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Chapters 1-5:5

1. Lamenting the Dead, c. 1.

Surely the harshness and gentleness of David are strangely blended in this chapter. That one should so lament an enemy and slay the man who professed to murder him surpasses ordinary thought; but David was built on a large mould. Of course the Amalekite lied to David, for the inspired record of the death of Saul in the preceding book must be regarded as correct.

Observe the motive governing David: "Wast thou not afraid * * * * to destroy the LORD's anointed?" (v. 14). It is his zeal for God that moves him, and furnishes the key to his whole life, notwithstanding his defects and iniquities. This is the thing which distinguishes him from Saul, and gives him the right to the peculiar appellation attached to him.

The obscurity of verse 18 is perhaps explained thus: "The use of the bow," might be rendered "the song of the bow," and doubtless refers to the song which follows (vv. 19-27), and which David composed, after the manner of the times, on the death of Saul and Jonathan. "The book of Jasher," or "the book of the upright," is mentioned in Joshua (10: 3), and seems to have been a compilation of sacred poems not otherwise known to us.

2. War Between the Houses, cc. 2:1-3:6.

The leading facts of this section are: David's anointing as king over Judah, his own tribe (v. 4), including his tactful commendation of the men of Jabesh-Gilead (vv. 4-7). David was a diplomat as well as a warrior. Second, the succession of Ishbosheth to the throne left vacant by his father, Saul (vv. 8-10). Third, the earliest battle between the opposing forces, precipitated by the failure of the duel to settle the question between them (vv. 12-17). "Hel-Kath-hazzurim," means "the field of strong men" (see the margin), appropriately named from the deed of valor wrought that day. Fourth, the remarkable armistice (vv. 18-32). Evidently if Abner had not asked for a stay, Joab would have put it into execution the next day, and for the same reason (vv. 25-28). The great value of Asahel is graphically expressed in the words "nineteen men and Asahel" (v. 30). He was more than merely a twentieth. God needs such men in His service. Can He count on us?

3. David Comes Into His Own, cc. 3:6-5:5.

The circumstances leading up to David's ascendancy are as follows:

(a) Abner's indignity to the memory of Saul, and Ishbosheth's protest against it (3:7-11);

(b) The former's league in consequence with David (vv. 12-21);

(c) The murder of Ishbosheth (4:1-12);

(d) The anointing to the office of king (5:1-5).

The intervening verses (3:22-4:27) tell their own story of jealousy and murder. It was a dastardly act of Joab, and Abner seems to have been all through the better man, although Joab was valiant and loyal to his king. Note, however, the curse David puts upon him (3:28, 29), notwithstanding that he continued to use him as his chieftain. David was a noble soul, and his sincere lament for Abner won him the hearts of Israel (vv. 31-39).


1. Where in this lesson is there an illustration of the difference between the truth of the record and that which the record contains?

2. What illustrates David's personal loyalty to God?

3. What can be told about "The Book of Jasher"?

4. How long did David reign over Judah alone?

5. How long over Israel and Judah?

6. In how many instances are the wisdom and tact of David shown in this lesson?


Chapter 5:6-7:29

1. Conquering Foes, c. 5.

The title of this lesson is the literal rendering of verse 10, "David went on and grew great." The margin reads, "going and growing."

First, he overcame the inhabitants of Jerusalem known as the Jebusites and, capturing the city, made it his capital (w. 6-9). The parallel passage in First Chronicles 11:4-9, will show the two accounts to complement and confirm one another, Samuel being the more biographic and analistic and Chronicles the more historical. -- Lange.

The reference to the "blind and the lame" may mean that the Jebusites felt themselves so strongly fortified on Mount Zion, that in derision they put such persons on the wall as defenders -- even then David could not take the citadel, they thought.

This is the first time "Zion" is referred to (v. 7), and it is well to identify it as the southwest hill of Jerusalem, the older and higher part of the city. It was here that later David brought the ark of the covenant, from which time the hill became sacred. After the building of the temple by Solomon on Mount Moriah, a different eminence, and the transfer of the ark thither, the name "Zion" was extended to comprehend it also (Isa. 8:18; Joel 3:17; Mic. 4:7). Often it is used, however, for the whole of Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:21), occasionally for the Jewish system of religion (Psa. 126:1), and once, at least, for heaven (Heb. 12:22).

David next overcomes the Philistines (vv. 17-25). Note the supernatural interposition in verses 23, 24. "The sound of a going," means probably the sound of human steps as of an advancing army, the symbol of Jehovah's approach in power. "Thou shalt bestir thyself," means, "Be sharp!" "Rush quickly!"

Thus victory comes from the Lord, (1) when it is humbly asked for, according to His will and word; (2) when the battle is undertaken in His name and for His cause; (3) when it is fought in obedience to His directions and guidance.

But observe, as Matthew Henry says, that "though God promises to go before them, yet David must bestir himself and be ready to pursue the victory." God's grace must quicken our endeavors (Phil. 2:12, 13).

Broadus calls the chapter "King David's first year of sunshine." After years of darkness, he now gains a new crown, a new capital, a new palace, a new victory over an old enemy, and in them all a new proof of God's favor.

2. Installing the Ark, c. 6.

The first attempt to bring up the ark is unsuccessful (vv. 1-11) because of the sacrilegious act of Uzzah (Num. 4:14, 15; 7:9; 18:3); but the motive of David s heart was laudable, and unlike anything we read of Saul.

"Baale of Judah" is another name for Kirjath-jearim (1 Sam. 6:21; Joshua 15:60).

The second attempt was successful (vv. 11-19), because the Levitical law was obeyed (see 1 Chron. 15:1-14), an incidental evidence that this law had been recorded, though overlooked. This, so far, answers the destructive criticism which would relegate the Pentateuch to a later period than David.

There may have been too much abandon in David's dancing (v. 16), but the spirit of Michal's criticism (v. 20) was not God-glorifying, for David's rebuke of her seemed to have the divine sanction (v. 23). See 1 Chron. 16, the Psalm composed on this occasion.

3. The Messianic Covenant, c. 7.

We have here one of the most important chapters in the Old Testament, ranking in Messianic significance with Gen. 3, 12 and 49, and Deut. 18. The seed of the woman, who was to come in the line of Abraham and Judah, is now seen to belong to the family of Jesse; and the prophet like unto Moses is to be also a king on the throne of his father David.

A great honor for David is now to be revealed. He has a lofty motive in desiring to build a temple for the ark, and Nathan, not taking counsel of the Lord, is disposed to favor it, until differently informed (vv. 1-17).

In these words of the Lord by Nathan observe the promise of Israel's future prosperity and peace -- still future (vv. 10, 11). Observe further that the "house" God promises to build for David (vv. 11, 13), is neither a material nor a spiritual one, but, as distinguished from either, a political one. It is a house in the sense of an earthly kingdom to be set up in his son. But it is clear that the son is not merely Solomon who immediately succeeded to the throne, but the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom, in a limited sense, Solomon is a type. The word "forever" in verse 13 foreshadows this, but the first sentence of verse 14 compared with Hebrews 1:8, settles it.

In this connection Bishop Horsley's and Adam Clarke's translation of the latter part of that verse is interesting and significant: "When iniquity is laid upon Him, I will chasten Him with the rod of men" -- a parallel to Isaiah 53 concerning the suffering Messiah.

David's adoration and thanksgiving at the revelation of this great truth is beautiful (vv. 18-29). Its humility, faith, and gratitude reach a sublimity unequaled since Moses.

He seemed to have recognized by faith the Messianic character of Nathan's words, if we may judge by Horsley's and Clarke's translation of verse 19: "O Lord God, Thou hast spoken of Thy servant's house for a great while to come, and hast regarded me in the arrangement about the MAN that is to be from above, O God, Jehovah." (See the author's Synthetic Bible Studies.)


1. From what do we obtain the title of this lesson?

2. What other book of the Old Testament parallels Second Samuel?

3. Give the meaning of "Zion" in the Bible.

4. When may victory be expected from the Lord?

5. What makes this David's "year of sunshine"?

6. How was the ark brought up the second time?

7. What makes chapter 7 so important?

8. What kind of a house does God promise David?

9. How would you prove the Messianic character of this promise?

10. Which, to you, is the best verse in chapter 7?


Chapters 8-10

1. Introductory Words.

The title to this lesson is from the phrase, twice repeated in chapter 8, "And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went"; which the Revised Version renders, "And the Lord gave victory to David whithersoever he went."

The Lord's Battle.

It is important to keep in mind that the Lord gave the victory and that it was not David's prowess that won it. Neither did his character merit it. God has a purpose concerning the redemption of the race in which He is using Israel, and what He is now doing through David is part of the program. We have seen this before, but we must never lose sight of it.

Of course David is, in his heart, submitted to the will of God, and one whom God, for that reason, delights to use; but still it is God working and not David.

God also is responsible for what follows in the punishment and destruction of the nations. That is not to say that He approves of all of David's acts in detail, far from it indeed; but the great outlined plan or policy is His, a fact that should make the careless pause to think.

War's Cruelties.

There are things David does which are cruel in our eyes; but remember it is war we are considering and, as one of our own generals said, "War is hell," i. e., a taste of hell on earth, The barbarities of David's acts were in accord with the thinking of his time, just as the barbarities of the present are in accordance with the thinking of our time. A milder age, a millennial state, will look back at the wars of the twentieth century with the horror that we now contemplate some of the history of the Bible.

Foreshadowing Coming Judgments.

But worse things are coming on the earth before those days, as we judge by the book of Revelation. The God who is judging and punishing the people of David's period is the same who will be judging and punishing when the Antichrist is potent in the earth.

Little is said about these things in current preaching and teaching. It is unpopular to talk of sin and judgment, and death and hell; but these things are in the Bible, and we have no right to believe what we like and turn a deaf ear to what we do not like. He is the faithful witness for God, and the faithful friend of his fellowmen, who warns them truthfully of the wrath to come.

2. Details of the Story, c. 8.

"Metheg-ammah" (v. 1) is identical with "Gath and her towns" (1 Chron. i8:1). Be careful to examine the map for these localities, as it will aid in mastering the lesson; and remember that light will be thrown upon the text here and there by comparing the parallel record in 1 Chronicles.

The "line" (v. 2), is explained by a custom of Eastern kings to make their prisoners lie on the ground, while they determine by lot, or a measuring line, who should be spared as slaves and who should be slain.

"To recover his borders" (v. 3), may refer to David's purpose to get possession of all the dominion God promised his fathers (Gen. 15: 8; Num. 24:17). Horses were forbidden Israel either in war or agriculture, and perhaps it was an act of disobedience for David even to save 100 for his kingly retinue.

Verse 15 shows that while David was much in war yet he also reigned well at home. He had a strong cabinet (vv. 16-18). An explanation of the two priests (v. 17) is that the former had been put in office by Saul, while David had exalted the latter. But now that David was supreme a compromise seems to have been effected, and Zadok exercised his office at Gibeon (1 Chron. 16:39) while Abiathar did the same at Jerusalem.

3. An Illustration of Grace, c. 9.

We need not dwell on chapters 9 and 10, but the Christian worker will discover a fine illustration of grace and a good outline for a sermon in that of Mephibosheth:

(a) He had nothing to commend him to David.

(b) David not only forgives and delivers him from the dread of retribution, but restores him to a good position in the kingdom.

(c) He did this for the sake of another, Jonathan.

(d) Mephibosheth served David faithfully all his days.


1. From what is the title of this lesson obtained?

2. Why is God working for and through David?

3. How would you explain some of David's acts?

4. To what future event do David's victories point?

5. How would you explain the contemporary priests?

6. Can you tell the story of Mephibosheth from memory, and point out some of its spiritual lessons?


Chapters 11-12

1. God's Estimate of David's Sin, 12:1-14.

Why the incident in this lesson should be designated "David's great sin," when he committed so many which the popular mind might consider more serious, can only be answered by the divine estimate of it. Jehovah regarded nothing David had done as comparable in its iniquity with this. Nathan's address to David shows this, the chastisement that followed David through the rest of his life shows it, and David's own feelings revealed in Psalms 51, 32 and 103, which he is supposed to have written on his repentance for this sin, bear a similar testimony.

2. Uriah's Character, 11:6-17.

David's sin is scarcely more conspicuous in the picture than Uriah's self-restraint, patriotism and general nobility of character; and this, whether or not we regard him as having a suspicion of the king's motives in the premises and the reason for them.

3. Forgiveness Consistent with Chastisement, 12:10-14.

The king's indignation at the offender in the parable (12:1-6) is an illustration of a common fact that when men are most indulgent to their own sins they are most ready to condemn those of others. The judgment pronounced upon David shows it possible for a saint to be restored to God's favor, while at the same time the divine abhorrence of sin must be shown in bitter results in the present time. David lost four sons after this, and other evils came upon him. (Compare 1 Cor. 5:1-5; 11:28-32).

4. David's Faith and Ours, 12:15-23.

David's remark in verse 23 may be taken as an intimation of the belief of a future life and the immortality of the soul; and yet David's faith could not have been as deep or broad as that vouchsafed to the believer in these days. When the child of a saint now passes hence, it is not for the latter to say that he shall not return to him for, according to 1 Thess. 4:13-18, Jesus may return before the saint dies and bring the loved one with Him.

5. Explanatory Words, 12:26-31.

The concluding verses of chapter 12 require explanation. For example, as throwing light on Joab's words in verses 27 and 28, it would seem that Rabbah, which had been besieged for a long period, was divided into two parts, a lower and an upper town divided by a stream. The first had been taken by Joab, but the second, the more important of the two, must be taken by David in person if the latter were to get the honor for it. Nowadays kings gain victories by their generals, but in earlier times it could not be done by proxy. This was a great city, and should it fall to Joab's arms it would have been named in his honor to David's humiliation.

The torture (v. 31) is another illustration of the horrors of war in that day, and is justified by some as an act of retributive justice on a people infamous for their cruelties (1 Sam. 2:2; Amos 1:13), but there is a happier explanation. The word "under" used three times, is by others translated "to," as referring not to their being slain in this manner, but being subjected to this kind of slavery. And so when it says he "made them pass through the brickkiln," with a slight change it would read, he "made them labor at the brickkiln."


1. What three facts show the awfulness of this sin of David?

2. How does this lesson distinguish between forgiveness and chastisement?

3. Have you read 1 Thess. 4:13-18?

4. How might chapter 12:31 be rendered?

5. Try to memorize Psalm 51 and 103.


Chapters 13-18

1. Lust, Murder and Deceit, c. 13.

In the preceding lesson judgments were foretold as coming on David, and we are entering on that part of his career when the prediction is fulfilled in earnest.

The foulness of this chapter we would not dwell upon more than we can help. Tamar of course, while sister to Absalom, was half-sister to Amnon, the two young men being sons of David by different wives.

"A garment of divers colours" (v. 18) might be rendered "a long garment with sleeves."

"Geshur," whither Absalom fled, was in the north near Syria and the country of his maternal ancestors (2 Sam, 3:3), for no refuge could have been given him in Israel (Num. 35:21).

2. A Strategem Well Meant, c. 14.

Joab could not be charged with lack of love and loyalty to his king, as the story of this chapter shows. He knows the struggle in David's heart between his love for his son and his desire to respect the law in the case of murderers. Therefore he concocts the scheme of this woman by whose supposititous case the king is brought to see that there may be a higher justice in ignoring a lower one. As Absalom was the light of Israel in the sense that on the death of Amnon he was heir to the kingdom, David would be doing nothing more in pardoning him than he had agreed to do in the case of this widow's son (vv. 13-17). But David's action was wrong nevertheless. See Gen. 9:6, Deut. 18:18, etc.

Let not the beautiful words of verse 14 escape attention. How they suggest the love of God for us in Jesus Christ! He was the means devised that we might not be banished from His presence.

3. Love Ill-requited, c. 15.

Absalom had rather be free in Geshur than a prisoner in Jerusalem, and Joab is forced, after two years, to make an effort to bring him and his father together, which succeeds (14: 21-33).

But Absalom is as mean in spirit as he is noble in appearance. His father has reigned too long to suit him and, availing himself of certain causes of complaint, and using the arts of the demagog, he raises a formidable insurrection to put himself on the throne (vv. 1-12).

The word "forty" (v. 7) is thought to be an error, and some versions have "four." With the reference to Ahithophel (v. 12), compare Psalms 41 and 55, and for the further experience of David, see Psalm 3.

The foreigners named in verses 18-22 were doubtless special guards David kept about him since the days of his exile among the Philistines.

The rest of the chapter is a striking illustration of how David combined piety with statesmanlike leadership. He was still "behaving himself wisely" as in the days of his youth.

4. Kissing the Rod that Smites, cc. 16, 17.

Ziba was a liar seeking favor with the king he foresaw would return to power (16: 1-4), and Shimei a cowardly avenger of his supposed wrongs who imagines David's days are numbered. Nursing his wrath a long while, now at a safe distance he displays it (vv. 5-14). But David kisses the rod that smites him. He sees the hand of God in it all and worships His will (vv. 10-12). Happy the penitent in such a case who can exclaim with Elizabeth Prentiss:

"Let sorrow do its work,

Send grief and pain;

Sweet are Thy messengers.

Sweet their refrain,

When they can sing with me.

More love, O Christ, to Thee,

More love to Thee."

Ahithophel, highly esteemed as a counselor recommends, in verses 20-23, that which to Absalom would be like burning his bridges behind him and which would compel every man in Israel to determine whose side he was on. There could be no reconciliation between father and son after this indignity.

The contents of chapter 17 carry their explanation on their face. Ahithophel's counsel is wise to seize David's person before he can gather a formidable army (vv. 1-4), but the Lord defeats it through Hushai (vv. 5-14). (Compare 1 Cor. 1:27, 28). Hushai doubts whether his counsel will be taken, which explains his efforts to get the news to David (vv. 15-22); but Ahithophel, finding that it is taken, commits suicide foreseeing David's victory and his retribution as the result (v. 23).

5. How Fathers Love, c. 18.

The praises of a mother's love are often sung, but this chapter teaches us that a father's can be just as passionate and unreasoning (v. 5}. Joab's act (vv. 14, 15) seems to have been justified by all the circumstances, for there could be no peace in Israel and Absalom alive. His death spared many lives. The manner of his burial, expressing loathing and abhorrence of him (v. 17), was different from what he had expected for himself (v. 18).

The heartrending cry of David (v. 33) seems to pierce all space from that day to this, and we hear it ringing in our ears even now.


1. Have you refreshed your mind on the Levitical law concerning murder?

2. Can you quote 2 Samuel 14:14?

3. How does Absalom bring Joab to terms?

4. Memorize Psalm 3.

5. How does this experience in David's life bring out his piety?

6. Have you examined 1 Corinthians 1:27, 28?

7. What lessons, if any, does this lesson present to you?


Chapter 19

1. An Over-Zealous Servant, 19:1-8.

Joab was to David what Bismarck was to King William. He had the same iron in his blood, but sometimes, like the latter, he overdid things. The kaiser was glad to be rid of Bismarck, and Joab's conduct towards David is preparing the way for his successor. Those were too strong words he used in verse 7, and show the power he assumed over the army.

2. A Backward People, vv. 9-15.

Judah, the king's tribe, should have taken the initiative for his return, and the priests should have stirred them to it. It is disappointing that it was otherwise and perhaps explains David's adroitness in choosing Amasa to supersede Joab, who persuades the people to act as one man.

We can hardly pass the event without speaking of its parallel in the case of

"Great David's Greater Son."

Why is His Church so silent about His coming back again? One would think He was not wanted back by the little that is said about it. And yet He has promised to come -- "This same Jesus" -- and to bring His reward with Him! Who can tell whether, if we spake one to another about it, we might not begin to act in such a manner as to hasten His coming? Will it be necessary for Him to cast away the present leaders of His Church and call to His aid some Amasa with the power to bow the hearts of His people toward Him as the heart of one man?

Why say ye not a word of bringing back the king?

Why speak ye not of Jesus and His reign?

Why tell ye of His kingdom and of its glories sing?

But nothing of His coming back again?

3. A Lenient Sovereign, vv. 16-40.

We wonder David should have been so forbearing to Shimei (vv. 16-23) when we consider the latter's conduct in the last lesson; and on the other hand we are surprised that Mephibosheth should not have had more cordial treatment (vv. 24-30). The meaning of verse 29 is not clear.

4. A Jealous Outbreak, 19:41-20:26.

The closing verses of chapter 19 exhibit the beginning of that tribal dissension which ultimately led to the dismemberment of the kingdom.

Nothing is known of Sheba (20:1, 2), but he was of much influence among the adherents of the former dynasty of Saul.

Amasa seems to have been unequal to rallying the army and Abishai is called into the service, to the further affront of Joab. But the last named joins in the battle and doubtless with the wicked intention he afterward executes (v. 10). His influence with the army is seen in that, even under these circumstances, the warriors rally around him and are led to victory (vv. 11-23). David is obliged to reinstate him, and the conclusion of the chapter shows the whole government reestablished in its wonted course.

5. A Wrong Avenged, 21:1-14.

Joshua had made a covenant with the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:3-27). But Saul, for political reasons, had violated its terms (v. 2) -- just under what circumstances there is no record. It was a case of national guilt and received at God's hands a national punishment (v. 1). Awful was the atonement rendered and yet it might have been more severe. Moreover, God permitted, and indeed directed it (vv. 3-9), and the Judge of all the earth shall do right (Gen. 18-25). Let the circumstance teach us to fear God and hate sin.

"Michal, the daughter of Saul" (v. 8) should be "Michal's sister," or else, the two sons were adopted and brought up by her though born of her sister.

6. An Epoch Reached, 21:15-22.

David is beginning to feel his years and, in this war, he might have lost his life but for the interference of a stronger hand (vv. 15-17). He must no more go out to battle. He, as king, is the "light," of Israel, and must not run into danger lest he be quenched.

Philistia was prolific in giants, but the Lord was with His people to overcome them (vv. 18-22).


1. What late historic character does Joab suggest?

2. How does David seek ineffectually to rid himself of Joab?

3. Quote Acts 1:11 and connect it with this lesson.

4. What arouses Israel's jealousy of Judah?

5. What were the natural relations of Joab to Amasa and Abishai?

6. Relate the story of the first part of chapter 21 in your own words.

7. What lessons does it teach?

8. What epoch, physical and historical, has David reached?


Chapters 22-24

1. The Grateful Retrospect, c. 22.

The title of this section is that which Spurgeon gives the psalm which constitutes it. The psalm is numbered 18 in the book of Psalms, and will be found to contain variations in the text. A common explanation of these is that David sung it, or caused it to be sung, often, and hence revised it for final use in the tabernacle.

The second and forty-ninth verses of the psalm are quoted in the New Testament as the words of Jesus Christ (Rom. 15:9 and Heb. 2:13), which gives it a right to be classed as a Messianic psalm. Such psalms are those in which the psalmist is either referring to the Messiah, or in which the latter, by His Spirit, is speaking in the first person through the psalmist. There is a sense, therefore, in which all through this psalm we may think of Jesus as referring to His own sorrows while on the earth, His deliverance from His enemies, and His triumphs over opposition.

To speak of the psalm more in detail, verse 1 gives its occasion; verses 2 and 4, its theme; 5 to 19 speak poetically of the deliverances obtained through the power of God; 20 to 28, the reason for them as based on the psalmist's righteousness; 29 to 43, the preparation and girding the psalmist himself received; and 44 to 51 mingle praise for the past and prophecy for the future.

It is the fourth division, 20 to 28 more than any other, that makes it difficult to apply the psalm to David except in a highly poetical sense, and which gives it a Messianic significance.

2. The Last Words, 23:1-7.

What is meant by the first sentence of this chapter is difficult to say. It reads like a note of some editor and may mean that the verses following, although poetical, are not part of the preceding song.

The whole section is reminiscent and expressive of trust in God. The second verse is a strong testimony to the divine inspiration of David's words.

David's house had not been what it should have been (v. 5), yet God's covenant was sure, and for His own Name's sake it would be carried forward until the Messiah should sit upon the throne. He was David's desire and salvation.

3. A Catalogue of the Mighty, 23:8-39.

David's great human helpers are here designated and short sketches given of them. Space will not permit any enlarged commentary on the text, nor is it necessary. But note the supernatural character of their achievements -- "the Lord wrought a great victory" (v. 12).

There were three classes of these men. The first consisted of the first three named, verses 8 to 17; the second, of the next three, Abishai, Benaiah and Asahel, apparently, 18 to 24; and the third of the last thirty, of whom, it would appear, Asahel was chief.

4. Numbering the People, 24:1-9.

When this took place is not easy to determine, but it is disappointing to note that it was a testing of David's character in which he failed.

"He" before "moved" in verse 1, refers to Satan, as will be seen from 1 Chronicles 21:3, and shows that although God does not tempt any man (Jas. 1:13), yet, sometimes He permits the adversary of souls to do it In this case He withdrew His supporting grace and the king fell (vv. 3, 4).

How long did it take to obtain this census, and what was its report (vv. 8, 9)?

There is an apparent discrepancy between the record here and 1 Chronicles 21, which, however, can be explained.

Samuel says, "there were in Israel 800,000 valiant men"; while Chronicles says, "And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword" -- 300,000 more. The words in the second case, "all they of Israel," suggests the key to the difficulty. Chronicles gives the full number of the military belonging to Israel, while Samuel omits the special guards of the king and the princes who were in actual service as militia, and which were just 300,000.

In like manner, Samuel says, "The men of Judah were 500,000 men," while Chronicles records that "Judah was 470,000 that drew sword." The difference is explained by the army of observation on the frontiers of Philistia (2 Sam. 6:1, 2) which were not included by the author of Chronicles, though they were by the author of Samuel. In this case the first-named does not say "all they of Judah," as he had of Israel.

5. A Choice of Chastisement, vv. 10-25.

God graciously leads David to repentance (v. 10), but He can by no means clear the guilty (vv. 11, 12), yet mercy mingles with justice (vv. 13, 14).

Note the difference between David's spirit in verse 17, and that of Saul in corresponding circumstances (1 Sam. 15:15). And do not overlook Araunah's kingly generosity on the one hand (v. 23), or David's conscientiousness on the other (v. 24). Of course, "Ornan" in Chronicles is only another pronunciation of Araunah in Samuel.

Observe from 1 Chronicles 21:28-22:5, that the threshing floor subsequently became the site of Solomon's temple.


1. In what part of the Bible are the contents of chapter 22 again found?

2. How may the variations be explained?

3. What are "Messianic" psalms?

4. Give a proof of verbal inspiration in this lesson.

5. What shows the supernatural character of the David's worthies?

6. Quote James 1:13.

7. How might the discrepancy in the achievements of census be explained?

8. How famous did Araunah's threshing-floor become?

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