2 Samuel

2 Samuel

Leslie S. Rainey

The second book of Samuel might be called the “Reign of David,” or the “Acts of King David.” It covers the reign of glory over Judah, as well as the twelve tribes. It also covers the period during the 40 years of David’s reign which tells out in clearest tones the shame of a great king. It is filled with most illuminating detail and graphic accounts of conflict and conquest and is written in the best style of classical Hebrew. It was probably written by Nathan or Gad who lived during the days of David.

Key Words: King and Kingdom (2 Sam. 5:1-12). Key Verse: 22:31.

The Message of the Book is first of all that the plans and purposes of God must be fulfilled (2 Sam. 5:12). Secondly, patience is needed in the carrying out of God’s will, and thus David is prepared, trained, through trial and troubles, and finally seated on the throne. Thirdly, that sin, though in the life of a king, is punished even although pardoned. To read 2 Samuel is to learn, “Sin finds men out,” and “the chickens come home to roost.” That such a man would become the man after God’s own heart is an encouragement to all.

The forty years of David’s reign chronicled in this Book are the golden age of Jewish History. The reign of David is characterized by success, sorrow, and supremacy.

1. He unified the nation, and his first official act and purpose was to capture Jerusalem and make it not only the civil but also the religious centre of his great realm, bringing into it the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant. He accomplished all this by subduing his enemies, obtaining for it the royal capital, and extending his domain from the Red Sea to the river Orontes, and from the Mediteranean to the Euphrates.

2. He restored the sanctity and splendour of the House of David.

3. He systematized public records and important documents by the appointment of scribes and court recorders and historians.

4. He prospered (1 Sam. 10:25; 1 Chron. 29:29) the development of music and poetry (instruments and Psalms).


1. The first time in the Bible a ruler is likened to a shepherd (5:2): is literally, “Shepherd My People.”

2. The high and exalted conception of kingship is seen in the use of the title, “Lord’s Anointed” (2 Samuel 1:14).

3. Only once in the Bible is the word “wench” found (17:17).

4. David’s deep desire to build a house for God, while good, not acceptable even though Nathan approved (7:3-17). All must be approved by God.

5. The Parable of the Rich Man and the Poor Man (12), and the Parable of the Banished One (14) are likewise recorded in this Book.

6. It contains an important verse concerning the inspiration of the Bible (23:2).

7. It also contains one of the most perfect elegies in any language, “The Song of the Bow.” It was written over 3000 years ago, and by a young man just thirty.

The Success Of David (1-10).

(1) Reign in Hebron (1-4).

The Decease of Saul (i. 1-16).

The Doxology of David (Cev. 11:27).

The Departure of David (ii, 132).

The Desertion of Abner (iii. 139).

The Death of Ishbosheth (iv. 1-12).

(2) David’s Reign in Jerusalem (5-10)

(a) Celebration of the Ark (vi. 1-23).

(b) Confirmation of the Covenant (vii. 1-29).

(c) Conquering the Nations (viii. 118).

(d) Character of King David (ix. 1-13).

(e) Continuance and Conquest (x. 1-19).

The Sorrow Through Sin Of David (11-18).

The Supremacy Of David (19-24).

Persecution in Family (19-20); Persecution in Nation (21-22).


1. His Education (1 Sam. 16-31).

2. His Election (2 Sam. 1-10).

3. His Ejection (2 Sam 11-18).

4. His Exaltation (2 Sam 20-24).

These also may be considered as his Testings, Triumphs, Troubles and Testimonies (23). David came to the throne, conquered from the throne, fled from the throne, and was established on the throne. Stages which tell of Preparation, Subjection, Retribution and Restoration.

Here is a story of a great singer, statesman, steward, shepherd, great sinner; the great shepherd became the great soldier.

The Sorrow Of David (11-18).

(a) His Sin (xi).

(b) His Sadness (xii).

(c) His Suffering (xii to the end of 18).

(1) Amnon’s Insolence (1-21).

(2) Absolam’s Ingratitude (22-18).

The Supremacy Of David (19- 24).

(a) David’s Return to the Throne (xvix. 1-40).

(b) David’s Maintenance on the Throne. (xxix. 41. - xxi).

(c) David’s Rejoicing on the Throne (xxii and xxiii) Song (1-51), Servants (1-39).

(d) David’s Presumption on the Throne. (xxiv).