The book of 1 Samuel Summary by chapter

The Book of 1 Samuel Summary by Chapter (1-31): Concise and Comprehensive

This book of 1 Samuel Summary by Chapter, will be of great help to anyone who wants to learn the key events in all the chapters of the book 1 Samuel at a glance.

The Book of 1 Samuel is an account that showcases the historical shift in Israel from judges to kings. Through the lives of key figures like Samuel, Saul, and David, this scripture paints the struggles and triumphs of a nation chosen by God. This blog post will provide a summary of the Book of 1 Samuel chapter by chapter for those who seek an organized and straightforward understanding of the book.

Read: The Book of Ruth Summary by Chapter (1-21)

The Book of 1 Samuel Summary by Chapter

Chapter 1

Hannah, a devout woman, prays fervently to the Lord for a child as she is barren. In return, she vows to dedicate her son to God’s service. The Lord answers her prayer and she gives birth to Samuel.

Eli, the high priest, sees Hannah praying and initially thinks she is drunk, but after realizing her devotion, blesses her. Hannah remains true to her vow and leaves Samuel with Eli to serve the Lord.

Chapter 2

Hannah praises God with a song of thanksgiving for the gift of her son. In contrast, Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are portrayed as corrupt and evil.

A man of God prophesies the downfall of Eli’s house and the rise of a faithful priest. The chapter ends with a glimpse of Samuel’s growth and favor with God and men.

Chapter 3

Samuel receives a call from the Lord while sleeping in the temple. Initially, he believes it to be Eli calling him, but Eli discerns it’s the Lord’s voice.

Eli instructs Samuel to listen, and the Lord tells Samuel that He will carry out everything He spoke against Eli’s family. Samuel is established as a prophet.

Chapter 4

The Israelites battle the Philistines, but they are defeated and the Ark of the Covenant is captured. Eli’s sons are killed in battle, fulfilling the prophecy.

When Eli hears the news of the Ark and his sons, he falls backward from his seat, breaking his neck and dies. The chapter ends with the birth of Ichabod, the son of Phinehas.

Chapter 5

The Philistines place the Ark of the Covenant in the temple of Dagon. Miraculously, the statue of Dagon falls and breaks, and a plague afflicts the Philistines.

The Philistines recognize that these calamities are because of the Ark and decide it must be sent away.

Chapter 6

The Philistines return the Ark with offerings to appease the God of Israel. The Ark is put on a cart drawn by cows that head straight to the Israelite town of Beth-shemesh.

The people of Beth-shemesh rejoice but are struck down for looking into the Ark. They send it to Kiriath-jearim to the house of Abinadab.

Chapter 7

Samuel leads Israel in repentance, and they put away foreign gods. The Israelites gather at Mizpah where Samuel prays for them, and the Lord thwarts a Philistine attack.

The chapter closes with Samuel as judge over Israel, and peace is maintained between the Israelites and the Philistines.

Chapter 8

The Israelites demand a king to lead them. Samuel warns them of the consequences but relays the message to God.

God tells Samuel to listen to the people, albeit reluctantly, and to anoint a king for them.

Chapter 9

Saul, a man from the tribe of Benjamin, is in search of his father’s lost donkeys. He meets Samuel, who God had previously revealed would be the future king.

Samuel invites Saul to eat with him and tells him not to worry about the donkeys. Samuel also hints at something greater in store for Saul.

Chapter 10

Samuel anoints Saul with oil, signifying that he is to be the leader of Israel. Saul is given signs as confirmation.

When Saul returns home, he is hesitant to share the news but is eventually proclaimed king by Samuel before all the Israelites at Mizpah.

Chapter 11

Nahash the Ammonite besieges Jabesh-gilead. The inhabitants seek help from Saul, who is filled with the Spirit of God and rallies the Israelites.

Saul leads a successful campaign against the Ammonites and delivers Jabesh-gilead. His victory confirms his position as king.

Chapter 12

Samuel addresses the Israelites, recounting how God delivered them in the past. He exhorts them to serve God faithfully, even as they have a king now.

He calls upon God to send thunder and rain as a sign. The people are in awe and ask Samuel to pray for them.

Chapter 13

Saul makes a burnt offering, which was only to be done by a priest. Samuel arrives and tells Saul that his kingdom will not last because of his disobedience.

The Philistines gather to fight Israel with a vast army. The Israelites are in distress and hide.

Chapter 14

Saul’s son Jonathan and his armor-bearer make a daring attack on the Philistines, which leads to a great victory for Israel.

However, Saul makes a rash oath which nearly costs Jonathan his life. The people intervene to save Jonathan.

Chapter 15

Samuel tells Saul that God wants him to destroy the Amalekites. Saul does not fully obey; he spares King Agag and some livestock.

God regrets making Saul king. Samuel delivers the message and symbolically tears a robe, indicating that the kingdom will be torn from Saul.

Chapter 16

God sends Samuel to Jesse of Bethlehem to anoint a new king. David, the youngest son of Jesse, is chosen and anointed.

The Spirit of God comes upon David. Meanwhile, an evil spirit torments Saul, and David is brought to play the harp for him.

Chapter 17

David fights Goliath, the giant Philistine warrior, with a sling and a stone, defeating him and cutting off his head with Goliath’s sword.

This victory leads to the Israelites routing the Philistines. David’s courage is recognized, and he becomes a figure of prominence.

Chapter 18

Jonathan and David become close friends. David’s popularity grows after his victory over Goliath, making Saul jealous.

Saul tries to kill David but fails. He marries his daughter Michal to David, hoping she will be a snare to him.

Chapter 19

Saul wants David killed and sends men to his house. Michal helps David escape.

David flees to Samuel. Saul sends men to capture David, but they end up prophesying. This happens three times, even with Saul himself.

Chapter 20

David and Jonathan form a covenant. Jonathan agrees to find out his father’s intentions toward David.

Jonathan learns Saul wants to kill David. They sadly part ways as David flees.

Chapter 21

David goes to the priest Ahimelech and receives bread and Goliath’s sword. He then flees to the Philistine city of Gath.

Recognized, David feigns madness to avoid detection, and the king of Gath sends him away.

Chapter 22

David gathers a group of distressed, indebted, and discontented men at Adullam. He then goes to Moab to ensure the safety of his family.

Saul learns that Ahimelech helped David. In his anger, Saul orders the killing of Ahimelech and his family. Only Abiathar, one of Ahimelech’s sons, escapes and joins David.

Chapter 23

David saves the city of Keilah from the Philistines. Saul hears David is in Keilah and plans to besiege the city.

David inquires of the Lord and learns that the people of Keilah would surrender him to Saul. He leaves and continues to evade Saul.

Chapter 24

Saul pursues David in the Wilderness of Engedi. Saul unknowingly enters a cave where David and his men are hiding.

David cuts off a piece of Saul’s robe but does not harm him. He then reveals himself to Saul, showing his integrity.

Chapter 25

Samuel dies. David encounters Nabal and requests provisions. Nabal refuses and insults David.

Nabal’s wife, Abigail, intervenes with gifts and wise counsel. David relents from retaliation. Nabal dies, and David marries Abigail.

Chapter 26

David again spares Saul’s life when he finds him sleeping in a camp. David takes Saul’s spear and water jug as proof.

David calls out to Saul and the army, showing the items as evidence of his mercy. Saul acknowledges his wrongdoing and blesses David.

Chapter 27

David seeks refuge in Philistine territory. The Philistine King Achish gives him the town of Ziklag.

David leads raids against other groups but tells Achish he is raiding Israelite towns, thereby securing Achish’s trust.

Chapter 28

The Philistines gather for war. Saul, afraid, seeks a medium to consult Samuel’s spirit.

Samuel’s spirit foretells Saul’s defeat and death. Saul is filled with despair.

Chapter 29

The Philistine commanders distrust David and his men. They refuse to let them join in the battle against Israel.

Achish tells David to return to Ziklag. David obeys, though reluctantly.

Chapter 30

Ziklag is attacked by the Amalekites, and David’s wives and possessions are taken. David pursues and defeats them, recovering everything.

David sends gifts to the elders of Judah, building relationships with them.

Chapter 31

The Philistines defeat Israel. Saul’s sons are killed, and Saul is critically wounded. Saul takes his own life to avoid capture.

The Philistines take the bodies of Saul and his sons, displaying them as trophies. However, valiant men of Jabesh-gilead retrieve and bury them.

Read also: The Book of 2 Samuel Summary by Chapter (1-24)


Through the waves of battles, the anointing of kings, and the ever-constant hand of the Almighty, the Book of 1 Samuel stands as a testament to God’s presence in the journey of a nation. This summary of the Book of 1 Samuel chapter by chapter has given us a glimpse into the spiritual heritage and unyielding faith of the Israelites. May their stories inspire us to steadfastness and devotion in our walk with God.

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