Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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2 Samuel 17

1 - Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Let me now choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David tonight.

2 - I will come on him while he is weary and exhausted, and will make him afraid. All the people who are with him will flee. I will strike the king only,

3 - and I will bring back all the people to you. The man whom you seek is as if all returned. All the people shall be in peace."

4 - The saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.

5 - Then Absalom said, "Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he says."

6 - When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, "Ahithophel has spoken like this. Shall we do what he says? If not, speak up."

7 - Hushai said to Absalom, "The counsel that Ahithophel has given this time is not good."

8 - Hushai said moreover, "You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are fierce in their minds, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Your father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people.

9 - Behold, he is now hidden in some pit, or in some other place. It will happen, when some of them have fallen at the first, that whoever hears it will say, 'There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom!'

10 - Even he who is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, will utterly melt; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men.

11 - But I counsel that all Israel be gathered together to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that you go to battle in your own person.

12 - So shall we come on him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light on him as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him we will not leave so much as one.

13 - Moreover, if he has gone into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there isn't one small stone found there."

14 - Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel." For the LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil on Absalom.

15 - Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, "Ahithophel counseled Absalom and the elders of Israel that way; and I have counseled this way.

16 - Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, 'Don't lodge tonight at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people who are with him.'"

17 - Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying by En Rogel; and a female servant used to go and tell them; and they went and told king David. For they might not be seen to come into the city.

18 - But a boy saw them, and told Absalom. Then they both went away quickly, and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his court; and they went down there.

19 - The woman took and spread the covering over the well's mouth, and spread out bruised grain on it; and nothing was known.

20 - Absalom's servants came to the woman to the house; and they said, "Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?"The woman said to them, "They have gone over the brook of water."When they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

21 - After they had departed, they came up out of the well, and went and told king David; and they said to David, "Arise and pass quickly over the water; for thus has Ahithophel counseled against you."

22 - Then David arose, and all the people who were with him, and they passed over the Jordan. By the morning light there lacked not one of them who had not gone over the Jordan.

23 - When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey, arose, and went home, to his city, and set his house in order, and hanged himself; and he died, and was buried in the tomb of his father.

24 - Then David came to Mahanaim. Absalom passed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.

25 - Absalom set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah, Joab's mother.

26 - Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.

27 - When David had come to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,

28 - brought beds, basins, earthen vessels, wheat, barley, meal, parched grain, beans, lentils, roasted grain,

29 - honey, butter, sheep, and cheese of the herd, for David, and for the people who were with him, to eat; for they said, "The people are hungry, and weary, and thirsty in the wilderness."

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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