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Notes on II. Samuel (Classic Reprint)

Notes on II. Samuel (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Notes on II. Samuel

I. and II. Samuel make in the Jewish Canon but one book, - bearing the prophet's name. The division of the work into two originated in the Septuagint and Vulgate Versions, in which the parts are called respectively, I. and II. Kings.

The authorship of Samuel is pretty clearly indicated in I. Chron. xxix. 29, - "Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer." It is generally supposed that Nathan, who lived on into Solomon's reign, compiled the work from three sources: -

1. The national annals kept by the scribes.

2. The special records of contemporary events, written by Samuel, Gad, and himself.

As Samuel's death is the first thing mentioned in I. Sam. xxv., we must limit his share in the narrative to cs. i.-xxiv. of that book.

3. Some book of poetry.

"Samuel" may have been bestowed as the title of the whole book in its original form: -

1. Because Samuel was the most distinguished, and the earliest, of the writers contributing to it; or

2. Because he had so much to do with the most prominent persons and events in Book I., especially with regard to the change of government.

"II. Samuel" is, of course, a misnomer, since Samuel had no share in its composition. But, as it formerly made part of the complete work bearing the prophet's name, the title was retained after the original book was split into two.

The date of the compilation of Samuel is not known; it must, however, have been written in its present form before the death of David, since it does not narrate that event.

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