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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel

F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' CommentaryMeyer's Commentary

- 2 Samuel

by Frederick Brotherton Meyer

Outline of Second Samuel

The Reign of David

I. David’s Early Reign over Judah, II Samuel 1-4

1. David’s Lament over the Death of Saul and Jonathan , 2 Samuel 1:1-27

2. The Contest between David and Ishbosheth , 2 Samuel 2:1-32 ; 2 Samuel 3:1-5

3. Abner, Estranged from Ishbosheth, Joins David , 2 Samuel 3:6-21

4. The Murder of Abner by Joab , 2 Samuel 3:22-39

5. The Overthrow of the House of Saul , 2 Samuel 4:1-12

II. David’s Later Reign over All Israel, II Samuel 5-20

1. David Proclaimed King by All the Tribes , 2 Samuel 5:1-25

2. David’s Care for the Ark , 2 Samuel 6:1-23 ; 2 Samuel 7:1-29

3. David’s Conquests , 2 Samuel 8:1-18

4. David’s Kindness to the Remnant of the House of Saul , 2 Samuel 9:1-13

5. The War with Ammon and the Siege of Rabbah , 2 Samuel 10:1-19 ; 2 Samuel 11:1-27 ; 2 Samuel 12:1-31

6. Absalom’s Crime, Banishment, and Return , 2 Samuel 13:1-39 ; 2 Samuel 14:1-33

7. Absalom’s Rebellion and Death , II Samuel 15-18

8. David’s Return and the Revolt of Sheba , 2 Samuel 19:1-43 ; 2 Samuel 20:1-26

III. Appendix: Undated Incidents, Registers, and Psalms, II Samuel 21-24

1. The Story of Rizpah; Deeds of the Philistine Wars , 2 Samuel 21:1-22

2. The Words of David , 2 Samuel 22:1-23

3. Register of the Mighty Men , 2 Samuel 23:8-39

4. The Numbering of the People; the Pestilence , 2 Samuel 24:1-25


The Second Book of Samuel is devoted entirely to the reign of David. His coronation, first by Judah and then by all of the tribes, his wars and conquests, his care for the religious life of the people, his sins, and the calamities he suffered, are impartially set forth in vivid and convincing narrative.

A very notable thing in the books of Samuel ,” says James Robertson , “ is the prominence given to music and song. There is in these books an unusual number of poetical pieces ascribed to this period, and all the indications put together give ample justification for the fame of David as the sweet singer of Israel, and for the ascription to him of the origin of that volume of sacred song which never ceased in Israel, and has become embodied in the Psalms .”

e-Sword Note: The following material was presented at the end of 2 Samuel in the printed edition

Review Questions on Second Samuel


( a ) What is the subject of the entire book?

( b ) What are its two main divisions?

( c ) What material is included in the Appendix?


( d ) What were the leading elements in David’s life?

( e ) How does this book confirm the belief that the Psalter began with David?

II Samuel 1-12

Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments .

1. How did David receive the news of the death of Saul and of Jonathan?

2. How is David’s character revealed in the “Song of the Bow?”

3. What was David’s attitude toward the people of Jabesh-gilead?

4. What occasioned the conflict between the forces of David and Abner?

5. How was the conflict ended?

6. How was Abner alienated from Ishbosheth?

7. How did Abner win David’s favor?

8. What reasons did Joab have for killing Abner?

9. How did David show his feelings toward Abner?

10. How did the murderers of Ishbosheth misjudge David’s character?

11. Why was the capture of Jerusalem of great importance?

12. How was David’s victory over the Philistines in the valley of Rephaim achieved?

13. What mistake did David make in returning the Ark?

14. What incident marred David’s joy at the return of the Ark?

15. What three promises did God make to David through Nathan?

16. What was characteristic of David’s prayers to God?

17. What was the extent of David’s conquests?

18. Why did David treat Mephibosheth kindly?

19. What penalty did King, Hanun pay for rejecting David’s intended kindness?

20. How did David fall while tarrying at home during the siege of Rabbah?

21. What was the fatal flaw in David’s plot against Uriah?

22. How did God cause David to pass judgment upon himself?

23. How was David moved by the death of his new-born child?

II Samuel 13-24

Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments .

24. How did sin begin to show itself in David’s household?

25. Why did not David attempt to punish Amnon?

26. What was David’s attitude toward Absalom?

27. By what means did Joab secure David’s permission for Absalom’s return?

28. What was Absalom’s position after his return to Jerusalem?

29. How did Absalom win the hearts of the men of Israel from David?

30. Why did David leave Jerusalem immediately on hearing of Absalom’s revolt?

31. What great quality did David retain in his adversity?

32. How did David receive the curses of Shimei?

33. Why did Hushai join the forces of Absalom?

34. What influenced Absalom to accept the counsel of Hushai?

35. How did this work to David’s advantage?

36. To what end did Absalom come?

37. How was the news of Absalom’s death brought to David? How did he receive it?

38. How did Joab arouse David from his grief?

39. How was David welcomed by Judah on his return?

40. How is David’s treatment of Ziba and Mephibosheth to be explained?

41. How did David’s return become an occasion of jealousy between the tribes?

42. Why did David appoint Amasa to be head of the army? What was the result?

43. How was Sheba’s rebellion ended?

44. What measures did David take to remove a prolonged famine?

45. What did Rizpah’s faithfulness suggest to David?

46. What unattained ideal did David express in his last song?

47. Why did David long for the water of the well of Bethlehem? Why did he refuse the water when it was brought to him?

48. What example did David set to the men of his time?

49. Why was it wrong for David to number the people?

50. How did David prevent the complete destruction of the people by the pestilence?

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