I Samuel 16 – 2 Samuel 24: Fall of the King and Future of the Kingdom

Introduction

1. Summary

  • God chose David to rule over Israel as Saul’s replacement
  • David kingdom increased under God’s blessing but suffered under His curse when he sinned.
  • David’s dynasty was to be the hope of God’s people despite the troubles cause by David’s disobedience.

2. Structure

  • Rise and fall of the king (1 Sam.16-2Sam.20)
  • Future of the kingdom (2 Sam.21-2 Sam.24)

 

I. Rise and Fall of the King (1Sam.16-2Sam.20)

A. General Analysis

David’s rise (1 Sam.16:1-2Sam.10:19)
Struggles overcome with God’s blessing

-David’s sin (2Sam.11:1–12:31)

David’s fall (2Sam.13:1-20:26)
Struggles result of God’s curse

B. Detailed Analysis

1. The Life of David

Proposed Chronology
Event Date, BC
Age
Birth
Anointed by Samuel
In Saul’s Court
Fought Goliath
In Saul’s Army
Flight from Saul
In Achish’s Army
Anointed by Judah
Anointed by Israel
Sin with Bathsheba
Ark returned to Jerusalem
Rebellion by Absalom
Death
1041
1029
1028
1021
1020
1016
1012
1010
1003
982
977
976
970
 
11
12
19
20
24
28
30
37
58
65
64
70

 

2. David’s struggles (1Sam.16:1-2Sam.4:12)

-Overcomes opposition from within family (1 Sam.16:1-23)
-Overcomes opposition from Philistines/Goliath (1Sam.17:1-58)
-Overcomes opposition from Saul (1Sam.18:1-2Sam.1:27)
-Overcomes opposition from North (2 Sam.2:1-4:12)
These chapters, which show David overcoming all opposition with God’s help, demonstrate that it was God that replaced Saul with David.

These chapters are also concerned to distance David from any complicity in the fall of the house of Saul and from the passage of Saul’s kingdom to David.[footnote]W J Dumbrell, The Faith of Israel (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002), 86.[/footnote]

These chapters also polarize the characters of Saul and David to draw attention to God’s choice of David and rejection of Saul.

In the providence of God it was only with the election of David, the “man after God’s own heart,” that the stage was set for human kingship in its pristine and finest form to come about. David, then, was not just a king, but in line with the regnal and saving purposes of God was in a unique sense the son of God. That is, he was adopted by God to represent God on the earth and to establish a human dynasty over which God’s very Son (who was also the Son of David), Jesus Christ himself, would reign. Only David, therefore, could adequately serve as prototype of the messianic King. And just as the Messiah would be prophet and priest in addition to king, so David functioned in those capacities as well, and in a way which allowed him to operate outside the normal bounds of those offices.[footnote]E H Merrill, Kingdom of Priests (Grand Rapids: Baker Books House, 1992), 209.[/footnote]

We shall consider David’s “priesthood” later in this lecture.
Deuteronomist’s Message: God approved David’s kingship by helping him overcome all opposition.
 

3. Samuel’s “lie”

At first sight it might appear that the Lord (ISam.16:2) commanded Samuel to tell a lie as to his purpose in going to Bethlehem. But, Samuel was as a matter of fact going to Bethlehem to sacrifice. Once we admit, as we are compelled to, the genuineness of the Lord’s intention for Samuel to sacrifice, the difficulty disappears. To anyone who inquired about his trip, Samuel should tell the truth, but not the whole truth. He should tell them he had come to sacrifice. Withholding the whole truth from those who have no right to know it is not unethical. Calvin said concerning this passage:

There was no dissimulation or falsehood in this, since God really wished his prophet to find safety under the pretext of the sacrifice. A sacrifice was therefore really offered, and the prophet was protected thereby, so that he was not exposed to any danger until the time of full revelation arrived.

There is a vast difference between dissimulation or acting under false pretences and not telling the entire truth. There was no point in Samuel’s revealing at this time the principal object of his mission.[footnote]E J Young, An Introduction to the Old Testament (London: Tyndale Press, 1953), 178.[/footnote]

 

4. Double Introduction?

The liberal critics who desire to find different and conflicting source documents in the book point to the alleged double introduction of David to Saul. They say that David seems to have been introduced to Saul twice (ISam.16:14-23 and ISam.17:55-58). From this, they argue that if Saul knew David so well (ISam.16:23), why after the defeat of Goliath does he ask whose son David is.
The evangelical with a concern to defend the unity and consistency of the text may point to David’s maturing as changing his appearance, or to Saul’s madness as affecting his powers of observation or judgment. E J Young proposes that the question about David and his father was more than trying to find out their names, which he knew already.

What Saul desired to discover was what kind of man the father of a youth who possessed the courage to accomplish so marvelous a heroic deed really was: and the question was put not merely in order that he might grant him an exemption of his house from taxes as the reward promised for the conquest of Goliath (v25), but also in all probability that he might attach such a man to his court, since he inferred from the courage and bravery of the son the existence of similar qualities in the father. It was, therefore, the social condition of David and his father which Saul desired to ascertain. ISam.18:1 shows clearly that a lengthy conversation had ensued. Had Saul merely desired to know the name of David’s father, there would have been no need for any lengthy conversation. One word would have answered the question.[footnote]E J Young, An Introduction to the Old Testament (London: Tyndale Press, 1953), 179.[/footnote]

 

5. David’s Helpers (ISam.19:1-22:5)

As Saul’s hostility to David grew, David was forced to become a fugitive. But he was aided during the next several weeks by a number of individuals raised up by God to show his approval of David as King
He was helped by Michal (ISam.19:1-10), Samuel (ISam.19:18-24), Jonathan (ISam.20:1-42), Alimelech (ISam.21:1-9), Achish (ISam.21:10-15), the Four Hundred (ISam.22:1-2), the king of Moab (ISam.22:3-5).
Deuteronomist’s Message: God showed his favor towards David’s kingship by raising up many helpers.
 

6. David’s Innocence and Saul’s Guilt (1Sam.22:6-2Sam.1:27)

A number of chapters set out a stark contrast between the godly character of David and the evil character of Saul.
a. Contrast in behavior towards other Israelites (ISam.22:6-23:6)
-Saul kills the priests at Nob (ISam.22:6-23), while David protects Keilah (ISam.23:1-6) as a king should.
b. Contrast in behavior towards each other (ISam.23:7-26:25)
-David barely escapes Saul (ISam.23:7-29), is kept from bloodguilt (ISam.25:1-44), and twice spares Saul’s life (ISam.24:1-22; 26:1-25). David shown as righteous man as contrasted with Saul.

There are many examples of David’s kindness to Saul and his family. Apparently one of the books’ purposes was to address the accusation (probably rife during the early years of Solomon’s reign) that David was a traitor and enemy of Saul and his family. Likewise the strategically placed stories illustrating how Saul’s own children loved David, underscores David’s innocency in Saul’s court. The book serves, in part, as an apology or defense seeking to demonstrate that David was indeed a man after God’s own heart and Israel’s rightful king…The point is clear: the person after God’s own heart does not seek vengeance against personal enemies but entrusts that responsibility to an all-knowing and just God.[footnote]D Dorsey, The Literary Structure of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999), 135.[/footnote]

c. Contrast in behavior toward the Philistines (1Sam.27:1-2Sam.1:27)
-While David fools the Philistines (ISam.27:1-28:2) is feared by them, and was victorious (ISam.29:1-30:31), Saul sins for fear of the Philistines (ISam.28:3-25), and he and his sons die in battle with the Philistines (ISam.31:1-13). David reacts innocently to Saul’s death by avenging their death (2Sam.1:1-16) and lamenting their deaths (2Sam.1:17-27).
Deuteronomist’s Message: David proved himself of far superior worth than Saul and so more qualified to take the throne.
 

7. David’s kingship under God’s blessing (2Sam.2:1-10:19)

-The Political Triumphs of David (2Sam.1:1–5:25)
David becomes king over Judah at Hebron (2Sam.1:1-2:7)
David becomes King over all Israel (2Sam.2:8-5:25)
-The Spiritual Triumphs of David (2Sam.6:1–7:29)
The Transportation of the Ark (2Sam.6:1–23)
The Institution of the Davidic Covenant (2Sam.7:1–29)
-The Military Triumphs of David (2Sam.8:1–10:19)
Geographic expansion (2Sam.8:1-14)
The Righteous Rule of David (2Sam.8:15–9:13)
Victory over Ammon and Syria (2Sam.10:1–19)
As with God’s blessing David overcame his struggles to take the throne, so he now prospers on the throne under God’s blessing.
Deuteronomist’s Message: God blessed the Davidic kingdom with political, spiritual and military victories.
 

8. David in Hebron

It is while living in Hebron that David shows further evidence of serious weakness, in his love of women. To the two wives he had taken with him he adds four more, all of whom bear him children. Moses had expressly forbidden kings from multiplying wives (Deut.17:17), but this is just the beginning of a pattern David was to repeat in Jerusalem (2 Sam.5:13). So the seeds of future strife and grief were sown.

His favorite wife will turn against him (2Sam.6:20-22); his daughter Tamar will be raped by her half-brother (2Sam.13:14); his son Amnon will be murdered by his half-brother (2Sam.13:28-29); his favorite son Absalom will take the throne from him (2Sam.15:13) and be murdered (2Sam.18:14); another son Adonijah will also try to take the throne (1 Kings 1:5) and he too will be murdered by his half-brother (1 Kings 2:24-25). As Moses warned all Israel, ‘Be sure your sin will find you out’ (Num. 32:23).[footnote]G Crossley, The Old Testament Explained and Applied (England: Evangelical Press, 2002), 262.[/footnote]

 

9. David in Jerusalem

While David reigned from Hebron over the South he continued to grow stronger while the Saulide dynasty grew weaker (2 Sam.3:1). Abner, who had been effectively running the northern part of the kingdom, through the “puppet-king” Ishbosheth, eventually realized David’s strength and agreed to bring the whole of Israel under David’s rule.
David captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites about 1010 BC (2 Sam.5:6-9) and made it his capital city. As it was sometimes identified with the North (Josh.18:28), and sometimes with the South (Josh.15:8), it was about as close to a “neutral” capital as it was possible to get. This was to minimize North/South rivalry.
In his political administration and military organization David tried to blend together the different tribes of Israel and also to incorporate non-Israelite parties, again with the sole purpose of providing leadership to a united people under Yahweh. His later arrangements for the Temple service promoted the Levites as a unifying force for all Israel.
Deuteronomist’s Message: David’s kingship is Israel’s hope of unity and stability.
 

10. David’s Priesthood

As previously mentioned, David not only operated as a king and a prophet, but also as a priest. This was because, as God’s special son, and so special messianic king, he was exempted from the usual restrictions of the law. Saul, though chosen to be king of Israel was never designated as God’s son, and so was not granted priestly privileges. He took on a priesthood that was historically and theologically reserved for David.

David, on the contrary, did function in cultic matters because, as messianic king, he transcended and was exempted from the restrictions of the law in this respect. As the son of God he was a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, if not after the order of Aaron…David, then, as a spiritual heir of Melchizedek (Ps.110:4), could and did offer sacrifice with impunity even though he was not of the tribe of Levi, just as Jesus Christ of Judah serves to this hour as the great High Priest in heaven, infinitely superior to the Aaronic priests.[footnote]E H Merrill, Kingdom of Priests (Grand Rapids: Baker Books House, 1992), 210.[/footnote]

Being of the order of Melchizedek was also the basis of David’s role as royal priest and of his selection of Jerusalem as the site of the ark and tabernacle. He understood that just as Melchizedek had been king of Salem, so he, as successor to Melchizedek, must reign from Jerusalem. And just as Melchizedek was priest of God Most High, so he, as successor to Melchizedek in an order that was superior to that of Aaron, could exercise the holy privilege of priesthood before Yahweh.[footnote]Ibid., 274.[/footnote]

Deuteronomist’s Message: David is God’s very special king with very special privileges
 

11. Davidic Covenant (2 Sam.7)

a. The background
Once David had brought the ark back into Jerusalem he began to feel guilt that whereas he lived in a palace, the ark of God lived in a tent (2 Sam.7:1-2). In the ancient Near East a king’s sovereignty was not established nor recognized until he had built an appropriate palace. If this was true of human kings it was no less true of divine kings. The Temple was regarded, then, as not just a religious structure but a palace that enabled Yahweh to live among His people. The period of nomadic and transient existence had passed when Israel settled in the land.

Why, then, should Yahweh’s residence still give the appearance of transience? Yahweh, like his people, had come to Canaan to stay and thus should abide in a palace of sufficient stability and grandeur as to suggest both his permanence there and his sovereignty over all other powers, real and imaginary.[footnote]Ibid., 274.[/footnote]

However, God rejects David’s proposal to build Him a “house,” indicates that his son would instead build Him a house, and, moreover, that God would build David a “house,” an everlasting dynasty in fulfillment of the promises to Abraham.

The promise of eternal kingship through David had been articulated long before the birth of David himself. From the beginning it was the purpose of God to channel his sovereignty over his own people (and, indeed, over all the earth) through a line of kings that would eventuate in the divine Son of God himself. That line, David now came to understand, would begin with him.[footnote]Ibid., 275.[/footnote]

b. Theological Highlight
The promises of the Davidic covenant are as A A Anderson said, “the theological highlight of the Books of Samuel, if not of the Deuteronomistic History as a whole.” They are also the basis of God’s dealings with future kings and, therefore, the nation.

Thus David, who had already assumed a priestly role apart from and superior to that of the Aaronic order, assumed the role of the vice-regent of God, the human king who, by virtue of his adoption by God, became God’s son in a unique and dramatic way. The kings of the ancient Near East had long seen themselves as either divine or invested with divine authority, but David now, and all his descendants forever after, came clearly to understand that the true and only God of the universe had graciously bestowed his own sovereignty on them so that they might represent him now and prepare for the eschatological day when the last of their line, the second David, will rule alone forever.[footnote]E H Merrill, Kingdom of Priests (Grand Rapids: Baker Books House, 1992), 275.[/footnote]

And, of course, Jesus’ descent from David is of great importance for our understanding of who He is. Note that Matthew’s genealogy begins thus: “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham” (1:1). From the beginning, Jesus is placed in His proper perspective as the fulfillment of the great promises of blessing for the world that were given to and through Abraham and David.[footnote]D M Howard, An Introduction to the Old Testament Historical Books (Chicago: Moody Press, 1993), Electronic Edition.[/footnote]

c. The Promises
(i) God would make David’s name great (Gen.12:2)
(ii) David and God people’s would enjoy a rest from their enemies
(iii) God would build a house, i.e., a dynasty for David
(iv) God would establish the kingdom for one of David’s direct descendants (Gen.15:18; Deut.11:24)
(v) This future ruler would build a house for God’s name
(vi) The throne of his kingdom would endure forever.
(vii) This ruler would occupy the position of a son in relationship to God.
(viii) As such he would be corrected with the disciplinary rod of divine judgment.
(ix) Yet the covenant faithfulness of God would not depart from him.
(x) The house, kingdom and throne of David would endure forever
Walter Kaiser notes that this “Davidic Covenant” consisted of four elements: (1) a house for David; (2) a seed for David; (3) a kingdom for David; (4) a Son of God from David.
d. Conditional and Unconditional
It was a covenant “forever.” That is stated six times in the chapter (2 Sam. 7:13, 16, 24, 25, 26, 29), and it is affirmed as such later (2Sam.23:5). However, the condition of obedience was also made in 2 Samuel 7:14. This unconditional/conditional pattern parallels the earlier Abrahamic covenant. The promise of God is sure and irreversible but individual enjoyment of the promises is conditional upon obedience. The promise of everlasting Davidic kingship would be fulfilled but individual kings who live lives of disobedience would cut themselves off from the blessings of the covenant.

The OT thus oscillates between describing the Davidic covenant as eternal (the word “covenant” is not mentioned in 2 Sam.7, but appears in 2Sam.23:5; Ps.89:33-37) and as conditional (1Kings2:4; 8:25; 9:4-5; Ps. 89:29-32; 132:12). Such oscillation is designed to draw a distinction between, on the one hand, the promises and blessings to David that would not fail and, on the other hand, the punishment and fate of specific individuals within the line of promise. In physical terms, the line of David foundered in 587/586 B.C. with the fall of Jerusalem, but, in spiritual terms. 2 Samuel 7:13 directs us to look to New Testament Christology for ultimate fulfillment.[footnote]W J Dumbrell, The Faith of Israel (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002), 87.[/footnote]

In light of the importance of the Davidic monarchy in these and subsequent books of the OT, we can only conclude that the books of Samuel were written to show and to legitimate its establishment. In 1 Samuel, David shines by comparison with Saul, and he presents a heroic figure early in 2 Samuel as well. Nevertheless, we also clearly see David’s shortcomings (in 2 Samuel 11–12 and in subsequent chapters). Far from undermining the legitimacy of the Davidic monarchy, however, these realistic portrayals of David serve to show that the dynastic promise was dependent on God’s faithfulness, not David’s or any other individual’s (see esp. 2 Sam. 7:11b–16).[footnote]D M Howard, An Introduction to the Old Testament Historical Books (Chicago: Moody Press, 1993), Electronic Edition.[/footnote]

Deuteronomist’s Message: God has chosen David’s house to bring forth His everlasting Son and King.
 

12. Link between Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants

As was mentioned above, there are significant parallels between the two covenants with Abraham and David. Indeed it is clear that they are along the same lines and the Davidic is simply a development and clarification of the Abrahamic.

Abraham David
A great name Gen.12:2 2 Sam.7:9
A land for his descendants Gen.12:7 2 Sam.7:10
A great nation Gen.12:2 2 Sam.7:12
A royal line Gen.17:6 2 Sam.7:16
To be their God Gen.17:7 2 Sam.7:14
An everlasting promise Gen.17:7 2 Sam.7:13

 
Deuteronomist’s Message: David is part-fulfillment and inheritor of the Abrahamic promises
 

13. David’s kingship under God’s curse (2 Sam.11:1-20:26)

Just as in 1 Samuel Saul sinned and so brought much trouble upon himself, so the kingship of David also pivots on his sin. Indeed 2 Samuel can be divided along these lines:
-The triumphs of David (1-10)
-The transgression of David (11)
-The troubles of David (12-24)
Troubles in David’s house (12:1-13:36)
Troubles in David’s kingdom (13:37-24:25)
a. Contrast Saul and David
In some ways their lives run parallel. Early success followed by grievous sins. The difference comes in how the two men deal with their sins. Saul responds with bitterness, vengeance and hatred against David and others. David has genuine sorrow and so receives forgiveness. “I have sinned against the Lord.” Contrast with Saul (1Samuel 15:30). Saul says “I have sinned but please honor me before Israel…etc.”
b. The curse
The penalty for David’s sin is threefold. First, the sword would never depart from the house of David (v10). The one word sword becomes a key term underlying aspects of the narrative from Samuel through Kings. Second, God would raise up evil against David from within his own house. Third, one of David’s associates would take his wives from him and lie with them in full public view (2Sam.12:11–12).
c. The outworking of the curse (2Sam.13:1-20:26)
-Rape and Murder (13:1-14:33)
-Absalom’s rebellion (15:1-19:40)
-Sheba’s rebellion (19:41-20:26)
Deuteronomist’s Message: Even God’s chosen king will suffer if he disobeys but will be forgiven if he repents.

C. New Testament Analysis

1. Davidic Covenant
The “foreverness” of the promises points beyond David’s son Solomon. Jesus the Messiah is a son of David. He is God’s son par excellence. He is currently building a spiritual temple. On the cross he experienced the disciplinary rod of God, not for his own sins, but the sins of others. He sits even now upon the throne of God in the heavenly places. So, human kingship culminates in the human kingship of Christ. As the Son of David, Jesus Christ fulfilled the awesome promises given to David’s dynasty. By the time of the New Testament, the title Christ, (anointed one) had become virtually synonymous with king (Mk.15:32; Lk.23:2).

The fact that Jesus is both human and divine resolves any tension between human and divine kingship. As the Son of God, Jesus has the right to reign over all for all time. As the sinless son of David, Jesus gained the right to reign forever as a human being, to be his people’s Messiah and to inherit the blessings of God’s covenant on behalf of his people. In Christ divine and human kingship are brought into perfect harmony.[footnote]Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003).[/footnote]

The typology in the Davidic kingship is set out in the following table which is based upon one in The Old Testament Explained and Applied by G Crossley.

Characteristic David Christ
One of his brethren 2 Sam.5:1 Heb.2:14
One by whom the Lord would deliver His people 2 Sam.7:9; 22:38-41 Lk.1:68-69; 1Cor.15:25
Anointed 1 Sam.16:13; 2 Sam.2:4; 5:3 Heb.1:9
Hated without cause 1 Sam.19:5 Jn.15:25
Opposing kingdoms 1 Sam.18:29 Jn.12:31
Gathers motley band of strangers 1 Sam.22:2 1 Cor.1:27-28
Forgiving spirit 2 Sam.19:21-23 Lk.23:43
Betrayed by close friend 2 Sam.15:12 Lk.22:47-48
Betrayer hangs himself 2 Sam.17:23 Mat.27:5
Gentiles share king’s rejection 2 Sam.15:21 2 Tim.3:12
Has devoted followers 2 Sam.23:17 Acts 15:25-26

 

II. Future of the Kingdom (2 Sam.21-2 Sam.24)

A. General Analysis

a David’s intercession stops a famine (2Sam.21:1-14)

b David’s military accomplishments (2Sam.21:15-22)

c David’s praise and confidence (2Sam.22)

c’ David’s declaration about the future (2Sam.23:1-7)

b’ David’s military accomplishments (2Sam.23:8-9)

a’ David’s intercession stops a plague (2Sam.24)[footnote]Ibid., 394.[/footnote]

B. Detailed Analysis

1. The role of the last few chapters

Many have puzzled over the placement and purpose of the last four chapters in the books of Samuel. Most scholars accept that they are a kind of “appendix” to the life of David. The events are not in keeping with the previous chronological order of the books as not all the events happened at the end of David’s life. However, some critical scholars have used the dischronological nature of these chapters to support multiple authorship and later redaction. This is to miss the theological point of the narratives.

The last four chapters of 2 Samuel serve as an appendix to the David narratives. These chapters are carefully crafted to present “a highly reflective, theological interpretation of David’s whole career.” Without the occurrences of these last chapters, David’s reign would have ended in utter disarray. However, the writer used a selection of events taken from different times in David’s life to show what hope the people of God could have in David’s house despite the troubles that David had brought.[footnote]J E Smith, The Books of History (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), Electronic Edition.[/footnote]

The final chapters of 2 Samuel indicate that the Davidic promises would not be fulfilled by sound political management, but only by the intervention of Yahweh in the history of salvation.[footnote]W J Dumbrell, The Faith of Israel (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002), 88.[/footnote]

Thus, in addition to the various indications within 1 & 2 Samuel that God was pleased with David and that He was giving the Davidic monarchy as a blessing to His people, we see that the final shape of the book(s) makes this point very clearly. That is, the author selected material for inclusion that made this point, both on the basis of the content of the material and on the basis of his placement of it.[footnote]D M Howard, An Introduction to the Old Testament Historical Books (Chicago: Moody Press, 1993), Electronic Edition.[/footnote]

 

2. Three years famine and death, averted by sacrifice (2Sam.21:1-14)

At some point in the reign of David, Israel experienced three years of famine resulting from Saul’s sin. It was stopped when David prayed and discovered the reason for the drought. Afterward, prayer healed the land. Despite David’s failures and troubles God heard his effective prayers.
Deuteronomist’s Message: Saul’s sin brought famine but David’s prayers ended it.
 

3. David’s valiant troops (2Sam.21:15-22)

The second segment of the appendix is a list of the heroes who had distinguished themselves in various campaigns against the Philistines early in David’s reign. One reason the list may have been placed here is to provide an historical context for the song of deliverance which follows. These examples would show the readers how God had blessed David and his armies in war.
Deuteronomist’s Message: God has blessed David in many battles
 

4. David’s song when delivered from Saul (2Sam.22)

David composed a song to celebrate his deliverance from the hand of Saul and other enemies. The text is essentially the same as Psalm 18. The opening verses summarize the entire song. Various figures are employed to stress David’s dependence on God.
David felt he had been rewarded according to his righteousness (22:21-28). He sought to please God both in his public and private life. It is not absolute perfection which David claims. The context here is that of his persecution by Saul. David did not allow the frustration of that experience to cause him to reject the principles of the law. His hands were clean in that he had made no attempt to kill Saul (22:21-25). The poem looks back over the career of David and underscores the grand proposition which is the overriding message of this material, viz., that God rewards the righteous, and brings judgment upon the unrighteous.

David expressed confidence and trust in the Lord for the future of his kingdom. The readers were to share this optimism about the house of David.[footnote]Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), 483.[/footnote]

Deuteronomist’s Message: God gave David every reason to have confidence in the future of his kingdom.
 

5. David’s last song (2Sam.23:1-7)

The previous song looked to the past but this looks to the future. The words are designated as “the last words of David.” These are certainly not the last words that David ever spoke (1Kgs.2:1-9). This poem must be the last prophetic or inspired utterance of the king (23:1a). It invites the nation’s confidence in David’s dynasty.
Deuteronomist’s Message: Despite David’s failures, God would bless his house and bring forth the final fulfillment of His covenant promises.
 

6. David’s valiant troops (2Sam.23:8-39)

The second list of military heroes in the appendix contains the names of those who helped David win the throne and conquer Zion. This again underlined the military power of David’s armies.
Deuteronomist’s Message: God blessed David with valiant military support to protect the throne of Israel.
 

7. Three days of plague and death, averted by sacrifice (2Sam.24)

The Pride of David (2Sam.24:1–10).
The Punishment of Israel (2Sam.24:11–17).
The Place of Sacrifice (2Sam.24:18–25).
The sixth appendix to the Book of Samuel contains the account of a census ordered by David. Almost immediately after the census was over David realized that he had sinned.
In this final chapter we are reminded that David was a sinner. However, he was a sinner who knew where to go with his sins – God’s mercy. The chapter also associates the threshing floor of Aruanah with the future site of the temple – Mt. Moriah.

In summary, 1 and 2 Samuel concern Yahweh’s sovereign conduct of Israel’s affairs and inform us how difficult and indeed impossible it was for Israel to recognize Yahweh’s sovereignty. The movement between the two books is from sovereignty ignored (1 Sam.1-3) to sovereignty expressed (2 Sam.24), from an indifferent response to divine kingship (1Sam.1-3) to the required response to divine kingship (2 Sam.24). First and Second Samuel place before Israel a future as the people of God. The Books of Kings will comment on how the opportunities afforded to Israel were transferred into historical reality.[footnote]W J Dumbrell, The Faith of Israel (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002), 89.[/footnote]

Deuteronomist’s Message: David showed how he differed from Saul in that when he sinned he repented and was forgiven.

C. New Testament Analysis

1. The man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22)
This is ultimately fulfilled in Christ, who is the man with God’s own heart, who perfectly fulfilled His will.
2. David’s last words (2Sam.23:5)
David anticipates the rise of a king who would rule over mankind in righteousness, i.e., justice. He would rule in the fear of God, i.e., reverence for God. His appearance would signal a new day for the world. Just as the warmth of the morning brings refreshment and stimulates growth, so the reign of this king would result in spiritual salvation and growth.
 

III. The Message

Original Message: David’s house was founded as Israel’s permanent dynasty, and, despite the failures of the Davidic house the Davidic King was still Israel’s only hope.
Present Message: Christ’s house was founded as the only permanent dynasty, and despite the failures of the Church the Son of David is still our only hope for all generations.