Second Book of Samuel or 2 Samuel
2 Samuel or the Second Book of Samuel is the second of the two texts included in the Books of Samuel. The second book of Samuel, together with the first book of Samuel, presents a theological account of Israel’s history that explains Lord’s covenant with Israel under the leadership and guidance of the various prophets. The classic Jewish tradition attributes the authorship of the books to the prophet Samuel, with important contributions made by the prophets Nathan and Gad. Modern scholars believe that the entire Deuteronomistic history presented in the Books of Samuel was compiled within the period between 630 BC and 540 BC by combining numerous independent texts taken from various ages.
The whole text of the second book of Samuel is comprised of 24 chapters. Chapter One of the Second Book of Samuel starts with David coming to know about the deaths of Jonathan and Saul. He kills the Amalekite individual who claims responsibility for killing Saul. David then sings a song as a way of lamenting the deaths of Jonathan and Saul. In Chapter Two, we find David is anointed as the King over house of Judah and Ishbosheth becomes the ruler of Israel. The followers of David defeat Abner as well as the forces of Israel. The houses of Saul and David engage in a prolonged war where David gradually grows stronger and gains an edge over the opposition armies. Abner joins David’s side but is then killed by Joab; David then mourns the death of Abner.
Ishbosheth is killed by two captains who operated under Saul. However, when David came to know about it, he couldn’t take this lightly and ordered his men to slain the captains for slaying a righteous man. David is then anointed by all of Israel. When he visits Jerusalem, the Lord’s blessings are bestowed on him. David then conquers the Philistines and carries the ark into city of David. By this move, David literally acknowledged Lord’s authority over himself and his kingdom.
Under the rulership of David, the Lord allowed Jerusalem to prosper. Gradually all enemies of the great city were defeated, and its borders were extended from Egypt to the banks of River Euphrates. Furthermore in the second book of Samuel, David was eager to build a house for the Lord, a royal temple to house the ark and serve as a place of worship for the Israelites. However, David was told by the prophet Nathan than David was not supposed to build a temple for the Lord, but that the Lord himself would build for David a dynasty of royal lineage. Lord then promises that the Davidic dynasty is going to endure forever and be an eternal lineage. The Davidic covenant is established and the prophets predict the coming of a descendant of David’s lineage who will sit on the throne of David and ideally fulfill the image of a theocratic king. He will bring redemption to God’s people and bring promised victory to the people of the land. This was followed by darker times of David’s rule than was brought on by his disobedience of divine laws and weaknesses. However, due to his repentance, David was able to rule even during these tough times. The book concludes with David thanking God for delivering him from his enemies and promising the arrival of a righteous king to rule over his people from the lineage of David.