Stories such as those of David and Goliath, the call of Samuel, the witch of Endor, and David and Bathsheba are among the most famous from the entire ancient world. Though these stories are memorable and easy to follow, however, the books of 1 and 2 Samuel are among the most difficult ones in the Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew text is widely considered corrupt and sometimes even unintelligible. The social and religious customs are strange and seemingly divergent from the tradition of Moses.
In this first volume of an ambitious two-volume commentary on 1 and 2 Samuel, David Tsumura sheds light on the background of 1 Samuel with a look at the Philistine and Canaanite cultures and untangles the Hebrew text's infamous cruxes. Tsumura also discusses such fundamental matters as the date, literary structure, and purpose of Samuel -- to show that obedience to the word of God is the necessary condition for a king to be acceptable to the God of Israel.