| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 53 - Page 161 of 215 Index | Zoom | |
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pp. 32 - 40
The book of Ruth establishes a link between the days of the Judges in Israel and the
days of David. The opening book of Samuel begins with the days of the Judges, and ends
with the death of Saul, preparatory to the anointing of David as king in the opening
chapters of the second book of Samuel.
The books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles form a complete whole, and were
apparently written by Samuel, Gad and Nathan (I Chron. 29: 29, 30). It is evident the
prophets often wrote the history of their own times, for we read, "Then Samuel told the
people the manner of the kingdom and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the Lord"
(I Sam. 10: 25).
The prophet Gad first appears in association with David when he had escaped to the
cave Adullam, and warns David not to stay in the hold but to depart into the land of
Judah (I Sam. 22: 1-5). In I Chron. 21: 9 he is called "David's seer".
Nathan also was closely associated with David, and continued on into the days of
Solomon (II Chron. 9: 29).
A seer was an earlier name for prophet, as we see in I Sam 9: 9. The Hebrew word
for `prophet' means "one who spoke for, or was moved by God", or "God's mouthpiece".
In The Companion Bible under the heading "The First Book of Samuel", we read
"otherwise called `The First Book of Kings'.". Under the heading "The Second Book of
Samuel" we read "otherwise called `The Second Book of Kings'.". For I & II Kings
Dr. Bullinger states "commonly called the 3rd and 4th Book of the Kings". The reason
for this is because the book that we now call I & II Samuel were always reckoned by the
Hebrew as one Book. They were first divided and treated as two by the Septuagint
translators of the O.T. Scriptures in the B.100: 3rd century. This sub-division has been
followed ever since.
Scrolls were probably more or less equal in length. As Greek writing required at least
a third more space than Hebrew, one scroll was filled up and another necessary long
before the 55 chapters of I & II Samuel had been completed. That there was originally
no break between the two books is evident from the Sedarim, i.e. the divisions or
portions laid down for public reading. In the original, which was one long book, there
were 34 Sedarim, and the 20th begins with I Sam. 30: 25, and ends with II Sam. 2: 6,
without showing the slightest break. Exactly the same thing applies to the book of Kings.
As to the purpose of these records, we are assured that beyond the mere preservation
of the historical facts, there was a more important intention served. Peter, speaking of the
rejection of Christ by the nation of Israel at His first coming, and of His offer of