Old Testament Survey

Lesson 11 w/answers2 Samuel Chapters 1-11

In this lesson, as we continue our Old Testament Survey, we’ll begin looking at the book of 2 Samuel and the reign of David. To provide context for this lesson, your preparatory assignment is to review the last chapter of 1 Samuel (Chapter 31) and the death of Saul.


David, the only person given that name in the entire Bible, has much to show us regarding (a) our relationship to God, (b) our responsibility to God, and (c) our reconciliation with God. There are several key things that I would like for you to notice and look for as you read these chapters about David; specifically, (1) how he ruled, (2) how he thought, and (3) his commitment to serving God above all else.

I know that there is a lot to read for this lesson, but the narrative is literally riveting, with many plot twists and turns and several main characters to keep track of. As such, you may find it useful to have some paper for notes to help you as you read the story of David and the events leading up to his becoming king of the united kingdom of Israel.

Read 2 Samuel Chapter 1 through Chapter 11, then answer the following:

  1. Who reported the death of Saul to David, and how do we know that he was lying?
    1. ANSWER: An Amalekite. Simply checking the facts in 1 Samuel 31 reveals that Saul, after asking his armor-bearer to kill him and the armor-bearer refusing, fell on his own sword and died.
  2. Why do you suppose that the Amalekite lied, and what happened to him?
    1. ANSWER: It is pure speculation, but he was probably looking for some kind of recognition from David -- who was going to become the next King. It is also worth noting in 2 Sam. 2:1 that the Amalekites were enemies that David had just been off battling; so he may have been looking for a safe harbor from David for doing what he did and telling David about it.
  3. Even though Saul had made several attempts on David’s life and David had also had several opportunities to kill Saul, he never did. His explanation is always the same, and is repeated again in this story of the Amalekite. What was David’s reasoning for neither killing Saul, nor ever wanting Saul killed?
    1. ANSWER: Because Saul was anointed by the Lord, it was God’s place to deal with Saul, and not man’s.
  4. Who were Abner, Ish-bosheth and Joab?
    1. ANSWER 1: Abner was the leader of Saul’s army.
    2. ANSWER 2: Saul’s son Ish-bosheth was put in power over all of Israel by Abner. This included all of the tribes of Israel, except the tribe of Judah which followed David.
    3. ANSWER 3: Joab was the leader of David’s army
  5. What happens in the lives of Abner and the three sons of Zeruiah that affects both the creation of the united kingdom of Israel and David?
    1. ANSWER: In battle, Abner is chased by one of Zeruiah’s sons, Asahel. After repeatedly warning Asahel to stop pursuing him, Abner slays him. Years later, Abner will negotiate a peace and a united kingdom between Israel (Ish-bosheth) and Judah (David), with David reigning as king over the united kingdom. However, later that day, Abner is murdered in revenge by Asahel&rsqquo;s brothers Joab and Abishai.
  6. What happened to Ish-bosheth following the death of Abner?
    1. ANSWER: He was stabbed to death while he slept by two leaders of raiding bands who worked for him (Recab and Baanah). They beheaded him and took the head to David thinking David would be pleased, but he was not.
  7. What happened to Recab and Baanah following the death of Ish-bosheth?
    1. ANSWER: Like the Amalekite who thought that telling David about Saul’s death would be a good thing, these two discover that David doesn’t like murdering innocent people and does not condone it for any reason. As a result, David had both Recab and Baanah slain, their hands and feet cut off, and their bodies hung by the pool in Hebron.
  8. How and when did Jerusalem get the name "City of David"?
    1. ANSWER: In Chapter 5 of 2 Samuel, verses 6-16, we see that, after defeating the Jebusites, David referred to Jerusalem as the "City Of David".
  9. What did David do once he had captured Jerusalem and renamed it the City of David? What did he build there?
    1. ANSWER: He built up the fortress, fortified the city, and built a palace with help and supplies from the King of Tyre.
  10. In Chapter 6, the Ark of God returns to Jerusalem, where is it placed upon its arrival into the city?
    1. ANSWER: In a tent David had made for it.
  11. What is David’s problem with where the Ark of God is placed?
    1. ANSWER: David believes it should be in something greater than a tent, because he is living in a palace while the Ark is being housed in a tent.
  12. How does God respond to David’s plans for building a Temple to house The Ark?
    1. ANSWER: It is not David’s decision to make, it’s God’s and He will use David’s son to build it.
  13. Who is Mephibosheth, and why would David care about him?
    1. ANSWER: He is the last surviving son of Jonathan, Saul’s son, who was David’s closest friend and who was killed in the battle that also killed Saul. David wants to repay the kindness paid to him by Jonathan and will take in Mephibosheth, a crippled man, and will treat him like one of his own and care for him the rest of his life as a tribute to David’s friendship with Jonathan.
  14. How many charioteers and how many foot soldiers did David defeat in the battle with the Arameans?
    1. ANSWER: 700 charioteers and 40,000 foot soldiers. Following this battle, all of the vassals of the Arameans made peace with Israel, and the Arameans were no longer willing to help the Ammonites fight Israel.

In summary, our study followed the first half of David’s rise to power and his reign over the united kingdom of Israel. During all that David did up to this point, he consistently sought out the Lord’s guidance and counsel and always saw Saul as God’s anointed leader (up until Saul’s death). He shunned all forms of criminal activity, he did not desire revenge on his enemies, and he always encouraged his followers to have the same high ethical standards and strong walk with God that he had. He was a true leader in every sense of the word. Next week, we’ll see a different side of David.

Have a great week everyone.

In Christ,



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