Second book of Samuel (book of the Bible)

2 Samuel . It is an Old Testament book , which together with the book 1 Samuel , were one in the Hebrew Canon, and was part of the previous prophets . The Septuagint divided it into two books that in the Hebrew Bible and in the Christian versions are called 1 and 2 Samuel because of the importance that this prophet has in the historical narrative.


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  • 1 Structure of the book
  • 2 Author and date
  • 3 Historical framework
  • 4 Theological contribution
  • 5 Sources

Structure of the book

2 Samuel contains the history of Israel from the civil war between Isboset, son of Saul, and David for the throne of Israel, until the last days of David’s reign. It can be outlined as follows:

  • Beginning of David’s reign, Natan prophecy and military campaigns (2 Samuel 1-8)
  • History of the succession to the throne of David (2 Samuel 9-20)
  • Appendices (2 Samuel 21-24)

Author and date

According to Jewish tradition, the seers Natan and Gad wrote it. However, the book seems to be the work of a single author. The use of Israel and Judah indicates that some time had elapsed after the division of the kingdom in 931 BC (1 Samuel 27: 6). The author used various sources, the book of Jaser is mentioned (2 S 1:18), and King David is known to have had a particular chronicler and scribe (2 S 8: 16-17).

Historical setting

The fall in combat of King Saul with his three sons in the face of a Philistine invasion in 1010 BC, led to a civil war between two claimants to the throne:

  • Isboset, son of Saul, supported by his uncle and army general Abner,
  • David, anointed by Samuel as future King, supported by an army of various Israelite tribes, who had abandoned Saul.

The murders of Isboset and Abner opened the way to the throne for David, who was proclaimed King, first by the tribe of Judah and then by the rest of the Israelite tribes. His capital was first Hebron of Juda, and then Jerusalem of Benjamin.

David’s military campaigns against the enemies of Israel to the north (Soba), east (Amon and Moab), South (Amalekites) and west (Philistines) are narrated, subjecting them to tribute. Rescue the Ark of the covenant , reorganize the judicial, religious, military and political powers.

Theological contribution

Leading historians consider 2 Samuel to be one of the best ancient stories. Explain the development of the monarchy. Like 1 Samuel, it shows the importance of a faithful and obedient king to God, who at the same time points to the perfect King who would come through the Davidic line.


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