(explain phonetic representation)
Authorship and Origin:As described in the discussion of I Samuel, orginally, the books of I and II Samuel, and I and II Kings were originally one large volume, and were broken up later. It is not known who the original author was, but Hebrew tradition says that it was Samuel himself. Some scholars however, feel his name may have been chosen since he was the first character mentioned. The story that is told in these books is the same story that is told in I and II Chronicles, but from a different perspective. In the Hebrew canon, the books of Samuel, Joshua, Judges, and Kings make up the 'former prophets' and provided a history of the times from a prophetic point of view. Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, written much later tell the stories from a priestly point of view, and attempt to explain events in the light of God's character and purpose. Additionally, different details are told and emphasized making them interesting to study individually, and together.
Overview and Significant sectionsII Samuel starts with the rule of David over Judah. David's rule over Israel is important both historically and spiritually to God's people. It is in this time that Israel solidifies the tribes into a nation, transistions from poverty to wealth, and centralizes their religion in Jerusalem (which up till now was held by the Jebusites). Under David, Israel increases it's geographic size by 10 times! Unfortunately, David had troubles, which are also detailed in this book.
- David at last triumphs over all and becomes king over Judah. 1:1-4:12
- David with his 'mighty men', becomes king of Israel and unites the kingdoms. 5:1-10:19
- David and Bathsheba, David's problems with himself 11:2-12:25
- David has problems with his family (a number of wives and their children) 13:1-18:33
- David has problems holding the state in order. 19:1-20:26
- A type of Appendix to the book, it recounts six special incidents
The incidents are:
- Gibeonites avenged.
- Philistine wars.
- A psalm of praise by David.
- Stories of the mighty men.
- A census of the people.
- Preparation for building of the temple.
For more detailed study:
Read Chapter 1. (the entire book is available starting here.)
The Concise Matthew Henry Commentary on this book.
bible.org introduction of this book.
the World Wide Study Bible has Dictionary, Commentary, Scripture and sermons available on this book.