Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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2 Samuel 24

1 - Again The LORD's anger burned against Israel, and he moved David against them, saying, "Go, count Israel and Judah."

2 - The king said to Joab the captain of the army, who was with him, "Now go back and forth through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and count the people, that I may know the sum of the people."

3 - Joab said to the king, "Now may the LORD your God add to the people, however many they may be, one hundred times; and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king delight in this thing?"

4 - Notwithstanding, the king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the army. Joab and the captains of the army went out from the presence of the king to count the people of Israel.

5 - They passed over the Jordan, and encamped in Aroer, on the right side of the city that is in the middle of the valley of Gad, and to Jazer;

6 - then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtim Hodshi; and they came to Dan Jaan, and around to Sidon,

7 - and came to the stronghold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites; and they went out to the south of Judah, at Beersheba.

8 - So when they had gone back and forth through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.

9 - Joab gave up the sum of the counting of the people to the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

10 - David's heart struck him after he had counted the people. David said to The LORD, "I have sinned greatly in that which I have done. But now, The LORD, put away, I beg you, the iniquity of your servant; for I have done very foolishly."

11 - When David rose up in the morning, The LORD's word came to the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying,

12 - "Go and speak to David, 'The LORD says, "I offer you three things. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you."'"

13 - So Gad came to David, and told him, and said to him, "Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days' pestilence in your land? Now answer, and consider what answer I shall return to him who sent me."

14 - David said to Gad, "I am in distress. Let us fall now into The LORD's hand; for his mercies are great. Let me not fall into man's hand."

15 - So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning even to the appointed time; and seventy thousand men died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba.

16 - When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who destroyed the people, "It is enough. Now withdraw your hand." The LORD's angel was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

17 - David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who struck the people, and said, "Behold, I have sinned, and I have done perversely; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me, and against my father's house."

18 - Gad came that day to David, and said to him, "Go up, build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite."

19 - David went up according to the saying of Gad, as the LORD commanded.

20 - Araunah looked out, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. Then Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground.

21 - Araunah said, "Why has my lord the king come to his servant?"David said, "To buy your threshing floor, to build an altar to The LORD, that the plague may be stopped from afflicting the people."

22 - Araunah said to David, "Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Behold, the cattle for the burnt offering, and the threshing instruments and the yokes of the oxen for the wood.

23 - All this, O king, does Araunah give to the king." Araunah said to the king, "May the LORD your God accept you."

24 - The king said to Araunah, "No; but I will most certainly buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

25 - David built an altar to the LORD there, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was entreated for the land, and the plague was removed from Israel.


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2 Samuel Images and Notes

The Books of Samuel

2 Samuel 7:12 - And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
2 Samuel 7:13 - He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
2 samuel 7:14 - I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
2 Samuel 7:15 - But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took [it] from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
2 Samuel 7:16 - And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Samuel
Hebrew Name - Shemuel "asked of God"
Greek Name - Samoeul (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Samuel (According to Tradition)
Date - From 1171-1015 BC Approximately
Theme of 1 Samuel - The beginning of the kingdom
Theme of 2 Samuel - David, God's chosen king
Types and Shadows - In Samuel Jesus is God's anointed King

Quick Reference Map
Map of Zion and the City of David
Map of Zion and the City of David (Click to Enlarge)

Summary of The Books of Samuel

The original ancient Hebrew manuscripts recorded the books of Samuel as only one book. The first time these books were divided was in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures, and they were referred to as the First and Second Books of Kingdoms. 1 and 2 Kings were referred to as the Third and  Fourth Books of Kingdoms. When looking closely at the King James version of the Bible the titles are still arranged in this way.

Samuel is the name of the books in the ancient Hebrew text, because he was the author and the main character in the early portions in the first book, and because of his role as a prophet of God known from Dan to Beersheba, who had anointed and had the biggest influence on the lives of  King Saul and King David. The Lord raised up the prophet Samuel at a time in the history of Israel when they were disunited as a people and very determined to have a king reign over them. God made Samuel a great man, he was a Judge (1 Samuel 7:6, 15-17), and a Prophet (1 Samuel 3:20) and became  God's chosen link between the periods of the Judges and the United Kingdom.

According to Jewish tradition the books were written by Samuel himself. They deal with the period in Jewish history from the time of  Othniel the Judge through the reign of King David in the 11th and 10th centuries BC. This is of course one of the most important and significant times in the history of Israel, because their government changed from a system of tribes and judges to a kingdom by which the king would rule according to God's laws.

ARCHAEOLOGY

Ark Relief at Capernaum Synagogue

Close up of the Sculptured Block of the Ark at Capernaum

The ancient Ark of the covenant of Israel is one the most famous items in all of antiquity. There is no trace of the Ark of the covenant, yet it is memorialized by this Scripture block at the synagogue of Capernaum, created in Greco-Roman style. In the Bible the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines, and later returned because of sudden plagues that happened upon their lands. Through the valley of sorek it was taken back to Israel to Beth-shemesh.

Although there are a few repetitive content and accounts a clear outline is difficult, the contents of the two books may be outlined as follows:

Outline of the Books of Samuel

I. The Life of Samuel (1 Samuel 1-15)

1) The prayer of Hannah for a son, the granting of the request and the subsequent dedication of the child Samuel to the service of the Lord (1 Samuel 1:1-2: 10).
2) The sin of the sons of Eli which resulted in their death and the loss of the priesthood to the descendants of Eli (1 Samuel 2:12-36).
3) Samuel's vision concerning the house of Eli (1 Samuel 3).
4) The defeat of the Israelites and capture of the Ark by the Philistines and the death of Eli (1 Samuel 4).
5) The Ark in Philistine territory (1 Samuel 5:1-7 :4).
6) The return of the Ark and the establishment of Samuel as a judge over Israel (1 Samuel 7).
7) The appointment of Samuel's sons as judges and the consequent request for a king. Samuel warns the Israelites of the perils of being ruled over by a king (1 Samuel 8).
8) Saul's meeting with Samuel (1 Samuel 9).
9) The anointing and election of Saul as king (1 Samuel 10-11).
10) Samuel's address to the people, in which he defends his own record and exhorts them to walk in the way of the Lord (1 Samuel 12). From this time forward, he serves as an adviser to the king.

II. The Reign of Saul (1 Samuel 13 - 2 Samuel 1)

1) The offering of sacrifice by Saul in Samuel's absence. This constituted disobedience and resulted in God's disfavor toward Saul (1 Samuel 13).
2) Jonathan's rout of the Philistine army and his innocent breaking of Saul's foolish vow (1 Samuel 14).
3) Saul's disobedience in sparing some of the Amalekites and their cattle (1 Samuel 15). Samuel's reply to Saul's feeble excuse was the familiar "to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams" (1 Samuel 15:22 ).
4) The anointing of David to be Saul's successor (1 Samuel 16).
5) David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17).
6) The love of Jonathan and David and the marriage of the latter to the daughter of Saul (1 Samuel 18). Also included in this chapter is the first attempt of the jealous Saul to kill David.
7) Saul's second attempt on David's life (1 Samuel 19).
8) The parting of Jonathan and David (1 Samuel 20).
9) David's exile (1 Samuel 20-24).
10) The death of Samuel and the marriage of David to Abigail after the death of her churlish husband, Nabal (1 Samuel 25).
11) The gradual eclipse of Saul's power as he futilely sought to destroy David and protect his kingdom at the same time (1 Samuel 26-30).

III. The Reign of David (2 Samuel 2-25)

1) The proclamation of David as king at Hebron and his reign over Judah from that place.
2) The removal of the capital to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5).
3) The bringing of the ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6).
4) David's victories (2 Samuel 7-11:1).
5) David's sin with Bathsheba and the rebuke by Nathan the prophet (2 Samuel 11-12).
6) The rape of Tamar by Amnon, the revenge of Absalom and Amnon's murder; the flight of Absalom (2 Samuel 13).
7) Absalom's return, his efforts to usurp the throne of David and his death (2 Samuel 14-18).
8) David's return and Sheba's revolt (2 Samuel 19-20 ).
9) The famine and the victory over the Philistines (2 Samuel 21).
10) David's thanksgiving and last words (2 Samuel 22-23:7).
11) The names and exploits of David's "mighty men" (2 Samuel 23:8-39).
12) The census and the resultant plague (2 Samuel 24).

Quick Reference Maps - 2 Samuel

Hebron
Mahanaim
Zion and the City of David
The Kidron Valley and David's City

The First Day. Light.

2 Samuel Resources

The Judges
Samuel the Prophet
Saul, Israel's First King
King David

More About the Book of 1 Samuel
More About the Book of 2 Samuel
1 Samuel in the Picture Study Bible
2 Samuel in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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