2 Samuel Graphics

2 Samuel Time

 Judges begin to ruleSaul becomes king Saul dies; David is king over Judah David becomes king over all Israel  David and Bathsheba sinSolomon born  David's census David dies; Solomon made kingThe Kingdom is divided 
1375 B.C.
(1220 B.C.) 
 1050-1045 1010 1003 997 (?) 991 980 (?) 970 930

Vital statistics

 Purpose: 1) to record the history of David's reign. 
 2) to demonstrate effective leadership under God
 3) to reveal that one person can make difference
 4) to show the personal qualities that please God
 5) to depict David as a ideal leader of an imperfect kingdom, and to foreshadow Christ, who will be the ideal leader of a new and perfect kingdom (chapter 7) 
 Author:  Unknown. Some have suggested that Nathan's son Zabud my have bee the author (1 King 4:5). The book also includes the writings of Nathan and God (1 Chronicles 29:29).   
 Original audience: Th people of Israel
 Date of written:   930 B.C.; written soon after David's reign, 1010-970 B.C.
 Setting:  The land of Israel under David's rule
 Key verse: "And David realized that the Lord had confirmed him as king over Israel and had blessed his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel" (5:12)
 Key people: David, Joab, Bathsheba, Nathan, Absalom
 Special feature: This book was named after the prophet who anointed David and guided him in living for God. 

David as a Spiritual Leader

Trusted God to help him kill Goliath (1 Sam. 17:37).
Killed Goliath and led Israel’s army in victory (1 Sam. 17:48–54).
Twice spared Saul’s life (1 Sam. 24:1–7; 26:7–12).
Showed himself to be more righteous than Saul (1 Sam. 24:16–21; 26:21).
Listened to Abigail and spared Nabal’s life (1 Sam. 25:23–35).
Showed himself to be more compassionate and just than Saul (compare 1 Sam. 22:16–19).
Consulted the Lord before assuming the throne (2 Sam. 2:1).
Became king over Judah at Hebron (2 Sam. 2:2–4).
Relocated the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6).
Consolidated worship at Jerusalem and established his kingdom there.
Desired to build a temple for the Lord (2 Sam. 7:1–2).
Learned that god would establish his kingdom forever (2 Sam. 7:12–16).
Honored his covenant with Jonathan by showing kindness to Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 9).
Increased the loyalty of his subjects.
Repented of his sins in regard to Bathsheba and Uriah (2 Sam. 12:13; Ps. 51).
Received the Lord’s forgiveness (2 Sam. 12:13).
David’s Spiritual Failures
Took many wives for himself (2 Sam. 3:2–5; 5:13–16; compare Deut. 17:17).
     Complicated his domestic life.
     Set a bad precedent for Solomon (compare 1 Kin. 11:1–4).
Allowed Joab to exterminate 18, 000 Edomites (2 Sam. 8:13–14; 1 Kin. 11:15–16).
Raised up a permanent adversary against Solomon (1 Kin. 11:14, 19–22).
Committed adultery with Bathsheba and had Bathsheba’s husband Uriah murdered (2 Sam. 11).
     Fighting among his descendants (2 Sam. 12:10; 13:1–33).
     Rebellion from within his own family (12:11; 15:1–12; 1 Kin. 1:5–10).
     Public violation of his wives (2 Sam. 12:11–12; 16:21–22).
     Death of Bathsheba’s child (12:14–19).
Took a census that God had not ordered (2 Sam. 24:1–9).
Caused the death of 70, 000 Israelites (2 Sam. 24:15–17).
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (2 Sm 7.18). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Drunkenness in the Bible

Amnon (2 Sam. 13:28–29)
David’s oldest son was murdered by his half brother Absalom while drunk.
Ahasuerus (Esth. 1:10)
Drunk at a royal feast, the Persian king commanded Queen Vashti to display herself; when she refused, he had her removed.
Belshazzar (Dan. 5)
Having entertained a vast number of guests with wine served in the golden vessels taken from the temple at Jerusalem, the Babylonian king was frightened when a hand appeared and wrote his fate on the wall; he was killed that very night.
Ben-Hadad (1 Kin. 20:16)
The Syrian ruler hosted thirty-two kings for a drinking party in his tent before the Israelites attacked.
Elah (1 Kin. 16:9)
The fourth king of Israel was murdered while drunk.
Job’s children (Job. 1:4–5)
The constant partying of his wealthy offspring caused Job to worry about whether they might have cursed God—so much so that he offered sacrifices on their behalf.
Lot (Gen. 19:32–33)
Having survived the fire of brimstone that fell on Sodom, he was seduced by his daughters to commit incest while drunk.
Nabal (1 Sam. 25:36–37)
The man whose name meant “fool” drank himself into a stupor the night before his wife told him of her conversation with David, after which “his heart died within him, ” and he died ten days later.
Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:1, 9)
May have been intoxicated when they offered “profane fire” to the Lord; afterward, the Lord prohibited the priests from drinking on duty.
Noah (Gen. 9:21–25)
Embarrassed his sons in his naked, drunken stupor, then cursed Canaan and his descendants.
Uriah (2 Sam. 11:13)
David got him drunk in a futile attempt to have him sleep with his wife and cover David’s sin of adultery.
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (2 Sm 13.28). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Fathers and Sons in Conflict

Noah and Ham (Gen. 9:20–27)
When Noah’s drunkenness was seen and exposed by his son Ham, Noah cursed Ham’s son Canaan and his descendants, even as he blessed Shem and Japheth.
Isaac and Jacob (Gen. 25:28; 27:1–40)
Jacob manipulated his father into giving him what rightly belonged to his brother Esau.
Eli and Hophni and Phinehas (1 Sam. 2:22–36)
When Eli reprimanded his sons for abusing the priesthood, they paid him no attention; later God’s judgment fell on the family.
Samuel and Joel and Abijah (1 Sam. 8:1–6)
Samuel placed his unworthy sons at Beersheba (perhaps where they could do the least amount of harm); nevertheless, their wickedness caused the Israelites to demand a king, which led to the anointing of Saul.
An unnamed father and his two sons, one loyal and one prodigal (Luke 15:11–32)
Having squandered his inheritance, the repentant prodigal of this parable returned home, where his overjoyed father threw a big party; but the celebration estranged the loyal son.
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (2 Sm 14.24). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Events of David’s Reign

David made king
2 Sam. 5:1–5; 1 Chron. 11:1–3
David takes Jerusalem
2 Sam. 5:6–9; 1 Chron. 11:4–9
David organizes the mighty men
1 Chron. 11:10–12:40
David defeats the Philistines
2 Sam. 5:17–25; 1 Chron. 14:8–17
David brings the ark to Jerusalem
2 Sam. 6:1–12; 1 Chron. 13:1–14; 15:1–15
David offers praise
2 Sam. 6:12–23; 1 Chron. 15:6–16:36
David receives a covenant promise
2 Sam. 7:1–16; 1 Chron. 17:1–15
David wins more victories
2 Sam. 8:1–14; 1 Chron. 18:1–13
David organizes his government
2 Sam. 8:15–18; 1 Chron. 18:14–17
David honors Mephibosheth
2 Sam. 9:1–13
David defeats the Ammonites
2 Sam. 10:1–19; 1 Chron. 19:1–19
Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher's commentary. Includes index. (227). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

David’s Triumphs (2:4)

David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14), that is, his will was completely committed to the will of his Lord. As a dedicated servant of God, he was used by God to perform mighty acts for the sake of His chosen people Israel.
King of Judah (2:4)
King of Israel (5:3)
Conquers Jerusalem (5:7)
Returns ark (6:12)
Davidic covenant (7:16)
Defeats Philistines (8:1)
Defeats Moab (8:2)
Defeats Syria (8:6)
Defeats Ammon (11:1)
New Geneva study Bible. 1997, c1995 (electronic ed.) (2 Sm 1.18). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

The Troubles of David

Bathsheba bears a son (11:5)
Murder of Uriah
Accused, repents, but the child dies (12:10, 13, 19)
Amnon’s incest (13:14)
Amnon murdered (13:28, 29)
Absalom usurps throne (16:15, 16)
Absalom murdered (18:14, 15)
The census (24:2)
Plague (24:15)
Consistently illustrated in the life of David’s household is the principle that a disobedient life is a troubled life.
New Geneva study Bible. 1997, c1995 (electronic ed.) (2 Sm 10.1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

David's Family Tree 

    David's WivesDavid's Children
     Michal (Saul's daughter) No children
 Ahinoam Amnon
 Abigail Daniel (Chileab)
 Maacah Absalom, Tamar (daughter)
Boaz and Ruth Ruth 2:1; 4:21 Haggith Adonijah
 Obed         Ruth 4:17, 21 Abital Shephatiah
 Jesse         Ruth 4:17,21     1 Samuel 16:1; 17:12 Eglah Ithream
   David            Ruth 4:17, 22         2 Samuel 5:13-16 1 Chronicles 3:1-9; 14:3-7 Bethsheba (Bath-shua) Shimea (Shammua), Shobab, Nathan, Solomon
 Unknown Xibhar, Elishama (Elishua), Eliphelet (Elpelet), Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada (Beeliada), Eliphelet


David's family troubles

David's many wives caused him much grief. And as a result of David's sin with Bathsheba, God said that murder would be a constant threat in his family, his family would rebel, and someone else would sleep with his wives. All this happened as the prophet Nathan had predicted. The consequences of sin affect not only us but those we know and love. Remember that the next time you are tempted to sin.



What Happened

Michal (Saul's daughter)

 She was childless

 David gave her five nephews to the Gibeonites to be killed because of Saul's sins

(from Jezreel)

 Amnon, David's first-born

 He raped Tamar, his half sister, and was later murdered by Absalom in revenge

(daughter of King Taimai of Geshur)

 Absalom, third son Tamar, the only daughter mentioned by name

Absalom killed Amnon for raping Tamar and then fled to Geshur,. Later he returned, only to rebel against David. He set up a tent on the roof and sleep with 10 of his father's concubines there. His pride led to his death.


 Adonijah, fourth son. He was very handsome, but it is recorded that he was never disciplined

He set himself up as king before David's death. His plot was exposed, and David spared his life, but his half brother Solomon later had him executed.


 Unnamed son

  Died in fulfillment of God's punishment for David and Bathsheba's adultery



 Became the next king of Israel. Ironical Solomon's many wives caused his downfall


Character in the drama of 2 Samuel

It can be confusing to keep track of all the characters introduced in the first few chapters of 2 Samuel. Here is some help.

 Character Relation Position Whose Side?
 Joab Son of Zeruiah, David's half sister  One of  David's military leaders and, later, commander in chief David's
 Adner Saul's cousin   Saul's commander in chief  Saul and Ishbosheth's but made overtures to David
 Abishai  Joab's brother High officer in David's army - Commander of "the Thirty" Joab and David's
 Asahel Joab and Abishai's brother  High officer - one of David's 30 select warriors ("mighty men") Joab and David's
 Ishbosheth Saul's son Saul and Abner's selection as king  Saul's

The Blueprint

   A. DAVID'S SUCCESSES (1:1-10:19)
  1. David becomes king over Judah
  2. David becomes king over Israel
  3. David conquers the surrounding nations
   David took the fractured kingdom that Saul had left behind and built a strong, united power. Forty years later, David would turn this kingdom over to his son Solomon. David had a heart for God. He was a king who governed God's people by God's principles, and God blessed him greatly. We may not have David's earthly success, but following God is, ultimately, the most successful decision we can make. 
   B. DAVID'S STRUGGLES (11:1-24:25)
  1. David and Bathsheba 
  2. Turmoil in David's family
  3. National rebellion against David
  4. The later years of David 
  5. The later years of David's rule
   David sinned with, Bathsheba and then tried to cover his sin by having her husband killed. Although he was forgiven for his sin, the consequences remained-he experienced trouble and distress, both with his family and with the nation. God is always ready to forgive, but we must live with the consequences of our actions. Covering up out sin will only multiply sin's painful consequences.  

Second Samuel Overview