The Book of Samuel: Its Composition, Structure and Significance as a Historiographical Source

  • Moshe Garsiel


The book of Samuel contains ancient and original materials and both main versions were composed as early as the tenth century BCE. But the earlier of the two versions was edited and integrated within the latter enlarged one, and eventually lost its separate existence. Despite some late additions, minor changes, and even copyists’ errors; despite the slight and limited interventions of the Deuteronomistic editorial work; and despite the difference in the theological and social agenda of its two earlier authors, the book of Samuel in its last version still remains the earliest comprehensive source which integrates various original documents and testimonies of ancient time and especially of the transition from the period of the Judges to the period of the united monarchy.