God hath heard, 1 Samuel 1:20, a child of prayer, the celebrated Hebrew prophet and judge, Acts 3:24 13:20. He was a Levite by birth, 1 Corinthians 6:20, and the son of Elkanah and Hannah, at Ramah in Mount Ephraim, northwest of Jerusalem. At a very tender age he was carried to Shiloh, and brought up beside the tabernacle under the care of Eli the high priest. Having been conserated to God from his birth, and devoted to Nazariteship, he began to receive divine communications even in his childhood, 1 Samuel 3:1-21; and after the death of Eli, he became established as the judge of Israel. He was the last and best of the Hebrew judges. We contemplate his character and administration with peculiar pleasure and reverence. The twelve tribes, when he assumed their charge, were in a low condition both morally and politically he freed them from all foreign yokes, administered justice with vigor and impartiality, promoted education and true religion, united the tribes, and raised them higher in the scale of civilization.
Their demand of a king, in view of the advanced age of Samuel and the vile character of his sons, showed a great want of faith in God and of submission to his will. Yet He granted them a king "in his wrath," Hosea 13:11. Samuel anointed Saul as their first king; and afterwards David, who in due time was to take the place of Saul already, rejected by God. As long as he lived, Samuel exerted a paramount and most beneficial influence in Israel, even over Saul himself. He instituted the "schools of the prophets," which were long continued and very useful. He died at the age of ninety-eight, B. C. 1053, honored and lamented by all. Even after his death the unhappy Saul, forsaken by the God was pleased to cause Samuel to appear, with a prophetic message to the king. In Psalms 99:6 he is ranked with Moses and Aaron. See also Jeremiah 15:1 Hebrews 11:32.
The two BOOKS OF SAMUEL could not all have been written by him, because his death is mentioned in 1 Samuel 25:1-43, B. C. 1055. Thus far it is not improbable that he was the author, while the remaining chapters are commonly attributed to Nathan and Gad, B. C. 1018. Why Samuel’s name is given to both books cannot be known. In the Septuagint they are called the First and Second Books of Kings. See KINGS. The two books comprise the history of Samuel, Saul, and David. They are quoted in the New Testament, Acts 13:22 Hebrews 1:5, and alluded to in the Psalms, etc.