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Opening up 1 Samuel (Newheiser)

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Day One Publications
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The book of 1 Samuel is the story of Israel seeking a leader. After the failures of Eli, Samuel, and Saul to properly guide the people, God raises up David, the man after his own heart. This commentary gives a brief explanation of the text and then shows how these events, which took place thousands of years ago, have direct and profound application to our lives today, having been recorded “for our instruction” (1 Cor. 10:11). It also reveals how every event pointed toward the coming of Jesus Christ (Luke 24:27), the final and ultimate Leader of the people of God.


Table of Contents:

1. Hannah’s hope (1:1-2:11)

2. Eli and sons (2:12-3:21)

3. Israel’s ark is raided and lost (4:1-7:2)

4. Samuel leads Israel in repentance and revival (7:1-17; 3:1-14, 19-21)

5. Israel demands a king (8:1-22; 12:1-25)

6. Saul, the people’s king, leads Israel (9:1-11:15)

7. Saul’s failure and folly (13:1-15:35)

8. The Lord anoints David as his king (16:1-23)

9. David defeats Goliath (17:1-58)

10. David and Jonathan (18:1-20:42)

11. Man on the run (21:1-24:22; 26:1-25)

12. David and Abigail (25:1-44)

13. The fall of Saul (27:1-31; 13)




Jim Newheiser: MA, DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary. Jim has been practicing biblical counseling for over 20 years is a NANC Fellow and has served as the director of IBCD since 2006. He has been a pastor at Grace Bible Church in Escondido, CA since 1990. Many of GBC’s former interns are serving as missionaries, seminary professors and pastors. Jim is a founding member and Executive Board member of the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals. He is an international retreat and conference speaker. 



"I Samuel is one of the most dynamic books of the Bible, a real page-turner, delightful for family devotions and for introducing congregations to the historical narratives of the Old Testament. Start here with Hannah, Samuel, the declension of Israel, the rise of Saul, the anointing of David, his friendship with Jonathan, Goliath, the death of Samuel, the death of Saul. It is mouth-watering to savour those names and all they mean to the history of God’s people. My friend Jim Newheiser, pastor and preacher, has opened up this narrative and shown us the lineage of the Messiah in the line of King David, and the powers of darkness that would have destroyed it. There is no better brief and helpful introduction to the First Book of Samuel than the book you are holding in your hand right now. Devour it and put its lessons into practice in your life, and that of your church." — Revd Geoff Thomas, Pastor since 1965 of Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, Wales

"Many read the historical books of the Bible like 1 Samuel without consciously or deliberately connecting them to God's redemptive program in Jesus Christ. In doing this, at the very least, they miss out on seeing the beautiful tapestry of God's salvation story woven throughout the whole of Scripture. At worst, they end up with a wrong understanding and, thus, a wrong application of the events in these historical narratives. Through this short commentary, Jim Newheiser has multiplied the pleasure of reading and studying 1 Samuel. His commentary is a valuable help to those who are doing a survey of the book, while at the same time his insights and applications will certainly make you want to treat this as a wonderful devotional supplement. Jim has successfully shown that Jesus Christ, and God's redemptive plan through Him, are indeed the centerpiece in the whole of Scripture." — Robbie Casas, Pastor, Guiding Light Christian Church, Philippines

"I have listened to Jim Newheiser preach and teach God’s Word for almost twenty years and consider him one of the finest expositors of our generation. He has now taken his expertise in the pulpit and has translated it into book form. Opening up 1 Samuel is a helpful guide for interpreting 1 Samuel in a way that is exegetically faithful, highly practical, and thoroughly Christ-centered. This book is an incredible asset for anyone wanting to know and apply God’s Word." —Benjamin L. Merkle, Professor of New Testament and Greek, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"David is Christ; his followers are professing Christians; his foes are the enemies of Christ and his cause. Jim Newheiser's pointed study of the text of 1 Samuel shows how that book is truly part of Christian Scripture and that, at a time when Christ's right to rule the church and the world is challenged all Christians are to be wholly on the Lord's side." — Hywel R. Jones, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Seminary, California

"Don’t be fooled by the size if this volume into thinking that this one of those frustrating books that do little more than repeat the text. Jim Newheiser is a master at faithfully expounding the text and helpfully applying it. His commentary is rich in both insight and application. His faithful handling of the text means that this Old Testament historical book is shown to be full of contemporary relevance. The author points the reader to the person of Christ, not in some contrived and fanciful way, but with an admirable integrity. I highly recommend this addition to the ‘Opening Up’ series." — Colin D Jones, Pastor Three Bridges Free Church, UK

"One of my first (and most challenging) teaching assignments required me to explain 1 Samuel to a class of ten-year-olds over two semesters’ time. The experience gave me a special love for that part of the Old Testament, and I never tire of revisiting it. Jim Newheiser’s brief commentary is one of the richest, most insightful resources on 1 Samuel I have ever found. It is a well-written, compelling analysis of the biblical narrative, filled with razor-sharp reflections on the text, all very skillfully shown to be practical and applicable for today’s readers. This is Old Testament exposition at its very best." — Phil Johnson, Executive Director, Grace to You