2 Samuel

The Historic Context

The second book of Samuel book covers the reign of king David, who initially ruled over the tribe of Judah for seven years and six months and then over all twelve tribes of Israel for thirty three years.

The General Theme

The early chapters describe how David became successful, both politically and militarily (ch 1–5,8) and above all spiritually (ch 6–7). In tragic contrast, David disastrously fell morally (ch 11). This had profound consequences which impacted both the remainder of David’s life, as well as the lives of his family and the whole nation (ch 12–24). However, God’s mercy and faithfulness extended beyond these faults as it can in our lives (Psalm 32), if we approach God with David’s repentant and humble attitude, Psalm 51.

The Messianic Perspective

In promising to David a sure house (ch 7), God was foretelling the contrast between the monarchy of Israel in the north, where nine dynasties succeed over two centuries and that of Judah in the south where the descendants of David occupied the throne in Jerusalem for more than four centuries. But the promises made to David (2 Samuel 7 :11-16), go well beyond that, they foretold the Messianic reign of a descendant of David which would endure forever.

There are copious echoes of the Messiah in the Old Testament, he would be:

  • The Branch out of the roots of Jesse (David’s father) Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 3:8, 6:12.
  • My Servant David Ezekiel 34:23-24 etc. where David is used as a type of the coming Messiah (this was written centuries after David’s time).

The New Testament takes up this theme and clearly shows that the Lord Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah Luke 1:30-33, 68; 2:11; Matthew 21:9; Acts 5:30-31; 15:16-18; Romans 1:3; Revelation 5:5; 22:16 etc.

Chapter Overview

Section 1 Chapters 1–10

  • David in Triumph – Obedience
  • David is blessed because he seeks to honour God

Section 2 Chapter 11

  • David in Transgression – Disobedience
  • David lusts then commits adultery and murder

Section 3 Chapters 12–24

  • David in Trouble – Judgment (cp Galatians 6:7-8)
  • David painfully reaps the bitter fruits of his sin
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