Study Notes and Personal Bible Study Activities for
The Book of 2 Samuel
2 Samuel 1:1-2:11 (Remember in Hebrew the book of Samuel is one scroll, as are Kings and Chronicles.) The David saga continues. David laments over his fallen leader. This is a lesson to us whether we like our leader(s) or not, they still are God’s representatives and therefore deserve our respect and love. (Note how David previously showed that same respect to Saul even when Saul was trying to kill him!) Even though Saul is dead, David’s kingship was not a ‘done deal.’
2 Samuel 2:12-3:39 We see Israel fall into tragic civil war between David’s forces and Saul’s household. Peace is restored via Abner, but with great treachery Abner is killed – that act will not be forgotten by God.
2 Samuel 4:1-6:23 Peace is finally restored in Israel and David is king. The ‘secret’ of his success is seen in 5:10. One unauthorized to touch the holy things of the tabernacle unwisely tries to keep the Ark of the Covenant from being damaged – a reminder that God is serious about holiness and who may approach him – thank God we have that holiness and may approach God without fear through Christ! With great joy David brings the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem/the City of David. His wife does not appreciate his display of joy and worship and pays a great price for her criticism.
2 Samuel 7:1-8:18 The opening three verses open up the heart of David (remember the LORD called him “a man after God’s own heart”!); it’s a beautiful sight! Oh, that the LORD would make each of our hearts more like David’s, more like His! How wonderful in a world where we are tempted to make a god out of our things, to use our things from God to honor Him!
2 Samuel 9:1-11:27 We continue to see David’s heart through his actions. Faithful friendship to the memory of his deceased friend Jonathan. However, we have the profoundly sad story from David’s life that shows that his heart could also be tempted.
2 Samuel 12:1-31 Through the admonition of the prophet Nathan, the LORD gives David a penitent heart – he honestly admits his sin, embraces God’s forgiveness, and accepts God’s will. Read Psalm 32. What does David encourage us to do when we sin? Note all of the blessings that come with forgiveness.
2 Samuel 13:1-39 In many respects, David’s family life did not conform to God’s will – many wives giving birth to many half-sisters and brothers whose relationship with their dad and their siblings was not good. This makes for some painful problems of which we read today.
2 Samuel 14:1-15:22 The saga of David’s life takes us through some painful chapters in today’s readings. How blessed are we if we have peaceful homes! Thank God! If we have problems in family or personal relationships today, take them to Christ and learn from Him.
2 Samuel 15:23-16:23 Watch David deal with adversity and imitate him: he trusts God; he expresses his emotions; HE PRAYS; he receives sustenance from the LORD; he accepts what the LORD permits to come to him without bitterness; he entrusts his life into God’s hands… What a contrast to the life of his son, Absalom!
2 Samuel 17:1-29 What a story of intrigue! Notice, Who is in control! It’s the story of salvation history. Satan plots evil and finds many willing actors for his perverse play, but God controls the outcome despite the fierce power and deep guile of Satan and his followers.
2 Samuel 18 As you read this chapter, let David’s extreme grief soak in for a moment. Keep this in mind as you read psalms the Holy Spirit inspired David to write. David writes as one who knows the heartbreaks of this fallen world.
2 Samuel 19 David’s grief, for a time, gets the better of him; but Joab gives him a wake-up call. After Absalom's rebellion, the LORD, in his grace, returns David to the throne.
2 Samuel 20 A man by the name of Sheba tries to rebel against David, the LORD’s anointed. It comes to a quick and bloody end.
2 Samuel 21-22 David confronts consequences of actions made by Israel’s previous king, King Saul. After the LORD delivers Israel from another war with the Philistines, David sings a joyful song of deliverance. 22:2-4 are beautiful words to commit to memory. As you read through the entire song, you’ll find others!
2 Samuel 23-24 As David, in chapter 24, suffers consequences for losing focus on the LORD and his promises, a gracious God guides even these events for David to purchase property that will one day be the site for the temple built by Solomon. Read and ponder 24:24. It speaks volumes about heartfelt, sacrificial giving to our Savior-God.