1&2 Samuel Overview: Royal History (1): The Beginning

Introduction

1. Name

Originally the six monarchy historical books – the two Samuels, the two Kings, and the two Chronicles –were but three books. The division of the original works came when these books were translated into the Septuagint (Greek) version late in the third century BC. The Greek translators titled the books “1 and 2 Kingdoms,” and what we now know as 1 and 2 Kings were known as “3 and 4 Kingdoms.” The Vulgate shortened these to “Kings.” The Hebrew Bible treated the books as one until the 15th Century AD. They were named after Samuel in the Talmud (500 AD) which reflected their belief in his authorship. However, even if Samuel was not the final author, the title is apt, not only because he was the principal character in the first part, but also because he anointed the other two principal characters, Saul and David. Samuel was both a judge (1Sam. 7:6,15-17) and a prophet (1Sam. 3:20). He connects the period of the Judges with the early monarchy.

2. Theme

J E Smith gives the theme as, “The birth and expansion of the kingdom.”[footnote]J E Smith, The Books of History (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), Electronic Edition.[/footnote]

3. Purpose

To explain that David’s dynasty remained Israel’s hope for the future in spite of curses that David and his house had brought upon the nation.[footnote]Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), 389.[/footnote]

4. Key verses

The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed (1 Sam. 2:10).

And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee (2 Sam. 7:26).

He is the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore (2 Sam. 22:51).

5. Key truths

• God wanted his people to have the king he would choose.
• God carefully prepared the way for the king of his choice.
• God chose the house of David as the royal family forever.
• Despite the weakness of David’s kingdom, the hope for God’s people still remained in his family.[footnote]Ibid, 389.[/footnote]

 

I. Author

See the overview of the historical books for general comments regarding the Deuteronomic history and its author(s).

1. Critical viewpoint

Most critical scholars view the final stages of Samuel’s composition as the work of editors/authors during the period of the exile. Some scholars have searched for underlying sources in ways similar to the model provided by Pentateuchal criticism (repetitions, doublets, conflicting theologies/interests).

Liberal critics especially focus on what they see as an early pro-monarchy source (eg. 1 Samuel 9) and a late anti-monarchy source (eg. 1 Samuel 7, 8). However, this results from failing to distinguish God’s good plan for a king from the sinful human motivation behind the request of a king.

The presence of supposed “doublets” (i.e., duplicate accounts of the same events that have survived in the text’s final form) ignore the possibility that events could be repeated in a similar fashion. Those who argue for the presence of “doublets” also ignore significant and important differences between superficially similar accounts.

Because of space limitations, I have touched on only a few of the narrative techniques exhibited in the texts of Samuel. I have not discussed, for example, the narrator’s use of verbatim or near verbatim repetition to achieve rhetorical objectives. And yet, since Muilenburg’s seminal essay in 1953 drawing attention to repetition as a “major stylistic feature” in ancient Israelite narrative, increasing numbers of scholars have given serious attention to the significance of repetitive structures within the Bible. Alter, for example, has shown that close attention to the “small but revealing differences in the seeming similarities” is often the key that unlocks the meaning of difficult passages.[footnote]L Ryken and T Longman III (Editors), The Complete Literary Guide to the Bible (Grand Rapids; Zondervan, 1993), 174.[/footnote]

2. Traditional view

It is all but impossible to recover the compositional history of the book. It was probably produced in essentially its present form soon after the last recorded event – David’s death. Many prophetic and royal records would have been available to the writer (1Chron. 29:29)

Because Old Testament prophets generally served as historians of their times, it is not unlikely that the books of Samuel were compiled by an unnamed prophet from the writings of Samuel, Gad, and Nathan, as well as from other unnamed sources.[footnote]Nelson’s complete book of Bible maps and charts (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), Electronic Edition.[/footnote]

 

II. Date

1. Earliest date

The end of the book looks back on the last words of David around 970 BC (2 Sam. 23:1).  1 Samuel 27:6 tells us that “Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah until this day.” This suggests that the division of Judah and Israel in 930 BC had occurred.

If Samuel was written at this time, the book affirmed hope in David’s line despite the troubles of the divided monarchy.[footnote]Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), 389.[/footnote]

2. Latest date

The author seems to be ignorant of the fall of Samaria, and so it is reasonable to date the composition of the work prior to the captivity of the Ten Tribes. Further evidence of this is that both the book of Kings and Chronicles seem to use Samuel as a source document We can come to no more definite a conclusion than that the composition took place between 930 and 722 BC.

We may conclude, then, that the books of Samuel were composed under Divine inspiration by a prophet, probably of Judea, who lived shortly after the schism and who incorporated into his work earlier written material.[footnote]E J Young, An Introduction to the Old Testament (London: Tyndale Press, 1953), 174.[/footnote]

 

III. Historical Analysis

1. Chronology

First Samuel covers the ninety-four-year period from the birth of Samuel to the death of Saul (c. 1105–1011 BC). J E Smith sets out the chronology as follows:

2. Israel’s History by Periods

Jensen gives a good general grid in which to fit the chronology of the monarchy. 1&2 Samuel take place in the “Crown” period. The opening event, the birth of Samuel, can be assigned to the year 1110 BC. The closing event, the death of David, probably occurred in 971 BC.

In Egypt
And the Wilderness
In Canaan
Under Judges
In Canaan
Under Kings
In Assyria
And Babylon
Camp Commonwealth Crown Captivity
Pentateuch Joshua, Judges, Ruth Samuel, Kings, Chronicles Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther

[footnote]I L Jensen, Jensen’s Survey of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1978), 170.[/footnote]

3. Deuteronomistic History

As we have seen in previous lectures, Samuel is ordinarily described as part of the Deuteronomic History, that series of books from Joshua through Kings (excluding Ruth) that applies the laws and worldview of Deuteronomy to the history of the nation. The fundamental Deuteronomic doctrine was that national disaster was due to failure to worship Jehovah exclusively and correctly. When the writer of Samuel applied the theology of Deuteronomy to the development of Israel’s early monarchy, he explained what future kings should learn from David’s successes and failures and why David’s dynasty remained Israel’s hope despite the covenant curses that David’s house had brought upon the nation. The book records the rise, successes and failures of David’s rule, but it does so in order to teach a theology of kingship for the sake of future generations who would be led by David’s royal sons.

4. Three transitions

Three significant changes occur in Israel’s history at this time. The cultus[footnote]Cultus is a term used for public worship in general, especially the festivals, rituals and sacrifices in service to God or the gods. Popular usage employs the term as a derogatory designation for new religious movements, but scholars employ it as a descriptive term for worship of any kind. For example, the distinction between clean and unclean animals in the Pentateuch was a cultic distinction, a daily reminder to observant Jews to be “holy”; the dietary laws were reminders of holiness and practices of holiness, and they prepared one to worship the Lord even in mundane matters of daily meals and to separate oneself from profane practices that led away from worship.  Arthur G. Patzia and Anthony J. Petrotta, Pocket Dictionary of Biblical Studies (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 30–31.[/footnote] shifts from Shiloh to Jerusalem. Its leadership changes from episodic judges to kingship, which entails dynastic succession. Israel is transformed from a tribal league to a unified kingdom capable of exercising imperial power over neighboring states. These shifts determine the contours of the rest of Israel’s history for the next four centuries.

5. The Enemies

The major powers of the ancient Near East – Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt – were all in decline, and posed no real threat to Israel. Israel’s major problem was with its nearer neighbors – the Philistines. The Philistines were of Indo-European descent and had settled along the Mediterranean coast. They tended to adopt the gods of the land they invaded and this is why we find their gods to have the same names as Canaanite deities. A warlike people, they pioneered the use of iron weapons and apart from Samson’s brief successes they were constant oppressors of Israel. The threat they posed to Israel was the main motivation in their premature request for a king. It was not until David had become king that Israel was able to defeat them decisively (2 Sam. 5:17-25; 2 Sam. 8:1,12).

 

IV. Literary Analysis

1. Outline

J E Smith Pratt Murray

The Birth of the Kingdom
(1 Samuel)

The Expansion of the Kingdom
(2 Samuel)

Foundation of the Kingdom
(1 Sam. 1:1-7:17)

Saul’s Kingdom
( 1 Sam. 8:1-15:35)

David’s Kingdom
(1 Sam. 16:1-2 Sam. 20:26)

Future of the Kingdom
(2 Sam. 21:1-24:25)

Foundation of the kingdom and fall of the king (Saul)
(1 Sam. 1-15)

Fall of the king (David) and future of the kingdom
(1 Sam. 16-2 Sam. 24)

2. Structure

Foundation of the Kingdom (1 Sam. 1:1-7:17)

Saul’s Kingdom (1 Sam. 8:1-15:35)

David’s Kingdom (1 Sam. 16:1-2 Sam. 20:26)

Future of the Kingdom (2 Sam. 21:1-24:25)

3. Original Message

Central to this book is the theme that Israel should hope in the Davidic line, despite the trouble caused by David’s shortcomings. In the period of the divided monarchy, these themes would have spoken directly to the needs of the nation. David’s family had been the primary cause of Israel’s division (1 Kings 11:9-13) and had led the people astray many times. Despite these shortcomings, however, the Davidic line was still the legitimate dynasty. In a period when strong objections could be raised against David’s house, this book spoke a sober but desperately needed message of hope. In the exile, the same themes would have spoken to the need for maintaining hope in the Davidic line. Despite the fact that blame for the exile fell largely on David’s house (2 Kings 21:10-15), the hope of the nation was still in David’s seed who would rise and lead the kingdom to its glorious restoration.

4. Genre

For the most part the books of Samuel consist of historical narrative. Other literary forms which appear in the books are prayers, songs (e.g., 1 Sam. 2; 2 Sam. 22,23), and lists (e.g., 2 Sam. 21:15-22; 2 Sam. 23:8-39 ).

5. Five significant poems

a Hannah’s song of rejoicing (1 Sam 2:1-10)
God’s sovereignty, faithfulness, provision, human weakness

b Prophetic rebuke by Samuel of Saul (1 Sam. 15:22f)
LORD’s judgment on mighty

c David’s lamentation for Saul and Jonathan (2 Sam. 1:19-27)

b’ Prophetic rebuke by Samuel of Saul (1 Sam. 15:22f)
LORD’s judgment on mighty

c’ David’s song of rejoicing (2 Sam. 22:2-51)
LORD’s sovereignty, faithfulness, provision, human weakness

Two poems provide a frame around the entire composition. These are Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 and David’s songs in 2 Samuel 22:1-23:7. The sentiments of the triumphant king merge with those of an exultant mother. Both compositions rejoice in deliverance from enemies (1 Sam. 2:1; 2 Sam. 22:3-4); celebrate God as a rock (1 Sam. 2:2; 2 Sam. 22:32); speak of Sheol (1 Sam. 2:6; 2 Sam. 22:6); and describe God’s thundering in the darkness (1 Sam. 2:10; 2 Sam. 22:14, 29), his protection of the faithful (1 Sam. 2:9; 2 Sam. 22:26), and his steadfast love for the Lord’s anointed (1 Sam. 2:10; 2 Sam. 22:51; 2 Sam. 23: f). Hannah’s magnificat becomes a prophetic summary of the themes that fill the book as a whole: Hannah’s prophetic song looks forward to the emergence of kingship in Israel, a victory David will live to celebrate as historical reality.

6. Three significant oracles

Three texts in the Samuel material indicate the author’s main point:

a. The song of Hannah (1 Sam. 2)

Here God is central to Hannah’s thought. She looks forward to the day when God would rule the world through His anointed King. The following historical narrative demonstrates the development and unfolding of this prophecy. The author of Samuel sets out the themes that will be developed in the books with this song at the beginning.

b. The oracle of Nathan (2 Sam. 7)

In the Nathan oracles, the general expectations of Hannah are made more specific. The blessings God bestowed on David are seen to be just the beginning of many future blessings. God would bless the house of David forever.

c. The last words of David (2 Sam. 22-23).

This final passage contains two separate poems. The first echoes many of Hannah’s themes. The second looks back over David’s life and emphasizes the supreme message of the book – that God rewards the righteous, and brings judgment upon the unrighteous. The poem of thanks concludes with an allusion to God’s eternal covenant announced by Nathan (2 Sam. 22:51). This theme of the eternal duration of the Davidic dynasty is stated even more forcefully in the following poem (2 Sam. 23:5).

Appearing as they do at the beginning of the material, (roughly) the middle, and at the conclusion, the three poetic compositions cast a messianic shadow over the books of Samuel. One cannot read these passages without concluding that God had great things in store for the house of David: an everlasting covenant, an eternal throne, and a righteous king who ultimately would judge the very ends of the earth. The testimony of the New Testament is that such promises find their fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth.[footnote]J E Smith, The Books of History (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), Electronic Edition.[/footnote]

When we move to the end of 2 Samuel, we find that the work comes full circle to this theme sounded at the outset. That is because, in David’s final hymn of praise to the Lord, we find a remarkable echo of 1 Samuel 2:10: “He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever” (2 Sam. 22:51). Both the “king” and the “anointed one” of Hannah’s prayer are mentioned here. But now, at the end of the work—now that the story has unfolded and we know that it was David who was the righteous and rightful king—we find an additional datum added: reference is made to David and the Davidic Covenant in the last clause of 2 Samuel 22:51. This verse, then, dramatically brings us back to where we started, but with a fuller knowledge of the king and his place in God’s plan.[footnote]D M Howard, An Introduction to the Old Testament Historical Books (Chicago: Moody Press, 1993), Electronic Edition.[/footnote]

 

V. Thematic Analysis

In a previous lecture, we noted the theological and literary impact of Deuteronomy on Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings. We, therefore, referred to these books as the “Deuteronomistic History”. We also considered the themes which united the books in the Deuteronomic history. Following the pattern we established in our overview of Judges, we will survey how the Deuteronomic themes surface in Samuel.

1. The Covenant

Deuteronomy revealed a God who responded to His people as He had covenanted to do. He blessed when they obeyed, but judged when they did not (Deut. 28). The fundamental Deuteronomic doctrine was that national disaster was due to failure to worship Jehovah exclusively and correctly. This is clearly demonstrated in the books of Samuel.

Although he was a God sovereign in all his ways, yet God would respond in accord with their choices. Throughout the narratives of Samuel the reader sees divine blessing and judgment in action. God rules over the affairs of history; he elects and foreordains the course of persons and nations (2 Sam. 7:7-9). But he is also a God who gives to human beings meaningful moral choices with far-reaching consequences for themselves and others.[footnote]R Dillard and T Longman III, Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995), 145.[/footnote]

Samuel’s focus is particularly on how Israel’s kings kept covenant with God. They were God’s appointed covenant heads of the nation and the nation would be blessed or judged depending on how the king fulfilled his role as covenant representative.

As well as human responsibility, divine sovereignty is also demonstrated in the way that God looks after the faithful.

One of the most important themes in the book is that God will, in the end, right all wrongs, punishing the wicked and rewarding the righteous. While the wicked may flourish for a season (Samuel’s sons, Saul) God will surely punish them. Conversely, even though righteous people may suffer terribly, God will remain with them during their suffering, protecting and guiding them.[footnote]D Dorsey, The Literary Structure of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999), 136.[/footnote]

2. The Kings

We have mentioned above the significant role of the king in the covenant arrangements, but how did Israel come to have her first king, and was it of the Lord?

Although the institution of the monarchy was a significant political and religious event, the concept of kingship was not new to Israel who already thought of God as their King (1 Sam. 8:7; 1 Sam. 12:12; Nu. 23:21; Ps. 5:2). Also, as we shall see below, the institution of a human monarch for Israel was foreseen in the earlier books of the Bible. John Currid has good material on this subject in his Lectures on Samuel.

a. Origin in Genesis

Man was created in the royal image of God. He ruled over God’s creation as a “king.” He had dominion over the creatures.

b. Patriarchs

Throughout the patriarchs there are references to kings descending from them (Gen. 17:16; Gen. 35:11; Gen. 49:10; See also Num. 24:7,17-19).

c. Deuteronomy 17:14-20

Moses saw that eventually Israel would be living in the Promised Land and that they would want a king. Therefore, inspired by God, he gave instructions to regulate the institution and order of kingship (Deut. 17:15-20; Deut. 28:36).

The issue is not kingship but what kind of king is he and what kind of king do the people want? He must be a Hebrew, one of the covenant. He must not be greedy or want to be like the pagans. He is to sit down and copy the Torah in the presence of the priests. Scripture is to be his guiding light. That is to be his authority. This would take a long time to do. Proper kingship in the Old Testament does not deny divine authority. The ideal is an earthly king ruling in the name of, and by authority of, and under the heavenly king. Theocratic and theocentric monarchy is envisaged. God is the ultimate king who rules through earthly rulers. Life in Israel without a monarch is pictured in Judges. Every man was a king unto himself. Judges prepared the people for one king ruling under God. So, the institution of monarchy is within God’s plan and the nature of kingship not inherently bad.  source

d. Judges

Judges makes clear that the reason for anarchy in Israel was that there was no king in Israel (Jdg. 21:25). There was no national political or religious leadership to unify the people under God

e. Hannah

As well as the unmistakable notes that anticipated the monarchy in Judges and Ruth, Samuel opens with Hannah’s song, which ends with the hope of an anointed King raised up by God (1 Sam. 2:10).

f. Davidic Covenant

The Davidic covenant confirms that God had always planned kingship for His people (2 Sam. 7; 1 Ch 17; Ps 89, 132).

g. Conclusion

Human kingship for Israel, then, seems to have been part of God’s plan all along. However, as we shall see in the next lecture, that fact does not legitimate the sinful motivation and timing of Israel in their expressed desire for a king of their own description.

This would seem to indicate that it is wrong to view kingship as evil, even though it came about in the wrong way and even though many of the kings were wicked. Divine and human kingship could live together as long as the human kings submitted to and obeyed the Divine King.

It was always God’s purpose to reign as King in the hearts and lives of the Israelites. A government so ordered is called a theocracy (from the Greek theos, “God”). Furthermore, in terms of organization, God desired to preserve the unity of His chosen people through the leadership of one ruler over all. That is what is called monarchy (from the Greek monos, “one”). God’s design, therefore, called for the combination theocracy-monarchy (theocratic monarchy, or monarchic theocracy).[footnote]I L Jensen, Jensen’s Survey of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1978), 169.[/footnote]

3. The Prophets

We noted before the comment by E J Young that the tragic state of affairs in Judges “paved the way for the institution of prophecy as such under Samuel” .[footnote]E J Young, An Introduction to the Old Testament (London: Tyndale Press, 1953), 166.[/footnote]

There were prophets before, of course. Moses was a prophet (Dt. 34:10) and 1 Samuel 9:9 makes clear that there had been prophets whom the people could consult. But, until Samuel there were no “full-time” prophets. Those who did prophesy, did so in support of, or along side of other work. They were not prophets first and foremost.

Samuel is the first “full-time professional prophet” (1 Sam. 3:20-4:1). He was, then, the first fulfillment of the Deuteronomic promise of the Lord to raise up a prophet like unto Moses (Deut. 18:18-19). In 1 Samuel 3:20 he is called a “prophet.” He is also called a “seer” in 1 Samuel 9:19. “Prophet” refers to speaking a word from God . The “Seer” sees things from God that others do not.

So in Samuel chapter nine, the office of prophet as an ongoing institution is brought into being and it is for the purpose of restraining and checking the king so as to prevent covenant-breaking. The battle between the monarchy and the prophets would color all subsequent history in Israel.

The emphasis upon kingship by no means signals that kings were given a free hand in God’s eyes, however. Whereas the author certainly highlights the monarchy, he also presents it in a prophetic perspective. The prophets Samuel and Nathan played prominent roles in dealing with Saul and David, both in encouraging and in condemning them. The exercise of true kingship in Israel was not to be done apart from loyalty to the Lord and obedience to His covenant. By emphasizing the prophetic perspectives in a work devoted mainly to chronicling the establishment of kingship, the author “showed that the kings were obligated to be sensitive to the prophets, who interpreted the covenant for the nation.”[footnote]D M Howard, An Introduction to the Old Testament Historical Books (Chicago: Moody Press, 1993), Electronic Edition.[/footnote]

Samuel’s role was to summon Israel back to the Old Covenant. The Israelites were a favored people: the Lord loved them and had taken them as his own (12:22). Their responsibility was to respond to his great kindness by loving and obeying him (12:24-25). Samuel was personally commanded to love God and to obey his law (12:3-5).[footnote]G Crossley, The Old Testament Explained and Applied (England: Evangelical Press, 2002), 239.[/footnote]

In a real sense he is the first of the prophets, for before him the prophetic office was more a casual illumination; under him it becomes a more steady and systematic light. It is also probable that Samuel founded the school of the prophets mentioned in this book (10:5).[footnote]Ibid., 241.[/footnote]

4. The Sanctuary

After settlement in Canaan, the ark remained in Gilgal for a time before being moved to Shiloh. The book of Samuel opens with corruption at the Shiloh tabernacle site by Eli’s wicked sons. This led to defeat of Israel and loss of the ark and God’s glory (1 Sam. 4). The Philistines and others were judged for their treatment of the ark until it was eventually returned to Jerusalem. It had been seventy years since the ark of God had stood in the tabernacle.

With the twelve tribes united under David and relative peace from her enemies it was time to consider a permanent site for the ark. Deuteronomy spoke of a day when Israel would have rest from the enemies that surrounded her (1 Sam. 12:12), and when God would appoint one place for His people to bring their offerings and worship (1 Sam. 12:1-14, 20-25). The book of Samuel records the transition from the mobile tabernacle to a central fixed sanctuary (Deut. 12:14; 2 Sam. 7).

5. The Land

After the capture of Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 5 most of Palestine falls into David’s hands as his God-given empire grows. The land remains Israel’s right to the end of Samuel as the people remain largely faithful to God. David’s leaving of it, though temporary, was the result of his own disobedience. This would remind the people that their tenure on the land was conditional.

6. The Apostasy

The book of 1 Samuel pivots on the sins of Saul, whereas the book of 2 Samuel pivots on the sin of David.

The theme of sin’s effects can be seen in almost every biblical book, but it is especially striking in the books of Samuel. All of 1 & 2 Samuel can be seen to be built upon different characters’ declines juxtaposed against others’ rises. Each character’s decline is due in some way to his sin.[footnote]D.M. Howard, An Introduction to the Old Testament Historical Books (Chicago: Moody Press, 1993), Electronic Edition[/footnote]

Thus, the two books serve to indicate that God still maintained standards, against which even individuals chosen for special tasks and status were to be measured. Individuals or nations could not violate God’s standards with impunity, expecting such violations to have no effect.[footnote]D.M. Howard, An Introduction to the Old Testament Historical Books (Chicago: Moody Press, 1993), Electronic Edition[/footnote]

7. The Punishment

Both Saul and David enjoyed God’s blessing as long as they were faithful and both suffered God’s curse when they were unfaithful. Saul lost his kingdom and his life. David suffered bloodshed in his family (Amnon, Absalom, Adonijah) and rebellion in his kingdom (Absalom, Sheba).

8. The Repentance

This is the difference between Saul and David. Both sin. But while one sincerely repents, the other just makes excuses.

These serve as a reminder that the distinction between Saul and David, between a rejected king and an accepted one, is not that one is a sinner and the other is not, for both are sinners. Rather, the distinction lies in the very different attitudes to faith and repentance displayed by the two and, at a deeper level still, in the sovereign election of the one, the “man of God’s own choosing” (1 Sam. 13:14), over the other.[footnote]L Ryken and T Longman III (Editors), The Complete Literary Guide to the Bible (Grand Rapids; Zondervan, 1993), 170.[/footnote]

 

VI. New Testament Analysis

1. David as a type of Christ

David anticipated and foreshadowed the person and work of Christ who inherited the throne of David. The writers of the New Testament see in Jesus the embodiment of a righteous king for Israel. They note the significance of his descent from David (Matt. 1:1, 6,17) and the recognition given to Him by the people of Israel and even the demons (Matt. 12:23; Matt. 20:30-31; Matt. 21:9, 15).

Both David and Jesus had prophetic sanction, David by Samuel (1 Sam. 3:20; 1 Sam. 16:13) and Jesus by John the Baptist (Mat. 14:5, Jn. 1:29-31). The Spirit of the Lord came upon them both (1 Sam. 16:13; Mk. 1:9-11), and both did mighty works (1 Sam. 17; Mat. 11:4-5), were involved in holy war (1 Sam. 17; Col. 1:20), and were rejected by jealous kings (1 Sam. 18:9; Mat. 2:16) and warned to flee for their lives (1 Sam. 20; Mat. 2:13-15). Rejected by their own people without just cause (1 Sam. 23:12; Jn. 19:15), both learned in exile to depend upon God. Both interceded on behalf of God’s people (2 Sam. 21; 2 Sam. 24; Jn. 17), and both were highly exalted by God (2 Sam. 23:1-8; Isa. 52:13; Phil. 2:9). In these and many other ways, David’s life foreshadowed the accomplishments of Christ, his son.[footnote]Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), 391.[/footnote]

 

VII. The Message of 1&2 Samuel

Original Message: Israel should hope in the Divinely chosen Davidic line, despite the trouble caused by David’s shortcomings.
Present Message: The Church should hope in the Divinely chosen Davidic line because of the blessings brought about by the Son of David’s perfections.