Study Guide

1 Samuel Allusions

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Biblical References

Barren Women of the Bible
Hannah is one of many women in the Bible who cannot have children. Abraham's wife Sarah eventually has a child when she is very old. Isaac prays for his wife Rebekah to have children, and she has twins. The story of Hannah and her rival Peninnah is most like the story of Jacob's wives, Rachel and Leah (1:1-6).

There Be Dagon
Dagon was a Philistine deity. A city called Beth-Dagon is mentioned in Joshua 19:27. In Judges 16:23, the Philistines credit Dagon with helping them to defeat Samson. I Chronicles 10:10 repeats the story of the Philistines placing the head of the Israelite King Saul in the temple of Dagon in I Samuel 5. Dagon proves to be no match for Yahweh, the God of Israel (I Samuel 5).

Plagues Abound
The Philistines have heard about the plagues that God brought on the Egyptians in Exodus 9-11 (I Samuel 6).
In I Samuel 8, the Israelites ask Samuel for a king. He warns them of the consequences. The king will take their sons and their daughters to serve him. He will also take their fields and vineyards. Deuteronomy 17:14-20 tries to restrict the king of Israel from becoming too wealthy. The passage may be thinking about King Solomon who will have lots of wealth and many wives.

Spirit Is as Spirit Does
In 1 Samuel 11:6, Saul is empowered by the spirit of the Lord. The same thing happens to David in I Samuel 16:13-14. This also happens to most of the leaders in the book of Judges.

In Exodus 17, the Amalekites fought against the Israelites. In I Samuel 15, the Lord tells Saul to wipe out the Amalekites. We're guessing God doesn't like them too much.

Robe Problems
In 1 Samuel 15:27-28, Saul tears Samuel's robe. The piece of torn robe symbolizes the fact that the kingdom has been torn away from Saul. In I Kings 11:29-32, we have a similar story. A prophet tears his robe in pieces to show that the kingdom of Israel will be divided. For more, see Torn Robes in "Symbols, Imagery, and Allegory."

Other Biblical References

  • In 1 Samuel 22, David starts leading a band of outlaws. In Judges 10-11, Jephthah is an outlaw who becomes a leader in Israel. Full circle, Shmoopers. 
  • David takes his father and his mother to Moab in 1 Samuel 22:3. A Moabite woman named Ruth was David's great grandmother according to Ruth 4:17-22.
  • According to 1 Samuel 28:3, Saul killed almost all of the wizards and mediums in the land. Maybe he was just obeying the command in Leviticus 20:27
  • In 1 Samuel 14:34, the Israelites sin and eat meat that has blood in it. They disobeyed Leviticus 3:17, a verse that told them not to eat blood.
  • 1 Samuel 2 contains Hannah's Song. In the chapter, Hannah praises God for his greatness. If you ask Shmoop, Hannah's Song sounds a whole lot like Mary's Song in Luke 1:46-55. Mary's Song is known as the Magnificat. Another song associated with a woman is the Song of Deborah in Judges 5.
  • Samuel is mentioned in several verses of the New Testament: Acts 3:24, Acts 13:20, Hebrews 11:32.
  • David is named in nine different books of the New Testament. See? We told you he was kind of a big deal.
  • Hebrew 11:32 looks like it was based on I Samuel 12:11.

David in Art

Donatello's David
Ah, the famous sculpture of David in all his naked glory. And yes, a ninja turtle was named after the sculptor.

Michelangelo's David
This one's another naked statue of David—and even more famous than the last. Oh, and this sculptor also had a ninja turtle named after him.

Bernini's David
This David is clothed, for once. And alas, there's no Teenage Mutant Ninja Bernini.

David in Literature

Giant Killer
Did David really kill Goliath or did someone else? This book offers an interesting take on the legend of David.

God Knows
David discusses his flaws.

David and Goliath
This nonfiction book by Malcolm Gladwell invites the reader to challenge the way we look at obstacles, beginning with the story of David and Goliath.

David in Biblical Scholarship

King David: A Biography
Does David protest too much about not killing Saul?

King David: The Real Life of the Man Who Ruled Israel
The title almost makes it sound like the author got an interview with the real David.

David's Secret Demons
Is David a messiah, murderer, traitor, or king? All of the above?

David in Film

King David
Your mom's favorite '80s romantic hero Richard Gere portrayed the warrior king in this 1985 film.

The Story of David
This 1976 TV movie tells the story of David in a rousing 191 minutes.

The Bible
This TV miniseries focused on a lot besides David, but he's in there somewhere.

David in Music

King David
This modern oratorio features songs by Tim Rice and Alan Menken, two of the big names behind most of your favorite Disney music.

David on Television

This 2009 NBC series was a modern retelling of the classic story. With Ian McShane as the maybe-crazy Saul. Need we say more?

The PBS classic Wishbone episode entitled "Little Big Dog" featured David's battle with Goliath.

Xena: Warrior Princess
The season 2 episode entitled "Giant Killer" featured David and Goliath because why not?

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