Sunday School Bible Survey:      II SAMUEL

Theme: The establishment of Israel's political and religious center in Jerusalem.

From the Scofield Study Bible:
As First Samuel marks the failure of man in Eli, Saul, and even Samuel, so Second Samuel marks the restoration of order through the enthroning of God's king, David. This book also records the establishment of Israel's political centre in Jerusalem (II Samuel 5:6-12), and her religious centre in Zion (II Samuel 5:7; 6:1-17). When all was thus ordered, Jehovah established the great Davidic Covenant (II Samuel 7:8-17) out of which all kingdom truth is henceforth developed. David, in his "last words" (II Samuel 23:1-7) describes the millennial kingdom yet to be.

The book is in four parts:

  1. From the death of Saul to the anointing of David over Judah, in Hebron, (1:1-27).
  2. From the anointing in Hebron to the establishment of David over united Israel (2:1-5:25).
  3. From the conquest of Jerusalem to the rebellion of Absalom (6:1-14:33)
  4. From the rebellion of Absalom to the purchase of the temple-site (15:1-24:25).

The events recorded in 2 Samuel cover a period of 38 years (Ussher).

John Phillips (Exploring the Scriptures) has divided II Samuel into three parts:

  1. The Patient Years (1-4)
  2. The Prosperous Years (5-12)
  3. The Perilous Years (13-24)


  1. The "patient years" refer to the transitional period between the death of Saul (recorded in I Samuel 31) and David's coronation in II Samuel 5.
  2. An Amalekite came and told David that he killed Saul on the battlefield, and David had the man executed (1:1-16).
  3. David mourned for Saul and Jonathan (1:11-27).
  4. David was anointed king in Hebron (2:1-4).
  5. In a gesture of peace and reconciliation, David reached out to the men of Jabesh-gilead, who buried Saul (2:5-7).
  6. But Abner, Saul's captain, made Ish-bosheth king over all of Israel, except Judah (2:8-11). This led to another civil war.
  7. In the ensuing conflict, Abner killed Asahel, Joab's brother (2:17-23).
  8. The war was "long", but "David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker" (3:1).
  9. Ish-bosheth rebuked Abner for going into Saul's concubine, a woman named Rizpah. The rebuke infuriated Abner, and he made a league with David (3:7-21).
  10. Joab was unhappy because Abner had killed his brother Asahel (though it was in self-defense). Unknown to David, Joab took Abner aside and killed him (3:22-39).
  11. Ish-bosheth was murdered in his bed by two of his captains (4:1-6). They decapitated him and brought his head to David. But David was not pleased with their treachery and had them executed (4:7-12).


  1. Everything was going well for David at this point. All the tribes came together to make him king of a united Israel (5:1-5).
  2. Jerusalem became the capital city, "the city of David" (5:6-12).
  3. David established national and religious unity (cf. 5:10-12).
  4. God gave David many children (5:13-16; cf. 3:2-5).
  5. David defeated the Philistines (5:17-25).
  6. David brought the ark to Jerusalem (6).
  7. David desired to build a temple in Jerusalem (7:1-3).
  8. The Davidic Covenant was revealed to David by Nathan the prophet (7:4-17).
  9. God gave David great victories (8, 10).
  10. David showed kindness to Jonathan's son Mephibosheth (9:1-13; cf. 4:4).
  11. David's sin with Bath-sheba (11).
  12. David's repentance, and the birth of Solomon (12).


  1. Things were never the same for King David after his sin with Bath-sheba. First, Ammon raped his half-sister Tamar, and then, in revenge, Absalom killed Ammon (13).
  2. Absalom returned to Jerusalem but David would not go to see him (14).
  3. Absalom stole the hearts of the people, and then rebelled against his father (15-17).
  4. Joab killed Absalom, ending the rebellion (18).
  5. David returned to Jerusalem and was restored to power (19).
  6. A man named Sheba, a Benjamite and "a man of Belial," started yet another rebellion (20).
  7. There were three years of famine and the revenge of the Gibeonites (21:1-14).
  8. There was yet another war with the Philistines (21:15-22).
  9. David's song of deliverance (22).
  10. David's "last words" (23:1-7).
  11. David's "mighty men" (23:8-39).
  12. David's sin in numbering the people (24:1-15), and his purchase of the threshingfloor of Araunah (24:16-25).

These are simple Sunday School survey notes. They are not for sale. The author used many outlines from popular Bible teachers such as C.I. Scofield and J. Vernon McGee, and he has tried to give credit when using their material.

—  Pastor James J. Barker  —