2 Samuel overview
King Saul was dead and all Israel in chaos, their first venture into monarchy a failure. It would take two years of civil war before the people finally united around their new king, David.
David conquered Jerusalem as his capital city, eventually bringing the Ark of the Covenant there. He was successful at every venture, bolstered by a cadre of mighty men. The people loved him greatly.
He wanted to build a magnificent temple to God in Jerusalem, but God told him to give his son that honor, and that David’s throne would be established forever (2 Samuel 7:16).
David’s string of successes came to a screeching halt when he committed adultery with the beautiful Bathsheba and murdered her loyal husband. The remainder of his reign was filled with strife and sorrow from his rebellious children.
The emotional Psalm 51, David’s cry of repentance, was penned during this valley in his life.
2 SAMUEL OUTLINE
Author: unknown (most likely written by a contemporary of David, then later compiled during the Jewish exile)
Date: 1055 B.C.
Theme: the reign of King David
Ch. 1-4 Civil war
Ch. 5-10 David’s kingdom established
Ch. 11-12 David’s adultery
Ch. 13-20 David’s rebellious sons
Ch. 21-24 David final years
JESUS IN 2 SAMUEL
Jesus claimed that the entire Old Testament of the Bible spoke of Him (Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44-45), so a valid and valuable exercise in all Bible study is to search each chapter for references to Christ. Below are listed a few of the “Jesus spottings” in this 2 Samuel overview:
- God established David’s throne forever through Jesus, his greatest descendant (2 Samuel 7:16; Luke 1:31-33).
- David’s promotion of Mephibosheth, the lame grandson of Saul, to a place of honor in the royal household, typifies how Christ exalts us, wretched sinners, to a place of honor as God’s children.
- Jesus is our Rock, our Savior (2 Samuel 22:2-4).
2 SAMUEL KEY VERSES
- 2 Samuel 7:16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.
- 2 Samuel 19:4 But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!
- 2 Samuel 22:2-4 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent men you save me. I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
- 2 Samuel 22:31 This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
- 2 Samuel 23:3-4 The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: “When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.”
- 2 Samuel 24:24 I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.
2 SAMUEL IN MY LIFE
- No self promotion – when King Saul died, David did not leap to seize the throne though he had been anointed by God as king. Instead, he allowed the honor to come to him. He showed great honor to the family of his predecessor (2 Samuel 1, 9).
- God is holy – the things of God are never to be taken lightly (2 Samuel 6:6-7).
- The test of success – prosperity reveals character. When David was rich and successful, he surrendered to lust and self-will.
- A man after my heart – even with David’s colossal moral failures, he was a passionate God seeker (Acts 13:22).
2 SAMUEL INTERESTING FACTS
- First and Second Samuel were originally one book. In older Bibles, the books of Samuel and Kings were combined as 1st – 4th Kings; so 2 Samuel was called 2 Kings instead. It should have been called the book of David since it is primarily about his reign. It is not about Samuel at all.
- David and his men tore their clothes and wept when hearing of the deaths of King Saul and his son Jonathan.
- “You are the man” was not a compliment from the prophet Nathan when he accused David of great crimes.
- David’s sins of adultery and murder were each capital offenses under God’s Law, yet his life was spared.
- David’s mighty men slew four giants, apparently relatives of Goliath’s (2 Samuel 21).
- There came a point in David’s old age when he had to give up going into battle (2 Samuel 21:17).
- 2 Samuel 23 lists the feats of David’s mighty men.
- David is called the “sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1).
- The lineage of Jesus can be traced back to David through two of David’s sons: Nathan in Mary’s line (Luke 3:31), and Solomon in Joseph’s line (Matthew 1:6).
(2 Samuel overview recommended resources)
What does it say about God that he forgives even murder and adultery?
(2 Samuel overview follow up question)