The authorship and history of the Books of Samuel were explained in the introduction to the first book. The second book consists of twenty-four chapters, beginning with David's lament over the death of Saul, and tracing the career of Israel's greatest king down to the period of his old age, leaving his death for the Book of Kings which follows.
It is with the material of this Second Book of Samuel that the detailed portion of First Chronicles also begins; and from here to the period of Judah's captivity we have a double narrative. The history recounted in Chronicles duplicates much of that in Samuel, sometimes repeating the exact words. Chronicles however deals chiefly with religious or priestly events, while the present narrative regards the worldly or kingly side of the same story.
Hence in Second Samuel we are shown David as a mighty conqueror, and as a deeply human man. We are told first of his sorrow over the breaking of old associations by the deaths of Saul and Jonathan, then of his politic moves and his establishment in Hebron as King of Judah.
Next comes the downfall of Saul's last adherents, and David's establishment as king over all Israel. He conquers peace at home, and then triumphs abroad, and becomes ruler of an empire. This he organizes, consolidates and makes secure. Then the book tells of his private life, his sin, repentance, and punishment. Then comes his old age, with the tragic rebellion of his beloved son.
The final chapters, twenty-one inclusive twenty-four, form a sort of appendix deserting the chronological order of the remainder of the book. They are probably a later addition or insertion into the body of the work. The "Hymn of Triumph" in chapter twenty-two corresponds closely to one of the Psalms, as do other portions of these closing chapters. Their religious worth and literary beauty have made them very famous.
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| "And now, O Lord God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said. |
And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The Lord of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee."
2 Samuel 7:25-26
2 Samuel Chapter 1
Tidings brought to David of the death of Saul 1-10. The Amalekite is put to death 11-16. David's lamentation for Saul and Jonathan 17-27.
2 Samuel Chapter 2
David made king in Hebron 1-7. Abner makes Ishbosheth king Battle between Abner's men and those of Joab 8-17. Asahel slain by Abner 25-32. Both parties retreat 18-24.
2 Samuel Chapter 3
David's power increases 1-6. Abner revolts to David 7-21. Joab kills Abner 22-39.
2 Samuel Chapter 4
Ishbosheth murdered 1-7. David puts to death the murderers 8-12.
2 Samuel Chapter 5
David king over all Israel 1-5. He takes the strong-hold of Zion 6-10. David's kingdom established 11-16. He defeats the Philistines 17-25.
2 Samuel Chapter 6
The ark removed from Kirjath-jearim 1-5. Uzzah smitten for touching the ark, Obed-edom blessed 6-11. David brings the ark to Zion 12-19. Michal's ill conduct 20-23.
2 Samuel Chapter 7
David's care for the ark 1-3. God's covenant with David 4-17. His prayer and thanksgiving 18-29.
2 Samuel Chapter 8
David subdues the Philistines, the Moabites, and the Syrians 1-8. The spoil dedicated 9-14. David's government and officers 15-18.
2 Samuel Chapter 9
David sends for Mephibosheth 1-8. And provides for him 9-13.
2 Samuel Chapter 10
David's messengers ill-treated by Hanun 1-5. The Ammonites defeated 6-14. The Syrians defeated 15-19.
2 Samuel Chapter 11
David's adultery 1-5. He tries to conceal his crime 6-13. Uriah murdered 14-27.
2 Samuel Chapter 12
Nathan's parable-David confesses his sin 1-14. The birth of Solomon 15-25. David's severity to the Ammonites 26-31.
2 Samuel Chapter 13
Ammon's violence to his sister 1-20. Absalom murders his brother Ammon 21-29. David's grief, Absalom flees to Geshur 30-39.
2 Samuel Chapter 14
Joab procures Absalom's recall 1-20. Absalom recalled 21-24. His personal beauty 25-27. He is admitted to his father's presence 28-33.
2 Samuel Chapter 15
Absalom's ambition 1-6. His conspiracy 7-12. David leaves Jerusalem 13-23. David sends back the ark 24-30. He prays against Ahithophel's counsel 31-37.
2 Samuel Chapter 16
Ziba's falsehood 1-4. David cursed by Shimei 5-14. Ahithophel's counsel 15-23.
2 Samuel Chapter 17
Ahithophel's counsel overthrown 1-21. He hangs himself, Absalom pursues David 22-29
2 Samuel Chapter 18
Absalom's army defeated 1-8. He is slain 9-18. David's over-sorrow 19-33.
2 Samuel Chapter 19
Joab causes David to cease mourning 1-8. David returns to Jordan 9-15. He pardons Shimei 16-23. Mephibosheth excused 24-30. David's parting with Barzillai 31-39. Israel quarrels with Judah 40-43.
2 Samuel Chapter 20
Sheba's rebellion 1-3. Amasa slain by Joab 4-13. Sheba takes refuge in Abel 14-22. David's officers 23-26.
2 Samuel Chapter 21
The Gibeonites avenged 1-9. Rizpah's care for the bodies of Saul's descendants 10-14. Battles with the Philistines 15-22.
2 Samuel Chapter 22
David's psalm of thanksgiving.
2 Samuel Chapter 23
David's last words 1-7. David's mighty men 8-39.
2 Samuel Chapter 24
David numbers the people 1-9. He chooses the pestilence 10-15. The staying the pestilence 16,17. David's sacrifice, The plague removed 18-25.
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