Books Of Samuel, two canonical book's of the Old Testament, reckoned by the Jews as one book. The present division into two books dates from the edition of the Hebrew Bible by Bomberg (1517-18), and is derived from the Septuagint and Vulgate, in both which versions they are termed the 1st and 2d books of Kings. They consist of the connected biographies of Samuel, Saul, and David. The author of the books of Samuel is unknown. Grotius, Eichhorn, Jahn, Herbst, and Hävernick regard the prophet Jeremiah as the author. Most commentators agree that they were the work of one compiler, who used several older books; but as to the number and character of these they do not agree. The date of the work seems from internal evidences to have been between 975 and 622 B. C. Some writers, as Hobbes, Spinoza, Simon, Le Clerc, Eichhorn, Thenius, and De Wette, have maintained that the book contains contradictory statements; but their arguments have been disputed by Carpzovius, Davidson ("Biblical Hermeneu-tics"), Hengstenberg, Hävernick, Welte, Keil, and others.
Among the most recent commentators are Thenius, Die Bücher Samuels (2d ed., Leipsic, 1864); Keil, Die Bücher Samuels (1864; English translation, 1866); Wordsworth, in his "Holy Bible, with Notes and Introductions" (1866); and Erdmann, in Lange's Bibelwerk (1873). For the latest critical view of the state of the text, see Wellhausen, Der Text der Bücher Samuelis (Göttingen, 1871).