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Reflecting on Second Samuel 1

Getting Started

Read Second Samuel 1 paying careful attention to the Song of the Bow. What is the repeated refrain? What is its importance? Why is it named "the Bow" (see text footnote; also see * below)? Why did David want it to be taught to all the people of Judah?


Read First Samuel 16:1-13. Why did Samuel anoint David privately? What is the significance of a private anointing to a public office?
Read First Samuel 18-20. In what ways did David become a son to Saul and beloved by Saul’s son and daughter? What made Saul become David’s enemy? What are the implications of the friendship between David and Jonathan and the succession of Saul?
Read First Samuel 24 and 26. How do David’s men interpret the “coincidences” of Saul becoming vulnerable before them? How might David’s men defend their interpretations? What is the meaning of not raising a hand against the Lord’s anointed? Does it mean to be passive, to “let go and let God”?


Based on your work in First Samuel reread the Song of the Bow. In what ways does the song embody and testify to David’s heart as a heart like God’s own? What of David’s characteristics are demonstrated by the Song of the Bow?

* MT “a bow”; not in LXX (so McCarter, 67); KJV “Also he bade them teach … the use of the bow.” I have chosen to work with the MT. I am reading “the Bow” as a title of the lament (so NRSV, NIV, NET nt), alluding to Jonathan’s “bow” in v. 22

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