This commentary deserves to be widely read and in particular by clergy and teachers. As they use it. they will find the historical background and literary qualities of the narratives made clear. but much more will they find their attention directed to the theological significance of Samuel, Saul, and David and their deeds. If men believed that God worked in such ways, this tells us something of the nature of faith: and, if the narrators are right and God was working in those ways, then here is an insight into the nature of God which we neglect at our peril. The great value of this book is that it is not just another good work of scholarship, though of course it is that, but that Professor Hertzberg has used his scholarship to set forth the great theological themes of the books of Samuel. and for that he deserves our real gratitude' (Church Quarterly Review).
Many of its original suggestions are stimulating, if not all will be immediately accepted. But by its concentration on the religious message of the book and its effort to get into the mind of the compiler it will serve readers of all levels. For this is not a rehash of earlier commentaries. It is interested primarily in the religious significance of the books of Samuel, and Dr Hertzberg endeavours to integrate each of the sections into which he divides the books into the message of the whole. Like other commentators he is interested in the literary analysis of the Biblical work, but unlike many of his predecessors he is not content simply to ask what sources the compiler used, but why he drew his material from them and for what purpose he intended to use it . It is this effort to penetrate the thought and purpose of the writer which gives the special quality to this commentary, and for this approach it is to be warmly welcomed. It should be added that throughout the scholarship is above reproach' (TLS).