(Aids to Bible Studies)

 With the advent of Samuel a new era opens, the fresh outlook of which is “symbolized by this boy of twelve years, ministering at the tabernacle in Shiloh, hearing God’s voice calling him, learning the divine will, and growing up to be in large measure the creator of Hebrew nationality. The time for a larger unity of the twelve tribes of Israel had come. Samuel was a priest, a prophet, a judge. In later years he went round in judicial circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, having his home at Ramah. Samuel possessed a strong, well-poised moral and spiritual character. He was brave, unselfish, firm, and constant in loyalty to God and to the welfare of his people, toward whom he had the feeling of a father. To him came the responsibility of anointing Saul of Gibeah as king, and then of pronouncing God’s rejection of him for stubborn disobedience, and of designating and anointing David of Bethlehem to take Saul’s place. He was not only a noble moral leader and king-maker, but he introduced the invaluable work of prophecy as the element destined to make the religion of Israel the guiding star of the progress of after ages.