II Samuel

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II Samuel is a book in the Bible in the Old Testament that follows I Samuel and precedes I Kings. It was originally one book with I Samuel until divided into two parts in the Septuagint, a custom that was continued in Christian times. It is a historical book, covering a specific time period of the nation of Israel focusing through the perspective of David, its king.

II Samuel picks up after Saul's death where David becomes king. It covers the period of the last years of David's conflict with the House of Saul, his becoming king of a unified Israel, his expansion into neighboring lands, and the trials and tribulations of his kingship. It covers the time period of approximately 1010 B.C. to 970 B.C.[1] and along with I Chronicles is the primary source on the life of David in antiquity.

Events Covered

  • Chapter 1: David hears of Saul's death, and laments Saul and Jonathan
  • Chapter 2: David anointed King over Judah
  • Chapter 3: Abner comes over to David's side; Joab murders Abner
  • Chapter 4: Ish-Bosheth son of Saul is murdered; David has his killers executed
  • Chapter 5: David becomes king over all of Israel, and conquers Jerusalem
  • Chapter 6: The Ark of the Covenant is brought to Jerusalem
  • Chapter 7: God promises David He will establish the throne of his kingdom forever (Viewed as being fulfilled by Jesus in Christianity)
  • Chapter 8: David's military victories
  • Chapter 9: David has mercy on Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan
  • Chapter 10: David defeats the Ammonites
  • Chapter 11: David falls into sin with Bathsheba
  • Chapter 12: Nathan the prophet rebukes David for his sin
  • Chapter 13: David's son Amnon rapes his half-sister Tamar. Absalom, brother of Tamar, killed Amnon and flees
  • Chapter 14: Absalom is allowed to return to Jerusalem, but can not see David
  • Chapter 15: Absalom is allowed in David's sight, but tries to overthrow his father; David flees
  • Cahpter 16-17: Absalom follows poor advice, is defeated
  • Chapter 18: Death of Absalom against David's orders at the hand of Joab
  • Chapter 19: David weeps for his son, returns to Jerusalem
  • Chapter 20: Sheba rebels against David and is defeated
  • Chapter 21: A famine was caused by Saul's previous mistreatment of the Gibeonites; David makes amends
  • Chapter 22: David's song of praise to God
  • Chapter 23: The last words of David
  • Chapter 24: David counts the fighting men when he shouldn't have; Israel is hit by a plague

Relation to other Biblical Books

I Kings begins where II Samuel leaves off, and parts of I Chronicles covers the same time period, although generally not in as much depth.

Since I Samuel and II Samuel were originally one book, the article on I Samuel has strong tie-ins to this article.


  1. The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan Press, 1985

See also