Encountering the Old Testament, 3rd Edition

A Christian Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies


14. Second Samuel: David's Reign

Chapter Intro Video

Chapter Objectives

  • Outline the basic content of the book of 2 Samuel
  • Recall the four major themes of 2 Samuel
  • Explain the different details of Saul’s death in 1 Samuel 31 and 2 Samuel 1
  • Describe the details that led to David’s kingship over all Israel
  • Identify the reasons David selected Jerusalem for the capital
  • List the blessings of God’s covenant with David
  • Summarize the account of David and Bathsheba and describe its impact on David’s reign and family
  • Relate the events of Absalom’s rebellion
  • Describe the outcome of the census David ordered

Chapter Summary

  1. The major themes of 2 Samuel are David and his rise to kingship, his selection of Jerusalem as his capital city, God’s covenant with him, and David’s great sin and its consequences.
  2. David first became king over Judah at Hebron, and only after winning a civil war against Saul’s house did he become king over all Israel.
  3. David’s reign was the beginning of the Israelite empire.
  4. David moved his capital from Hebron to Jerusalem because it was better located, it would ease political tensions because it was within Benjaminite territory, and it had a good water supply.
  5. Jerusalem became Israel’s political center, and David also made it the spiritual center by bringing the ark of the covenant there.
  6. God made a covenant with David that included the promise that he would provide a place for Israel to dwell; that David’s son would build the temple; that God would establish David’s dynastic line forever; that God would establish a father-son relationship with David’s descendants; and that God’s lovingkindness would not depart from David’s line.
  7. From his sin with Bathsheba, David learned that all sin has consequences, but that God’s grace is sufficient to cover all sin when the sinner calls on God in genuine repentance.
  8. Three major events that aided the growing discontent with David’s kingdom were Amnon’s rape of Tamar, Absalom’s rebellion, and Sheba’s rebellion.

Study Questions

  1. Identify the major themes of 2 Samuel. How is 2 Samuel different from 1 Samuel?
  2. Describe the events that led to David’s ultimate victory over Saul’s house.
  3. Why was the conquest of Jerusalem a significant victory for David?
  4. Describe God’s special covenant with David.
  5. How did David’s sin with Bathsheba lead to serious consequences in his life and reign?