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3 definitions found
 for Samuel
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  Samuel
      n 1: (Old Testament) Hebrew prophet and judge who anointed Saul
           as king

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary :

  Samuel
     heard of God. The peculiar circumstances connected with his
     birth are recorded in 1 Sam. 1:20. Hannah, one of the two wives
     of Elkanah, who came up to Shiloh to worship before the Lord,
     earnestly prayed to God that she might become the mother of a
     son. Her prayer was graciously granted; and after the child was
     weaned she brought him to Shiloh nd consecrated him to the Lord
     as a perpetual Nazarite (1:23-2:11). Here his bodily wants and
     training were attended to by the women who served in the
     tabernacle, while Eli cared for his religious culture. Thus,
     probably, twelve years of his life passed away. "The child
     Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also
     with men" (2:26; comp. Luke 2:52). It was a time of great and
     growing degeneracy in Israel (Judg. 21:19-21; 1 Sam. 2:12-17,
     22). The Philistines, who of late had greatly increased in
     number and in power, were practically masters of the country,
     and kept the people in subjection (1 Sam. 10:5; 13:3).
     
       At this time new communications from God began to be made to
     the pious child. A mysterious voice came to him in the night
     season, calling him by name, and, instructed by Eli, he
     answered, "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth." The message
     that came from the Lord was one of woe and ruin to Eli and his
     profligate sons. Samuel told it all to Eli, whose only answer to
     the terrible denunciations (1 Sam. 3:11-18) was, "It is the
     Lord; let him do what seemeth him good", the passive submission
     of a weak character, not, in his case, the expression of the
     highest trust and faith. The Lord revealed himself now in divers
     manners to Samuel, and his fame and his influence increased
     throughout the land as of one divinely called to the prophetical
     office. A new period in the history of the kingdom of God now
     commenced.
     
       The Philistine yoke was heavy, and the people, groaning under
     the wide-spread oppression, suddenly rose in revolt, and "went
     out against the Philistines to battle." A fierce and disastrous
     battle was fought at Aphek, near to Ebenezer (1 Sam. 4:1, 2).
     The Israelites were defeated, leaving 4,000 dead "in the field."
     The chiefs of the people thought to repair this great disaster
     by carrying with them the ark of the covenant as the symbol of
     Jehovah's presence. They accordingly, without consulting Samuel,
     fetched it out of Shiloh to the camp near Aphek. At the sight of
     the ark among them the people "shouted with a great shout, so
     that the earth rang again." A second battle was fought, and
     again the Philistines defeated the Israelites, stormed their
     camp, slew 30,000 men, and took the sacred ark. The tidings of
     this fatal battle was speedily conveyed to Shiloh; and so soon
     as the aged Eli heard that the ark of God was taken, he fell
     backward from his seat at the entrance of the sanctuary, and his
     neck brake, and he died. The tabernacle with its furniture was
     probably, by the advice of Samuel, now about twenty years of
     age, removed from Shiloh to some place of safety, and finally to
     Nob, where it remained many years (21:1).
     
       The Philistines followed up their advantage, and marched upon
     Shiloh, which they plundered and destroyed (comp. Jer. 7:12; Ps.
     78:59). This was a great epoch in the history of Israel. For
     twenty years after this fatal battle at Aphek the whole land lay
     under the oppression of the Philistines. During all these dreary
     years Samuel was a spiritual power in the land. From Ramah, his
     native place, where he resided, his influence went forth on
     every side among the people. With unwearied zeal he went up and
     down from place to place, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting the
     people, endeavouring to awaken in them a sense of their
     sinfulness, and to lead them to repentance. His labours were so
     far successful that "all the house of Israel lamented after the
     Lord." Samuel summoned the people to Mizpeh, one of the loftiest
     hills in Central Palestine, where they fasted and prayed, and
     prepared themselves there, under his direction, for a great war
     against the Philistines, who now marched their whole force
     toward Mizpeh, in order to crush the Israelites once for all. At
     the intercession of Samuel God interposed in behalf of Israel.
     Samuel himself was their leader, the only occasion in which he
     acted as a leader in war. The Philistines were utterly routed.
     They fled in terror before the army of Israel, and a great
     slaughter ensued. This battle, fought probably about B.C. 1095,
     put an end to the forty years of Philistine oppression. In
     memory of this great deliverance, and in token of gratitude for
     the help vouchsafed, Samuel set up a great stone in the
     battlefield, and called it "Ebenezer," saying, "Hitherto hath
     the Lord helped us" (1 Sam. 7:1-12). This was the spot where,
     twenty years before, the Israelites had suffered a great defeat,
     when the ark of God was taken.
     
       This victory over the Philistines was followed by a long
     period of peace for Israel (1 Sam. 7:13, 14), during which
     Samuel exercised the functions of judge, going "from year to
     year in circuit" from his home in Ramah to Bethel, thence to
     Gilgal (not that in the Jordan valley, but that which lay to the
     west of Ebal and Gerizim), and returning by Mizpeh to Ramah. He
     established regular services at Shiloh, where he built an altar;
     and at Ramah he gathered a company of young men around him and
     established a school of the prophets. The schools of the
     prophets, thus originated, and afterwards established also at
     Gibeah, Bethel, Gilgal, and Jericho, exercised an important
     influence on the national character and history of the people in
     maintaining pure religion in the midst of growing corruption.
     They continued to the end of the Jewish commonwealth.
     
       Many years now passed, during which Samuel exercised the
     functions of his judicial office, being the friend and
     counsellor of the people in all matters of private and public
     interest. He was a great statesman as well as a reformer, and
     all regarded him with veneration as the "seer," the prophet of
     the Lord. At the close of this period, when he was now an old
     man, the elders of Israel came to him at Ramah (1 Sam. 8:4, 5,
     19-22); and feeling how great was the danger to which the nation
     was exposed from the misconduct of Samuel's sons, whom he had
     invested with judicial functions as his assistants, and had
     placed at Beersheba on the Philistine border, and also from a
     threatened invasion of the Ammonites, they demanded that a king
     should be set over them. This request was very displeasing to
     Samuel. He remonstrated with them, and warned them of the
     consequences of such a step. At length, however, referring the
     matter to God, he acceded to their desires, and anointed Saul
     (q.v.) to be their king (11:15). Before retiring from public
     life he convened an assembly of the people at Gilgal (ch. 12),
     and there solemnly addressed them with reference to his own
     relation to them as judge and prophet.
     
       The remainder of his life he spent in retirement at Ramah,
     only occasionally and in special circumstances appearing again
     in public (1 Sam. 13, 15) with communications from God to king
     Saul. While mourning over the many evils which now fell upon the
     nation, he is suddenly summoned (ch.16) to go to Bethlehem and
     anoint David, the son of Jesse, as king over Israel instead of
     Saul. After this little is known of him till the time of his
     death, which took place at Ramah when he was probably about
     eighty years of age. "And all Israel gathered themselves
     together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at
     Ramah" (25:1), not in the house itself, but in the court or
     garden of his house. (Comp. 2 Kings 21:18; 2 Chr. 33:20; 1 Kings
     2:34; John 19:41.)
     
       Samuel's devotion to God, and the special favour with which
     God regarded him, are referred to in Jer. 15:1 and Ps. 99:6.
     

From Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary (late 1800's) :

  Samuel, heard of God; asked of God
  

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