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The books are named after Samuel, the last major representative of the old league, who figured prominently in the transition to monarchy. He plays no role in 2 Samuel, however, which may explain why the Septuagint and Vulgate versions designate 1 - 2 Samuel as 1 - 2 Kings.
Both volumes are part of the Deuteronomistic History (compiled in the time of Josiah, c. 640 - 609 BC), but they largely consist of preexisting literary sources, such as the pre Davidic narrative about the Ark (1 Sam. 2, 4 - 6) and the Solomonic Throne Succession Narrative (2 Sam. 9 - 20), that the final editor used relatively unchanged.
J J M Roberts
P R Ackroyd, The First Book of Samuel (1971); F M Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic (1973); H W Hertzberg, 1 and 2 Samuel (1964); P K McCarter, 1 Samuel (1980); R N Whybray, The Succession Narrative (1968).
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