Old Testament Survey
Lesson 13 w/Answers2 Samuel 18 - 1 Kings 8
This week we will conclude our study of 2 Samuel and begin to look at the book of 1 Kings. We will observe the end of the coup that Absalom began against his father and the start of Solomon's reign. We will also look at some of the details behind the preparations for building the Temple, the building of the Temple itself, and finally, its dedication.
For this week, read 2 Samuel Chapter 18 through 1 Kings Chapter 8; then answer the following:
- Describe the events surrounding the death of Absalom.
- ANSWER: While fleeing the battle, Absalom, who has long flowing (and thick) hair, becomes entangled in a tree branch. His donkey continues running ahead, leaving Absalom hanging from the tree by his hair. Hearing of this predicament, Joab goes out after him and stabs him with three spears or daggers. He then takes Absalom’s body and casts it into an empty pit and then piles stones on top of the grave.
- Why was David’s grief over Absalom not rational?
- ANSWER: His grief was not rational because of the evil done by Absalom against his father. In addition, his grief gave no recognition to the brave men who had risked their lives fighting Absalom and his men in order to save David’s life and the lives of his subjects. David’s grief brought shame on his army and those who had defended him. Instead of celebrating a victory, he was mourning the death of a son who had turned evil.
- Describe the revolt by Sheba.
- ANSWER: As described in Chapter 20, Sheba was a worthless man who attempted a coup almost as soon as David returned to Jerusalem. Judah’s men followed Sheba, while Israel’s men followed David. During this time, Amasa is chosen to be the new general of David’s army. David makes a mistake in making this selection as he has replaced Joab, a real man of action, with Amasa, a man loyal to Absalom. Because of his background, Amasa does not really pursue Sheba. Thus Joab, recognizing this, kills Amasa by stabbing him. Joab then pursues Sheba, who takes refuge within a walled city, which Joab then lays siege to. When the people in the city finally ask Joab what must be done in order for him to end the siege, he asks for Sheba’s head. In compliance with this requirement, the people kill Sheba and toss his head over the wall. With this victory, David reinstates Joab as the general in charge of David’s army.
- What was the family relationship between David, Amasa and Joab?
- ANSWER: David is the uncle to both of them.
- What scripture tells us that the Davidic Psalms are divinely inspired?
- ANSWER: Chapter 22:2-51 is David’s song of praise which parallels Psalm 18:2-50. In the early verses of Chapter 23, we can see that the psalms of David are divinely inspired, and that he has been appointed to be the inspired psalmist of Israel.
- Describe the events which transpired when David "numbered" the people.
- ANSWER: We can observe from looking at both 2 Samuel Chapter 21 and 1 Chronicles 21:1 that Satan prompted David to number Israel and Judah. This displeases God and also upsets Joab, who resists the order to number the people. Joab tells David that he should not be concerned about numbers or the size of the people; rather, he should trust that God will give him the numbers he needs. Nevertheless, David insists that the people be numbered and Joab goes about conducting the census. This census takes nine months and twenty days, and during this period, David realizes that he has sinned by doing this, and he realizes that he has acted foolishly. His sin is forgiven, but since the people saw his lack of faith, God asserts that there is a price to pay. Correspondingly, David is given a choice of one of three punishments, each of which will cause innocent people to suffer. Similarly, our sin will cause innocent people to suffer, and Christ -- the most innocent -- suffered for us and for them. In the end, three days of plague are pronounced and 70,000 men die as a result.
- What was David’s contribution to the building of the Temple?
- ANSWER: David put aside the gold, silver, bronze, iron, timber and stone building materials, and he selected the skilled workers. In addition, he commanded Solomon to build the temple in accordance with the plans that God had given him. In effect then, he had the plans drawn up and had made the provisions for all the material and personnel needed to construct the Temple.
- Describe the intrigue surrounding Adonijah as he aspired to the throne of David.
- ANSWER: David has grown old and sick and is now practically bed-ridden. During this time, even though Solomon has already been chosen to be the next king, there is still really no one on the throne. This is because David is too sick, and Solomon can not take the throne until instructed by David to do so, or until David’s death. David’s number four son, Adonijah, begins to make plans to take advantage of the opportunity and take the throne from David and Solomon. He puts together a small force which he assigns the task of taking the throne. Nathan, hearing of this, informs Bathsheba of the plot and tells her that Adonijah is already acting like he is king, speaking publicly against David and attempting to get the people to stand behind him as king. Bathsheba then goes to David and tells him of this activity. In response, David immediately has Solomon installed as king. Solomon then forgives Adonijah and soon after, as we read in the Chapter 2 of 1 Kings, David dies.
- Following Solomon’s "purge" of the Kingdom Personnel, what was the religious and military structure in place and under his rule?
- ANSWER: David had unified the tribes into a single kingdom with one military and of course one form of worship. This meant that the political, religious, and military activities were all under the rule of single king.
- When the Ark was placed in the Temple by Solomon, what items were missing?
- ANSWER: We can find this answer in the early chapters of 1 Kings (Chapters 3 through 8), which describes the construction of the Temple. It tells us that it took seven years to build -- from the 4th year of Solomon’s reign until it was finished in 963 BC. In Chapter 8, we read that the Temple is dedicated, and the Ark, now 478 years old, is placed inside the Temple. Contained within the Ark are only the two tablets of stone, as the rest had been lost over time.
In the course of this lesson’s study, we have come to the end of David’s reign and then the transition of his throne to his son Solomon -- just had God had promised. With this transition, Israel was now a strong and united Kingdom ruled by a single king. Solomon’s first significant act was to build the Temple for which his father had provided the plans, materials, and people.
In the next lesson, we will begin a look at David’s son, Solomon, and his rule over the Kingdom of Israel.
Thanks again for studying with us. Have a great week!