About the book of 2 Samuel
A Bible text and commentary on the book of 2 Samuel. Written by Helen Pocock. March 2006.
The book of 2 Samuel records the life of David as king. There are several accounts of events in 2 Samuel that are also in 1 Chronicles. Some of the accounts are very similar. But some of the accounts are different. The authors wrote these accounts for different reasons. The author of 1 and 2 Samuel wrote about the main events in the lives of Samuel, Saul and David. The author wrote this to record the history of the *Israelites at that time. However, the author of 1 and 2 Chronicles wanted to emphasise how God had always helped the *Israelites. In general, this author wrote only about the good things that happened. He wrote his account a long time after the events of 1 and 2 Samuel. He may have used different records. Sometimes the names of people and places are different. Some people had more than one name. Also, the names of places often changed over many years.
The books of 1 and 2 Samuel used to be one book. The writer wrote the book in the *Hebrew language. The name of the book comes from the first important person in 1 Samuel. He was Samuel the *prophet. But Samuel did not write the book. He died before the end of the book.
We do not know who wrote the book. The author lived after King Solomon had died in about 930 BC (930 years Before Christ). After Solomon died, the country of *Israel divided into two countries. These two countries were *Israel and *Judah. The country of *Judah included the *tribes of *Judah and Benjamin (see 1 Kings 12:1-24). In 1 and 2 Samuel the author often refers to *Judah as a country.
In those days, the kings and leaders employed writers to write accounts of events in their country. The *prophets also wrote accounts of events. 2 Samuel 1:18; 1 Kings 11:41; 14:19, 29; 1 Chronicles 27:24; 29:29 all refer to these writers and their books. The writer of 1 and 2 Samuel probably got most of his information from these accounts.