BibleProject - Old Testament - Lesson 13

2 Samuel

In this lesson on 2 Samuel, the Bible Project explores the story of Absalom and its significance within the Old Testament Historical Books. The lesson begins with an overview of the Old Testament and the authorship and structure of 2 Samuel. The story of Absalom's rebellion against his father, King David, is then explored in depth, along with the lessons that can be learned from it. The lesson concludes with a discussion of the significance of the Historical Books, including their themes, historical context, and relevance to modern readers.

Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
BibleProject - Old Testament
Lesson 13
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2 Samuel

Exploring 2 Samuel: Absalom and the Old Testament Historical Books


I. Introduction to 2 Samuel and the Historical Books

A. Overview of the Old Testament

B. Authorship and Date of 2 Samuel

C. Structure and Themes of 2 Samuel

II. The Story of Absalom in 2 Samuel

A. David's Family and Succession

B. Absalom's Rebellion and Death

C. Lessons from Absalom's Story

III. The Significance of the Historical Books

A. Themes and Messages in the Historical Books

B. Importance of Historical Context

C. Relevance of the Historical Books Today

  • By watching this video, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the Old Testament, including its literary design and flow of thought. You will learn about the different sections of the Old Testament, including the Pentateuch, Historical Books, Wisdom Literature, Major Prophets, and Minor Prophets. You will also gain insights into the stories, themes, and messages of each of these sections and how they contribute to the overall narrative of God's relationship with humanity.
  • By studying Genesis, you will gain a deeper understanding of the Old Testament and its key themes and characters, as well as the literary features of the book, such as its structure, style, and genre. The creation story is a key part of the book, as are the stories of Abraham and the patriarchs, the fall and sin, the flood and Noah, and God's covenant with Israel. Additionally, Genesis introduces readers to the Old Testament and sets the stage for the Pentateuch and Books of Moses, while also introducing many themes and motifs that continue throughout the Bible.
  • Discover the captivating stories of the patriarchs in Genesis Part 2, exploring themes of covenant, God's sovereignty, human responsibility, faith, and obedience.
  • Explore the Bible's book of Exodus to gain insight into God's rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the significance of the covenant and law, and its connection to the New Testament.
  • Gain insight into the book of Exodus and its themes of salvation and redemption, revealing God's character through his interactions with Israel, with significant influence on Jewish and Christian traditions and connections to the New Testament through its foreshadowing of Jesus Christ.
  • By studying Leviticus with The Bible Project, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical and literary context, themes, and structure of this important book in the Old Testament. You will also learn about the significance of Leviticus for understanding the Torah and its relevance for Christians today.
  • By studying The Bible Project's lesson on Numbers, you'll comprehensively understand its structure, themes, and significance, gaining insight into the journey of the Israelites in the wilderness, God's guidance, rebellion, priesthood, and offerings, as well as its historical, theological, and contemporary relevance.
  • Explore Numbers' authorship, context, structure, and theology to gain a comprehensive understanding of its significance to the Pentateuch and the Old Testament, as well as its relevance to the Christian faith today.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the book of Joshua, including its historical context, literary genre, and summary. You will learn about the book's themes, such as God's faithfulness, obedience, and judgment, and its significance in foreshadowing Christ's work and providing historical and theological implications.
  • Explore the historical and cultural context, literary design, and theological significance of the book of Judges in the Old Testament, and learn how it fits into the broader biblical storyline, including its relevance for today.
  • Explore the Book of Ruth to understand its historical context, literary features, themes of loyalty and faithfulness, redemption, the kinsman-redeemer's role, and its Old Testament significance.
  • Studying the Book of Samuel provides insight into the rise of the Israelite monarchy, the lives of Saul and David, and the importance of obedience to God, covering themes of leadership and kingship with the presence of the Ark of the Covenant.
  • By exploring the story of Absalom in 2 Samuel and the broader context of the Old Testament Historical Books, you will gain insight into the themes and messages of these books, as well as their historical and modern-day significance.
  • Through the study of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, you will gain a deeper understanding of the history of Israel and Judah, as well as valuable spiritual lessons from these Old Testament books.
  • By studying this lesson, you understand the historical and literary aspects of 1 and 2 Chronicles, emphasizing God's sovereignty, covenant faithfulness, worship, and obedience.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the historical context, key themes, and modern applications of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, enriching your understanding of faith, community, and commitment to God's Word.
  • You will gain an understanding of the book of Esther, a narrative in the Hebrew Bible that tells the story of a Jewish woman named Esther who becomes queen in the Persian court and, with the help of her cousin Mordecai, saves the Jews from genocide orchestrated by the villain Haman. The story highlights God's sovereignty and providential care, and the feast of Purim celebrates the Jews' victory.
  • By studying the Book of Job, you will explore the complexities of human suffering, the search for divine wisdom, and the tension between God's sovereignty and human limitations within a unique literary structure.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Psalms, including its background, structure, authorship, and theology. You will also learn about the various themes and motifs present in the Psalms, which will help you better understand and appreciate this important book in the Old Testament.
  • By studying Proverbs, you will understand the definition and purpose of wisdom, the fear of the Lord, and the personification of wisdom in the book. You will also gain insights into the literary structure of Proverbs and the themes of the book, including the importance of listening to wisdom, the power of words, and the value of hard work.
  • In the Ecclesiastes lesson, you gain insights into the book's structure, themes, and significance, while exploring the search for meaning, vanity, and the importance of fearing God and enjoying life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the literary features, interpretation, theology, and application of the book Song of Songs, including its authorship, historical and cultural context, allegorical and literal interpretation, and its teachings on God and human love, sexuality, and relationships.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Isaiah's historical context, literary features, major themes, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover how Isaiah's prophetic message of judgment and hope for Jerusalem evolves, as it predicts the fall of Israel's kingdom and envisions a new, purified Jerusalem where God's kingdom will be restored through a future messianic king, uniting all nations in peace.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain understanding of the book of Jeremiah, including its historical and cultural context, literary features, major themes and message, and significance in the Old Testament.
  • In this lesson, you learn about the Book of Lamentations, its structure, themes, and the role of God in the midst of suffering and divine judgment, while ultimately highlighting His faithfulness and mercy.
  • In the book of Ezekiel, you follow the story of a priest named Ezekiel who has a vision of God's glory riding on a royal throne chariot, and is commissioned by God to accuse Israel of rebellion and warn them of their impending destruction due to their covenant violations and rampant social injustice, while also providing a small glimmer of hope for the future.
  • By viewing this lesson on Daniel, you will gain understanding of its structure, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, gaining knowledge about living as faithful exiles in a hostile culture, God's sovereignty and faithfulness in times of trial, and remaining faithful to God even in difficult circumstances.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the complexities of Hosea, discovering the book's themes, messages, and its role in the Old Testament, emphasizing the relationship between Israel's unfaithfulness and God's unwavering love.
  • By studying the book of Joel, you will gain insight into the historical and cultural context of Judah, the literary features of prophetic literature, and the themes of repentance, restoration, and the Day of the Lord. Joel's prophecy also has significance in the New Testament as it is quoted by Peter at Pentecost, emphasizing the fulfillment of Joel's vision through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
  • In the Amos lesson, you explore its historical context, literary features, and themes, enhancing your understanding of justice, the Day of the Lord, and God's sovereignty within the Old Testament.
  • By studying Obadiah, you will gain insight into the historical context and literary features of this prophetic oracle. You will learn about the pride of Edom, their judgment, and the hope for Israel. Through understanding the significance of Obadiah in the Old Testament, you will have a deeper appreciation for the themes and message of this book.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Jonah's themes, including God's mercy, human rebellion, repentance, and the significance of mission, while also understanding its connections to other biblical narratives.
  • Studying the book of Micah will give you an understanding of its historical context, literary genre, prophetic message of judgment and restoration, and insights into God's character and how He interacts with His people.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the historical context, structure, and themes of the book of Nahum, learning about God's sovereignty, justice, and the relevance of these concepts in today's world.
  • Studying Habakkuk will deepen your understanding of how to wrestle with difficult questions about God's character and the problem of evil and respond with faith and trust in God's sovereignty.
  • In this lesson, you explore the book of Zephaniah, gaining insights into its background, context, literary features, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, including the central message of the Day of the Lord and the promise of future hope.
  • You will gain an in-depth understanding of the Book of Haggai, including its historical and cultural context, literary structure, purpose and themes, individual sections, and theological significance in relation to the Exile, Restoration, and Messiah.
  • In this lesson, you gain insights into Zechariah's historical context, structure, themes of restoration, the coming Messiah, God's sovereignty, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover the last book of the Old Testament and its themes, such as God's love for Israel, the importance of worship, and the coming of the messenger and the day of the Lord, as well as its connection to the New Testament, which prophesies the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus and calls for a return to God.

BP100-13 2 Samuel

The book of 2nd Samuel. Check out the video on First Samuel where we were introduced to the book's three main characters: Samuel, Saul and David and then also to the book's literary design which first introduced Samuel and then traced the rise and fall of king Saul in contrast to the rise of king David. 2nd Samuel tells the story of David as Israel's King and in two movements; there's a season of success and a blessing, followed by a huge moral failure and then sad consequences. And then the book ends with this well-crafted conclusion that reflects back on the good and the bad in David's life, generating hope for a future king to come from his line. So 2nd Samuel picks up after Saul's death and David surprises everyone by composing this long poem where he laments the death of the very man who tried to murder him. And so once again the author is presenting David's humility and compassion; he's a man who grieves the death even of his own enemies. After this, David experiences a season of success and God's blessing. All of the Israelite tribes they come to David then they ask him to unify all the tribes as their king so the first thing David does as king, is to go to the city of Jerusalem, he conquers it, and he establishes it as Israel's capital city which he renames as Zion. And from there David goes on and he wins many battles and expands Israel's territory. Now after making Jerusalem the political capital of Israel he wants to make it their religious capital as well and so he has the Ark of the Covenant moved into the city and then in 2nd Samuel 7, he tells God now that Israel has a permanent home he thinks that God's presence should also get a permanent house so he asks if he can build a temple for the God of Israel but God says to David: "Thank you for that thought but actually I'm going to build you a house, a dynasty." Now 2nd Samuel 7, this is a key chapter for understanding the storyline of the whole Bible because God here makes a promise to David that from his royal line will come a future king who's going to build God's temple here on earth and set up an eternal kingdom and it's this messianic promise to David that gets picked up and developed more in the Book of Psalms and also in the books of the prophets and it's this king that gets connected to God's promise to Abraham. The future messianic kingdom will be how God brings His blessing to all of the nations and it's right here in the midst of all this divine blessing that things go horribly wrong. David makes a fatal mistake. Not fatal for him, but for a man named Uriah. One of David´s prized soldiers. So from his rooftop David sees Uriah´s wife Batsheba, bathing. David finds her, he sleeps with her, gets her pregnant and then he tries to cover the whole thing up by having Uriah assassinated and then marrying her. It is just horrible. So when David´s confronted by the prophet Nathan about all of this, he immediately owns up to what he's done. He is broken, he repents. He asks God to forgive him and God does forgive him but, God doesn't erase the consequences of David's decisions. And so as a result of this horrible choice David's family, his kingdom, and all falls apart and makes this section a tragic story, much like Saul´s downfall. So David´s sons end up repeating his own mistakes but in even more tragic ways so Amnon sexually abuses his sister Tamar and then their brother Absalom finds out about all of this and has Amnon assassinated and then Absalom goes and he hatches the secret plan to oust his father David from power and he launches this full-scale rebellion and so for a second time David is forced to flee from his own home and go hide in the wilderness, except this time he is not an innocent man. The rebellion ends when David's son is murdered. And it breaks David's heart and so once again he laments over the very man who tried to kill him. David´s last days find him back on his throne but as a broken man man, he's wounded by the sad consequences of his sin. The book concludes with a well-crafted epilogue. With stories that are out of chronological order, but they have this really cool symmetrical literary design. So the outer pair of stories come from earlier in David's reign and they compared the failures of Saul and then of David, and how each of them hurt other people through their bad decisions. The next inner pair of stories are about David and his band of mighty men, who went about fighting the Philistines and what's interesting is that both sections have a story of David's weakness in battle, so in contrast to the victorious David of chapters 1 through 9, here we see a vulnerable David, who is dependent on others for help. The center of the epilogue has two poems that act like memoirs, and David reflects back on his life and he remembers times when God graciously rescued him from danger, and he sees these as moments where God was faithful to His covenant promise to him and to his family. Both poems conclude by looking back onto the hope of God's promise of a future king who will build that eternal kingdom. Now these poems and then God´s promise also connect back to Hannah´s poem that opened the book. And so these key passages from the beginning now the middle and the end of the book bring the book's themes all together. Despite Saul and David´s evil, God remained at work moving forward His redemptive purposes. And God opposed David and Saul´s arrogance, but He exalted David when he humbled himself. And so the future hope of this book reaches far beyond David himself. It looks to the future to the messianic king who will one day bring God's kingdom and blessing to all of the nations. And that´s what the book of Samuel is all about.