Author: Unknown but not Samuel - since the events of the book take place after his death. Some suggest Abiathar the priest (15:35).
Date: Approximately 1010-970 BC, the reign of King David.
In Ten Words or Less: David becomes Israel’s greatest king - but with major flaws.
Details: When King Saul dies, David is made king by the southern Jewish tribe of Judah. Seven years later, after the death of Saul’s son Ishbosheth, king of the northern tribes, David becomes ruler of all Israel. Capturing Jerusalem from the Jebusites, David creates a new capital for his unified nation, and God promises David, “Your throne will be established forever” (7:16 NIV). Military victories make Israel strong, but when David stays home from battle one spring, he commits adultery with a beautiful neighbor, Bathsheba. Then he has her husband - one of his soldiers - murdered. The prophet Nathan confronts David with a story of a rich man who steals a poor man’s sheep. David is furious until Nathan announces, “Thou art the man” (12:7). Chastened, David repents and God forgives his sins - but their consequences will affect David powerfully. The baby conceived in the tryst dies, and David’s family begins to splinter apart. One of David’s sons, Amnon, rapes his half sister, and a second son, Absalom - full brother to the violated girl - kills Amnon in revenge. Absalom then conspires to steal the kingdom from David, causing his father to flee for his life. When Absalom dies in battle with David’s men, David grieves so deeply that he offends his soldiers. Ultimately, David returns to Jerusalem to reassert his kingship. He also raises another son born to Bathsheba - Solomon.
From Know Your Bible, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.