If you would like to just listen to the KJV version of ! Samuel, click on the title picture.
The transition of leadership from the last Judges to Solomon the king happens from 1 Samuel through 2 Kings.
Below is a timeline-chart to show the overlapping ages and people from Eli to Solomon
(note that Eli, Samson, and Samuel's judgeships actually overlap)
From Samuel to Saul as told by Josephus, in Josephus-Book 6 of "The Antiquities of the Jews"
In this narrative, Josephus relates the history beginning with Eli's death at the taking of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines and the events that followed as the captive Ark showed the power of God in both demoting the Philistine god, Dagon, and in bringing on the Philistines themselves a great and terrible disease and influx of mice. Like today, the Philistines had both religious and secular, non-believing populations. It took them a while to all come to the belief that yes, the God of Israel is real and yes, the torments of the plagues of mice and the diseases which were killing so many of them were connected to His Ark. the final proof? What do milk cows do when separated from their babies? They head straight for the Hebrews! Josephus then discusses the many facets of Samuel-his rise, his reign as judge, and his failings as a father. Like "PK's" of today, his sons were not prepared nor worthy of taking his place upon his death, and therefore the people, exhausted by the corrupt behavior of Eli's sons and now Samuel's, lose their trust in God to bring things about, and demand a king.
Saul Begins as an Anointed King But Parts Ways with Samuel and Loses the Blessing as told by Josephus, in Book 6 of "The Antiquities of the Jews"
Book 6 of the Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus opens on the transition of Israel from the time of leadership by God through the prophets to man's strong hand under a king. Saul is appointed in 1 Samuel, and then takes the reigns after God touches him with the Holy Spirit. He had a chance to do well, but power corrupts....and this sad fact is shown once more in this story of a king who loses his position when he loses his connection with God's guidance. Within months of taking the kingship, Saul is at war. His first effort leads to a victory, but Israel is essentially a loose confederation of tribes and towns. The Philistines are used to raiding the borders and taking whatever they want. This becomes Saul's next huge challenge, and although they eventually win this battle, he oversteps his bounds as king and causes the blessings of God to be greatly reduced, and even curtailed. These and other missteps as leader cause great pain and problems for his people and his own family. Finally, the Spirit of God, the anointing, is taken from Saul and David receives the blessing of the hand of Jehovah on his shoulder. Warned by the history of Saul's kingship, it remains to be seen if David will be the kind of king the people want.
David Becomes Important as told by Josephus, in Book 6 of "The Antiquities of the Jews"
Book 6 now focuses on the people's transition from looking to the great King Saul to adoring the up and coming young military leader, David of Bethlehem. For Saul, David begins as a problem solver but soon devolves into a problem....
David Is Now Saul's Obsession as told by Josephus, in Book 6 of "The Antiquities of the Jews"
Book 6 continues with the story of Saul's continuing descent into madness. Although David has done little to deserve this focused attention, he has now become the target of all of Saul's madness. David, now married to Saul's daughter, Michal, and close to Saul's son, Jonathan, is in such a precarious situation that he must leave the family compound and seek shelter elsewhere. He first goes to Samuel, the aging prophet, for guidance, training, and help. That works for a while, but after Saul destroys the last of Eli's family line through Doeg and David deals with encounters with the Philistines (including the men of Gath), eventually, David must strike out for the wilderness alone in an effort to save his life.
Saul is nearing the end of his reign. As described in 1 Samuel Chapters 18-22, his madness takes more and more dark turns, he tries one more time to hear from God, even though his bouts of remorse never quite translated into repentance. So much happens to Saul, and so much is because of his fears and paranoia. He finally gives in to the vain unrepentant hope that God might change His mind and goes to a witch, the Witch of Endor, who contacts the world of the dead at Saul's request in an effort to find out what the future will hold for him and his house. She, following Saul's wishes, calls on the spirit of Samuel, himself. When Samuel actually speaks to her, not at all pleased with Saul or being called from his rest, he reiterates to Saul that God's hand is not with him or his house any longer, and in fact, he and his sons will die on the battlefield the next day. The final transition to David is soon to come, Saul recognizes he has finally come to the end of any hope of redemption, and he meets his oncoming death with resolve and resignation, knowing as he leaves her house that it is final. It is the fall of the house of Saul, and the rise of the Star of David.
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video & outline by Calvary Church
Chuck Swindoll's take on 2 Samuel with a chart and audio...
If you would like to just listen to the KJV version of 2 Samuel, click on the title picture.
Josephus, Book 7-The First of King David's Three Major Failures (2 Samuel 1-12) Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice 20 July 2016
David is fully king, with a following of his people, and wars against his opposition past and won. In 2 Samuel chapters 1-9, his victories and leadership decisions are recorded, while Josephus gives more detail to thoughts and perception. By 2 Samuel chapters 10-11 , David is fighting against the Ammonites who had reached out to surrounding groups to form alliances against the growing power of Israel. Joab, though considered a wild man and a murderer, has ascended in military leadership and David needed to watch carefully the strength of factions within his administration. He seemed to have control of Joab, but then, instead of fighting by him as was normal for kings in that time, David made the first major mistake of his kingship--he stayed home while his army went to war. And, that decision proved to be fateful and deadly, not only to Uriah, but eventually to David's administration...
Josephus, Book 7-The Second of King David's Three Major Failures ( 2 Samuel 12-18) Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice 27 July 2016
David has been king for a while, now and has a rather large family, with several wives and concubines. The situation with Uriah and Bathsheba has seemed to settle down, but now a new family tragedy occurs--his daughter is raped. That in itself is bad enough, but the rapist is a favored son. David's favoritism will cost him and his family dearly... NOTE: There is a discussion about the "40 years" in 2 Samuel 14 that must be addressed. Absalom did not spend 40 years planning an insurrection; somehow in the heat of today's discussion, the participants and leader forgot a key point regarding David's reign. That mistake will be corrected in the next study.
Josephus, Book 7-The Third of King David's Three Major Failures (2 Samuel 18-24) Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice 3 August 2016
"You've chosen the sin--now choose the punishment." David, after so many years, had numbered the people, had wanted to know his warrior strength, even after Joab had strongly reminded him that this was an egregious error, a sin against God, Himself. David's third major failure brings devastation to his people. Leadership guides the nation to be God-honoring, or God-denying, and the entire nation either reaps the benefits or pays the price... David learns once more to submit himself to the consequences of his choices and the hand of correction from the Lord. It brings him back to his foundations, even though many citizens must pay the price for their leader's errors. Now David is nearing the end of his reign and in his great heart for God, even when he makes devastating mistakes, he gathers materials to build a great temple. His riches extend beyond those of the surrounding nations, but the use is not for war nor for greed, but for his God.