Book Overview - 2 Samuel
by E.W. Bullinger
1 AND 2 SAMUEL
THE STRUCTURE OF THE TWO BOOKS AS A WHOLE. *
2 Samuel 1:1 - 2 Samuel 7:17 RULE UNDER THE JUDGES.
2 Samuel 8:1 - 2 Samuel 24:25. RULE UNDER THE KINGS.
2 Samuel 8:1 - 2 Samuel 24:25. (Above) RULE UNDER THE KINGS.
2 Samuel 8:1 - 2 Samuel 1:27. KING SAUL.
2 Samuel 2:1 - 2 Samuel 24:25. KING DAVID.
2 Samuel 2:1 - 2 Samuel 24:25. (Above) KING DAVID.
2 Samuel 2:1 - 2 Samuel 4:12. KINGDOM DIVIDED.
2 Samuel 5:1 - 2 Samuel 24:25. KINGDOM UNITED.
* It is necessary that the two books should be treated as one; because, in the Hebrew Canon (as given in the MSS. and early printed editions of the Hebrew text) the two are, and always have been, presented and reckoned as one book.
They were first divided, and treated as two, by the Septuagint Translators (cent. 3 B.C.). And this division has been followed in all subsequent versions.
Probably, scrolls were more or less equal in length; and, as Greek requires at least one-third more space than Hebrew, one scroll was filled before the translation of the one long book of fifty-five chapters was completed. Hence, the poor division. Of the thirty-four Sedarim (or cycles for public reading), the twentieth begins with 1 Samuel 30:25 and ends with 2 Samuel 2:6, showing no break in the texts. The same applies to the so-called Books of Kings; for Kings also made a long book of forty-seven chapters, and came to be divided the same way, the four being numbered respectively the "First, Second, Third, and Fourth Book of the Kingdom" 1; and, in the Vulgate, "of the Kings". In no Hebrew Manuscript or early printed edition is the book found divided into two. The thirty-five divisions, called Sedarim, are numbered throughout without regard to any division:the nineteenth beginning with 1 Kings 22:43 and ending with 2 Kings 2:14. This division must have been governed by the exigencies of the parchment, or the break would not have been made in the midst of the reign of Ahaziah and the ministry of Elijah.
The one book, Chronicles, consisting of sixty-five chapters, came under the same treatment. There are twenty-five Sedarim (or cycles for public reading), of which the eleventh begins with 1 Chronicles 28:10 and ends with 2 Chronicles 2:2, showing no break in the text. For the division of the book Ezra-Nehemiah, see note on p. 616.
1 The Structure of these four "BOOKS OF THE KINGDOMS" may be exhibited thus:
2 Samuel 2:1 - 2 Samuel 4:12. The Divided Kingdom.
2 Samuel 5:1 - 2 Samuel 24:25. The United Kingdom.
1 Kings 1:1 - 1 Kings 12:15. The United Kingdom.
1 Kings 12:16 - 1 Kings 25:38. The Divided Kingdom.
TITLE, First Book of Samuel. See note on p. 366. For its place in the Heb. canon, see Appdx-1.
Samuel . The books follow on Judges, and yet hold a peculiar place of their own, looking backward and forward. Heb. Sh e mu"" el = Asked of God, or God-heard, and the impression of this is left on the books (chs. 8, 9, 16, and 2 Sam. 7). As to authorship, cp. 1 Chronicles 29:29, which shows that the prophets kept up the national records, which accounts for such passages as 1 Samuel 27:6. In the Books of Samuel and Kings events are viewed from the human and exoteric standpoint, while in Chronicles the same events are viewed from the Divine and esoteric standpoint. Examples of these abound. (See Appdx-66.)
otherwise called . See note on p. 366. For the parallel passages in the Book of Chronicles, see Appdx-56.
the Third Week of Lent