The two books of Samuel: I and 2, in the Hebrew origin, are one book that carries the name “Samuel”; not only on account of that the prophet ‘Samuel’ plays the main role in the first part of that book, but also because he was the first to anoint kings for Israel: ‘Saul’ and ‘David’; and because he was the first to introduce such kind of prophetically historical record, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; as well as other main roles that came in the two books. The word ‘Samuel’ does not mean, as some people think, (asked for from the Lord), based on the phrase: “and called his name ‘Samuel’, saying, ’because I have asked for him from the Lord’ “ (I Samuel 1: 20); but it means, (The Lord listened); If ‘Hannah’ said “I have asked for him from the Lord”, she actually meant that (the Lord listened to her quest). The phrase “I have asked for him from the Lord” is probably nearer to the name ‘Saul’ than it is to that of ‘Samuel’. Still some believe that the word ‘Samuel’ means (the name of God) or (His name is God).
This book, in the Septuagint version, was divided into two, just for practical reasons: There was need for using two rolls instead of one to accommodate it. It is considered by that version among the ‘Kingdom Books’, that embraced the four books: (1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 kings, and 2 kings), having included a comprehensive history of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. St. Jerome adopted the same method in the Latin version of the ‘Volgata’, and called these books, ‘The Regum books’; namely ‘The Royal Books’: (1 kings, 2 kings, 3 kings, 4 kings), instead of the ‘Kingdom books’.
This mode of classification was adopted in the Hebrew Holy Book in the fourteenth century; and appeared in the second print by Daniel Bomberg in Venice in the year 1517 AD.
Therefore the nomenclature followed here: (1 Samuel and 2 Samuel), came after the Hebrew version, using the Greek classification.
Fr. Tadros Malaty