The Second Book of


King James Version



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David plays the harp before God as he becomes king of not only Judah, but of all of Israel. They also transfer the ark of God to the new capital in the City of David (also known as Zion or ancient Jerusalem) "David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals" (2 Samuel 6:1-5). By Gerard van Honthorst (1622) Image Source

2 Samuel Summary

Second Samuel covers David's reign over Judah and eventually all the land of a united Israel. David demonstrates his corruptible nature and repents for his sins.

Second Samuel is an extension of First Samuel and they were once a single book. Key people include David, Joab, Bathsheba, Nathan, and Absalom. God chooses David to lead Judah in the South while the Northern part of the 12 tribes of Israel, under the name of Israel, selects Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth to rule after Saul's death. After Ish-Bosheth is executed, David is asked to rule the entire nation and all areas, including Judah are brought under the name Israel as a united kingdom. David moves the Ark of the Covenant to the capital Jerusalem and defeats Israel's enemies to strengthen the kingdom of Israel. However, David is also shown to be a flawed mortal like all of us. He commits adultery with a married woman Bathsheba and she becomes pregnant as a result. David sends her husband into battle in order that he may die on the front lines. The prophet Nathan confronts David for his indiscretions and eventually David repents for his sins. The book ends with psalms that are hymns of praise. Second Samuel is one of a series of books (along with Joshua, Judges, First Samuel, First Kings and Second Kings) which covers the theological history of the Israelites and describes God's law under the guidance of the prophets.

Most Popular Verse in 2 Samuel 
Most Popular Verse in 2 Samuel with 1,300 average monthly searches on Google.

As Bathsheba bathes David looks on from a rooftop balcony in the distance. David has his messengers bring her to him. Later he has Bathsheba's husband Uriah sent to the front lines of battle to be killed and then marries Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 2 relates how Nathan makes king David aware of his wrong doing. By Artemisia Gentileschi (circa 1636-37) Image Source

2 Samuel Chapter Summaries

2 Samuel Chapter 1

An Amalekite man comes to David claiming to have killed Saul after he pleaded for the man to slay him after grave injuries. David then orders one of his men to kill the Amalekite saying, "Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD'S anointed" (v. 16). As Saul was killed by archers, he resolves to "teach the children of Judah the use of the bow" (v. 18). David then laments the defeat, speaking against the "uncircumcised" Philistines and recalling the positive attributes and contributions of Saul and Jonathan to Israel ending saying, "How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!" (v. 17-27)

2 Samuel Chapter 2

David asks God "Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?" and God replies: "Go up... Unto Hebron" (v. 1). David goes to Hebron and the men of Judah "anointed David king over the house of Judah" (v. 4). "But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul ... And made him king ... over all Israel" (v. 8-9). Joab and the servants of David meet Abner with Benjamites and servants of Ish-bosheth in Gibeon where they fight each other with Joab's men taking the upper hand and pusuing Abner's men (v. 12-23). Abner and the Benjamites retreat to positions on a hill and appeal to Joab to cease fighting as they are "brethren" (v. 25-26). Joab blows a trumpet and "and pursued after Israel no more" v. 28). The men walk their separate ways through the night with Joab losing 20 men and Abner losing "three hundred and threescore men" which is 300 plus 3 times 20, or 360 men.

2 Samuel Chapter 3

"Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David" as David became stronger, having six sons, and the house of Saul grew weaker (v. 1-5). After Ish-bosheth questions Abner's relationship with one of Saul's concubines, they have falling out. Abner approaches David to side with him rather than the house of Saul. David agrees if Abner "bring Michal Saul's daughter" along (v. 13). He also sent messages to Ish-bosheth saying, "Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines" (v. 14). So Michal was taken from her husband to go with Abner. Abner confers with the elders and speaks with the Benjamites about David's ascendancy.Joab kills Abner to avenge the death of his brother Asahel who Abner killed in the battle at Gibeon. David curses Joab and mourns Abner's death (v. 29-39).

2 Samuel Chapter 4

After hearing that Abner was dead in Hebron, Saul's son Ish-bosheth and the Israelites are troubled. Two of Ish-bosheth's captains, brothers Rechab and Baanah, kill Ish-bosheth in his bed, behead him and take his head to David in Hebron thinking David would be pleased. However, David declares that the brothers are "wicked men [who have] have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed". Therefore, "David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron" (v. 11-12).

2 Samuel Chapter 5

All the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and annointed him king of all of Israel. After reigning over Judah for 7 1/2 years from Hebron, he reigns another 33 years over all of Israel from Jerusalem. David "took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David" (v. 13-16). When the Philistines heard David had become king, they came seeking him. David asked God, "Shall I go up to the Philistines?" And God answered, "Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand." and David and his men defeated the Philistines in two battles thereafter.

2 Samuel Chapter 6

David gathers 30,000 men and brings the ark of God out of the house of Abinadab and places it on an oxcart to relocate it to the city of David. On the way they played "all manner of instruments" and "David danced before the LORD with all his might...with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet." (v. 1-15) When "Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD... she despised him in her heart." The ark is set in the tabernacle where "David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings" afterwhich he "blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts" (v. 16-18). David then served all of Israel bread, meat and wine. When David goes to bless his household Michal Saul's Daughter says, "How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!" (v. 20) to which David replied, "It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD. And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour" (v. 21-22). Michal then "had no child unto the day of her death" (v. 23).


The King James Bible text is sourced from the BibleForgeDB database ( within the BibleForge project ( Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

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