This book relates times from the death of Saul to the end of David’s reign.

1. David is at Zilag when a man comes from Saul’s camp telling of Saul’s death. (His story differs from that in 1 Samuel 31). Perhaps he was trying to impress David. If so then he didn’t know the man. David had no cause to love Saul but it was his strong conviction that, as the anointed one, Saul’s life was sacred. Therefore the carrier of tidings of how Saul met his death is himself killed. David laments the death of Saul but also of his friend Jonathan. 2 Samuel 1:1-27.

Circa 1012 BC

2. The Lord told David to go to Hebron with his family and the people of Judah 1012 came and anointed David to be their king. But Abner, a general of Saul’s army took Saul’s son, Isboseth, and made him king over Galaad, Gerruri, Jezrahel, Ephraim, Benjamin and over all Israel. So only the house of Judah follows David. For two years the nation is divided. An attempt to settle the issue by single combat is inconclusive and civil war follows. 2 Samuel 2:1-32.
3. Now there was a long period of strife between the House of David and the followers of Saul. David’s house is always getting stronger while Saul’s always weaker. Against David’s wishes Abner is murdered by Joab. 2 Samuel 3:1-39.
4. Two of Isboseth’s men decide to kill him thinking this will please David. They bring Isboseth’s head to David who laments the death and has the two men killed. Isboseth’s head is buried in the Sepulchre of Abner in Hebron. 2 Samuel 4:1-12.
5. Then all the tribes and ancients of Israel come to David in Hebron and he is anointed as their king. David and his army march upon Jerusalem to attack the Jesubites and David makes his home in Jerusalem and calls it The City of David. The Philistines twice come to attack David but on both occasions, after praying to God, David is the victor. 2 Samuel 5:1-25.
6. The Ark is brought to Jerusalem. On the way a man named Uzzah touches the Ark as the oxen stumble. God strikes him dead for his disobedience. (The next time the Ark is moved the Levites carry it on poles. See 1 Chron 15:15). Saul’s daughter, Michal, sees David dancing to greet the Ark and criticises him. She remains barren till her death. 2 Samuel 6:1-23.
7. David speaks to the Prophet Nathan about building a house for the Ark. But the Lord tells Nathan that it will be David’s son who will carry out this task. 2 Samuel 7:1-29.
8. This chapter pre-dates the events in the last chapter. (See 7:1). It deals with David’s victories. He defeats the Philistines, the Moabites, Hadadzer son of Rehob, the Arameans of Damascus and the Edomites. 2 Samuel 8:1-18. B.C.
9. David wants to show kindness to Jonathan’s offspring. His son, Mephibosheth is brought to David. Mephibosheth is crippled in both feet. David returned to Mephibosheth all that had belonged to his father Saul. 2 Samuel 9:1-13.
10. David sends a delegation to the Ammonites to sympathise at the death of their king. The delegation is humiliated and sent back with their beards shaved and their clothing damaged. The Ammonites hired Aramean soldiers to fight with them. When the battle commenced both the Ammonites and the Arameans fled. The Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites any more 2 Samuel 10:1-19.
11. David sleeps with Bathsheba and she becomes pregnant. David ensures that Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, is put in the front line of battle. He is killed. David brings Bathsheba to his house and marries her. The events that follow this - adultery/murder - are the watershed in David’s life. From this point on he reaps the bitter harvest of his sin. 2 Samuel 11:1-27.
12. Nathans parable backfires against David and he is made to see his sin. The Lord forgives him but at the cost of the son born to Bathsheba. He sleeps with Bathsheba again and they have a son and name him Solomon. 2 Samuel 12:1-31.
13. David’s daughter, Tamar, is raped by her half-brother Amnon. David takes no action. Later Absalom, has Amnon murdered. Absolom flees to Geshur and stays there for three years. 2 Samuel 13:1-39
14. David longs for his son Absalom. Joab tricks him into realising that he makes one law for the people but another for himself and his son. Absalom returns to Jerusalem but, for two years, is not allowed to see his father. 2 Samuel 14:1-33.

978 BC

15. Absalom has ambitions of power. He ingratiates himself with the people. Eventually David has to flee Jerusalem. After plots and counter plots David and his army are engaged in battle with Absalom’s army. Absalom’s men 978 are defeated and Absalom killed. (During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and had it erected in the King’s valley as a monument to himself saying, "I have no son to carry on the memory of my name." He named the monument after himself and it is know as Absalom’s Monument to this day.) 2 Samuel 15; 16; 17; & 18:1-18.
16. David mourns the death of Absalom but Joab brings him to his senses and saves him from the disaster of his army losing faith in him. Now that David is back in power there are many who are anxious to get back in his favour. But David, by accepting them back, causes more problems. He is in effect punishing loyalty and rewarding rebellion. 2 Samuel 18:19-33, & 19:1-43. B.C.
17. Sheba, a troublemaker, rebels against David. Amasa had been put in charge of the army which threatened Joab’s position. Therefore he was quick to kill him as he had been to kill Abner. (The kiss and the sword bring to mind Juda’s betrayal of Jesus.) David did not forget or forgive. (See 1 Kings 2:5-6) 2 Samuel 20.1-26.
18. The Gibeonites ask for seven of Saul’s sons that they may put them to death to avenge Saul’s attempt to annihilate them. Seven are handed over by David and they are duly killed by the Gibeonites but Mephibosheth is spared. Rizpah, sister to some of those who were thus killed, defends their remains from the birds. David fetches the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan and they are buried along with the seven. 2 Samuel 21:1-14.
19. Further battles took place against the Philistines. This chapter tells of some fearsome Philistine warriors but David’s army are always victorious. 2 Samuel 21:15-22.
20. David’s victory song. (This is virtually identical with Psalm 18. Verses 21-25 contrast with the deeper self-knowledge which followed the Bathsheba/Uriah episode, expressed in Psalm 51.) 2 Samuel 22:1-51.
21. Chapter 23 details the last words of David and continues by naming David’s mighty men. 2 Samuel 23:1-39.
22. A census is ordered. But David is conscience-stricken at ordering this census. (Perhaps the reason was that his reliance should have been in God not in numbers.) As consequence of David’s sin a plague kills many thousands. 2 Samuel 24:1-17.
23. David builds an Altar to the Lord. The site chosen is where Abraham offered up his son Isaac. The site was purchased by King David from Araunah who had used it as a threshing floor. (Where now stands the Dome of the Rock.) Sacrifice was offered and the Lord answered the prayer and the plague was stopped. 2 Samuel 24:18-25.