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2 Samuel Introduction and 1-2 Tonight we come to the 10th book of the Bible - 2 Samuel Remember - We said that In the Hebrew manuscripts the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel form ONE book

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2 Samuel

  • Introduction and 1-2
    • Tonight we come to the 10th book of the Bible - 2 Samuel
    • Remember - We said that In the Hebrew manuscripts the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel form ONE book
      • Their division into 2 books has it's origin in the Septuagint (Greek Translation of the Hebrew Old Testament c.300-200BC)
      • In the Septuagint, the books of 1 Sam, 2 Sam, 1 and 2 Kings are called The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Books of the Kingdoms

The PLURAL word kingdoms refers to the 2 kingdoms of Israel

    • The Northern kingdom ---- Known as Israel
    • The Southern kingdom --- Known as Judah
  • Later, in the 4th century AD
    • The Latin Vulgate (Jerome's famous translation of the entire Bible into Latin) continues the division of these books in the same form as the Septuagint
    • Only they are called the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th books of the Kings
  • Eventually there came the sub-titles to these 4 books in the Authorized Version (KJV) 1611

Under the title "The First Book of Samuel" it often reads – "Otherwise called the first Book of the Kings”

    • BY THE WAY - I have a page of the 1st printing of the 1611 (Habakkuk 1)
  • In the Revised Version, the sub-titles are dropped
  • It is believed that the early portion of the 1 Samuel down to the end of the twenty-fourth chapter was written by Samuel
    • BUT – It’s obvious that he could NOT have written both 1st and 2nd Samuel as he DIED in the course of the narrative (CH. 24)

The rest of 1 Samuel and the whole of the Second are thought to be penned by Nathan and Gad

    • 1 Chronicles 29:29 Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the Chronicles of Samuel the seer, and in the Chronicles of Nathan the prophet, and in the Chronicles of Gad the seer, 30with accounts of all his rule and his might and of the circumstances that came upon him and upon Israel and upon all the kingdoms of the countries.
  • We do NOT know for certain who PENNED it
  • But we do KNOW that the Holy Spirit INSPIRED it

There are those who don't like the division of the Book into 1st and 2nd Samuel

    • But2nd Samuel it is clearly the book of David’s reign
    • 1st Samuel was the record of
      • Israel’s transition from a Theocracy to a monarchy Give us a king like the nations around us
      • And the three epic figures involved in that Transition
        • Samuel - the Last of the Judges in Israel and the First of the office of prophets
        • Saul - the First of the kings
        • David - The man who would become the GREATEST of the Israel’s kings

It is the record of God choosing and preparing a king

      • We said that a SUBTITLE for 1 Samuel could be – WHO WILL BE KING?
      • Eventhough Saul is made first king in Israel, we saw how Saul never abdicated the throne of his own heart to the rule of God
      • While David – with all of his flaws – is the man after God’s own heart.
  • 2 Samuel has one subject - David's 40 year reign
    • It is such an epic period in Israel’s history that it deserves to be set off in it’s own division

David was the REAL FOUNDER of the monarchy

    • God would measure EVERY king of Israel against David
  • David was the RE-ORGANIZER of Israel’s worship
  • David was the PREEMINENT HERO ---- RULER and POET of his nation
  • David’s DYNASTY continued on the throne right up to the captivity
    • It would be from the Davidic line that the Messiah would come.

Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

  • DATE and THEME
  • The book of 2 Samuel is dated around 1055 BC
    • The events of the book open immediately after Saul’s death andquickly moves to David coming to rule as king over Judah
  • The book is the history of David’s FAITH and FAILURES ---- David’s TRIUMPHS and TRAGEDIES


  • Matthew Henry (Spurgeon – Sell your coat to buy Matthew Henry) notes that the book falls into TWO main divisions
    • Those divisions flow around the themes of FAITH and TRIUMPH ---- FAILURE and TRAGEDY
    • David’s infamous sin of adultery with Bathsheba ---- recorded in Chapter 11 ---- marks the sad divide of David’s reign
      • right in the middle of the book
      • right in the middle of his 40 year reign
    • UP to this point it is a record of FAITH and TRIUMPH

But after that point it is the record of FAILURE and TRADGEDY

    • David’s life will become a mess of knots and tangles
    • It will be filled with great personal hurts and tragic trials.
  • Chapters 11-12
    • which record David’s sin and repentance
    • belong to the first half
    • We place those chapters in the section of FAITH and TRIUMPH because it was through his widespread victories that David became vulnerable to complacency and carelessness

Complacency and Carelessness that made him susceptible to temptation

      • Surely one of the great lessons of the book is the fact that too much success can precede great sin!
    • At the end ofChapter 12 there is the account of the conquest of Rabbah --- the royal city of Ammon
      • This marks the end of any such record of triumph.
  • David’s Forty Years: A History of Faith and Failure - Triumph and Tragedy


  • CH. 1-4 King Over Judah Only, At Hebron
  • (Civil War Period - 7 Years)
  • Ch. 5-12 King Over All Israel, At Jerusalem
  • (Conquest Period - 13 years)
  • CH. 13-18 David’s Troubles In His Family
  • (Amnon’s Sin to Absalom’s Revolt)
  • Ch. 19-24 David’s Trouble In the Nation
    • (Sheba Revolt to Pestilence)


  • FAITH ALWAYS leads us to TRIUMPH ---- FAILURE to obey (sin) always brings TRAGEDY --- bitter fruit.
    • ALL SIN --- whether in the life of a believer or in the life of the ungodly or the godless, destroys fruitfulness
    • A tree might LOOK full and beautiful --- but ROT will cause the tree
      • to break and fall or become a fruitless skeleton
    • NOTE: David’s own first Psalm 1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,  and on his law he meditates day and night.3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

There is NO such thing as sinning without suffering!

    • This is especially true when it comes the lust of the Flesh - sexual sin ---- which was David’s fatal breakdown.
    • Our culture has grossly desensitized Christians to sexual sin.
      • We should flee it as quickly as we would a poisonous snake
      • If we don’t run ---- we are weaker than we think
      • If we don’t run ---- we will end up giving into a sin that we never thought we COULD or WOULD commit.
    • Wealso see in David that one sin so leads to another.


  • 1After the death of Saul, when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag.
  • We pick up right where 1 Samuel ended.
    • I would encourage you to get the studies of 1 Samuel 28-30 to bring you up to speed.
  • 2And on the third day, behold, a man came from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head.
  • INSIGHT: David knew this was bad news by the appearances of the messenger

Tearing your clothes ---- putting dirt on your head ---- was the normal reaction to grief or shock in the OT

  • And when he came to David, he fell to the ground and paid homage. 3David said to him, “Where do you come from?” And he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” 4And David said to him, “How did it go? Tell me.” And he answered, “The people fled from the battle, and also many of the people have fallen and are dead, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.” 5Then David said to the young man who told him,

“How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” 6And the young man who told him said, “By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear, and behold, the chariots and the horsemen were close upon him. 7And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 8And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ 9And he said to me ‘Stand beside me and kill me, for anguish has seized me, and yet my life still lingers.’ 10So I stood beside him and killed him,


because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”

  • KEY OBSERVATION: The account given by this Amalekite contradicts the account of Saul’s death given in 1 Samuel 31.
      • 1 Samuel 31:4-6 Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it….

5And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him. 6Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together.

    • THAT is the WORD OF GOD giving the record of Saul’s death ----
      • Which makes it the accurate report.
  • NOTE WELL: What we have in these verses of 2 Samuel is the Word of God recording the report of an Amalekite.
    • When given a choice between believing the Word of God or believing an Amalekite I am going to go with the Word of God EVERY time!

LET’S PAUSE HERE AND THINK BACK 20 + years in Israel’s history

    • Back in 1 Samuel 15 the prophet told Saul that he was to wipe out ALL of the Amalekites --- even their cattle and livestock.
    • Saul disobeyed the Lord
      • He kept the best of the livestock
      • He spared the life of the king of the Amalekites --- a guy named Agag.
    • For this disobedience the Lord rejected Saul as king over Israel.

Saul’s disobedience in 1 Samuel 15 is about 25 years prior to the battle of 1 Samuel 31.

  • This Amalekite ---- who was a liar and a scavenger
    • Stealing valuables from the slain of Israel
    • And stole the crown that was on Saul’s head and the armlet that was on Saul’s arm
  • Might have only been a little child in 1 Samuel 15
    • He would never have even been alive except for Saul’s disobedience.

Isn’t it interesting that the crown which Saul had forfeited by his disobedience in regards to the Amalekites was stolen by an Amalekite!

  • KEY INSIGHT: In the Scriptures the Amalekites are a picture of the flesh!
  • DEFINITION: The term “flesh” denotes the sinful element of human nature that stands in absolute opposition to the work and intentions of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
    • Gal 5:17For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

Where did the Amalekites come from?

    • The Amalekites came from Esau.
      • Genesis 36:12We are told that Amalekwas the grandson of Esau.
    • Esau was a sensual man --- a man who lived after the flesh.
      • He is infamous for having sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for bowl of lentils
      • Esau has the unique distinction of being a man that God said He hated

Malachi 1:2-3 “I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob 3but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.”

  • So we have the quintessential fleshly man being the progenitor of a people group that represented the flesh
  • These Amalekites were a constant source of grief to the descendants of Abraham Isaac and Jacob throughout their history!
  • They were always opposing the people of God.

EXAMPLE: When the Israelites came out of Egypt and were passing through Rephidim

    • At the back of this massive migrating group of people were the elderly and the sick.
    • Deut. 25:17-18The Amalekites came out to attack the Israelites
    • When they saw that the weakest of the Israelites were at the back of the pack and THAT is where they attacked..... In the weakest place.
  • That was only the FIRST of MANY skirmishes that the people of God would have against the Amalekites. 

EXAMPLE:When the twelve spies returned from the land of Canaan ---- Joshua and Caleb encouraged the people to take the land ---- but the ten other spies caused the entire nation to draw back in unbelief.

    • There the Amalekites fought against the Israelites who were rebelling against Moses (Num. 14:45)
  • EXAMPLE: On another occasion the Amalekites joined with the Midianites to fight against Israel and Gideon. (Judges 6)
  • EXAMPLE: And yet again, they joined with the Sidonians against Israel. (Judges 10)
  • The OT history is so crucial

HERE’S THE POINT: Anyone who wanted to fight with Israel had a friend in the Amalekites.

    • There was a constant hatred and desire from the Amalekites to destroy the people of God.
    • They were INALTERABLY OPPOSED to the people of God.
  • That is why we read:Exodus 17:16 The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
  • That is why God commanded Saul in 1 Samuel 15 to wipe them out.
  • BUT THAT is all on the human level.

REMEMBER – Entire people groups (like the Egyptians and Philistines) were pawns in the real battle being waged by Satan against

    • the PLANS of God
    • the PURPOSES of God
    • and consequently the PEOPLE of God.
  • These Amalekites are great picture of the relentless war of the flesh against the Indwelling Holy Spirit of God in the life of the believer.

Romans 8:5-8 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

  • Gal 5:17For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

God REJECTED Saul as king over IsraelBECAUSE of

      • His COMPROMISE concerning this force that always waged war against the plans and purposes of God and the people of God
      • And the crown which Saul had forfeited by his disobedience regarding the Amalekites was stolen by an Amalekite!
  • CRUCIAL LESSON to be learned from this Amalekite
    • We can never compromise with the flesh
    • Those areas of compromise with our flesh come back to steal our crowns!

BUT LISTEN –The story of the Amalekitesdoes not end here with this liar / scavenger

    • The flesh presents a far greater threat to us than the robbing of our rewards.
    • LATER in the history of Israel we read in the Book of Esther about a man named Haman.
      • Esther 3:6 wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that [were] throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, [even] the people of Mordecai. (KJV)
    • What is radical about this guy is that we are told in Esther 3:1 that Haman was a descendant of AGAG!

The ultimate purpose of God in calling and choosing Abraham was to bring the Savior into the world through the descendants of Abraham ---- Israel.

  • And somewhere between 485–464BC a descendant of Agag the Amalakite threatens genocide against the very nation through whom the Messiah was to come.
  • A demonic plot to halt the redemption of mankind!
  • WE CAN NOT COMPROMISE with this thing theBible calls “the flesh.”
  • Romans 8:13 NLT For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

  • 10…And I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”11Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. 12And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 13And David said to the young man who told him, “Where do you come from?”

And he answered, “I am the son of a sojourner, an Amalekite.” 14David said to him, “How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” 15Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go, execute him.” And he struck him down so that he died. 16And David said to him, “Your blood be on your head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.’”

  • KEY QUESTION: WHY did this guy think he could impress David by saying he had killed Saul?

FIRST - Remember WHO he is.

    • He is a scoundrel
    • He was a bottom feeder that was glad to rob valuables from the dead bodies of brave soldiers.
    • He is an Amalekite --- and he would have known that Saul spared king Agag as a TROPHY.
  • SECOND - He makes the mistake of thinking that David was the same kind of guy Saul was.
    • He thinks David would prize as a trophy the crown of the man who had made his life so miserable.
    • He thinks David would reward him for supposedly killing the man that had made David’s life so miserable.


    • David might have failed in a number of ways as a man – but he WAS GOD’S MAN!
    • As God’s man his heart broken over the tragic end to Saul’s life and Jonathon’s .
    • David NEVER desired to see Saul dead.
    • David NEVER wanted to see Jonathon die.
  • 17And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and Jonathan his son,
  • This in an amazing moment for us to consider!

David has had a lot of time to process in his own heart a lot of things about the kingdom

  • David has gone over in his own heart a lot things about being king.
  • David has had a lot of time to think about his own backsliding from the Lord and the fact that it almost cost his men their families and their lives.
  • I think that David has laid down the sword against Saul in his own heart because he realizes that in reality apart from the grace of God --- apart from his own relationship with God ----- he is not a better man than Saul at all!

David is genuinely mourning for Saul because in the last few weeks of his life he had come to realize that Saul could never threaten the plans and purposes of God

  • That God was able to restore everything David when he got on his knees and repented and sought the Lord.
  • Saul was no threat.
  • Proverbs 24:17-18 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,18lest the Lord see it and be displeased,  and turn away his anger from him.

What an amazing man David is here!

    • He is 30 years old at this point.
    • Can you imagine a 30 year old man and woman to be mature enough to be broken over an weeping over someone who had persecuted them since they were 17 years old?
    • I am completely undone looking at David in this moment.
      • I have had people crush me ---- who to this day don’t think they’ve done anything wrong ---- and I struggle to lay down that sword in my own heart.

David mourns because it was the heart of God in the matter.

  • The Bible says that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
    • Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?
  • May God conform ME into the image of the Son of David --- Jesus --- who could look at the men who had just driven nails through his hands and feet and said – “Father forgive them….”

18and he said it should be taught to the people of Judah; behold, it is written in the Book of Jashar.

  • The ESVtext reads in such as way that Judah was to be taught the song that follows
  • KEY INSIGHT: The Hebrew text is “the Bow should be taught to the people of Judah.”
    • This reference to the BOW would appear to be in honor of Jonathon
      • He was an avid archer – Remember he used archery practice as a means of communicating with David at the Stone Ezel(1 Sam 20)

“the Bow should be taught to the people of Judah” may mean –

      • “In order to give the men of Judah military training (with the bow and other weapons).”
    • The KJVagrees with that18(Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)
  • The NLTreads in such a way as to make this the TITLE of the lament - NLT 18and he commanded that it be taught to the people of Judah. It is known as the Song of the Bow, and it is recorded in The Book of Jashar.

The Book of Jasharis a non-biblical written source

    • It is also referred to in Josh. 10:12–13
    • It is also referenced in the Lxx of 1 Kings 8:12–13.
  • So here are the lyrics to The Song of the Bow
  • 19 “Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen!20
  • KJV - The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places
    • What an amazing way to speak of the man who persecuted you and essentially robbed you of 13 years of your life.

Tell it not in Gath,  publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,  lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult.

God’s glory was at stake – not David’s vindication.

21“You mountains of Gilboa,let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor fields of offerings! For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.


Not anointed with oil –

    • The shields were made with leather and they would rub them with oil to keep them from cracking --- make them ready for battle.
    • SO --- The shield of Saul will never again go to battle.
  • 22 “From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.
  • They were mighty in battle

23 “Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely!     

  • THAT is amazing!
    • Jonathan we can understand. But Saul!!
    • If someone hassled you for one day what do you have to say about them?
    • Not so lovely anymore!
    • THIRTEEN YEARS and here is what David can say.
  • 23 In life and in death they were not divided;  they were swifter than eagles; they were stronger than lions.

NOTE WELL: Not ONE note of bitterness in this song.

24 “You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet,  who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.25“How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle!“Jonathan lies slain on your high places.26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;very pleasant have you been to me;  your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.

Those who read this from hearts that are perverted want to pervert the relationship between David and Jonathan


They say that this must be homosexual love say it because they begin with the supposition that two men can not love each other without it being sexual ---- without it being what the Bible clearly says is immoral.

  • The relationship of Jonathan and David
    • Does not prove that God endorses homosexuality
    • Rather it proves that God ---- in the Bible ---- never condemns real love between men ---- only a sexual relationship between men.
    • This was a genuine love between men
    • David loving Jonathan
      • who exercised a radical self-denial in giving up any right to the throne of Israel (1 Sam. 23:17)

Jonathan loving David as the Lord's choice to succeed Saul ----- even to the point of risking his life for David (1 Sam. 20:30–33).

  • 27  “How the mighty have fallen,  and the weapons of war perished!”