Literature / Books of Samuel
aka: Samuel

ďNow, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ĎThus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the names of the great ones of the earth.íĒ
2 Samuel 7:8-9

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 and political figure of his day, becoming the last shofet or "Judge" of Israel (in the sense meant by the Book of Judges) and (somewhat reluctantly) helps establish the Israelite kingship.

The second book tells of the kingship of David, Israel's greatest king and ancestor of Jesus.

The Books of Samuel are followed by the Books of Kings.

These books contain the following tropes

  • 20 Bear Asses: Saul offered his daughter's hand in marriage to David, if David could bring him 100 Philistine foreskins. David one-upped him and brought back 200.
  • 100% Heroism Rating: David! So much so that when he was the head of Saulís armies before becoming king, the women of Israel sang, ďSaul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands
  • Alas, Poor Villain: David had a habit of fighting civil wars against his own family members, so he often engages in this trope.
    • When Saul and Jonathan (Davidís father- and brother-in-law) are killed in battle, David writes a song of lamentation for both of them. While Jonathan had long been Davidís Heterosexual Life-Partner, Saul had tried to kill David on several occasions. David still greatly mourns for the man who was once like a father to him.
    You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul
    Who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet
    Who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.
    How the mighty have fallen in the midst of battle!
    — 2 Samuel 1:24-25 (English Standard Version)
  • 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. note 
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The ark of God is treated as this in these books. In 1st Samuel, when the Israelites were first defeated by the Philistines, they realize that if they could carry the ark of God into battle, God would have to fight for them and wipe out their enemies. As it turns out, though, God not only lets the Israelites be defeated by the Philistines again, He also allows the ark to be taken into Philistine territory, where it causes trouble among their people until they decide to have it be brought back to the Israelites by putting it on a cart driven by oxen alongside a trespass offering and have the oxen take it away.
  • Armor Is Useless:
    • Goliath is wearing more than a hundred pounds of armor, including a bronze helmet. However, the rock David fires at Goliath kills him instantly by going through his eye socket, which presumably was not covered by the helmet.
    • David also rejects Saul's armor, as it's far too big for him.
  • 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.
  • Asshole Victim: Goliath, Absalom, King Saul, Joab (eventually), the Philistines and the Amalekites.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Inverted at Saulís inauguration, which instead became an Awesome Moment of De-Crowning, specifically about how Israel had dethroned Samuel and, by extension, God. To demonstrate this point, Samuel calls for rain in the summer season, when it is least likely to rain. The subsequent thunder and rain greatly frightens the people of Israel, who ask Samuel to intercede for them.
  • 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.
  • Bad News in a Good Way: When King David asks a Cushite officer announcing his victory over Absalom whether Absalom is still alive, the Cushite rather tactfully replies that he hopes all of King David's enemies end up sharing that young fellow's fate.
  • Badass Crew: 2nd Samuel has a list of Badasses who worked for King David, and were referred to as the "Mighty Men". The entire list is filled with stories of people killing off hundreds of people singlehanded, or fighting wild animals.
  • Badass Israeli: A whole lot of them, probably most notably David and his mighty men. Saul was no wimp either.
  • Bastard Understudy: How Saul comes to view David, as the Lord has departed from Saul and His Spirit is now resting on David to give him success in battle.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The people of Israel ask Samuel for a king, believing this will bring greater stability to Israel. Samuel warns them about how oppressive kings can be, but they ignore his warning. The truth of Samuelís warnings, though, isnít apparent until a few kings later.
    Rehoboam: ďMy father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.Ē Ė 1 Kings 12:14
  • Betrayal By Offspring: David's son, Absalom, turns against his father and seizes Jerusalem driving David beyond the Jordan River. Absalom then rules for a time as a regent and self-declared king before being slain by his father's Number Two, Joab, in the Battle of Ephraim Wood. Despite Absalom's revolt against him, David weeps over his death.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Saul chooses to kill himself rather than let the Philistines capture him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The families of David and his mighty men, including Davidís wives, Abigail and Ahinoam, were kidnapped by the Amalekites. Davidís men nearly stoned him in their anguish, but after David prayed to the LORD, he led to his men to reclaim their lost families and property.
    ďNothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all.Ē — 1 Samuel 30:19 (English Standard Version)
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Davidís family!
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: King David had thirty elite One-Man Army soldiers to act as his personal bodyguards, but he's such a badass he probably didn't need them anyway.
  • Brats with Slingshots: Notably not David, though many, many people believe he used one. What he really used was a sling—which, in so many words, was the ancient world's equivalent of a gun or bow and arrow, rather than a kid's toy.
  • Burn the Witch!: When he became king, Saul was noted for executing witches among the Israelites. Later on, though, he proved to be a hypocrite by consulting the Witch of Endor to find out about his fate in battle.
  • Bury Your Disabled: Inverted by Mephibosheth, who is the only member of the House of Saul to survive Davidís reign and continue the family line. Likely a case of Disability Immunity, as Mephiboshethís lameness prevented him from fighting in the civil war and thus avoiding Davidís wrath.
  • Civil War: First between Saul and David, and then between Ish-Bosheth and David.
  • Combat by Champion: David vs. Goliath, the most famous example in history.
  • Combat Pragmatist: David defeats his massive and well-equipped foe by pegging him in the face from a distance.
  • David vs. Goliath:
    • Trope Namer. Goliath was more or less ancient history's Andrť 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.
  • Death by Childbirth: Phinehas' wife dies while giving birth to her child, which she names Ichabod ("no glory"), for "the glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God was taken."
  • Death by Falling Over: Eli in 1st Samuel, when he was sitting by the roadside and got the news that his two sons were killed in battle and the Ark of God had been taken away, fell over from his seat, broke his neck, and died when he heard about the Ark of God.
  • Death by Irony: Absalom was admired for his great strength and long hair. But once his rebellion failed, and he was fleeing for his life, his hair (or perhaps his whole head) got caught in some oak branches. This allowed Joab to kill him rather easily.
  • Defiled Forever: David's daughter Tamar, who was raped by her half-brother Amnon, who ended up living in her other brother Absalom's house as a desolate woman. This eventually results in Absalom getting even with Amnon by having him killed in a private little party.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The rejection of Saul as king just for doing some of Samuel's duties may seem like this at the outset, but it must be noted 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.
  • Divine Right of Kings: Both Saul and David are specifically chosen by God to be Israelís kings. While Saul is clearly chosen for his great size, God also chooses David, the youngest and smallest of the sons of Jesse, despite Samuelís objections.
    ĒFor the LORD sees not as man sees: the man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.Ē 1 Samuel 16:7 (English Standard Version)
  • 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 single-handedly defended an entire field, and one who "killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day."
  • Driven to Suicide: Saul, eventually. And Ahithophel, when Absalom seeks advice as for what to do with King David, and prefer's Hushai's advice over Ahithophel's.
  • Due to the Dead: The funeral pyres for Saul and his three sons and the burial of their ashes at the end of 1 Samuel. David later has the ashes reburied in the family tomb along with the remains of the seven men who had been killed for their ancestor's massacre of the Gibeonites.
    • David takes care of Mephibosheth as a way of honoring his friend, Jonathan.
  • Easily Forgiven: David forgives Abner (who led Saulís armies during Saulís civil war with David), Absalom (his son who led a rebellion against him), and Absalomís supporters. Forgiveness for the first is subverted by Joab, and the latter by Solomon.
  • End of an Era: 1 Samuel depicted the final reign of the judges and the beginning of the Kingdom Of Israel.
  • Enemy Mine: David works for Philistines while on the run from Saul. Once he becomes king of Israel, he goes back to battling them.
  • The Evil Prince: David's sons Amnon (raped his half-sister) and Absalom (led a rebellion). Later Adonijah, a much less overt and more underhanded type.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: In 1st Samuel, when it came the time for prophet Samuel to anoint the new king, God instructed him to go to a house of a certain Jesse who had many sons. He inspected them, and they were no doubt strong, smart, and reputable, but to the surprise of Jesse and probably Samuel too, none of them were to be the king. Samuel, wondering whether he or God had mistaken the house, asked whether those were really all Jesse's sons. There was one more, a young boy who preferred to spend time alone tending the sheep. Guess which one became the king.
  • Eye Scream: Saul's first great act was saving a city under siege from a warlord who would let them live if they allowed him to gouge out their eyes.
  • Fake Defector: David decides to offer his services to a Philistine lord in order to hide himself from King Saul. It works for a little over a year until the other Philistine lords see him and the other Hebrews with David and suspect that he is this trope working undercover to take down the Philistines from within in order to please his "true master".
  • Fatal Flaw
    • Saul's tendency to follow his own way rather than waiting for a command from God.
    • David's inability to control his sex drive, which lead to the poor discipline of his children.
    • Joab's violence.
  • Final Solution: What God, through Samuel, orders King Saul to do the Amalekites, and is punished for being insufficiently thorough in the extermination.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: David, but really God. (See page quote above.)
  • Fully-Clothed Nudity: David danced before the Lord in an ephod when he successfully brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem as per the Lord's instructions. His wife Michal treats it as though he was dancing naked in public.
  • The Good King: David is the Biblical archetype.
  • HeelĖFace Revolving Door: King Saul changes his views on David every chapter. David actually has to prove twice that he has no intention to kill him.
  • Hereditary Curse: God does this to David's family after David has an affair with Bathsheba and has her husband killed.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: David suffers one when he receives the news that Absalom has been killed. Joab has to snap him out of it with a What the Hell, Hero? speech accusing him of ruining morale by caring more for his traitorous son than his loyal followers.
  • 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.
    • As David tried to bring the Ark on a cart into Jerusalem and the oxen stumbled, Uzzah used his hand to steady the Ark lest it fall off the cart, and he was promptly struck dead for doing so.
  • 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.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Trope Namer. Part of David's eulogy for King Saul and Jonathan, though it is how the king has fallen in battle, not how he has fallen in might.
  • I'll Take That as a Compliment: Michal was appalled by Davidís celebratory dancing when the Ark was returned to Jerusalem, but David is unashamed. His response doesn't really do much of anything to help save the relationship between them, though.
    Michal: How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself before the eyes of his servantsí female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!
    David: It was before the LORD, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me prince over Israel, the people of the LORDóand I will celebrate before the LORD. I will make myself more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.
    2 Samuel 6:20-22 (English Standard Version)
  • 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. The Philistines promised that they would not go to war with Israel if the Jews destroyed all of their weapons. The Jews, being Too Dumb to Live, complied. Needless to say, they regretted their decision almost immediately.
  • 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. Because he repents, the Lord lets him live but still punishes him.
    • Earlier on, David takes responsibility for King Saul having Doeg the Edomite massacre the priests of God, knowing that his brief encounter with the high priest with Doeg present has doomed them.
  • The Kingslayer: An Amalekite pretends to have killed Saul, but when he boasts about this to David, David is devastated over Saul and Jonathanís death. The Amalekite is then Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves.
  • Lampshade Hanging: "As I served your father, so shall I serve you."
  • Last of His Kind: Michal and Mephibosheth are the only remaining descendants of Saul following first the Civil War and then the execution of Saulís grandsons as vengeance for Saulís massacre of the Gibeonites. Michal remains barren because of her falling out with David, but Mephibosheth has at least one son, Mica, allowing Saulís line through Jonathan to survive.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Penninah has children, and lords it over Hannah, who has none. Hannah eventually does conceive, but not without divine intervention.
  • Magic Music: David's harp music makes an "evil spirit" that is bothering Saul depart, at first. Later on, though, it's not powerful enough to improve Saul's mood and he tries to kill David with a spear.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The Witch of Endor calls up the spirit of Samuel from the grave, and he speaks in a disembodied voice, revealing the disguised Saul's identity and prophesying his defeat. Or did she? Some scholars have observed that the apparition as described would be very easy to fake with the help of a bit of clever ventriloquism note , and it wouldn't exactly take supernatural aid to deduce that the disguised man was in fact the king known for being the tallest of all the Israelites. When read with that in mind, the text is actually rather cagey on the point of whether a spirit genuinely appeared. Interpreters are divided as to what might have really happened.
  • Meaningful Name: Nabal, which means "fool". He pretty much lives up to that name as he reacts harshly to David's request for food to be given to him and his men, nearly causing a massacre to fall upon Nabal and his men had not his wife Abigail intervened.
  • Minor Kidroduction: God called Samuel when he was a child, but little else is said about him until he reaches adulthood.
  • Mistaken for Junkie: 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, to the point where he's exempted when David has to select seven of Saul's descendants to be punished for Saul's massacre of the Gibeonites.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: The result of David's Uriah Gambit was his marriage to Bathsheba, whom he had inadvertently knocked up.
  • Naked First Impression: David first sees Bathsheba bathing outdoors. Thus begins the affair.
  • Nasty Party: Absalom gets his revenge on his half-brother Amnon by inviting him to a private party and then having his servants slay him in secret. This gets misinterpreted as Absalom slaying all of David's sons until Amnon's friend clears up the whole situation.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Joab (who is at best more of an Anti-Hero ) uses a ruse to convince David to invite Absalom back to Israel, as Absalom was in exile for killing Amnon. Absalomís return allowed him to sow the seeds of rebellion two years later.
  • Nonindicative Name: Samuel figures prominently in the first book, but he dies in chapter 25 and (obviously) doesn't appear at all in 2 Samuel, which is all about David's reign.
  • 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.
  • Oblivious to His Own Description: Nathan tells David a story about a rich man who stole a poor man's pet lamb. But when David expresses outrage, Nathan reveals that the rich man was an allegory for David's Uriah Gambit and lays down his "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Offered the Crown: Saul, then David.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • Goliath was beheaded by David after he was slain with the rock thrown from David's sling.
    • King Saul gets beheaded after he fell upon his own sword and died in the battle with the Philistines.
    • Ishbosheth was beheaded by Rechab and Baanah and his head was presented to David, with the two hoping that they would be rewarded. They did — with death!
    • A rebel named Sheba son of Bikri, who incited sedition against King David, was beheaded by the people of Abel when he went to that city to hide from David's forces.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: The Rephaim, including Goliath. David and friends make a name for themselves by killing a few of these in battle.
  • Outdoor Bath Peeping: David infamously peeps on Bathsheba when she is bathing on a rooftop. This leads to his adultery and the resulting Uriah Gambit.
  • Playing Sick: Amnon in 2nd Samuel plays sick at the suggestion of his friend so that he could lure his half-sister Tamar into being alone with him, requesting for her to come and make cakes that he could eat out of her hand.
  • Please Shoot the Messenger: King David gets Uriah out of the way by sending him back to camp with dispatches for the general, Joab. Joab's orders: "Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die."
  • Polyamory:
    • The story begins with Elkanah, who had two wives, Penninah and Hannah.
    • Also, David has Michal and Bathsheba, plus several other women.
  • Precision F-Strike: King Saul gets one in the original Hebrew and also in a few translations (e.g. The Living Bible) upon figuring out that Jonathan, whom he had favored to be his successor, was on David's side.
  • A Protagonist Shall Lead Them: The central narrative of the Books of Samuel is Davidís ascent from being an overlooked shepherd boy in his father Jesseís home to Israelís greatest king.
  • Punished for Sympathy:
    • Eli is chastised by a prophet of God for not taking strong measures against his sons Hophni and Phinehas for abusing their positions as priests before God — the most that Eli did was warn them, and that was it — and for that, not only did Eli lose both his sons in one day, but also his entire family line was cursed.
    • King Saul is chastised by Samuel because he had spared only one Amalekite, King Agag (whom Saul viewed as a strategically valuable hostage), as well as the sheep and cattle. God had commanded Saul to kill them all. For this, God officially rejected Saul as king of Israel, to be replaced with David.
  • The Purge: Saul's mission was to completely wipe out the Amalekites. Unfortunately he failed, keeping Agag alive as a prisoner and a trophy that was later hacked to death by Samuel. It is assumed that there was at least one other survivor, as King Ahasuerus' adviser Haman from the book of Esther was said to be the descendant of Agag.
  • Put on a Bus: After Michal criticizes Davidís dancing, the text says she had no children. That is the Biblical version of this trope.
  • Questionable Consent: While David clearly wanted to sleep with Bathsheba, her interest in him is less clear. When the king asks you to come over (and your husband is away at war), how do you say no?
    • The same goes for Absalom and Davidís concubines. He publicly has sex with them as a way of demonstrate he has replaced David as king. Left unsaid is whether these women wanted to have sex with him.
  • Rags to Royalty: David. He is literally tending sheep when Samuel anoints him king of Israel.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: David's Mighty Men.
  • Rape and Revenge: Absalom gets even with his half-brother Amnon for raping his sister Tamar by luring him to a private party and then having his servants kill him.
  • Redemption Equals Affliction: David repents of pulling the Uriah Gambit as well as committing adultery. Although God forgave him, He allowed David and Bathsheba's child to die in infancy and David's life got quite complicate afterwards.
  • Rejected Apology: Saul repents to God for leaving Amalekite genocide incomplete, but Samuel informs him that God won't accept it and has now rejected him as King of Israel.
  • Reluctant Ruler: Saul, so much so that he hid himself once Samuel drew lots to prove he was Godís choice.
    • Jonathan is also willing to step aside in favor of David.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves:
    • Though Saul's death means David's ascension to the throne, he has a liar who claims to have done a Mercy Kill on Saul put to death for daring to raise his hand against God's anointed King.
    • Later, when two men who murdered his rival for the throne Ish-Bosheth come to him looking for a reward, he reminds them of what he did to Saul's (supposed) murderer and has them put to death and hung up as a warning to others while burying his rival with full honors.
  • Rhetorical Request Blunder: As recorded in 2nd Samuel chapter 23 (and also in 1st Chronicles chapter 11), David was in the stronghold in the cave of Adullam while the Philistine garrison was in Bethlehem, and remarks apparently to himself that he misses drinking water from his hometown well. In this case the desire is genuine but he doesn't expect it to actually happen. But one of his best warriors overheard, gathered a few other mighty men together, and broke through enemy lines to bring back Bethlehem well water, and the King was appalled that anyone would actually risk his life for that.
  • Robbing the Dead: The Amalekite who came to David with Saul's royal crown and armband claiming to have killed him was almost certainly not being straight with David in other parts of his story as well as the part about killing Saul (who'd already committed suicide). For one thing, people don't just "happen" to be hanging around places where battles are taking place (like Mount Gilboa) as he claims to have been. For another, he must have gotten to Saul awfully quickly to have gotten his royal trappings before the Philistines found him. The likeliest explanation? He was a thief there to scavenge from the dead and just figured he'd found the biggest score of his career when he stumbled across Saul's remains.
  • Royal Brat: The sons of Eli, Samuel, and most of Davidís all fall into this category. The people of Israel actually hoped to avoid this trope by asking for a king. They saw the poor quality of Eli and Samuelís sons are, and hoped having a king would fix the problem. And in fact, Israelís first crown prince, Jonathan, completely averted this trope. If anything, Jonathan and Saul inverted this trope, with Jonathan being The Wise Prince and Saul being a more immature king. With Davidís sons, though, it is played completely straight.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Saul, Jonathan, and David. Davidís troubles begin when he subverts this trope and stays at home while his army was at war. It is then that David spies Bathsheba showering.
  • Rule of Seven: For a famine in 2 Samuel 21 to end, seven of King Saul's descendants have to pay for his massacre of the Gibeonites.
  • Rule of Three: God calls for Samuel three times before Samuel finally responds.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Saul's attempts at killing David and saving his dynasty end up dooming it.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Though passed off by David as an Honorable Marriage Proposal; he married Bathsheba (after killing her husband off) because he got her pregnant.
  • Sinister Minister: Eli's sons Hophni and Phinehas, who not only took from the sacrifices the portions that were meant for God, but also slept with the women that assembled at the door of the Tent of Meeting. This was considered wicked in Eli's eyes, but God also held Eli responsible for not taking strong measures against his sons for their abuse of power.
  • Sins of Our Fathers:
    • David commits adultery with Bathsheba and then pulls off his infamous Uriah Gambit. As a punishment, the son of that adultery dies, but later they have another son: Solomon. David is also cursed with war and public shame, which results in the deaths of two of his other sons. (And though they probably deserved it, David is still crushed.)
    • David delivered seven of Saul's descendants to be executed because Saul committed the massacre of the Gibeonites.
    • Inverted with Eli and his sons. Eli himself seems to have been a faithful priest and judge, and he tried to warn his sons about Godís wrath. But they ignored him, and God extends his wrath to Eliís entire line, because Eli did not fully discipline his sons.
  • Sleeping Dummy: Michal creates one by using an image stuffed under the covers of David's bed to help her husband escape being killed by her father King Saul.
  • Son of a Whore: Jonathan gets called this by his own father Saul when he suspects that Jonathan is protecting David.
  • Spooky Sťance: King Saul, after God ignores his inquiries as to how to defeat the Philistines, turns in desperation to a medium (or "witch") in Endor and asks her to raise Samuel's spirit. (The irony was that Saul had previously cracked down on all necromancy within the Kingdom of Israel.) The medium, though recognizing Saul despite his disguise and suspecting entrapment, complies, and Samuel's spirit appears as an elderly man in a robe, none too pleased to be woken from his eternal rest. He curtly tells Saul that the next day he and his sons will die in battle, and sure enough, guess what happens.
    • It's intensely argued whether or not it was actually the ghost of Samuel or if it was some other spirit posing as Samuel, but most Biblical scholars agree that the witch of Endor called up something, and the news was not good.
  • Standard Hero Reward: David is allowed to marry Michal after bringing back 200 Philistine foreskins.
  • Sucksessor:
    • Eli's sons sucking leads the way for Samuel to become the priestnote ; then, Samuel's just-as-terrible sons lead the way to Saul being crowned.
    • Saul sees Jonathan as this, since Jonathan cares more about his friendship with David than the throne; but being the suck-sessor to a terrible king is hardly a bad thing.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Courtesy of King Saul, and the first recorded example in human history.
    "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! I know that you side with the son of Jesseóto your shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness!"
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: David was perfectly comfortable killing many people, but not Saul, since Saul was the Lordís anointed. David passed up several opportunities to kill Saul, and later executed the man who claimed to have given Saul a Mercy Kill.
  • Warrior Poet: David, giant slayer and great musician/poet/dancer.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Samuel chews 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.
    • Nathan reams out David for his adultery, and his murder of Uriah.
    • Joab gives one to David as well, for mourning over Absalom's death so much that he neglected to thank his men for their loyalty.
  • What's Up, King Dude?: Invoked by Absalom, who stood at the city gates of Jerusalem and met with all who came to Jerusalem who wanted to meet the king. He used this to gain favor with the people in preparation for his rebellion.
  • The Wise Prince: Prince Jonathan proves to be a wiser and more caring ruler than his father King Saul, and the earlier stories involving him tend to be optimistic...until his Tragic Bromance with to-be-king David kicks in...
  • You Will Be Spared: Heroic example: twice when David had the opportunity to kill King Saul whenever the king was nearby, David refused, even as at the first time he only cut off a corner of the king's robe and his heart was smitten, realizing that King Saul was still the LORD's anointed and he cannot touch the anointed and be considered guiltless. Both incidents ended up with Saul and David walking away with their lives.

Alternative Title(s): Samuel, First Samuel, Second Samuel