Book of 2 Samuel

Summary of the
Book of 2nd Samuel

The book of 2nd Samuel is a Narration of David as he becomes the King of Israel and the time during his reign, yet it also includes two psalms in hymns of praise in the final chapters. 

The key personalities are David, Joab, Bathsheba, Nathan, and Absalom. 

It was written to record the history of David’s reign and to demonstrate effective leadership under the submission of God. 

Approximately half of the book tells of King David’s success and the other half shows his failures.

Chapters 1-10 – We find that David becomes the king of Judah while the Northern part of the nation (Israel) rejects God and chooses to go with the dynastic tradition by selecting Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth to rule.

Judean kings ruled from the time of David, about 1000 B.C.E., until 586 B.C.E., when the Neo-Babylonians destroyed Judah, its capital Jerusalem, and the temple and forcefully resettled most Judeans in Babylon.

Ish-Bosheth eventually was executed and the northern tribes asked David to rule the entire nation of Israel.  King David chooses to establish a new capital, Jerusalem, and through a tragic process, brings the Ark there.

Chapters 11-24 – We observe the sinful side of King David during his reign, and how it affected the nation of Israel.  First, David commits adultery with a married woman named Bathsheba and she becomes pregnant.

Afterward, he has her husband murdered in an attempt to repair things.  The prophet Nathan confronts him and David repents and soon after the child dies.

Bathsheba later gives birth to Solomon, who will be the next king of Israel.

Absalom, David’s other son, plots a rebellious takeover and the nation approves. 

David flees for his life, yet ultimately raises enough troops and a strong backing to take back his seat and restore order; in the process, his rebellious son was killed.

Book of 1 Samuel

The Summary of
the Book of First Samuel

First Samuel is a story of Narrative History and includes a great deal of drama.  

Key personalities include Eli, Hannah, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, and David.  It was written to show Israel how they chose a king but in the process, they blatantly neglected and abandoned God. 

Chapters 1-7 – Samuel is born to Hannah as a Nazirite, dedicate to God.  Soon after, Samuel was brought to the tabernacle to serve God. 

During this time, the Israelites are in a vicious battle with the Philistines and they lose the Ark of the Covenant, which is capture by the Philistines.  Struck down by deadly plagues, the Philistine are happy to return it to the rightful owner in an oxcart pulled by two cows.

Chapters 8-15 – the Israelites select, who they believe, will be a great king. Samuel anoints Saul to be king and although things go well at first, as usual, trouble looms in the near future.

Due to continuous bad decisions and direct disobedience to God’s will, Samuel informs Saul that God has rejected him as the rightful King.

Chapters 16-31 – God select His King who is David, and he is called, “a man after God’s own heart” (13:14). 

Saul Attacking David by GUERCINO (1646)

Samuel anoints David as a young boy, and several years’ later stands up to a Philistine giant in front of both the armies of the Israelites and Philistines and with God as his protector drops the oversized soldier with one simple stone claiming victory for Israel and displaying true leadership. 

Saul, eaten away by envy and jealousy and driven by hate, begins to pursuit David in fear of losing his throne.  Although David could have easily taken his life twice, he respected his king in a Godly manner. 

In the end, Saul tragically takes his own life while losing on the battlefield.

Book of Ruth

The Summary of The Book of Ruth

The book of Ruth is the Narrative of a love story, yet also has some important Genealogy.  

The timeline of this book is intertwined during the period of the Judges. 

The author wass anonymous but some believe it was perhaps written by Samuel the prophet; however, it is unlikely that he was alive when this book was written. 

Key personalities include Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz.

Its purpose was to demonstrate the kind of love, and faithfulness that God desires for us. 

It shows the difference between what happens when a nation does not follow in obedience to the covenant of God (Judges), and when God’s people follow in faithfulness within the covenant (Ruth).

Map showing the positions of Bethlehem and Moab

Chapter 1 – Ruth remains loyal to her mother-in-law Naomi after the death of her husband and in-laws.

Naomi decides to return to her home land of Bethlehem alone, however, Ruth insists on staying with her and adopting Naomi’s God as her own. 

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God(1:16).

Chapter 2 – We see Ruth gleaning in the fields of Naomi’s relative Boaz.  Boaz out of compassion and obedience to the law allows Ruth to glean but also leaves extra grain for her purposely.

Chapter 3 – Naomi encourages Ruth to seek marriage with Boaz as a kinsman-redeemer. Ruth obeys Naomi and asks for her rights and Boaz agrees but mentions that he must first be sure there are no others with first rights.

Chapter 4 – Boaz and Ruth are married and Ruth conceives a son named Obed, the grandfather of the great King David, in the lineage of Christ our Messiah.

Book of Judges

The Summary of
the Book of Judges

The book of Judges includes several interesting genres; Poetry, Riddles but mainly Narrative History. 

Key personalities include Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Abimelech, Jephthah, Samson, and Delilah.

Its purpose was to teach Israel that God is faithful and certain to punish sin therefore each person must remain loyal and devoted to Him.

This book shows the immediate generations after the conquest of the promise land and unfortunately the results of faithfulness are similar to what we have seen in the past…awful.

Chapters 1:1-3:6 – We find that the Israelites have failed to keep their part of the covenant (among many other things), and did not entirely conquer and take control of all the land that they were promised.

This problem unfortunately grows wildly out of control as time goes on. 

From 3:7-16 – God raises up judges to rescue Israel several times.  A cycle of sin-rescue-worship-sin continues constantly. 

Gideon destroying the altar of the false god Baal in the Book of Judges
Throughout both Testaments in the Bible, God makes it abundantly clear that tyrants who would seek to strip the people’s rights away under the pretense of law are to be resisted vigorously:
“Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law, have fellowship with You? They gather together against the life of the righteous, and condemn innocent blood” (Ps 94: 20-21).

These rescues were temporary because we find that the nation’s obedience only lasted as long as the life of that particular judge. 

Out of the 14 judges mentioned, the major judges that stand out are famous stories of Deborah, Gideon, and Samson.

Chapters 17-31 –  We see Israel slumping into a horrid state of moral demise and ruin.

Predominantly in the tribes of Dan and Benjamin, we see how far man has really turned from the God of Abraham. 

The Dan tribe had almost completely given in to the worship of idols made by a man named Micah, even to the point that they practically defend it. 

Later, the entire tribe of Benjamin is wiped out down to 600 men in a violent and vicious civil war.

It is here we read the sad passage of truth,

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit (Jdg 21:25).

Book of Joshua

The Summary of 
the Book of Joshua

The genre of the book of Joshua is Narrative History. 

The key personalities are Joshua, Rahab, Achan, Phinehas, and Eleazar.

It was written to assure the Israelites the Living God will reward obedience, and also to record the entrance and conquest of the promise land. 

Joshua demonstrates his faith in God as He follows the orders given to Him and takes leadership of the nation.  Joshua truly was “strong and courageous” (1:7).

Chapters 1-4 – Joshua and the Israelites enter the promise land and in doing so we read of an amazing entry. 

As they arrive at the Jordan River, we find details of an incredible, miraculous crossing. 

God shows His incredible grace to a prostitute named Rahab, the ancestress of King David.

Chapters 5-12 – Joshua follows God’s orders and first conquers the central of the promise land. 

This includes the unlikely manner in which they conquer the grand fortress of Jericho. God alone moved and conquered this impossible achievement. 

Joshua’s Altar on Mt. Ebal as seen today.
“Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal” (Josh 8:30).

Ai was the next town and although it took two tries, the first due to sin in the camp, on the second attempt God again moved and dominated. 

Next, the Israelites occupied the southern land and then the northern land to complete the occupancy; however, although they controlled the region, they never did completely conquer it. 

Chapters 13-24 – The land is divided up and distributed among the tribes of Israel.

Some of the larger cities are placed aside for the Levitical priests who did not receive a portion of land, due to their duties. 

Lastly, Joshua dies but before he passes he gives one of the greatest challenges that lasts for all generations including our own,

Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD (24:15).