The ninth and tenth books of The Bible.The first book tells the story of Samuel who is dedicated by his mother to the priesthood. He grows up to be the most important religious figure of his day and helps establish the Israelite kingship.The second book tells of the kingship of David, Israel's greatest king and ancestor of Jesus.Joseph Heller's God Knows is a modern — and not a little meta — retelling of the Books of Samuel.The Books of Samuel are followed by the Books of Kings.
These books contain the following tropes
All Crimes Are Equal: In part of Samuel's harsh rebuke to Saul's incomplete genocide and rejection as King of Israel, he states in I Samuel 15:23 that rebellion is just as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness is just as evil as idolatry.
Artifact Title: Samuel only played a significant role in the beginning of the first book, then died in the middle and is not mentioned in the second. Those books focus more on the King David.
Babies Ever After: God was so pleased at Hannah giving her firstborn to His service after years of infertility that He made her quite fertile from that point on. She proceeds to have five more children.
Badass Israeli: A whole lot of them, probably most notably David and his mighty men. Saul was no wimp either.
David Versus Goliath: Trope Namer. Goliath was more or less ancient history's André the Giant — some translations put him at nine feet tall! David, meanwhile, was hammered home as the runt of his family, the youngest of ten siblings and not much older than 18 when Goliath bellowed his challenge to Saul's army.
On a political level, David and Saul. Saul was not a short man, and was God's anointed king (for a time) with direct control of the army. That's stiff competition for a former sheep herder.
Disproportionate Retribution: Saul getting rejected as king just because he did some of Samuel's duties may seem like this but remember that the high priest makes sure the king does God's commands to the letter. Saul tries to bypass this and concentrate all power on himself. He was a tyrant in the making.
Dream Team/Badass Crew: David assembles an elite squad of thirty "mighty men" to be his personal guard. All of them had impressive achievements in battle, including one who killed 800 Philistines in one day, one who singlehandedly defended an entire field, and one who "killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day."
Holy Is Not Safe: The Ark of the Covenant proves to be an equal-opportunity Doomsday Device in 1 Samuel 4-7. The Israelites bring the Ark onto the field of battle, which scares the Philistines into fighting harder instead. They capture it, then make the mistake of keeping it in the same room as an idol of Dagon. God breaks the statue and smites the Philistines with a plague of tumors and rats. The Philistine cities play hot potato with the Ark for a while before sending it back to Israel with a guilt offering. Aaaand the Israelites promptly have a whole bunch of people die from looking into the Ark.
Homoerotic Subtext David and Jonathan's relationship, let the text speak for itself. 2 Samuel 1:26 "I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women."
Honor Before Reason: During a battle with the Philistines, Saul disrupted his own army by making them swear that they will not eat or drink until they have won. They had no choice but to obey, and the enemy escaped. Only Jonathan thought this was dumb.
Improbable Weapon User: The Philistines had a monopoly on weapons so the Israelites (with the exception of Saul & Jonathan) had to weaponise their farm tools.
It's All My Fault: David bravely comes clean and says "I have sinned against the Lord" when Nathan the prophet confronts him with his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and killing her husband Uriah to cover it up.
Law of Inverse Fertility: Penninah has children, and lords it over Hannah, who has none. Hannah eventually does conceive, but not without divine intervention.
Mistaken For Drunk: When Hannah is praying for a child, Eli (the priest) assumes she's drunk. When she corrects him, he apologizes, and says something along the lines of "May God grant you what you ask for."
Morality Pet - Mephiboseth, Jonathan's crippled son, is this to David.
Obfuscating Insanity: David was forced to flee (from Saul) into exile at the court of the King of Gath (Goliath's hometown), who happened to be an enemy of Israel. When the King of Gath recognizes him as an anti-Philistine guerrilla warrior, David pretended to be a raving madman, causing the king to think him harmless.
The story begins with Elkanah, who had two wives, Penninah and Hannah.
Also, David has Michal and Bathsheba, plus several other women.
Punished for Sympathy: 1 Samuel 15:18-23, where King Saul is chastised by Samuel because he had spared only one Amalekite which is King Agag as well as the sheep and cattle which were valuable. This is where God has officially rejected Saul as king of Israel.
Nathan reaming out David for his adultery, and his murder of Uriah.
There's also Samuel chewing out Saul for burning an offering without waiting for him to arrive to Gilgal and later for sparing King Agag and the cattle and sheep when God commanded him to kill all Amalekites.