Samuel was the fifteenth and last judge of Israel. He lived eleven hundred years before Christ. Samuel was born of the tribe of Levi, of the parents Elkanah and Hannah, in a place called Ramatha (or Arimathea), where noble Joseph would later be born [Joseph of Arimathea]. Through weeping, the barren Hannah besought from God the child Samuel and dedicated him to God when he was three years of age. Living in Shiloh, near the Ark of the Covenant, Samuel had a true revelation from God in his twelfth year, concerning the punishments that were pending for the house of the high priest Eli because of the immorality of his sons Hophni and Phineas. That revelation soon materialized: the Philistines defeated the Israelites, slew both of Eli’s sons, and captured the Ark of the Covenant. When the messenger informed Eli of this tragedy, Eli fell to the ground dead, in the ninety-eighth year of his life. The same thing occurred to his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phineas. For twenty years, the Israelites were the slaves of the Philistines. After that, God sent Samuel to the people to preach repentance–if they desired salvation from their enemies. The people repented, rejected the pagan idols that they served, and recognized Samuel as a prophet, priest and judge. Samuel then set out with an army against the Philistines. With God’s help he confused and defeated them, and liberated Israel. After that, Samuel peacefully judged his people until old age. Considering his old age, the people asked him to install a king for them in his place. In vain, Samuel tried to dissuade them from this, saying to them that God was their only true King, but the people stubbornly insisted. Even though this was not pleasing to God, He commanded Samuel to annoint Saul, the son of Kish from the tribe of Benjamin, as their king. Saul reigned for a short time only, before God rejected Saul because of his impudence and disobedience. God then commanded Samuel to annoint Jesse’s son, David, as king in Saul’s place. Before his death, Samuel gathered the entire people and bid them farewell. When Samuel died, all of Israel mourned for him, and they buried him honorably in his house at Ramatha.