Guest Author - Charisse Van Horn
The books of 1 and 2 Samuel were originally one book, titled ďThe Book of Samuel.Ē Their authorship remains unknown and their date of writing is gleaned from the content the books contain. Due to 1 Samuel 27:6 and references to the kings of Judah and Ziklag, historians have placed the date of writing between 931 and 722 B.C. There is a possibility that Abiathar the Priest wrote the book, however, this is inconclusive, and both 1 and 2 Samuel are thought to be authored by an anonymous source. The Bible speaks about ďThe Book of SamuelĒ in 1 Chronicles 29:29, yet describes three books, giving reason to suppose that Samuel was written by at least three people: Samuel the Seer, Nathan the Prophet, and Gad the Seer. As 1 Samuel followed the rise and fall of Saul, Israelís first king, 2 Samuel deals with Davidís kingly rule. David ruled Israel as king for 40 years.
It is in 2 Samuel 7:16, where we see the Messianic prophecy that God will establish Davidís kingdom line forever through the birth of Jesus Christ. First Samuel covers a greater time span than does 2 Samuel as the book solely features on King Davidís rise to power and kingly rule. Second Samuel begins with the death of Saul and Davidís close friend Jonathan.
In 2 Samuel chapters 1-10, we read about Davidís great success and favor as king. He began as king of Judah and then became king over all Israel. Chapters 6-7 focus on Davidís emphasis on spiritual matters and his desire to build God a temple. Chapters 8-10 discuss Davidís military battles and successes and highlights victories at Philistia, Moab, Zobah, Syria, Edom, and Ammon. Though the first ten chapters highlight Davidís great success, chapters 11 and 12 focus on Davidís fall and sin. It is in 2 Samuel 11 that we learn about Davidís adultery with Bathsheba, followed by the murder of her husband, Uriah.
In chapter 12, the prophet Nathan returns to David to pronounce judgment upon him for his sinful and wicked deeds. From 2 Samuel 12-20, we read about the consequences of Davidís sinfulness and the punishment, family division, and strife that permeated the kingdom as a result. Some of the events that transpired in Davidís life because of his sin include the death of his and Bathshebaís son, the rape of Tamar, the murder of Davidís son, Amnon by Absalom as justification for the sexual violence Tamar endured, and ultimate judgment on Davidís kingdom.
Chapters 21-24 chronicle Davidís final years as Israelís king. Itís important to realize that though 2 Samuel is solely about King David, the Bible continues to chronicle and detail his life from 1 Samuel throughout 1 Kings 2:11. The bulk of 2 Samuel, however, is about Davidís adultery with Bathsheba, the murder of her husband Uriah, and the consequences that plagued his kingdom.