The Second Book of Samuel the sequel to First Samuel is the history of David's reign as king, first over Judah in the south (chapters 1–4) and then over the whole nation, including Israel in the north (chapters 5–24). It is a vivid account of how David, in order to extend his kingdom and consolidate his position, had to struggle with enemies within the nation as well as with foreign powers. David is shown to be a man of deep faith and devotion to God, and one who was able to win the loyalty of his people. Yet he is also shown as being sometimes ruthless and willing to commit terrible sins to serve his own desires and ambitions. But when he is confronted with his sins by the Lord's prophet Nathan, he confesses them and accepts the punishment that God sends.
The life and achievements of David impressed the people of Israel so much that in later times of national distress, when they longed for another king, it was for one who would be “a son of David,” that is, a descendant of David who would be like him.
Outline of Contents
David's reign over Judah (1.1—4.12)
David's reign over all Israel (5.1—24.25)
a. The early years (5.1—10.19)
b. David and Bathsheba (11.1—12.25)
c. Troubles and difficulties (12.26—20.26)
d. The later years (21.1—24.25)
First and Second Samuel were originally one long book. Second Samuel records how David was made king of the tribe of Judah. Later he was made king of all of Israel. God made a special covenant (agreement) with David, promising him that one of his descendants would always be king of Israel. The remainder of 2 Samuel tells of David's struggles to keep control of his kingdom and his family. Much of David's misery is seen as a direct result of his own sin—his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah.