First and Second Samuel tell the story of the beginnings of monarchy in ancient Israel. These two powerful narratives present many great figures of biblical history — Samuel, Saul, and David —and explore the complex interaction of historical developments and human fidelity under God. In the books of Samuel, characters interact to influence and persuade, to express motivation and desire, and to shape the reader’s understanding of the issues that faced the Israelites as they responded to God’s invitation to covenant. Through the medium of story, the reader shares in the perennial struggle to discover, in the midst of personal and political conflict, God’s ways for humanity.
Fr. Feidhlimidh T. Magennis is a priest of the Diocese of Dromore, Ireland. After completing his License in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, he taught in Ireland and Canada. He is currently a principal lecturer in religious studies at St. Mary’s University College, Belfast.