Summary of the Book of 2 Samuel
Originally the books of 1 and 2 Samuel were one book. The men who translated the Septuagint from Hebrew to Greek separated the book into two parts. They are two separate books to this day.
The book of 2 Samuel is one of the books of history in the Bible. Like the other books of history, it does not seem to have a targeted audience. It covers a time period of approximately 40 years. This was from the death of Saul until the end of the life of King David.
Tradition held that Samuel wrote the book. However, that is not likely. Samuel died in 1 Samuel 25:1. If Samuel wrote at least part of the books of Samuel, then whoever finished what is now 1 Samuel probably wrote 2 Samuel.
Possible authors are Gad or Nathan (1 Chronicles 29:29). The book could have been finished before the death of David. Even though David did not die until the next book, whoever wrote the first book would have probably included some information about David’s death if his death had happened when the book was written. Continue reading Bible Study: 2 Samuel – Summary of the Book
Summary of the Book of 1 Samuel
The books of 1 and 2 Samuel were originally one book. The translators of the Septuagint separated the books and they have remained two separate books since that time.
The book of 1 Samuel is a historical book, as is 2 Samuel. It covers a time period of approximately 100 years. This was from the birth of Samuel to the death of King Saul. While it is general history it has a very strong focus on the selection of the first king in Israel as well as how the kingdom progressed under Saul.
While tradition holds that Samuel wrote the book, it is unlikely. He may have written part of the book, but someone else would have had to finish a good portion of the book. Remember that the two books of Samuel were originally a single book. The events continue long after the death of Samuel (1 Samuel 25:1). However, it is known that Samuel wrote at least one book (1 Chronicles 29:29). This verse probably refers to one of the previous books attributed to him.
Other possible authors are Nathan the prophet or Gad (1 Chronicles 29:29). Since the death of David is not recorded in either book, it is suspected that the books would have been finished while David was still alive. Both Gad and Nathan could have written the book from a chronological perspective.
The book was written after the death of Saul (1007 B.C.), but before the death of David (971 B.C.). Saul’s death is recorded by the end of the book, but David’s was not. Nor is David’s death recorded by the end of 2 Samuel. Continue reading Bible Study: 1 Samuel – Summary of the Book
Summary of the Book of Judges
Like Joshua, Judges is a historical book. It follows Joshua chronologically beginning with the death of Joshua at 1370 B.C. It covers a period of about 300 years until the death of Samson in 1070 B.C. Judges bridges the period of time when the people had settled into their inheritance but before they were given a king.
The main subjects in the book are the wickedness of the people and the 12 judges. Thus the title Judges.
The recipients of this book are not specifically named. This seems to be the case for all of the historical books in the Bible. The book was written as a reminder to future generations of how God has worked in the past.
According to Jewish tradition, Samuel was the author, but there is no strong proof for this. Clues as to when it must have been written support that Samuel could have been the author. It seems to have been written shortly after the events of the book. There is no reason to think it was not Samuel other than the lack of proof that he was the author.
The time period covered in the narrative is about 300 years from the death of Joshua to the death of Samson, 1370 to 1070 B.C. However it was written at a time after Israel had a king. Several times in the book the statement is made such as, “in those days there was no king in Israel.” (Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21-25). This is an indication that the author knew there would be a king in Israel. It is as if there was a king at the time of the book’s writing. But it was also written early in this period as shown in Judges 1:21. In this verse the Jebusites still lived in Jerusalem, even though the Bible says that David drove them out in 1003. Therefore the book had to be written after kings were established in the land, but before David drove out the Jebusites from Jerusalem. Or, sometime between 1047 and 1003 B.C. Continue reading Bible Study: Judges – Summary of the Book
Summary of the Book of Joshua
Joshua chronologically follows the book of Deuteronomy. In the English Bible it also follows Deuteronomy in order. About 30 years of time are covered in the book of Joshua from 1400 to 1370 B.C. The title of the book comes from the main character, Joshua.
Joshua is a book of history. The first five books of the Bible covered quite a bit of history as well, but their prime focus was on the Law. Joshua is the first of the 12 historical books: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.
Like the other historical books, the recipients of this book are not specifically named. They are books about God’s dealing with His people. It can be assumed that the book was written as a reminder to future generations of how God worked in the past. Throughout the Bible, God commands the people to build altars of remembrance. These altars helped one generation teach the next generation about God. This book (as well as the other historical books) serves as an altar of remembrance today.
The book of Joshua does not specifically name its author. It has historically been held that Joshua himself was the writer of the book. Even if he did not write the book personally, he must have planned the writing of the book. Moses seems to be the author of Leviticus and Numbers, partially proven by the fact that the one to whom God spoke the words of the book was the one who wrote it (Numbers 1:1 and Deuteronomy 1:1). Using that pattern, it appears that Joshua was probably the author of the book of Joshua.
A few verses of the book are written after the death of Joshua. That section obviously had to be written by someone else. That “someone else” may have been Eleazar or Phinehas, Aaron’s son and grandson respectively. Whoever wrote the book (Joshua or another writer) was present at the crossing of the Jordan river into the Promised Land, based on the usage of the first person pronoun “we” in Joshua 5:1. He was an eye witness to the events as indicated by the wording of Joshua 6:25. Continue reading Bible Study: Joshua – Summary of the Book
Summary of the Book of Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy is a book containing four sermons that Moses gave to the people before entering the Promised Land. The events of the book took place over very few days prior to his death and the entering in to the land of Canaan.
The teachings of Moses in Deuteronomy are important enough to be quoted 90 times in 14 of the 27 books of the New Testament. When tempted by Satan in Luke 4, Jesus Christ quoted exclusively from the book of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 8:3; 6:13, 16).
The English title Deuteronomy comes from the Septuagint Greek version of the Old Testament. The word means “second law.” This is not a new law, rather a second telling, or re-telling of the law which was given in Mt. Sinai. The people living during the sermons in Deuteronomy were a new generation of Israelites who were not present when the Law was initially given to Moses 40 years before.
Besides the fact that the book consists of the sermons of Moses, there are Old and New Testament references to Moses as the author. 2 Chronicles 25:4 refers to Moses as the author of the law written in Deuteronomy 24:16. Jesus quoted the book of Deuteronomy and attributed the writings to Moses (Matthew 19:7-9 compared to Deuteronomy 24:1-4; John 5:45-47 compared to Deuteronomy 18:15). Paul attributed the writing of the book to Moses in Romans 10:19 (compare with Deuteronomy 32:21).
While there are obvious proofs that Moses wrote the book, someone else had to have written the final chapter which contains the death of Moses. Most Bible scholars hold to Joshua and Ezra as the probable authors of that chapter. There are, however, biblical critics who claim (like Numbers) that the entire book was written several hundred years after Moses. Continue reading Bible Study: Deuteronomy – Summary of the Book