2

Samuel appears only outside the book of Judges, and in my skimming of the first few chapters of 1 Samuel he isn't actually called a judge (just a prophet) yet I often hear him called a judge elsewhere. What is the justification for doing so?

  • 1
    This is actually a good question, because to answer it you need to know what makes a person a biblical Judge (not a law degree and a congressional appointment!) and demonstrate that Samuel fulfills or does not fulfill the requirements. – Paul Chernoch Nov 2 '16 at 14:31
  • Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. For more on what this site is about, please see: How we are different than other sites and: What topics can I ask about here? Your question may be tricky to nail down. For one thing, the "judges" were usually regional leaders, whereas Samuel was recognized by all of Israel, making him a greater figure than the various "judges" of Israel. – Lee Woofenden Nov 2 '16 at 15:40
3

1 Samuel 7 explicitly says that Samuel judged Israel:

1 Samuel 7:5-17 (ESV)

Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before the Lord and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah. Now when the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the people of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines. And the people of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. And Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the Lord thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel. And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them, as far as below Beth-car.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.” So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. The cities that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath, and Israel delivered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites.

Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. And he went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah. And he judged Israel in all these places. Then he would return to Ramah, for his home was there, and there also he judged Israel. And he built there an altar to the Lord.

| improve this answer | |
0

According to LDS (Mormon) belief, Samuel is a Judge. See https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/samuel-old-testament-prophet?lang=eng.

According to this website and its "Condensed Biblical Encyclopedia", Samuel is a judge: http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/condensed-biblical-encyclopedia/samuel-the-prophet.html

According to this Q&A site, Samuel was a judge: https://gotquestions.org/life-Samuel.html The above site is "Christian, Protestant, conservative, evangelical, fundamental, and non-denominational".

Samuel was the last of the Judges. By his leadership, the Philistines were overcome.

1 Samuel 7:9-13 says,

9 So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. And Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. 10 As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the Lord thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them, as far as below Beth-car. 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen1 and called its name Ebenezer; 2 for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.” 13 So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.

If you read the book of Judges, you will see the same pattern: Israel's people sin, foreign enemies oppress them, they cry out to God for a deliverer, God sends a deliverer, they win a military victory, and enjoy a time of peace.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.