Destination: 2 Samuel 11-24

Flight Plan:
Wednesday, December 5, 2007

In our eighteenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig will take us to our next destination, 2 Samuel 11-24. On this flight we'll see David's transgressions and the troubles that resulted from them. By presenting both the strengths and weaknesses of David, we see a complete picture of a very real person who was described as being "a man after God's own heart." The key chapters to review are 2 Samuel 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 23, and 24.

Detailed Notes:

The book of Second Samuel recounts the triumphs and defeats of King David. David took a divided and defeated Israel from his predecessor King Saul and unified the nation under God's guidance. By presenting both the strengths and weaknesses of David, we see a complete picture of a very real person who was described as being "a man after God's own heart."


1230-926 B.C.
The Settlement of Canaan

1018 B.C.
Samuel anoints David to be king

1011 B.C.
Death of Saul

1010 B.C.
David begins to reign at Hebron

1005 B.C.
Jerusalem becomes the capital

1003 B.C.
David becomes king over all Israel

990 B.C.
David commits adultery with Bathsheba

980 B.C.
Absalom revolts against his father David

970 B.C.
King David dies

930 B.C.
Solomon dies and the Kingdom divides

The book of Second Samuel can be divided into two parts. The first part, chapters 1-10, recounts David's triumphs. The second part, chapters 11-24, deals with David's transgressions and the resulting trouble.

1. David's Transgressions (Adultery and Murder): 2 Samuel 11
2. David's Troubles: 2 Samuel 12-24
a. Troubles in David's House - 2 Samuel 12:1-13:36
b. Troubles in David's Kingdom - 2 Samuel 13:37- chapter 24

The Mountain of Tears - As David was leaving Jerusalem, he went by way of the Mount of Olives. Saddened by the news of Absalom's plot, he cried as he looked down on his city. Perhaps this is the same spot that Jesus wept over Jerusalem (2 Samuel 15:30; Luke 13:34).

En Rogel - As David fled from Absalom with those who were still loyal to him, Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed back at En Rogel to spy on Absalom to learn his plans. En Rogel was a spring in the area just south of Jerusalem in the Kidron Valley (2 Samuel 17:17).

Bethlehem - This was the hometown of both David and Jesus, located in the hills of Judah about six miles southwest of Jerusalem. David grew up here, tending to his father's flocks of sheep. As a side note, Bethlehem is first noted in Scripture as the place where Rachel died and was buried "by the wayside," directly to the north of the city (Genesis 48:7). The valley to the east was the scene of the story of Ruth the Moabitess. There are the fields in which she gleaned, and the path by which she and Naomi returned to the town.

From Dan to Beersheba - When talking about the entire nation of Israel, the phrase "from Dan to Beersheba" was often used. Dan was located on the northern border and Beersheba was on the southern border. When the messengers were told to take the message "from Dan to Beersheba" it meant to all 12 tribes (Judges 20:1; 2 Samuel 3:10, 24:2).

Abigail - David's sister; mother of Amasa (2 Sam 17:25; 1 Chronicles 2:16).

Abishai - David's nephew and one of his most loyal friends. He was the second of three brothers, Joab older and Asahel was the younger. He was the one who wanted to kill the sleeping Saul (1 Sam 26:6-9). During Absalom's revolt, he remained loyal to King David (2 Sam 16:9). He was the one who rescued David from the giant Ishbi-Benob (2 Sam 21:16).

Absalom - David's favorite son. Absalom led a terrible revolt against David and drove the king out of Jerusalem for a time (2 Sam 15:13-14).

Adino - The first of David's mighty men. Also called Josheb-Basshebeth the Tachmonite (2 Sam 23:8).

Ahithophel - David's counselor; Bathsheba's grandfather. He later joined Absalom's revolt against David. Perhaps this was in response to the way David took advantage of his granddaughter (2 Sam 11:3, 15:12, 23:34). But when his counsel was rejected, he hung himself (2 Sam 17:21).
Amasa - David's nephew, daughter of his sister Abigail and cousin to Absalom, who appointed him commander of Absalom's troops. Also cousin to Joab (2 Sam 17:25).

Barzillai - A Gileadite who along with Machir and Shobi brought food and supplies to David when he was in great need. Barzillai was 80 years old (2 Sam 17:27, 19:32).

Abiathar - When Saul killed all the priesthood at Nob, Abiathar was the sole survivor. He was the son of Ahimelech (1 Sam 22). He remained loyal to David (2 Sam 15:24) but would later turn against Solomon (1 King 2:26).

Doeg - an Edomite called "a certain man of the servants of Saul." This man caused the bloody deaths of 85 priests at Nob, because the High Priest had offered bread to David (1 Sam 21:7).

Eleazar - The second of David's mighty men. He was the son of Dodo (2 Sam 23:9).

Hushai - One of David's friends and counselor. He pretended to be on Absalom's side but gave him ridiculous advice (2 Sam 15:31-37).

Ishbi-Benob - This was a Philistine giant who was killed by Abishai as he was about to kill David (2 Sam 21:16-17).

Ittai - He was from Gath. He left his Philistine city to go live with David in Jerusalem. During Absalom's revolt and when David was driven out of the city, Ittai placed his 600-man army at David's disposal (2 Sam 15:21).

Jonadab - A nephew of David's, the son of David's brother Shimeah (2 Sam 13:3). He plotted with Amnon, David's son, to have relations with Amnon's half-sister Tamar.

Jonathan - Another nephew of David's, also the son of Shimeah who killed a giant from Gath who was defying Israel (2 Sam 21:20-21).

Machir - The caretaker for Mephibosheth before David took him to the palace. He also was David's friend during Absalom's rebellion (2 Sam 17:27).

Shobi - An Amorite, the son of Nahash (who was an enemy of Israel - 1 Sam 11:1), who befriended David and brought them provisions while he was escaping from Absalom (2 Sam 17:27).

Shammah - The third of David's mighty men, the son of Agee the Hararite (2 Sam 23:11). The Lord gave him a mighty victory as he stood his ground in defeating the Philistines.

Sheba - After the rebellion of Absalom had been put down, Sheba, a Benjamite started up his own insurrection against David (2 Sam 20:1).

Shimei - When David was being run out of town by Absalom, Shimei cursed him and threw rocks. He was later forgiven by David but held in house arrest in Jerusalem and executed by Solomon for crossing beyond the borders of Jerusalem (2 Sam 16:5-6, 19:16-23; 1 Kings 2:42).

Shimeah - David's brother (2 Sam 13:3), also known as Shammah. Solomon - David's greatest son, born to Bathsheba and also the firstborn in Jerusalem. He would become the third king in the history of Israel and the nation's most powerful. He would later build the Temple that David had wanted to build (2 Sam 12:24).

Tamar - David's daughter, defiled by her step-brother Amnon (2 Sam 13:1; 1 Chron 3:9), avenged by her brother Absalom.

Zadok - In the priesthood, Zadok was 11th in descent from Aaron. He was loyal to David (2 Sam 15:24). He shared the high office with Abiathar for a short period. Zadok anointed Solomon as king and would become the sole high priest (1 King 1:39-40).

Bathing - Why was Bathsheba bathing in public view? Baths were a rare occasion back in those times. Water was hard to find. There was no indoor plumbing and the water had to be drawn from deep wells or saved from the rain in rock cisterns. Baths were a luxury, the weather was probably warm and she probably had the window open. Soap in those days was made from the ashes of certain burnt plants. Between baths people rubbed themselves with olive oil to cover up the body odors (2 Sam 11:2).

The Watchman - As David's small army battled the army of his son Absalom, David waited at Mahanaim to see the result. Standing on the top of the wall was the watchman whose duty was to warn the king of anyone approaching the city (2 Sam 18:24-27).

Araunah's Threshing Floor - The location of great Bible history. Mount Moriah was where Abraham offered Isaac to be sacrificed. Centuries later, David would buy Araunah's threshing floor. God had commanded David to build an altar on the site. Later, Solomon would build God's holy temple on the same location. This is the site of the temple mount in today's Israel
(2 Sam 18-25).

The Threshing Sledge - When the farmer would want to separate the kernels from the stalks of wheat, corn or barley, he would use a threshing sledge. It was made of wood planks and looked like a sled or toboggan but heavier. The bottom was covered with stones or metal. Hitched to oxen, it was dragged over the stalks of crops as men or children stood on it for extra weight (2 Sam 24:22).

David's wars of conquest