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II Samuel


Book 10 of 39 in The Old Testament

II Samuel

II Samuel deals with David’s reign as king, covering a period of some 40 years.

Author & date

According to Jewish tradition  II Samuel by Nathan and Gad. See Notes a. below


A. Succession of David Ch.1-5

  1. News of Saul’s death Ch. 1
  2. David anointed over Judah Ch.2:1-7
  3.  Ishbosheth made king over Israel Ch.2:8-12
  4. Joab & Abner Ch.2:13-32
  5. Abner’s death Ch.3
  6. Death of Ishbosheth Ch.4
  7. David anointed king over all Israel Ch.5:1-5
  8. Jerusalem taken Ch.5:6-25

B. Successes of David Ch.6-10

  1. Brings back the Ark Ch.6
  2. Desire to build a house for God Ch.7
  3. Victories Ch.8
  4. Kindness to Mephibosheth Ch.9
  5. Further victories Ch.10

C. Sins of David Ch.11-13

  1. Adultery Ch.11:1-5
  2. Cover up & murder Ch.11:6-27
  3. Nathan’s parable Ch.12:1-12
  4. Repentance Ch.12:13-31

D. Sword in David’s House Ch.13-24

  1. Absalom kills Amon Ch.13
  2. Absalom returns from exile Ch.14
  3. Absalom’s conspiracy/ David flees Ch.15
  4. Shimei curses David Ch.16:1-14
  5. Counsel of Ahithophel Ch.16:15- 17:29
  6. Joab kills Absalom Ch.18
  7. David restored as king Ch.19
  8. Sheba’s rebellion Ch.20
  9. Famine & the Gibeonites Ch.21
  10. Psalm of David Ch.22 (Ps.18)
  11. Last words of David & the list of his mighty men Ch.23
  12. David’s sin in numbering Ch. 24


a General

In the Hebrew Bible, what we have as the two books of Samuel are in fact one book, simply called Samuel. According to Jewish tradition the first twenty four chapters of I Samuel was written by Samuel himself, and the remainder of the book plus II Samuel by Nathan and Gad. This has support from the scripture quoted below, when read in other translations. The LXX is given here as one example. Whilst this is not conclusive, it is a possibility that I Chronicles is referring to the books of Samuel

Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer, with all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.

I Chr.29:29-30 KJV

And the rest of the acts of David, the former and the latter, are written in the history of Samuel the seer, and in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the history of Gad the seer, concerning all his reign, and his power, and the times which went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the earth.

I Chr.29:29-30 LXX

b. Notable firsts

  1. The first time, in Scripture, a ruler is likened to a shepherd Ch.5:2 Feed my people Israel is literally: feed as a shepherd.
  2. Two parables : the selfish one Ch.12; the banished one Ch.14:1-20
  3. David declares Divine inspiration Ch.23:2