Why do the books of Samuel pack such broad appeal? Taken together as a single narrative, they certainly offer something for everyone: kings and prophets, great battles and greater heroes, action and romance, loyalty and betrayal, the mundane and the miraculous. In Samuel, we meet Saul, David, Goliath, Jonathan, Bathsheba, the witch of Endor, and other unforgettable characters. And we encounter ourselves. For while the culture and conditions of Israel under its first kings is vastly different from our own, the basic issues of humans in relation to God, the Great King, have not changed. Sin, repentance, forgiveness, adversity, prayer, faith, and the promises of God—these continue to play out in our lives today.
Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Bill T. Arnold shares perspectives on 1 and 2 Samuel that reveal ageless truths for our 21st-century lives.
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Bill T. Arnold (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is a director of Hebrew studies and a professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is the author of Encountering the Book of Genesis, and coauthor of Encountering the Old Testament and A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax.