Author: Possibly Samuel, Nathan and Gad (see 1 Chronicles 29:29)
Period: c.1100 B.C. (the birth of Samuel) to c.970 (the close of David's reign)
Title: In the original Hebrew text 1 and 2 Samuel are accounted as one book called "Samuel." In the Septuagint, the book was divided into two due to the length of the scrolls then in use. In the Greek Old Testament, the Books of Samuel are referred to as the First and Second Books of Kingdoms. The Latin Vulgate entitles the same books the First and Second Books of Kings.
Summary: 1 Samuel is the first of two historical books that illustrate Israel's tradition from a loose confederation of tribes to a strong and united nation. It portrays the anointing of the first king of Israel, Saul, by the prophet Samuel. It then recounts the degenerating reign of Saul and his loss of the throne to David, a man after God's own heart. The second book begins with the death of Saul and the ascension of David to the throne. The rest of the book records military conquests and political intrigues during David's reign. It concludes with the blessing of Solomon by David.
The life of Samuel: Chapter 1:1 - 7:17
The life of Saul: Chapter 8:1 - 14:52
The early life of David: Chapter 15:1 - 2 Samuel 20:26
The last days of David: Chapter 21:1 - 24:25