistine (1 Sam 17:48-17:54)

The victorious David is presented to Saul (1 Sam 17:55-17:58)

David and Jonathan become good friends (1 Sam 18:1-18:5)

The jealousy of Saul (1 Sam 18:6-18:9)

Saul throws his spear at David (1 Sam 18:10-18:11)

David, the leader of the thousands (1 Sam 18:12-18:16)

David does not want to be Saul’s son-in-law (1 Sam 18:17-18:19)

The Marriage of David to Michal (1 Sam 18:20-18:30)

Jonathan intercedes for David (1 Sam 19:1-19:7)


2. Flight of David

The attack of Saul against David (1 Sam 19:8-19:10)

David is saved by his wife Michal (1 Sam 19:11-19:17)

The frenzied prophets at Naioth (1 Sam 19:18-19:24)

The meeting between Jonathan and David (1 Sam 20:1-20:3)

The love pact between Jonathan and David (1 Sam 20:4-20:17)

The complicated plan of Jonathan and David (1 Sam 20:18-20:23)

David is missing at the festival table (1 Sam 20:24-20:34)

The plan of Jonathan and David in action (1 Sam 20:35-20:40)

Final farewell of Jonathan and David (1 Sam 20:41-20:42)

David at Nob (1 Sam 21:1-21:9)

David at Gath (1 Sam 21:10-21:15)


3. David, chief of the outlaw gang

David gathers people around him at Adullam (1 Sam 22:1:22:2)

David went to Moab (1 Sam 22:3:22:4)

The prophet Gad (1 Sam 22:5:22:5)

Saul is upset (1 Sam 22:6-22:8)

Doeg the Edomite (1 Sam 22:9-22:10)

Saul questions Ahimelech (1 Sam 22:11-22:15)

The massacre of Ahimelech with the priests and people of Nob (1 Sam 22:16-22:19)

Abiathar goes to David (1 Sam 22:20-22:23)

David’s victory at Keilah (1 Sam 23:1-23:14)

Jonathan visits David (1 Sam 23:15-23:18)

The Ziphites report David to Saul (1 Sam 23:19-23:24)

David alludes Saul at the Rock of Escape (1 Sam 23:24-23:29)

David refuses to attack Saul in the cave (1 Sam 24:1-24:7)

David and Saul reconcile (1 Sam 24:8-24:23)

The death of Samuel (1 Sam 25:1-25:1)

David and Nabal (1 Sam 25:1-25:13)

The kindness of Abigail, Nabal’s wife, to David (1 Sam 25:14-25:35)

The death of Nabal (1 Sam 25:36-25:38)

David marries the widow Abigail (1 Sam 25:39-25:42)

The wives of David (1 Sam 25:43-25:44)

Saul pursues David (1 Sam 26:1-26:5)

David finds Saul (1 Sam 26:6-26:16)

Saul and David reconcile with each other again (1 Sam 26:17-26:25)


4. David among the Philistines

David seeks refuge at Gath (1 Sam 27:1-27:4)

David receives the town of Ziklag from King Achish (1 Sam 27:5-27:7)

David serves the Philistine King Achish (1 Sam 27:8-27:12)

The Philistines prepare for a war against Israel (1 Sam 28:1-28:2)

The death of Samuel (1 Sam 28:3-28:3)

Saul and the soothsayer at Endor (1 Sam 28:3-28:14)

The appearance of Samuel to Saul (1 Sam 28:15-28:19)

The reaction of Saul (1 Sam 28:20-28:25)

The Philistines refuse to fight with David on their side (1 Sam 29:1-29:5)

King Achish sends David home (1 Sam 29:6-29:11)

The Amalekites attack Ziklag (1 Sam 30:1-30:6)

David plans to pursue the Amalekites (1 Sam 30:7-30:10)

David meets the sick Egyptian (1 Sam 30:11-30:15)

David attacks the Amalekites (1 Sam 30:16-30:20)

David shares the spoils equally (1 Sam 30:21-30:31)

Saul and his three sons die at the battle of Gilboa (1 Sam 31:1-31:7)

The fate of Saul’s body (1 Sam 31:8-31:13)