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Best Commentaries on 1 & 2 Samuel

This page is current as of December 2023.

For recommendations on other books and an introduction to this series, visit
Best Commentaries on Each Book of the Bible.

Dale Ralph Davis – 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel (Focus on the Bible). Dale Ralph Davis has written fantastic commentaries on many of the historical books of the Old Testament, 1 & 2 Samuel among them. While they are written at such a level that they are accessible for the general reader, they are very helpful for pastors as well. Truly, if you are going to preach Samuel, you will definitely want to have access to them. (Amazon: 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel; Westminster Books: 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel).

David T. Tsumura – The First Book of Samuel (New International Commentary on the Old Testament). Tsumura’s commentary on 1 Samuel was published in 2007; the NICOT still does not have a volume on 2 Samuel, though apparently Tsumura continues to work on it. Keith Mathison recommends this commentary and says, “It is very well written and very thorough. Tsumura’s expertise in the languages of the ancient Near East is evident throughout.” He suggests as well that when the second volume is complete the set “will likely be the standard scholarly commentary on these books for many years.” (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

Richard Phillips – 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel (Reformed Expository Commentaries). Phillips has now written volumes on both 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel. As with all of the volumes in the Reformed Expository series, they are based on sermons and approach the text section-by-section rather than verse-by-verse. Phillips is especially helpful when it comes to contemporary application. The volumes are sold separately rather than together. (1 Samuel: Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos) (2 Samuel: Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

Ronald F. Youngblood. – 1 & 2 Samuel (Expositor’s Bible Commentary). Youngblood’s commentary on Samuel forms only part of this, volume three in the EBC. Longman gives it 4 stars and says, “It takes up half the book and is clearly the most mature of the entries. The author gives a balanced assessment of both the book’s content as well as the secondary literature, with which he interacts with profit.” It is suitable for all readers. (Amazon)

Joyce Baldwin – 1 & 2 Samuel (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries). Because of the limitations of the TOTC series, Baldwin’s commentary is quite brief, but still very helpful within that limitation. Keith Mathison says, “The commentary on the books of Samuel is a great example of Baldwin’s high quality work. A very good introductory-intermediate level commentary.” (Amazon, Westminster Books)

You would also do well to look at John Woodhouse’s 1 Samuel: Looking for a Leader in the Preaching the Word series (Amazon, Westminster Books).

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