Second Samuel Bible Study Notes
Overview of Second Samuel
Some material mentioned in the notes connected with First Samuel bears repeating. It is central to understanding this historical record.
First and Second Samuel (classified in the Hebrew Scriptures as part of the prophets) together with First and Second Kings form a continuous historical record. In the Hebrew version of the scriptures, First and Second Samuel are considered one book just as First and Second Kings are considered to be one book. The Greek Septuagint divides these books into First, Second, Third and Fourth Kingdoms. The Latin Vulgate used the same division, but changes the name from Kingdoms to Kings. Perhaps because this record is the work of multiple authors, the King James Version divides the record into First and Second Samuel and First and Second Kings.
Since the death of King David is not recorded in First or Second Samuel, it is generally though that these books were written before David died. It is often thought that Samuel wrote the book of First Samuel and the first twenty-four chapters of Second Samuel. Also, that the remainder of Second Samuel was written by the prophets Nathan and Gad. Scriptural support this belief is found in First Chronicles 29:29es 29:29
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV
First Samuel closes with the death of Saul. Second Samuel (2nd Samuel, 2 Samuel, II Samuel, 2nd Sam, 2 Sam, II Sam) records the events of King David. However, it does not record the death of David. As stated above, it is often though this book was written before the death of David.
After Moses, King David is perhaps the leader who made the greatest impact on the House of Israel. He completed the conquest of the land of Canaan, a task that should have been completed at the time of Joshua. Without his military efforts Jerusalem would never have become an Israelite city.
The Bible records that before David, “there was no smith” in Israel. One of the reasons the Philistines and others were militarily stronger than the Israelites was they knew how to force weapons made of iron. This gave them a great advance over the bronze weapons of the Israelites. David obtained the secret of forcing iron. With this knowledge he was able to obtain military success over the enemies of Israel. (As a fugitive from Saul, he received aid from Saul’s enemies. It is likely that in this manner he learned the secret of working iron—thus changing the course of history.)
When selected by Samuel, the prophet stated that David was “a man after God’s own heart.” With one great and fatal exception, he did indeed seek to follow the counsels of the Lord.
David set the precedent that others kings were to supposed to follow. In effect, he made the king subservient to the Lord’s prophet. The prophet was to counsel the king, and the king was responsible for implementing the will of the Lord. David never lost sight of the fact the Lord was the rightful sovereign of the House of Israel.
David began his reign when he was thirty years old. He reigned for forty years, dying when he was seventy. His life falls midway between Abraham and Christ. A thousand years had passed since God mad his covenant with Abraham. Another thousand years would pass until Jesus would be born—a descendant of David.
David was indeed a great man; his impact on history is still felt today. Much can be learned by studying his life.