Commentaries on 1 Samuel

On this page you will find Bible commentaries on the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on 1 Samuel that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the text, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more. See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.



Top Reviewed Commentaries on 1 Samuel



1 and 2 Samuel (New American Commentary) by Robert D. Bergen


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on 1 and 2 Samuel

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “The best of the evangelical commentaries.”

Tremper Longman: “a competent and readable treatment of the narrative”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new series has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.”



1 and 2 Samuel (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by Joyce G. Baldwin


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “characterized by careful scholarship…writes with the educated lay reader in mind”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Brief but insightful evangelical treatment.”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on 1 Samuel, “a great example of Baldwin’s high quality work. A very good introductory-intermediate level commentary.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.”



1 Samuel (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) by David Toshio Tsumura


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “Tsumura’s strengths are in the areas of history and grammatical study”

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on 1 Samuel, “best intermediate-advanced level commentary on the first book of Samuel…very well written and very thorough…Tsumura’s expertise in the languages of the ancient Near East is evident throughout”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written for scholars, pastors, and lay readers alike…undertaken to provide earnest students of the New Testament with an exposition that is thorough and abreast of modern scholarship and at the same time loyal to the Scriptures as the infallible Word of God.” See more about the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series.



1 and 2 Samuel (New International Version Application Commentary) by Bill T. Arnold


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “[Arnold] does an excellent job revealing the original meaning of the text and bringing it to life for the modern reader”

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on 1 Samuel, “The strength of the NIVAC series is its focus on contemporary applications, and Arnold is helpful here, but he is also concerned to deal with the original meaning of the text and does so very well. It is an engaging work.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.



1 and 2 Samuel (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised Edition) by Ronald F. Youngblood


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “a solid commentary that shows good exegetical sense and literary and theological sensitivity”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on 1 Samuel, “probably the most helpful intermediate level commentary on the books of Samuel”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…the chief principle followed in this commentary is the grammatico-historical – namely, that the primary aim of the exegete is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstances of its writing.”



1 and 2 Samuel (Library of Biblical Interpretation) by Robert P. Gordon


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, “full of good theological insight”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Highly recommended evangelical treatment.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Robert P. Gordon has provided us with a substantial commentary on the English text of the books of Samuel, concentrating on exegesis, but also paying attention to linguistic and textual problems. “I have not tried to “Christianize” 1 and 2 Samuel at every conceivable point. Often as I have sought to show in the brief introductory section comparison; and the only way to arrive at sensible conclusions in this matter is first to appreciate the Old Testament for its own sake- that is in its own literary, historical, cultural and theological contexts. That is principally what this commentary is about.”



1 Samuel (Focus on the Bible) by Dale Ralph Davis


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on 1 Samuel, “written at a level accessible to the layman…numerous insights for pastors and teachers that other commentaries overlook”

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “These commentaries are popular level commentaries especially useful for pastors and small group leaders. They are useful for personal devotions and spiritual growth. Many of the authors of the commentaries are leading expositors of God’s Word on their speciality subjects. The series holds to the inerrancy of scripture and the uniqueness of Christ in salvation.”



1 and 2 Samuel (Apollos Old Testament Commentary) by David G. Firth


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “insightful on its theological teaching”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Apollos Old Testament Commentary (AOTC) aims to take with equal seriousness the divine and human aspects of Scripture. It expounds the books of the Old Testament in a scholarly manner accessible to non-experts, and it shows the relevance of the Old Testament to modern readers. Written by an international team of scholars and edited by David W. Baker and Gordon J. Wenham, these commentaries are intended to serve the needs of those who preach from the Old Testament, as well as scholars and all serious students of the Bible.”



1 and 2 Samuel (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by Walter Brueggemann


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “his writing style is not just engaging but also exciting”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “This series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.”



More Commentaries with Application Help for Pastors



1 Samuel (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Richard D. Phillips


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: The REC series has “four fundamental commitments. First, these commentaries aim to be biblical…Second, these commentaries are unashamedly doctrinal…Third, these commentaries are redemptive-historical…Fourth, these commentaries are practical…” All authors are “pastor-scholars.” See more about the Reformed Expository Commentary series.



1 Samuel (Preaching the Word) by John Woodhouse


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “For years, Crossway’s Preaching the Word commentary series has helped pastors, preachers, and anyone who teaches God’s Word to better interpret and apply the message of the Bible. Under the careful editorial oversight of experienced pastor and best-selling author R. Kent Hughes, this series is known for its commitment to biblical authority, its pastoral tone and focus, and its overall accessibility.”



1 and 2 Samuel (For Everyone) by John Goldingay


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “John Goldingay, an internationally respected Old Testament scholar, authors this ambitious Old Testament for Everyone series. Covering Scripture from Genesis to Malachi, Goldingay addresses the texts in such a way that even the most challenging passages are explained simply. Perfect for daily devotions, Sunday school preparation, or brief visits with the Bible, the Old Testament for Everyone series is an excellent resource for the modern reader.”



1 and 2 Samuel (Teach the Text Commentary Series) by Robert B. Chisholm Jr.


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: The Teach the Text series utilizes “the best of biblical scholarship” and provides “the information a pastor needs to communicate the text effectively. By keeping the discussion of each carefully selected preaching unit to six pages of focused commentary, the volumes in this series allow pastors to quickly grasp the big idea and key themes of each passage of Scripture. The text and its meaning are made clear, and sections dedicated to effectively teaching and illustrating the text help pastors prepare to preach.”



Exalting Jesus in 1 and 2 Samuel (Christ-Centered Exposition) by Heath Thomas and J. D. Greear


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: This series “takes a Christ-centered approach to expositing each book of the Bible. Rather than a verse-by-verse approach, the authors have crafted chapters that explain and apply key passages in their assigned Bible books. Readers will learn to see Christ in all aspects of Scripture, and they will be encouraged by the devotional nature of each exposition presented as sermons and divided into chapters that conclude with a “Reflect and Discuss” section, making this series ideal for small group study, personal devotion, and even sermon preparation. It’s not academic but rather presents an easy reading, practical and friendly commentary.”



1 and 2 Samuel (The Story of God Bible Commentary) by Paul S. Evans


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Story of God Bible Commentary is a new commentary for today’s world. It’s the first commentary series to explain and illuminate each passage of Scripture in light of the Bible’s grand story. This “story-centric” approach makes SGBC a fruitful resource for pastors, students, Sunday school teachers, and everyday readers.”



More Verse-by-Verse Commentaries



1 and 2 Samuel (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary) by Robert Vannoy


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Cornerstone Biblical Commentary series provides students, pastors, and laypeople with up-to-date, accessible evangelical scholarship on the Old and New Testaments. Presenting the message of each passage, as well as an overview of other issues relevant to the text, each volume equips pastors and Christian leaders with exegetical and theological knowledge so they can better understand and apply God’s Word.”



1 Samuel (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Francesca Aran Murphy


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Pastors and leaders of the classical church—such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and Wesley—interpreted the Bible theologically, believing Scripture as a whole witnessed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ…The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other Orthodox Christians did for their times and places. The commentaries are designed to serve the church—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.”



1 and 2 Samuel (Smyth and Helwys Bible Commentary) by Tony W. Cartledge


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written by accomplished scholars with all students of Scripture in mind, this innovative new commentary series is designed to make quality Bible study more accessible. Pastors, professors and students of Scripture are discovering that this commentary is a wonderful new tool for enhancing interpretation. All volumes include these features to support interpretation: insightful sidebars in four categories, a wealth of fine art visuals, and a CD-ROM containing all the text and images of the volume in a searchable format.”



1 and 2 Samuel (Holman Old Testament Commentary) by Stephen J. Andrews and Robert D. Bergen


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “No other reference series gets to the heart of the Old Testament as efficiently as the Holman Old Testament Commentary. When a reader’s time allows, the series offers a detailed interpretation based on the popular New International Version text. When time is short, it delivers an essential understanding of the Old Testament with unsurpassed clarity and convenience.”



1 Samuel (Word Biblical Commentary) by Ralph W. Klein


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.”



1 and 2 Samuel (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by Mary J. Evans


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper.”



1 Samuel (Concordia Commentary) by Andrew E. Steinmann


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “A Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture is written to enable pastors and teachers of the Word to proclaim the Gospel with greater insight, clarity, and faithfulness to the divine intent of the biblical text.”



Classic Christian Commentaries for Bible Study



1 and 2 Samuel (Thru the Bible) by J. Vernon McGee


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “Radio messages from J. Vernon McGee delighted and enthralled listeners for years with simple, straightforward language and clear understanding of the Scripture. Now enjoy his personable, yet scholarly, style in a 60-volume set of commentaries that takes you from Genesis to Revelation with new understanding and insight.”


Also see:

<< Ruth Bible Commentaries | 2 Samuel Bible Commentaries >>