Preaching the Word - 2 Samuel

Preaching the Word - 2 Samuel


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About 2 Samuel

King David stands as one of the most important figures of world history. From children’s storybooks to Michelangelo’s famous statue, ancient Israel’s most famous king is still remembered and recognized by people around the world three thousand years after he lived.

In this commentary on the book of 2 Samuel, professor and former pastor John Woodhouse helps readers deepen their understanding of David’s tumultuous reign by highlighting his place in salvation history—a history that began with Israel but now encompasses God’s plan for the whole world. What’s more, he shows that the concept of the kingdom of God is crucial to the whole storyline of the Bible . . . and for our lives today.

Designed as a trustworthy resource for pastors who preach and teach on a regular basis, this commentary makes the case that David’s story is relevant because it lays the crucial foundation for the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, “the Son of David.”

Part of the Preaching the Word series.


John Woodhouse (DPhil, Victoria University of Manchester) served as principal of Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia, from 2002 to 2013. Previously, he worked in pastoral ministry in a suburb of Sydney. He has published articles in various academic journals and is the author of two volumes in Crossway’s Preaching the Word commentary series.


“Dr. Woodhouse’s customary rigor with the text, combined with acute observation and wide-ranging Biblical and theological reflection, makes this commentary a must-have for any preacher of the book. The commentary does far more than explain the text, it feeds the soul. I could not recommend it more highly.”
William TaylorRector, St. Helen's Bishopsgate, London; author, Understanding the Times and Partnership

“John Woodhouse’s commentaries on 1 and 2 Samuel are not written to gather dust on the shelf. They are the rare commentaries worthy of being read cover to cover and are destined to be thoroughly underlined and oft quoted. Again and again Woodhouse helps readers see through the shadows of King David into the rule and reign of his greater Son, King Jesus.”
Nancy Guthrie, Bible Teacher; author, Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament Bible study series

“Dr. Woodhouse is one of my favorite interpreters of Scripture. He has an uncanny ability to so carefully read a text, that you will see things you never noticed, only then to wonder why you had not seen them before. He does justice to a text in its own historical and literary contexts, while showing how it resonates with the whole story of the Bible. Finally, he is a master of conceiving preaching trajectories from the Old Testament for the edification of the church. These features, and more, characterize this outstanding volume on 2 Samuel. With its guidance, pastors will read, learn, and preach the message of 2 Samuel with greater depth of insight to the glory of the greater Davidic King.”
Constantine R. Campbell, Associate Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Kingdom Matters (2 Samuel and Matthew 6:9, 10)

Part One: The King Is Dead (1)

  1. A Dead King, a Victorious King, and a Time of Waiting (1:1)
  2. Who Says Crime Doesn’t Pay? (1:2–10)
  3. Crime Doesn’t Pay (1:11–16)
  4. What the Victorious King Said about the Dead King (1:17–27)

Part Two: The Coming of the Kingdom (2:1—5:3)

  1. Who Will Have This King? (2:1–11)
  2. Human Politics and the Kingdom (2:12–32)
  3. Ambitious Opportunism and the Kingdom (3:1–21)
  4. Personal Vengeance and the Kingdom (3:22–39)
  5. Wicked Violence and the Kingdom (4)
  6. Coming to the King (5:1–3) 139

Part Three: The Kingdom of David (5:4—10:19)

  1. “On Zion, My Holy Hill” (5:4–16)
  2. “The Nations Rage and the Peoples Plot in Vain” (5:17–25)
  3. “Rejoice with Trembling” (6:1–11)
  4. The Joy of Humility and the Misery of Pride (6:12–23)
  5. The Most Important Words in the World (7:1–7)
  6. The Promise (7:8–16)
  7. The King’s Prayer (7:17–29)
  8. “I Will Make the Nations Your Heritage” (8:1–6)
  9. A Kingdom of Justice and Righteousness (8:7–18)
  10. The Kindness of the King (9)
  11. Those Who Despise the Kindness of the King (10)

Part Four: The Failure of David (11—20)

  1. The Disaster (11:1–5)
  2. The Deceitful Heart (11:6–13)
  3. The Murderer (11:14–27)
  4. Shattered by the Word of God (12:1–15)
  5. Restoration (12:16–31)
  6. Like Father, Like Son (13:1–22)
  7. Vengeance and the Kingdom (13:23–39)
  8. Foolish Schemes (14)
  9. Politics and Power (15:1–12)
  10. The Darkest Day (15:13–31)
  11. People Who Met David (15:19—16:14)
  12. The Friend and the Traitor (16:15–23)
  13. The Plan That Really Matters (17)
  14. When Love and Justice Do Not Meet (18)
  15. The Return of the King (19)
  16. An Unstable Kingdom (20)

Epilogue: The Kingdom of David and the Kingdom of God (21—24)

  1. A Problem in David’s Kingdom: God’s Wrath, Part 1 (21:1–14)
  2. The Strength of David’s Kingdom: His Mighty Men, Part 1 (21:15–22)
  3. The Hope of David’s Kingdom: The Lord’s Promise, Part 1 (22)
  4. The Hope of David’s Kingdom: The Lord’s Promise, Part 2 (23:1–7)
  5. The Strength of David’s Kingdom: His Mighty Men, Part 2 (23:8–39)
  6. A Problem in David’s Kingdom: God’s Wrath, Part 2 (24)

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