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Book of 2 Samuel

Book of 2 Samuel
by Timothy Kenney, PhD

Chapters of the book can be organized into the following manner:

  1. Saul and David - 2 Samuel 1-2:7
  2. The Reign of David - 2 Samuel 2:8-20?
  3. Appendixes - 2 Samuel 21-24

A narrative summary of the the Book of 2 Samuel is as follows.

I. Saul and David - 2 Samuel 1-2:7.

David hears of the death of Saul through the arrival of a messenger, who reports that he had slain Saul at the latter's own request. David mourns for Saul and Jonathan and he directs that the messenger, "the son of a stranger, an Amalekite," be surreptitiously killed. David laments for Saul and Jonathan. He is anointed King of Juda at Hebron.

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II. The Reign of David - 2 Samuel 2:8-20.

War occurs between David and Ishbaal, the son of Saul, who is recognized by the other tribes. Abner, the commander of Ishbaal's forces, having quarrelled with his master, submits to David and is treacherously slain by Joab. Ishbaal is assassinated; David punishes the murderers and is acknowledged by all the tribes.

Jerusalem is taken from the Jebusites and becomes the capital. There is war with the Philistines. The ark is solemnly carried from Cariathiarim to Sion. David thinks of building a temple; his intention, though not accepted, is rewarded with the promise that his throne will last forever. Summary of the various wars waged by David, and list of his officer. His kindness to Miphiboseth, or Meribbaal, the son of Jonathan. War with Ammon and Syria.

His adultery with Bethsabee, the wife of Urias comprises Chapter 11. His repentance when the greatness of his crime is brought home to him by Nathan. Birth of Solomon. David is present at the taking of Rabbath. Amnon ravishes Thamar, the sister of Absalom; the latter has him assassinated and flees to Gessur. Through the intervention of Joab he is recalled and reconciled with his father. The rebellion of Absalom occurs and David flees from Jerusalem. Absalom is defeated and slain by Joab against the king's order. David's intense grief, from which he is aroused by Joab's remonstrance. At the passage of the Jordan he pardons Semei, receives Miphiboseth back into his good graces, and invites to court Berzellai, who had supplied provisions to the army. Jealousies between Israel and Juda lead to the revolt of Seba. Amasa is commissioned to raise a levy, but, as the troops are collected too slowly, Joab and Abisai are sent with the bodyguard in pursuit of the rebels. Joab treacherously slays Amasa. A summary of officers is provided.

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III. Appendixes - 2 Samuel 21-24.

The two sons of Respha, Saul's concubine, and the five sons of Merob, Saul's daughter, are put to death by the Gabaonites. Various exploits against the Philistines are recounted. David's psalm of thanksgiving (Psalm 17) is delivered. His "last words. Enumeration of David's valiant men. The numbering of the people and the pestilence following it.

Now we shall pick up the story in the Books of Kings.

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