The Second Book of Shmuel

[ * HOME * ] [ * UP! * ]

The Second Book of Shmuel, 24 chapters.

chapter by chapter

  • Shmuel B Chap 1: David learns and mourns Shaoul's and Jehonathan's fate in the big defeat before the Philistines.

    27 verses. An Amelekite inform David on the big defeat and on Shaoul death, and claims that he killed the king per his request. David is overcome with grief. He respects the kingdom and hence the king, and loves Jehonthan, his bosom buddy, now lost. David kills the Amelikite on daring to king the anointed king of Israel, and composes a beautiful poem to express the depth and the humiliation of the loss.

  • Shmuel B Chap 2: Bloody struggle for succession between Saul's son and David

    32 verses. David in recognized as heir to King Saul in Hebron and vicinity, but Avner ben-Ner, the military commander under King Saul, supports Ish-Boshet, 40 years old for succession. He is based on the eastern bank of the Jordan. The two camps eventually fight it out, and David prevails. The chapter describes Yoav ben-Tzruya, David military chief confronting Avner. Yoav younger brother Asael is chasing the more experienced Avner, who warns him to lay off. Asael keeps chasing and Avner finishes him off, and then tells his brother Yoav when catches him: "Until when will we allow the sword to eat us up?" and Yoav forgives him. All in all 19 people were killed on David's side, not including Asael, and 360 were killed on Ish-Boshet side.

  • Shmuel B Chap 3: The Saga of Avner Ben-Ner

    39 verses. For a while the two camps squared off undecided: David and his top soldiers Yoav and Avishai the sons of Tsuria headquartered in Hebron, and Saul's son Ish-Boshet aided by Avner Ben-Ner based on the eastern bank of the river. Then Avner felt insulted by Ish-Boshet, when he chided him for sleeping with King Saul's former mistress, and he abandoned Ish-Boshet, sending messengers to David, to acknowledge his kingdom. David put conditions, among them to have his first wife, Michal, Saul's daughter returned to him. Avner had to take her from her present husband, or companion who was very distraught, but David was appeased, and invited Avner over, throwing a party for him, then sending him off much honored. The Tsuria Sons were on a mission when it happened and were livid when they heard that Avner Ben-Ner, who killed their younger brother Asael was so treated. Unbeknown-st to David they have sent messengers to call him back to Hevron. When Avner returned the Tsuria Sons surprised him with a mortal attack. When David heard this he denounced his loyal fighters, the Tsuria sons, announced a nation wide day of mourning, and eulogized the fallen here of Israel.

  • Shmuel B Chap 4: Ish-Boshet is murdered, David Honors him.

    12 verses. The news of the death of Avner Ben-Ner ended the kingly dispute, and the former supporters of Ish-Boshet abandoned him. Two of his rank officers went further -- surprised their boss in his sleep, killed him, decapitated him, and offered his head to David, hoping to be rewarded. David was livid over their atrocity, his deep sense of honor and justice was offended. He ordered the killers killed, and he ordered the head of Ish Boshet be buried alongside Avner Ben-Ner.

  • Shmuel B Chap 5: David becomes king, moves from Hebron to Jerusalem, and defeats the Philistines.

    25 verses. The people of Israel accept David as King. He assumes his monarchic duties at the age of 30, and rules for 40 years. After seven years in Hebron David conquers "The City of David" mountain in Jerusalem, bears more children and twice defeats the challenging Philistines.

  • Shmeul B Chap 6: David relocates the Ark to Jerusalem

    23 verses. David, now the undisputed king, decides to relocate the Ark of the Covenant to David City -- his newly constructed part of Jerusalem. One of his men is mistouching the Ark en route, and God kills him instantly. David first parks the Ark at a gentile's place before hauling it to the city. The procession with the Ark is preceded with David and his men dancing and making expressive music. His wife, Mical, King Saul's daughter, despises him for his cheapness, and is apparently punished by staying infertile.

  • Shmuel B Chap 7: God prevents David from building the Temple -- relegating the job to his Son.

    29 verses. The kingdom matures and stabilizes, and king David sees an anomaly between his grandeur residence, and the ark that is housed in a tent. He tells Nathan, the high priest that he wants to build a temple. Nathan first agrees, then recants on God's order -- relegating the construction of the temple to David's son.

  • Shmuel B Chap 8: David exercises a string of stunning military victories over his neighbors

    18 verses. Chronicles of uninterrupted string of comprehensive military victories over the local nations, going as far as Damascus. David enslaves some, kills many enemy soldiers, and confiscates their gold and silver riches to reserve for God's glory.

  • Shmuel B Chap 9: David honors Jonathan crippled son (King Saul's grandchild).

    13 verses. King David inquires if there are remaining relatives of King Saul, and when he finds out that his good friend Jonathan has a living, crippled son, Mefiboshet, he calls him over to sit around the king's table, and provides for him riches and servants.

  • Shmuel B Chap 10: King David defeats neighboring armies, cements his regional position.

    19 verses chronicle and uninterrupted string of military victories for David. His peace offering is suspected as a ploy, his messengers are humiliated by the Amonites, and war ensues. More challenges mount. At one point a two front war threatens when the Amonites regroup, and the Aramites come to their side. David's chief of staff, Yoav takes the elite soldiers to face the stronger Aram, and leaves the rest to me commanded by his younger brother Avishai. They agree to help each other if one needs help and other defeats his enemy. They part with the inspiring words: "let's be strong and stronger, and God will do as He pleases". Both prevail. David then extends his victory across the Jordan river and ends up sitting pretty in the neighborhood.

  • Shmuel B chap 11: King David abuses his power to eliminate Bat-Sheva's husband and weds her

    26 verses. Spotting Bat Sheva a beautiful married woman taking a bath, David summons her, and sleeps with her with the power of his king-being. She becomes pregnant and notifies the king. Since her husband is an officer in the war with the Amonites, she knows who the father is. The king then summons the husband, not clear why, and eventually instruct his military command to set him up in a tight spot to make it likely for him to be killed. Uria, the husband dies in the war. His wife mourns for him and then becomes the king's mistress. God frowns on this shameful dishonorable act.

  • Shmuel B, Chap 12: Crime and Punishment: David pays for his romantic sin

    31 verses. God sends over Nathan, the chief priest at the time. Nathan tells an outrageous story about the local chief who chooses to sacrifice the sole lamb of a poor man, sparing any of the thousand lambs of the rich fellow. David responds with outpouring rage, to which Nathan replies: you are than man, with the thouthan wives, taking the one wife of Uriah. Nathan delivers the punishment: you will live on your sword all your life, as indeed it happened. And the child conceived in this atrocity will die. The king to his credit, is totlly repentent, tears his clothes off, and begins a hunger strike. The baby is born, and David is tossing, turning and praying on the ground. His servants hardly understand his super attention to this one baby out of so many. They can't calm him, and so when on the 7th day the child dies, they confer and whisper, how to bring the news to the king. The king infers from his serevants' behavior that the child died, he gets up, gets his confirmation, and immeidately cleans, dresses up, and resumes his position as king, saying to his servants. Before his death I had hope that God will show me mercy, now there is no point in crying. He finds solace in the arms of Bat Sheva, and she conceives again, calling her son Shlomo or Ididia, for God has rebefriended him. Later on Yoav defeat the Amonites, and David comes over to finish them off.

  • Shmuel B, Chap 13: Prince Amnon Rapes his sister Tamar, and is killed by his brother Avshalom

    39 verses. Strong and sinful taking of women seems common in David's court. Amnon, one of his sons, coveted Tamar, his half sister (likely from a different mother) for whom Avshalom was probably a full brother. He tricked Tamar to come to his room alone, and there he begged her sexual favors. She objected, them being half siblings, and argued to Amnon that he sould seek leave from the king to own her. But Amnon ignored her pleas, and raped her then and there. When finished he developed instant hate towards Tamar, stronger than hiss love for her. Apparently hate for having succumbed to his desire. He apparetnly wanted to forget of the affair and bade Tamer to leave the premises. Her brother Avshalom spotted her grief, guessed right what happened, and advised her to say nothing. Some years later when Amnon and the other children of the king were invited to a ceremony conducted by Avshalom, Avshalom ordered his soldiers to torture and kill Amnon, and then sought refuge with the heathens around. The king recovered from mourning over Amnon, and longed for his favorite son, Avshalom.

  • Shmuel B, Chap 14: Avshalom returns to the king's fold

    33 verses. Yoav moves King David to allow Avshalom to return to Jerusalem, and two years later to embrace him in the palace. First Yoav couches a woman to bring up a fake story to David, extract his judgment of the case, and then turn around and say: if you forgive my son who killed his brother, why don't you forgive your son who did the same? David recognizes the handiwork of Yoav, the woman confesses, Yoav shows up, presses his case, and David yields: allowing his son to return from his hiding to Jerusalem, but not to see him. After two years of living in Jerusalem Avshalom bids Yoav to plea for him further, David then yields, and embraces Avshalom upon his return. The chapter emphasizes that Avshalom was spartacularly handsome, a perfect physique.

  • Shmuel B Chap 15: Avshalom, the son of David, Unseats his father the King

    37 verses. Aggressive, handsome and popular Avshalom, having been pardoned by his father the king is wasting no time in planning a coup. For a long time he builds popular support by trashing the king and promising advantages under his rule. The king is blind to these efforts. Finding a working execuse Avshalom retreats to the city of Hebron, and well organizes his followers to overwhelm the kingdom with announcement that he Avshalom is now the king. David quickly realizes that he does not have the forces to put up a fight for his own dominion, and downcast, and sad he takes his old faithful guards, and escapes the city to the desert. He has the presence of mind to keep the high priest as a spy in town, and ask Hushai the Archi to try to be nominated as an advisor to Avshalom once he occupies Jerusalem, and then steer him ill.

  • Shmuel B Chap 16: Saul's faithful deride escaping David, Avshalom takes over Jerusalem

    23 verses. As the escaping deposed king runs out of the capital, he learns that Mefiboshet, King Saul's grandchild, whom he honored greatly for his father Jonathan -- David's best friend, is now rejoicing expecting to become king being blood relations of the former king. Others along the way cuss and deride the escaping king, who still hopes for God turning the tables for him while lamenting that his own flesh and blood rose against him. Meanwhile Avshalom marches to Jerusalem. Hushai, a secret David spy is buttring him up to the point the Avshalom wonders how he betrays his old time master David. Hushai deflects this momentary suspicion, and manages to become a trusted advisor to the insurrection.

  • Shmuel B, Chap 17: AvShalom is steered away from a quick blow to his worn out father

    29 verses. Achitofel, the wise counselor for David who switched his aliance to Avshalom, suggests to his new master to quickly gather the present forces, 12,000 people -- not a lot but sufficient -- and rush attack his tired and worn out father. It was a good advise. Avshalom and his entourage liked it, but he also turned to Hushai the Archi for his opinion (not realizing that his father recruited Hushai to steer AvShalom ill. Hushai, realizing how devastating the Achitofel plan will be for King David, suggests to wait until Avshalom gathers a formiddable force from all of Israel, and then crush his king Avshalom is swayed. To be on the safe side Hushai arranges for religioous messengers to alert David to cross the river and save himself. David, tired as he is, complies. Over the Jordan river the gentile tribes treat his well and feed him and nurse his army.

  • Shmiel B Chap 18: David beats Avshalom, then mourns his son

    32 verses. Having been given the chance to regroup, David assemble a good force and meets Avshalom and his army in the forest of Efraim. Sending his troops off, David bids them to go easy on his son. Alas, when his troops prevail, Avshalom escapes on a mule, but gets stuck on a tree. A David's man spots him, and inform Yoav, David faithful military chief. Yoav, aware of the kinds orders, ignores them and brutally kills Avshalom. He then tells the young priest not to bring this news to the king, since he would not rejoice. Eventually a black man passes the message, and David mourns.

  • Shmuel B Chap 19: David regains full power.

    44 verses. Yoav chides the king: "Shame on you, for the people who risked their lives for you. If Avshalom had won they and you would be dead! You love your enemy and hate your friends!" David so realizes, returns to Jerusalem, forgives the people that have recently abandoned him in favor of Avshalom, and regains full power.

  • Shmuel B Chap 20: David defeats a late resurgent, Yoav finishes off his nemesis, but saves a city.

    26 verses. Sheva Ben-Bichri a Benjamin tribe person is calling for mutiny against the king. The king sends his new favorite army commander, Amasa, to gather the people and defeat the insugent. Amasa is tardy, so Avishai and Yoav the sone of Zruia are called up. They gather an army, eventually meet Amasa, and Yoav fakes an accident and killls the former chief of Avshalom, Amasa. Yoav surrounds the city where Sheva hides, but a wise woman deals with him: we will fetch you Sheva's head, and you leave us alone. Agreed, she delivers Sheva's head rolling from the wall and Yoav disbands the army. The king's reign is undisturbed. A side story: the wives that David left behind, and that his son violated before the people are secluded, in physical comfort, but live as widows, no man coming over, especially, not their husband, the king.

  • Shmuel B Chap 21: King David sacrifices seven sons of king Saul to break a curse of famine. More war with the Philistines.

    22 verses. David inquires with God about the ongoing famine, and is advised that it is because King Saul persecuted the Givvons, to whom 'no harm' was sworn by Yehoshua. The king asks the Givvons to forgive, and they ask in return to be given 7 sons of the late king. David complies, hands to them seven, and the Givvons execute their revenge. The famine is apparently receded. King David never defeats the philistines in totality, and the battles keep coming. Once David was tired, a philistine almost killed him, only that Avishay the son of Zruya saved him. Then his people insisted that he stays away from the battlefield because of his symbolic value for Israel.

  • Shmuel B Chap 22: Glowing Poetic Account of Gratitude to the Divine, saving David from Shaoul

    51 verses. David expresses his poetic prowess, with an inspired poem of praise and gratitude to God Allmighty. Inundated with exciting ideas: treat each according to his nature: be graceful to the graceful, be wretched to the wretched. I was pure with God, and God will pay me accordingly. God will save me because he wants me alive and well. My ankles have not collapsed.

  • Shmuel B Chap 23: footnotes, and credits for King David and his men

    39 verses -- some book keeping for history, naming heros and villains in the king's life adventure.

  • Shmuel B Chap 24: Counting David's Military, a Strange Plague, and its salvation,

    39 verses. The last chapter of the book, two odd accounts. First, God kept on with his anger towards Israel -- the grounds are not clear. God bade David carry out a census. David ordered Yoav to conduct the operation, and after 9 months and 20 days Yoav returned to Jerusalem with the compiled figures that included all of the people on both banks of the Jordan. Yoav counted 500,000 warriors in Jehuda, and 800,000 worriors in Israel. The divine anger continued. The high priest, Gad, presented the king with a choice among three punishments: (1) seven years of famine, (2) three months of being chased by the king's enemy, and (3) three days of a contagious plague. The king argued that he prefers to be submitted to God's decision of life and dealth, hoping perhaps, that the plague will be mild -- opting for it. God then hit the people with the plague "Dever". 77,000 people died, when the angel of death was on his way to Jerusalem to increase the toll. God made a stop right then, and Gad, the high priest called upon the king telling him to erect an alter to God in the wheat storage house of Arvna, a gentile man from the tribe of Yevus. The king came over rushing to the ranch of Arvna. When Arvna saw the kind he offered to donate the wheat house and the land, and cattle to please the kind. But David insisted on paying, and so he did, then built the altar, raised on it plenty of sacrificial animals and the plague stopped.