Samuel was the son of Elkanah and Hannah, and he is considered one of the first major prophets of the Bible and the Jewish scriptures. He appears on the Biblical timeline after the death of Eli in 1154 BC. Samuel’s legacy as a prophet began when he was 13 years old, and God had anointed him for this position. By the time Samuel had become a grown man he had become an important public figure and people had known him for being a prophet of God.
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Samuel’s story began with his mother Hannah who was a barren and childless woman. Hannah could not have a child and became very distraught over the fact that she could not conceive children. She begged God to give her a child and in return she would place the child in his service. God honored her request and allowed her to become pregnant. After she had given birth to Samuel, she took care of him for the early years of his life. By the time Samuel was a teenager, he was given to the care of a priest named Eli. Once he was placed in Eli’s care, he learned about God’s ways and by the time he was a teenager God had appointed him to his future position as a prophet and leader in Israel.
From the time, Samuel was born the Philistines had been dominating and harassing the Israelites. God had given Samuel the task of gathering an army to rout the Philistines in a major battle. The people had to return their loyalty and allegiance back to God to be successful in battle. God was with the Israelites, and they defeated the Philistines at the Battle of Mizpah. Samuel was also a judge of the people of Israel and after his victory at Mizpah he led the people of Israel for many years. As a prophet, Samuel was the first person in Israel since Moses to publically declare repentance. Because he demanded that the people return to God, many considered him to be the first in a long line of prophets.
When Samuel’s leadership came to an end, he was going to place his sons in charge of the Israeli people. The Israeli people no longer wanted judges, and they wanted kings like the other nations. God granted them their request and Samuel anoints Saul as the first king. He then is used by God to declare Saul’s demise and to anoint David the son of Jesse as king. After this happens, Saul eventually dies in Ramah.
Samuel in the Bible
- 1 Samuel 1 The story of Hannah and how she conceives Samuel.
- 1 Samuel 2:26 Samuel receives favor from God and man.
- 1 Samuel 3:4-11 God anoints Samuel to the position of a prophet and judge.
- 1 Samuel 3:20 Samuel becomes a famous prophet all throughout Israel.
- 1 Samuel 7 Samuel leads the forces of Israel against the Philistines at Mizpah.
- 1 Samuel 7:15 Samuel is now a judge of all of Israel.
- 1 Samuel 8:7 the people reject Samuel’s sons as the next judges and demand a king.
- 1 Samuel 9:17 God anoints Saul as king and tells Samuel about his decision.
- 1 Samuel 15:26 God tells Samuel to reject Saul as king.
- 1 Samuel 16:13 Samuel anoints David as king.
- 1 Samuel 28:3 Samuel dies at Ramah and all of the people of Israel mourn his death.
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