Bible Commentaries

2 Samuel 21

Verses 1-22

As at the close of the Book of Judges, so here, several matters are dealt with not in chronological order, or related, but as illustrating the times which have been under consideration.

In many senses they were the best times in the history of Israel, for during this period the theocratic monarchy was most perfectly realized.

During the reign of Solomon there was more magnificence and material prosperity, but the seeds of dissension sown even under David worked toward the ultimate disruption of the kingdom throughout the whole of that period.

This appendix contains matter which reveals the direct government of God: two utterances of David which reveal his real character; and an account of some of the deeds of the mighty men which shows the heroic spirit of the period.

The account of the famine was written to give a purely national lesson. Saul had broken faith with the Gibeonites, and his guilt action had neither been recognized nor expiated. The sin of the ruling house was the sin of the people, and it was noted by God, and must be accounted for. Hence the famine, which was stayed only when by the sacrifice of the sons of Saul the nation had come to consciousness of its guilt and repented thereof.