Skip to main content

The Main Events in the Book of First Samuel

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

The Main Events in the Book of 1st Samuel

The Main Events in the Book of First Samuel

1 Samuel 1

A man from the hill country of Ephraim had two wives Hannah and Peninnah. Hannah was distressed because she was barren with no children. Year after year, Peninnah made fun of Hannah because she had no children. One year Hannah went up to Shiloh with her husband and prayed to God with bitterness of soul to give her a child. God answered Hannah's prayer and gave her a son whom she named Samuel. Hannah dedicates Samuel and offers him to the Lord as an offering of thanksgiving for answering her prayer. After he was weaned, Hannah took Samuel to Shiloh to live.

1 Samuel 2

Hannah prays a prayer of thanksgiving to God. Samuel stays in Shiloh to minister before the Lord. The sons of Eli the High Priest perform wicked practices and treated the Lord's offerings with contempt. Each year Samuel's mother made hi a new robe to wear. Eli rebukes his sons for their wicked deeds. Samuel continued to grow in stature and favor before God and men. A man of God came to Eli and tells him what will happen to his family and gives Eli a sign of proof that the prophecy will come true.

1 Samuel 3

The Lord speaks to Samuel in the night. The Lord tells Samuel about all he will do to the Eli and his family. Eli makes Samuel tell him everything the Lord told him. Eli acquiesces to the Lord word. As Samuel grew up the people of Israel recognized that he was a prophet.

1 Samuel 4

Samuel's word came to all Israel. The Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines and was defeated by them. The people ask themselves "why did the Lord bring defeat upon them"? The Israelites decide to take the ark of the covenant from Shiloh to the battlefield, believing it will save them. Eli's sons Hophni and Phinehas go with the ark. The Philistines defeat the Israelites and capture the ark. Hophni and Phinehas were killed in the battle. When Eli heard that the ark had been captured he fell backward off his chair, broke his neck, and died. Upon hearing that Eli had died and the ark had been captured, Eli's daughter-in-law goes into premature labor, delivers a son, and dies of complications.

1 Samuel 5

The Lord places a heavy hand against the Philistines for the presence of the ark of the covenant in Philistine camps. After setting the ark next to Dagon the Philistine idol, the next morning the Dagon image was found face down and beheaded; many Philistines die because of a plague; and others were afflicted with tumors.

1 Samuel 6

The Philistines send the ark of the covenant back to Israel on a cart and with a guilt offering of five gold tumors and five gold rats. The ark goes to Beth Shemesh in Israel. The Lord struck down 70 Israelite men living in Beth Shemesh for looking inside the ark of the covenant.

1 Samuel 7

The ark of the covenant is sent to Abinadab's home in Kiriath Jearim. After twenty years, Samuel calls the Israelites to rid themselves of the foreign idols and serve the Lord only. The people confess their sins before the Lord and Samuel becomes leader of Israel at a town called Mizpah. The Philistines assembled to attack Israel, but Samuel interceded and offered a burnt sacrifice. When the Philistines attacked, the Lord gave Israel victory over their enemies. For the rest of Samuel's life, the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines. Samuel judged Israel for all his life going from Ramah to Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah hearing their disputes.

1 Samuel 8

When Samuel grew old he appointed his sons to be judges of Israel, but they were not righeous like Samuel. The people of Israel demand to have a king rule them. The Lord gives Samuel rules for the king. Samuel tells the Israelites how a king would act towards them. The people refuse to listen to Samuel's admonition and insist on having a king. The Lord tells Samuel to listen to the people and give them a king.

1 Samuel 9

An upstanding Benjamite named Kish had a son named Saul who was without equal in Israel, a head taller than any other man. Kish sent his son Saul to find his lost donkeys. When Saul and his servant cannot find the donkeys, they stop in a town to ask Samuel the prophet if he could help them find the donkeys. The Lord told Samuel to anoint Saul as king. Saul is told that the Lord has selected him as king. Saul objected because of the lowliness of his families stature. Saul eats with Samuel and stays the night with him.

1 Samuel 10

Scroll to Continue

Samuel anoints Saul and tells him what will happen to him that day. Saul prophesies with a procession of prophets at Gibeah. Saul tells his uncle about how he met Samuel. Samuel summons the people of Israel to Mizpah and recounts to them how the Lord saved them from Egypt and how they had rejected the Lord as king over them. Samuel reveals Saul as king whom they find hiding among the baggage. Samuel explains the regulations of the kingship and wrote them down on a scroll. Everyone returns home. As Saul returned to Gibeah he was joined by valiant men, but some others despised him.

1 Samuel 11

Nahash the Ammonite besieged Jabesh Gilead. The people Jabesh Gilead sound out a message to all of Israel for someone to come to their defense. Saul filled with the Spirit of God came upon Saul in power and he rescued the city of Jabesh. Saul is reaffirmed as king over Israel.

1 Samuel 12

Samuel delivers a farewell speech. Samuel recounts how he never took anything from the people, but ruled them in integrity. Samuel recounts how the Lord had delivered Israel time and again even though they constantly sinned against him. Samuel exposes the evil the people of Israel did when they asked for a king. The people confess their sin for rejecting the Lord; Samuel tells them not to be afraid but to obey God, be faithful to him, and not to turn away to idols.

1 Samuel 13

Saul was 30 years old when he became king and reigned over Israel 42 years. Saul chose three thousand men to fight with him. Jonathan, Saul's son, attacked a Philistine outpost and the Israelite fighting men are called to join Saul at Gilgal. The Philistines assembled their armies to attack Israel and the Israelite men hide in caves out of fear. Saul waited seven days for Samuel to arrive at Gilgal and when Samuel did not come, Saul offered the sacrifice to hold his men together. When he had just finished, Samuel arrived knowing that Saul had done what was not lawful for him to do. Samuel rebuked Saul for his disobedience to God's command and told him his kingdom would not last. Samuel also told Saul that the Lord had chosen another to succeed him as king; a man after the Lord's own heart. The Philistines send raiding parties against the Israelites. The Israelites cannot find any weapons to fight back because there were no Israelite blacksmiths in that area. Only Saul and Jonathan had weapons.

1 Samuel 14

Jonathan went with his armor bearer to fight against a detachment of Philistines at the pass of Micmash. No one was aware that Jonathan had left camp. The Philistines call Jonathan to come up to them and Jonathan kills about twenty men. The Philistine army was thrown into confusion; Saul and his army join the fight and the Lord rescued the Israelites that day. Saul bound the fighting men to an oath not to eat any food that day before he had avenged himself of his enemies. The men came to a patch oozing with honey, but none of them ate it because of the oath. Jonathan did not know about the oath and ate some of the honey. After the Israelite men had defeated the Philistines they were so hungry they pounced on the plunder of sheep and cattle and started eating it with the blood still in it. Saul builds an altar where the men can slaughter the meat properly. Saul discovers that Jonathan had broken the oath not to eat anything and curses his own son to death, but the other fighting men rescued Jonathan from Saul's hand. saul stopped pursuing the Philistines and the Israelites withdrew to their own land. Saul subdued all Israel's enemies. Saul's family is recounted.

1 Samuel 15

The Lord decides to punish the Amalekites for their opposition to Israel when the Israelites were escaping from Egypt. Samuel directs Saul to lead his army against the Amalekites and to wipe out everything and not to capture any plunder but completely destroy it. Saul summoned his fighting men (over 200,000 men); they destroy the Amalekites, but do not obey the Lord's command completely. Saul and his men capture Agag the king of the Amalekites and the best of everything including the best of the livestock. The Israelites destroyed the worst of everything. Saul sets up a monument to himself. Samuel goes to meet Saul and rebukes him for not obeying the Lord's direction. Saul pleads his case by saying he brought back the best to make a sacrifice to the Lord. Saul tells Samuel that to obey is better than sacrifice. Saul admits his sin and pleads with Samuel to go back with him. Samuel refuses to go with Saul. Saul grabs Samuel's robe and tears it. Samuel tells Saul that the Lord has torn his kingdom away from him and given it to another. Samuel slays Agag the king of the Amalekties.

1 Samuel 16

The Lord sends Samuel to the house of Jesse to anoint the new king. Samuel objects believing Saul will hear and try to take his life. Samuel goes to the tribe of Jesse and Jesse presents his older sons to him. Samuel is impressed with Eliab. The Lord tells Samuel that the Lord does not look at the outward appearance, but at the heart. None of the elder sons of Jesse are accepted as king. Jesse sends for David who was shepherding the flocks in the field. David is anointed as the next king of Israel. The Spirit of the Lord departs from Saul and David is hired to play the harp for Saul to soothe his soul.

1 Samuel 17

The Philistines gather their forces to battle against Israel at Socoh in Judah. A Philistine champion named Goliath is sent out of the camp to challenge the Israelites. The Israelites cannot find anyone who wants to fight Goliath. David's father Jesse sends David to the battleline to take rations to his brothers. David sees Goliath and asks who he is to defy the Holy One of Israel. David volunteers to fight Goliath. Saul objects, but David tells Saul how he rescued his sheep from the bear and the lion. David goes against Goliath with a sling and five smooth stones. David kills Goliath with the first stone and the Israelites rout the Philistines.

1 Samuel 18

Jonathan becomes one in spirit with David and made a covenant with him. David works his way to a high rank in Saul's army. The women came out to meet David with a special song lifting his accomplishments over those of King Saul. King Saul becomes jealous of David. Saul attempts to take David's life, twice. Saul offers his eldest daughter to David, but David objects. Saul's youngest daughter Michal falls in love with David; Saul hopes David will be killed by the Philistines attempting to fulfill the requirements of the bride price. King Saul considered David an enemy for the rest of his life.

1 Samuel 19

Saul commanded Jonathan and all his attendants to kill David. Jonathan warns David of Saul's plot. Jonathan attempts to speak to his father Saul on David's behalf. Saul promises not to harm David and David is brought back to the palace to serve Saul as before. Once again, an evil spirit fills King Saul and he attempts to kill David. Saul sends men to David's house in the night to kill David, but Michal helps David escape. David goes to Samuel in Ramah and they escape together to a place called Naioth. Saul pursues David and Samuel, but the Spirit of the Lord came over Saul and caused him to prophesy in Samuel's presence.

1 Samuel 20

David fled from Naioth and went to Jonathan. David tells Jonathan that his father King Saul tried to kill him. Jonathan does not believe David, but goes back to the palace to find out. Jonathan and David plot a plan to verify if King Saul is attempting to kill David. King Saul accuses Jonathan of conspiring with David; when Jonathan objects his father Saul tried to kill Jonathan with his spear. Jonathan goes out to the field where David is hiding and gives a sign that David should escape.

1 Samuel 21

David goes to Nob to Ahimelech the priest and asks for bread for his men. Ahimelech gives David some of the showbread which is only lawful for priests to eat. One of Saul's servants Doeg the Edomite sees David. David is given Goliath's sword and fleas from Saul. David went to Achish king of Gath, but was afraid of Achish. When presented to Achish, David acts like a mad man and the king of Gath sent David away.

1 Samuel 22

David escapes to the cave of Adullam. David is joined by his brothers as well as all who were distressed or in debt or discontent. David moves on to Mizpah on Moab and leaves his father and mother with the King of Moab. King Saul continues to pursue David. Doeg the Edomite tells Saul about how Ahimelech the priest helped David. Saul went to the priest and killed him. Saul's men refused to kill the priests, so Doeg the Edomite does kills them. Abiathar, son of Ahimelech the priest escaped to join David.

1 Samuel 23

David saves Keilah from the Philistines. Saul pursues David at Keilah and David fleas to the hills of the Desert of Ziph to Horesh. Jonathan came to David in Horesh and encourages him. The Ziphites tell Saul that David was staying in the strongholds of Horesh and David and his men move to Maon. When Saul and his men were close to finding David, Saul is called away to stop an attack by the Philistines.

1 Samuel 24

After King Saul had returned from pursuing the Philistines, he continued his pursuit of David. Not knowing David was there, Saul went into a cave where David was hiding to relieve himself. David had a chance to kill the king, but spared Saul's life. David cut-off a section of Saul's robe as evidence. Later, david felt guilt that he had cut the robe of the Lord's anonited king. After David pleads his case to Saul, Saul weeps and acknowledges David's kindness. Saul asks David to spare his family after he becomes king. David agrees and they both return to their homes.

1 Samuel 25

Samuel dies. David and his men move back to the Desert of Maon. David sends his men to ask a man named Nabal for some rations, but Nabal refuses to give any. David becomes angry and goes to destroy Nabal, but Nabal's wife Abigail stops David from doing so. Abigail gives David and his men food to eat. David praises the Lord for Abigail's wisdom. When Abigail told her husband Nabal what she had done, he died of a heart attack. David takes Abigail as his own wife.

1 Samuel 26

Once again, King Saul pursues David to kill him. David spies where Saul and his commander Abner had lain down for the night. David and Abishai sneak into Saul's camp, but David keeps Abishai from killing the king. David took Saul's spear and water jug as evidence of being in Saul's camp. The next morning, David called out to Saul and shows how he spared the king's life. Saul confesses his sin again and pledges never to pursue David again.

1 Samuel 27

David takes refuge with the Philistines. David led raiding parties against Israel's enemies, but tells the Philistine ruler that his men were raiding the Israelites. When they went on raids, David and his men did not leave a man or woman alive because David feared they would escape to tell Achish the Philistine ruler where his men were really going.

1 Samuel 28

The Philistines gather to fight against the Israelites. Achish the Philistine ruler forces David and his men to assist their army against Israel. Samuel had died and Saul had expelled all spiritists and mediums from Israel. Saul saw the large Philistine army and becomes afraid. Saul goes to see the witch of Endor and asks her to call up the spirit of Samuel for advice. Samuel rebukes Saul and tells Saul that the Lord is fulfilling his words to take the kingdom away from Saul. Saul fell face down before Samuel in fear. The witch of Endor gives Saul some food to eat.

1 Samuel 29

Fearing David would help the Israelites, the commanders of the Philistine army demand that Achish send David and his men back to Ziklag. So David and his men go back to the land of the Philistines.

1 Samuel 30

Upon arriving back to Ziklag, David and his men find that the Amalekites had raided there homes and carried off their wives and children. David and his men pursue and destroy the Amalekites. David and his men recover everything that was taken. Two hundred men were too exhausted to help David against the Amalekites and stayed behind to guard the groups supplies. After they wiped out the Amalekites, some of David's men think those who stayed behind should not get a share of the plunder. David declares that those who guarded the supplies were as important as those who did the fighting. David sends some of the plunder to the elders of Judah.

1 Samuel 31

The Philistines fight against the Israelites and kill Saul and his sons. The Philistines hung Saul's body on the wall of Beth Sham. Some valiant men from Jabesh Gilead journeyed to Beth Sham and took down the bodies down from the wall. They buried the bodies and fasted for seven days.


Reformed Eve from USA on February 15, 2020:

The summaries are great. Sometimes the events don't make sense, and when we read something like this, it kind of sheds a light on some confusing events/topics! Thanks!

Marcus on October 22, 2014:

Thanks for posting all these summaries!

Kevin Quinn on January 17, 2012:

They found the Ark of the Covenant where Moses placed the 10 Commandments, in a cave under Golgotha.

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on November 29, 2010:

kgril, I am pleased you found this hub article helpful to you. God bless you! He is GOOD!!!

kgril on November 29, 2010:

this was very helpful and i loved reading it in the bible and then reading this on your site to just jog my memory a little. LOVED IT!!!!....GOD IS GOOD!!!

saeshakir-allah on May 19, 2010:

why did the men fast for 7 days

singla on February 20, 2010:

Thank you this has helped me a lot with my Assignment!

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on December 24, 2009:

James, The Lord did weave a wonderful story for us didn't he. Even if the actions of those in the times of ancient Israel were often less than righteous, they were certainly not boring. Thank you for your encouraging words. I appreciate them very much.

James A Watkins from Chicago on December 24, 2009:

What a story the Lord has weaved for us! So full of important lessons to learn and apply. Thank you for this brilliant summation. I enjoyed it greatly.

RevLady from Lantana, Florida on December 20, 2009:

Thanks for the synopsis of First Samuel ecoggins. I love to read Samuel, it is a great book that brings to life an intriguing account of Israel's experiences as they transition from the rule of judges to a government under kings.

I shall be looking for 2 Samuel outline.


Related Articles