Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal map
Map of Mount Carmel
Map of Caesarea
Bible map Shechem north Canaan
Bible map for Ruth
Bible Map of Shechem region
Philistines go to war with Israel
Philistines prep for war with Israel
King Saul and three sons will die in the battlePhilistines assembled their armies at Aphek. Israel’s warriors gathered at Jezreel Spring. Philistine rulers led their armies into the camp, marching them in companies of 100 or battalions of 1,000. King Achish’s army from Gath arrived last, with David’s army marching at the rear.
Shocked to see David marching with PhilistinesPhilistine commanders were shocked to see David there, with his men. They said, “Are you kidding? Hebrews? What are they doing here? That’s David, one of Saul’s men.” King Achish said, “Not anymore. He’s with me now. He defected over a year ago. And he has never given me any reason to doubt him.” Philistine commanders didn’t buy it. Furious, they told Achish, “Send that guy back to wherever you had him. We don’t want him up here in the battle. He might turn on us. If he gave our heads to Saul, that would go a long way to restoring their friendship. This is the guy who got the Hebrews dancing as they sang:
Song of David, not so much of King SaulSaul killed a thousand men. David, a thousand times ten.
David an "angel"Achish told David, “I know you’re an honest man. I’d swear it. In all the time you’ve been with me, I’ve seen you do nothing wrong. If it were up to me, I’d take you into battle alongside me and my men. But the other rulers won’t let me. So go back peacefully. Don’t cause a scene or do anything to upset the Philistine rulers.” David said, “I don’t understand this. What have I done wrong? Name one thing in all the time I’ve been with you. Why am I suddenly not fit to fight the enemies of my king?” Achish said, “David, as far as I’m concerned, you’re as righteous as an angel. But the commanders don’t want you in this fight. They said, ‘He’s not going into the battle with us. Period.’ Spend the night here, but I want you to leave at dawn. Take your men back to their regular duties.”
David skips the battleDavid and his men left for Philistine territory early the next morning. But the Philistine armies marched up to Jezreel. 1 Samuel 29
Map of Samuel's world
Map of Samuel's worldGod picks three longshot characters to star in the stories of 1 Samuel, which we track on 3D-style maps customized for each Bible chapter. Those three men—Samuel, Saul, and David—are longshots in the sense that if God ever bets on a horserace, he’ll pick the one with the worst odds. It seems God likes to win big. And he likes to make a splash that people will notice. These stories are action dramas about the morphing of Israel’s 12 tribes into one united nation under God.
Mapping Samuel's storyIt all begins with Samuel as a longshot baby born to an infertile woman. Once he’s able to eat solid food, his mother gives him back to God. She takes him to the worship center, where he’s raised by Eli, a priest who did a bad job raising his own two sons. They grew up to become corrupt priests. But somehow, Samuel grew into a wonderful priest and prophet.
Tracking SaulIsrael’s first king, Saul, was a shy donkey herder until Samuel anointed him king—a job Saul didn’t want. When Samuel called in Israel’s tribal leaders and announced Saul as king, Saul wasn’t there. He was hiding among the baggage of the travelers. It seems a fair guess he was hanging with the donkeys who had hauled the baggage. King Saul made two huge mistakes. He disobeyed God’s strict orders. And he got insanely jealous of David’s popularity. He seemed to devote more time to hunting David than to preparing for the threat of Philistines living next door, along the coastland. David never showed any desire to kill Saul. Philistines killed him and three of his sons.
Tracking DavidThe Goliath Killer was the last son of nine—the runt of a shepherd’s family at a time when shepherds had only one way to go on the social ladder. Up. When the famous prophet and priest Samuel came to meet the family so he could anoint a future king, David’s dad called in all his sons but David. The youngest stayed with the livestock until Samuel insisted on meeting him, too. By the last chapter in the book, Samuel and Saul are dead. So, David is no longer a refugee on the run from the king. He’s an experienced raider of non-Israelite towns. And he shares the livestock he takes with his friends and the leaders of his own tribe of Judah. That sets him up for the story that continues in 2 Samuel, when those friends will crown him king of Judah. Other tribes will follow later, to make him king of all Israel.
ONE BOOK SPLIT IN TWOFirst and Second Samuel were written as one book. But it was too long to fit on a single scroll. So, when Jewish scholars translated it into the international language of the day, Greek, in the decades before Jesus was born, they split it into two books. They did the same with the books of Kings and Chronicles. The story begins here, in 1 Samuel 1. So do the Bible maps of Samuel's world. To compare the story to other Bible versions, try Bible Gateway.
Map of Jezreel
Map of the ancient city of Jezreel, with it's getaway palace of Israel's kings. It was located on the southern edge of the sprawling Jezreel Valley. Here is where an Israelite chariot corps commander launched a coup by assassinating the last king in the royal family dynasty of King Ahab and his father, King Omri.