Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

The Last of the Judges

When the ark of God was taken and the Tabernacle fell into ruins, Samuel was still a boy. He went to his father's house at Ramah, which was in the mountains, about four miles north of Jerusalem. Ramah was the home of Samuel after this as long as he lived.

For some years, while Samuel was growing up, there was no judge in Israel, and no head of the tribes. The Philistines ruled the people and took from them a large part of their harvests, their sheep, and their oxen. Often in their need they thought of the ark of the Lord, standing alone in the house at Kirjath-jearim. And the eyes of all the people turned to the young Samuel growing up at Ramah. For Samuel walked with God, and God spoke to Samuel, as God had spoken to Abraham, and to Moses, and to Joshua.

As soon as Samuel had grown up to be a man, he began to go among the tribes and to give to the people everywhere God's word to them. And this was what Samuel said:

"If you will really come back with all your heart to the Lord God of Israel, put away the false gods, the images of Baal, and of Asherah, and seek the Lord alone and serve him, then God will set you free from the Philistines."

After Samuel's words the people began to throw down the idols and to pray to the God of Israel. And Samuel called the people from all the land to gather in one place, as many as could come. They met at a place called Mizpah, in the mountains of Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem.

There Samuel prayed for the people, and asked God to forgive their sin in turning away from God to idols. They confessed their wrong-doings, and made a solemn promise to serve the Lord, and to serve the Lord only.

The Philistines upon the plain beside the Great Sea heard of this meeting. They feared that the Israelites were about to break away from their rule, and they came up with an army to drive the Israelites away to their homes and keep them under the rule of the Philistines.

When the Israelites saw the Philistines coming against them they were greatly alarmed. The Philistines were men of war, with swords, and shields, and spears, and they were trained in fighting; while the men of Israel had not seen war. It was more than twenty years since their fathers had fought the Philistines and twice had been beaten by them. They had neither weapons nor training, and they felt themselves helpless against their enemies. They looked to Samuel, just as children would look to a father, and they said to him, "Do not cease praying and crying to the Lord for us, that he may save us from the Philistines."

Then Samuel took a lamb and offered it up to the Lord as a burnt-offering for the people, and he prayed mightily that God would help Israel; and God heard his prayer.

Just as the Philistines were rushing upon the helpless men of Israel there came a great storm with rolling thunder and flashing lightning. Such storms do not come often in that land, and this was so heavy that it frightened the Philistines. They threw down their spears and swords in sudden terror and ran away.

The men of Israel picked up these arms and gathered such other weapons as they could find, and they followed the Philistines and killed many of them, and won a great victory over them. By this one stroke of power of the Philistines was broken, and they lost their rule over Israel. And it so happened that the place where Samuel won this great victory was the very place where the Israelites had been beaten twice before, the place where the ark of God had been taken, as we read in the last Story. On the battlefield Samuel set up a great stone to mark the place, and he gave it the name Eben-ezer, which means "The Stone of Help."

"For," said Samuel, "this was the place where the Lord helped us."

After this defeat the Philistines came no more into the land of Israel in the years while Samuel ruled as judge over the tribes. He was the fifteenth of the judges, and the last. He went throughout the land, and people everywhere brought to him their questions and their differences for Samuel to decide, for they knew that he was a good man and would do justly between man and man. From each journey he came back to Ramah. There was his home, and there he built an altar to the Lord.

Tomb near Jeruslaem called 'The Tomb of the Judges


Samuel lived many years, and ruled the people wisely, so that all trusted in him. He taught the Israelites to worship the Lord God, and to put away the idols, which so many of them had served. While Samuel ruled there was peace in all the tribes, and no enemies came from the lands around to do harm to the Israelites. But the Philistines were still very strong, and held rule over some parts of Israel near their own land, although there was no war. Samuel was not a man of war, like Gideon or Jephthah, but a man of peace, and his rule was quiet, though it was strong.