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The Main Events in the Book of Second Samuel

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The Events of 2 Samuel



The Main Events in the Book of Second Samuel

2 Samuel 1

An Amalekite man comes from the Israelite camp to tell David that Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle. The Amalekite recounts how Saul became injured to the point of death and asked the Amalekite to kill him. After recounting the incident on the battlefield the Amalekite presents Saul's crown to David. David and his men mourned for Saul and Jonathan. David has one of his men execute the young Amalekite for raising his sword and killing Saul, the Lord's anointed. David takes up a lament for Saul and Jonathan

2 Samuel 2

David goes up Hebron in Judah where he is anointed as king over Judah. David sends a word of encouragement to the men of Jabesh Gilead for rescuing retrieving the bodies of Saul and Jonathan from the wall in Beth Shan. Abner, the commander of Saul's army, takes Saul's son Ish-Bosheth and anoints him king over the rest of Israel. War breaks out between David's men and Saul's men. Abner kills Joab's brother Asahel.

2 Samuel 3

The sons of David are listed. Saul's son Ish-Bosheth becomes angry with Abner the commander of his army and Abner goes over to David's side. Abner convinces the people from the rest of Israel to make David their king. Joab kills Abner in revenge. David curses Joab and mourns Abner's death.

2 Samuel 4

Ish-Bosheth is murdered by two men who were leaders of his own raiding parties. In accordance with his promise to king Saul, David has the two men who murdered Ish-Bosheth executed for killing the former king's son.

2 Samuel 5

David is anointed king over all Israel. David conquers Jerusalem. King Hiram of Tyre sends cedar logs and craftsmen to David and helps him build a palace. David takes more wives and concubines in Jerusalem. The Philistines hear that David is made king and come out to find him. David defeats the Philistines.

2 Samuel 6

David fails in his first attempt to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. David studies the book of the law for instructions on how to move the ark. David brings the ark to Jerusalem. David disrobes and dances with all his might before the Lord as the ark is brought up to Jerusalem. Michal despises David for disrobing and dancing wildly before the ark. David tells Michal remained barren and had no children.

2 Samuel 7

David desires to build a temple for the Lord. God sends Nathan to King David to tell him his desire is a good one, but he is not the one to build a temple for the Lord. The Lord promises to build up David's house and that David's son will build the temple. David prays a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for the Lord's kindness to him.

2 Samuel 8

King David subdues all of Israel's enemies including the Philistines, the Moabites, the king of Zobah, the Arameans, and the Edomites. David captured or received large amounts of gold, silver, and bronze articles. A list of David's top officials is written out.

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2 Samuel 9

King David fulfills his promise to Saul the former king and brings Jonathan's invalid son Mephibosheth to live with him in Jerusalem. David commissions Mephibosheth's servant Ziba to take care of Mephibosheth's inheritance.

2 Samuel 10

David sends a delegation of peace to Hanun, the new king of the Ammonites. The Ammonite nobles convince Hanun that David does not want peace and they humiliate the delegation by shaving off half their beards, and cutting off their garments in the middle of the buttocks. The Ammonites hire extra troops from surrounding nations to fight against David and the Israelites. David sent out Joab and all his fighting men and they routed both the Ammonites and the Arameans who were hired to help him.

2 Samuel 11

David sends Joab and his army off to war, but David stayed in Jerusalem. One evening David spies out a woman named Bathsheba from his palace roof top, had his servants bring her to him, and they slept together. Bathsheba became pregnant. David plots a cover up which results in the death of Bathsheba's husband Uriah the Hittite. Bathsheba mourned for her husband and when the time of mourning had passed she became David's wife. The Lord was displeased with what David had done.

2 Samuel 12

The Lord sends Nathan the seer to David to rebuke him for taking Bathsheba and murdering Uriah. Nathan announces that the newborn son will die for David's transgression and that there would be trouble in David's house from that time forward. While his son was ill, David fasted and prayed and could not be consoled. After the son had died, David got up worshipped the Lord and went back to his home to eat. His servants were appalled at the king's actions, but David explained that he thought maybe the Lord would be gracious and spare the son. After the death of his son, David comforted his wife Bathsheba and she bore him another son whom she called Solomon, but  the Lord told Nathan to call the boy Jedidiah. Afterward, Joab and David fought prevailed against the Ammonites.

2 Samuel 13

David's son Amnon falls in love with Tamar (his half-sister, sister of Absalom). Amnon's cousin Jonadab who was a shrewd man makes a plan for Amnon to get Tamar. Jonadab tricks King David and asks the king to have Tamar prepare food for Amnon. When Tamar takes the food to Amnon, Amnon seized her. Tamar objected, but Amnon raped her and then despised her and sent her away. Tamar tore the ornamented robe she was wearing and poured ashes on her head. When King David heard of the incident he became furious. When Tamar's brother Absalom heard of the incident he comforted his sister and hated Amnon for disgracing her. Two years later, Absalom invited all the king's sons to go a gathering, but David declined. Absalom urged the king to go, but he still refused. Absalom asked the king to send Amnon. Absalom orders his men to kill Amnon. Absalom fleas, but David and his sons mourned for Amnon. David mourned for Absalom as well.

2 Samuel 14

Joab knew that David's heart longed for Absalom. Joab plots a plan to bring Absalom back to the palace. King David allows Absalom to return, but says Absalom cannot see his face. Absalom was highly praised for his appearance and he had three sons and a duaghter whom he named after his sister Tamar. Absalom lived in Jerusalem two years, but was not allowed to see the king. Absalom sent for Joab; Joab refused to go, so Absalom had his men sent Joab's field on fire. Joab went to Absalom to complain and Absalom sent Joab to the king to intercede for Absalom. Joab spoke to the king on Absalom's behalf and David agreed to receive Absalom.

2 Samuel 15

Absalom provides himself with a chariot and 50 men to run ahead of him. Absalom intercepts the people seeking justice from the king, acts kindly to them, and steals the heart of the people. Absalom conspires to steal the kingdom from his father David; goes to Hebron; and calls all Israel to follow him including David's counselor Ahithopel. David flees Jerusalem. David left ten concubines behind to take care of the palace. Zadok takes the ark to go with David, but David tells him to take the ark back to Jerusalem. David sends Hushai the Arkite back into Jerusalem along with Zadok and Abiathar and their two sons to spy all that goes on in Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 16

Ziba the servant of Jonathan's son (King Saul's grandson) Mephibosheth meets David with donkeys to ride and food to eat. David gives him all of Mephibosheth's belongings. Shimei, a member of king Saul's family , pelted David and his company with stones and called down curses on them as they were escaping Jerusalem. Abishai asked to kill Shimei, but David prevented Abishai from doing so. Hushai the Arkite feins allegiance to Absalom. Ahithopel advises Absalom to sleep with all the concubines his father David left behind to take care of the palace and Absalom does so. Both David and Absalom considered Ahithopel's advice as words from God.

2 Samuel 17

Ahithopel advises Absalom to send 12,000 men after his father David to attack David and his men while they are weary. Absalom likes what Ahithopel says, but calls in Hushai for his advice too. Absalom likes Hushai's advice better than Ahithopel's. Hushai sends the sons of Zadok and Abiathar to tell David what will happen. After Ahithopel heard that his advice was not taken, he rode his donkey back to his home, put his home in order, and hung himself. David went to a place called Mahanaim and Absalom took all the men of Israel across the Jordan in pursuit of David.

2 Samuel 18

David mustered his men and appointed commanders over them to fight against Absalom. The men convinced David not to go out to fight with them. The battle took place in the forest of Ephraim; David's men defeated the army of Israel. As Absalom attempted to flee the battle, he turned into a tree and was left hanging. When the Joab the commander of David's army heard that Absalom was hanging in a tree, he took three javelins and drove them through Absalom's heart. Then, Joab sounded the trumpet David's troops stopped pursuing Israel. Upon hearing of Absalom's death, King David mourned for his son and wept bitterly.

2 Samuel 19

The day of victory was turned to mourning as David wept for his son Absalom. Joab rebukes the king for treating his fighting men in such a way because David had not congratulated those who saved him and his followers. David heeds Joab's advice and goes out to greet the men as they arrived back. The Israelites who followed Absalom went back to their homes, but quarreled about whether to swear allegiance back to David. After the victory David calls for the men of Judah to come to him near the Jordan; Shimei and Mephibosheth plead their cases and are spared; and Barzillai the Gileadite who provided for David when he was on the run went back to his home. The men of Israel and the men of Judah quarrel over who has greater loyalty to king David.

2 Samuel 20

A man named Sheba, a Benjamite, incites a rebellion against David by calling all the men of Israel to follow him, but the men of Judah remain loyal to David. David returns to his palace in Jerusalem. When he arrived he took the ten concubines and put them in a guarded house. David sent a man named Amasa to summon the men of Judah, but Amasa took longer than the king ordered. David sent Abishai and Joab's men to pursue Sheba, the Benjamite. Amasa came out to meet Joab and his men and Joab stabbed him to death for abandoning David. Joab and Abishai lead their troops to Abel Beth Maacah where Sheba was hiding out. The people of Abel Beth Maacah cut off Sheba's head and throw it over the wall to Joab and Joab returns to David in Jerusalem. A list is provided of David's officials after returning to Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 21

Famine plagues Israel for three consecutive years. The Lord tells David that the famine occurred because the former king Saul put the Gibeonites to death (when Joshua first led the Israelites into the promised land, the Gibeonites tricked Joshua and his men and Joshua swore to protect them.) David asks the Gibeonites what he could do to right Saul's wrong against them. The Gibeonites ask for seven of Saul's descendents to be killed. David agreed, but spared Jonathan's son Mephibosheth. Rizpah, Saul's concubine, took sackcloth and spread it over the bodies exposed on the hill and would not let the birds or wild animals touch them. When David heard of Rizpah's actions, he gathered all the bones of Saul, Jonathan and the seven and had them buried in the tomb of Saul's father Kish. After that, God answered praryer in behalf of the land. Battle broke out between the Philistines and Israel; David went down to fight with his men, but became exhausted. A Philistine named Ishbi-Benob said he would kill David, but Abishai came to David's rescue. After that David's men would allow him to come out to the battle with them again. David's men prevailed against many of the Philistine's most mighty warriors.

2 Samuel 22

David sang a song of praise and thanksgiving to God who had been his rock, fortress and salvation against his enemies.

2 Samuel 23

David's last words are recorded. A list of David's 37 mighty men.

2 Samuel 24

David commands Joab his commander to take a census of Israel and Judah, but Joab objects. David's word overruled Joab and the anger of the Lord burned against Israel because of David's census. Joab and the army commanders went throughout the entire land and returned to Jerusalem after nine months and 20 days. After the census was taken, David was conscience-stricken and realized he had sinned against the Lord. The Lord sends Gad the prophet to David to have David choose one of three punishment options. David chooses three days of plague in the land and 70,000 of the people in Israel die. David pleads to the Lord on behalf of the people and Gad the prophet tells him to build an altar to the Lord at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Although Araunah willingly offered the threshing floor to David, David insists on buying it saying, "I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." David built the altar and the Lord answered his prayer and the plague stopped.


Jonathan on August 26, 2011:


kgril on December 13, 2010:

ecoggins i absolutly love your summaries they really help with my studies. it would be amazing if you could continue to do more of these on other chapters of the bible. thanks and you are a blessing!!!:)

ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on December 23, 2009:

Presigo and RevLady, thank you for your insights and encouraging comments. David was one of the best characters in the Old Testament and he definitely had a humble and contrite heart.

RevLady from Lantana, Florida on December 23, 2009:

Thank you ecoggins for this excellent review of 2nd Samuel which puts the spotlight on David, a man of great passion and conviction. He loved deeply, felt remorse for his sins deeply, loved God deeply, grieved deeply, hurt deeply and fought valiantly. A great hub!

Peace and Holiday blessings,

Forever His,

Presigo from Spokane, Wa on December 23, 2009:

David is my very favorite personality from the Old Testament. A man after God's own heart. Most know David as the sinner and the person who killed Golliath, but David is the worlds greatest repenter. When he sinned noone more humbly repented than David. Thank you for these details on a wonderful part of the Boble and a great man of God

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