FAQ       Top  >  Literary Structure of the Bible  >  Books of Samuel  >  1

Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Books of Samuel

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of whole text

The center of concentric structure is "Abner Defects To David" (no. 41, 2 Samuel 3:6-21c). This central pericope also becomes the divisional fulcrum of the whole text. Those parts that precede it (pericopes nos. 1 to 41) and follow it (pericopes nos. 41 to 81) constitute concentric structures composed of pericopes. This central pericope is about detramination of unification of splitted Israel by David. This structure would enphasize establishment of the royal family of David.


1-1

1 Prologue Of Samuel's Birth (1S1:1-8)
  2 Samuel's Birth (1S1:9-28)
    3 Hannah's Prayer (1S2:1-10)
      4 The Child Samuel At Shiloh (1S2:11-26)
        5 Prophecy Against Eli's Household (1S2:27-36)
          6 Samuel's Calling And Prophetic Activity (1S3:1-21_1S4:1a)
            7 The Ark Of God Captured (1S4:1b-22)
              8 The Pilistines and the Ark (1S5:1-12)
                9 The Ark Returned To Israel (1S6:1-21_1S7:1)
                  10 Samuel At Judge (1S7:2-17)
                    11 Israel Demands A King (1S8:1-22)
                      12 Saul Chosen To Be King (1S9:1-1S10:16)
                        13 Saul Proclaimed King (1S10:17-27)
                          14 Saul Defeats The Ammonites (1S11:1-15)
                            15 Samuel's Farewell Address (1S12:1-25)
                              16 Saul's Unlawfull Sacrifice (1S13:1-23)
                                17 Jonathan Surprises And Routs The Philistines (1S14:1-46)
                                  18 Saul's Continuing Wars (1S14:47-52)
                                    19 Saul Defeats The Amalekites (1S15:1-35)
                                      20 David Anointed As King (1S16:1-13)
                                        21 David Plays The Lyte For Saul (1S16:14-23)
                                          22 David And Goliath (1S17:1-58)
                                            23 Saul Tries To Kill David (1S18:1-30)
                                              24 David Escapes (1S19:1-24)
                                                25 The Friendship Of David And Jonathan (1S20:1-42)
                                                  26 David and Ahimelech (1S21:1-1S22:23)
                                                    27 David at Keilah (1S23:1-14)
                                                      28 David at Ziph (1S23:15-28)
                                                        29 David Spares Saul's Life (1S24:1-23)
                                                          30 Death Of Samuel (1S25:1-44)
                                                            31 David Spares Saul's Life A Second Time (1S26:1-25)
                                                              32 David Serves King Achish Of Gath (1S27:1-12)
                                                                33 Saul Consults A Medium (1S28:1-25)
                                                                  34 The Philistines Reject David (1S29:1-11)
                                                                    35 David Avenges The Destruction Of Ziklag (1S30:1-31)
                                                                      36 The Death Of Saul And His Sons (1S31:1-13)
                                                                        37 David Mourns For Saul And Jonathan (2S1:1-27)
                                                                          38 David Anointed King Of Judah (2S2:1-11)
                                                                            39 The Battle Of Gideon (2S2:12-32_2S3:1)
                                                                              40 Birth Of David's Son At Hebron (2S3:2-5)
                                                                                41 Abner Defects To David (2S3:6-21c)
                                                                              42 Abner Id Killed By Joab (2S3:21d-39)
                                                                            43 Ishbaal Assassinated (2S4:1-12)
                                                                          44 David Anointed King Of All Israel (2S5:1-5)
                                                                        45 Jerusalem Made Capital Of The United Kingdom (2S5:6-12)
                                                                      46 Birth Of David's Son At Jerusalem (2S5:13-16)
                                                                    47 Philistine Attack Repulsed (2S5:17-25)
                                                                  48 David Brings The Ark To Jerusalem (2S6:1-15)
                                                                49 Michal Despises (2S6:16-23)
                                                              50 God's Covenant With David (2S7:1-17)
                                                            51 David's Prayer (2S7:18-29)
                                                          52 David's Wars (2S8:1-14)
                                                        53 David's Officers (2S8:15-18)
                                                      54 David's Kindness To Mephibosheth (2S9:1-13)
                                                    55 The Ammonites And Arameans Are Defeated (2S10:1-19)
                                                  56 David Commits Adultery With Bathsheba (2S11:1-27)
                                                57 Nathan Condemns David (2S12:1-14)
                                              58 Solomon Is Born (2S12:15-25)
                                            59 The Ammonites Crushed (2S12:26-31)
                                          60 Amnon And Tamar (2S13:1-22)
                                        61 Absalom Avenges The Violation Of His Sister (2S13:23-2S14:33)
                                      62 Absalom Usurps The Throne (2S15:1-12)
                                    63 David Flees From Jerusalem (2S15:13-29)
                                  64 Hushai Becomes David's Spy (2S15:30-37)
                                65 David's Adversaries (2S16:1-14)
                              66 The Counsel Of Ahithophel (2S16:15-2S17:26)
                            67 Preparation For War (2S17:27-2S18:5)
                          68 The Defeat And Death Of Absalom (2S18:6-18)
                        69 David Hears Of Absalom's Death (2S18:19-2S19:9b)
                      70 David Recalled To Jerusalem (2S19:9c-15)
                    71 Simei, Mephibosheth (2S19:16-31)
                  72 Barzillai (2S19:32-40)
                73 Israel And Judah (2S19:41-44)
              74 The Rebellion Of Sheba (2S20:1-22)
            75 David's Officers (2S20:23-26)
          76 David Avenges The Gibeonites (2S21:1-14)
        77 Exploits Of David's Men (2S21:15-22)
      78 David's Song Of Thanksgiving (2S22:1-51)
    79 The Last Words Of David (2S23:1-7)
  80 David's Mighty Men (2S23:8-39)
81 David's Census Of Israel And Judah (2S24:1-25)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Prologue Of Samuel's Birth (1S1:1-8)
1S1:3This man regularly went on pilgrimage from his city to worship the LORD of hosts and to sacrifice to him at Shiloh,
Offering81 David's Census Of Israel And Judah (2S24:1-25)
2S24:25Then David built an altar there to the LORD, and offered holocausts and peace offerings.
2 Samuel's Birth (1S1:9-28)
1S1:20She conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the LORD for him.
Name80 David's Mighty Men (2S23:8-39)
2S23:8These are the names of David's warriors.
3 Hannah's Prayer (1S2:1-10)
Song of Hannah
Praise the Lord song79 The Last Words Of David (2S23:1-7)
Song of David
4 The Child Samuel At Shiloh (1S2:11-26)
1S2:25 they disregarded their father's warning, since the LORD had decided on their death (1Sa 2:25)
Punishment against arrogant people78 David's Song Of Thanksgiving (2S22:1-51)
2S22:28 You save lowly people, though on the lofty your eyes look down. (2S22:28)
5 Prophecy Against Eli's Household (1S2:27-36)
1S2:31 the time is coming when I will break your strength and the strength of your fathers family, so that no man in your family shall reach old age (1Sa 2:31)
Extinction of descendants77 Exploits Of David's Men (2S21:15-22)
2S21:17 You must not go out to battle with us again, lest you quench the lamp of Israel. (2S21:17)
6 Samuel's Calling And Prophetic Activity (1S3:1-21_1S4:1a)
1S3:13 I announce to him that I am condemning his family once and for all, because of this crime: though he knew his sons were blaspheming God, he did not reprove them. (1S3:13)
Sin of a family76 David Avenges The Gibeonites (2S21:1-14)
2S21:1 There is bloodguilt on Saul and his family because he put the Gibeonites to death. (2S21:1)
7 The Ark Of God Captured (1S4:1b-22)
1S4:18 He had judged Israel for forty years. (1S4:18)
Role of person in Israel75 David's Officers (2S20:23-26)
2S20:23Joab was in command of the whole army of Israel. Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, was in command of the Cherethites and Pelethites.
8 The Pilistines and the Ark (1S5:1-12)
1S5:5 For this reason, neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter the temple of Dagon tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this very day; they always step over it. (1S5:5)
A corpus interrupted movements of others74 The Rebellion Of Sheba (2S20:1-22)
2S20:12 Amasa lay covered with blood in the middle of the highroad, and the man noticed that all the soldiers were stopping. (2S20:12)
9 The Ark Returned To Israel (1S6:1-21_1S7:1)
They then sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim, saying, "The Philistines have returned the ark of the LORD; come down and get it." (1S6:21)
Return of the ark / the king73 Israel And Judah (2S19:41-44)
But all these Israelites began coming to the king and saying, "Why did our brothers the Judahites steal you away and escort the king and his household across the Jordan, along with all David's men?" (2S19:42)
10 Samuel At Judge (1S7:2-17)
He made a yearly journey, passing through Bethel, Gilgal and Mizpah and judging Israel at each of these sanctuaries. 7:17 Then he used to return to Ramah, for that was his home. There, too, he judged Israel and built an altar to the LORD. (1S7:16-17)
Return to home72 Barzillai (2S19:32-40)
Then all the people crossed over the Jordan but the king remained; he kissed Barzillai and bade him Godspeed as he returned to his own district. (2S19:40)
11 Israel Demands A King (1S8:1-22)
and said to him, "Now that you are old, and your sons do not follow your example, appoint a king over us, as other nations have, to judge us." (1S8:5)
People request the king71 Simei, Mephibosheth (2S19:16-31)
When the king, on his return, reached the Jordan, Judah had come to Gilgal to meet him and to escort him across the Jordan. (2S19:16)
12 Saul Chosen To Be King (1S9:1-1S10:16)
Then, from a flask he had with him, Samuel poured oil on Saul's head; he also kissed him, saying: "The LORD anoints you commander over his heritage. (1S10:1)
Pouring oil70 David Recalled To Jerusalem (2S19:9c-15)
and Absalom, whom we anointed over us, died in battle. Why, then, should you remain silent about restoring the king to his palace?" When the talk of all Israel reached the king, (2S19:11)
13 Saul Proclaimed King (1S10:17-27)
So Samuel had all the tribes of Israel come forward, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen. 10:21 Next he had the tribe of Benjamin come forward in clans, and the clan of Matri was chosen, and finally Saul, son of Kish, was chosen. But they looked for him in vain. (1S10:20-21)
Fortune-telling69 David Hears Of Absalom's Death (2S18:19-2S19:9b)
The lookout shouted to inform the king, who said, "If he is alone, he has good news to report." As he kept coming nearer, 18:26 the lookout spied another runner. From his place atop the gate he cried out, "There is another man running by himself." And the king responded, "He, too, is bringing good news." (2S18:25-26)
14 Saul Defeats The Ammonites (1S11:1-15)
On the appointed day, Saul arranged his troops in three companies and invaded the camp during the dawn watch. They slaughtered Ammonites until the heat of the day; by then the survivors were so scattered that no two were left together. (1S11:11)
King's victory68 The Defeat And Death Of Absalom (2S18:6-18)
Next, ten of Joab's young armor-bearers closed in on Absalom, and killed him with further blows. (2S18:15)
15 Samuel's Farewell Address (1S12:1-25)
Here I stand! Answer me in the presence of the LORD and of his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose ass have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whom have I accepted a bribe and overlooked his guilt? I will make restitution to you." (1S12:3)
Offering to a ruler67 Preparation For War (2S17:27-2S18:5)
When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi, son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, Machir, son of Ammiel from Lodebar, and Barzillai, the Gileadite from Rogelim, 17:28 brought couches, coverlets, basins and earthenware, as well as wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, 17:29 honey, butter and cheese from the flocks and herds, for David and those who were with him to eat; for they said, "The people have been hungry and tired and thirsty in the desert." (2S17:27-29)
16 Saul's Unlawfull Sacrifice (1S13:1-23)
Samuel's response was: "You have been foolish! Had you kept the command the LORD your God gave you, the LORD would now establish your kingship in Israel as lasting; (1S13:13)
King's mistake66 The Counsel Of Ahithophel (2S16:15-2S17:26)
Then Absalom and all the Israelites pronounced the counsel of Hushai the Archite better than that of Ahithophel. For the LORD had decided to undo Ahithophel's good counsel, in order thus to bring Absalom to ruin. (2S17:14)
17 Jonathan Surprises And Routs The Philistines (1S14:1-46)
And Saul swore a very rash oath that day, putting the people under this ban: "Cursed be the man who takes food before evening, before I am able to avenge myself on my enemies." So none of the people tasted food. (1S14:24)
Curse65 David's Adversaries (2S16:1-14)
Shimei was saying as he cursed: "Away, away, you murderous and wicked man! (2S16:7)
17 Jonathan Surprises And Routs The Philistines (1S14:1-46)
One day Jonathan, son of Saul, said to his armor-bearer, "Come let us go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side." But he did not inform his father. (1S14:1)
Saul's descendants65 David's Adversaries (2S16:1-14)
As David was approaching Bahurim, a man named Shimei, the son of Gera of the same clan as Saul's family, was coming out of the place, cursing as he came. (2S16:5)
18 Saul's Continuing Wars (1S14:47-52)
Sauls wife, who was named Ahinoam, was the daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of his general was Abner, son of Sauls uncle, Ner; (1S14:50)
Ahimaaz64 Hushai Becomes David's Spy (2S15:30-37)
who have there with them both Zadoks son Ahimaaz and Abiathars son Jonathan. Through them you shall send on to me whatever you hear." (2S15:36)
19 Saul Defeats The Amalekites (1S15:1-35)
warned the Kenites: "Come! Leave Amalek and withdraw, that I may not have to destroy you with them, for you were kind to the Israelites when they came up from Egypt." After the Kenites left, (1S15:6)
Consideration to foreigner63 David Flees From Jerusalem (2S15:13-29)
he said to Ittai the Gittite: "Why should you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and you, too, are an exile from your own country. 15:20 You came only yesterday, and shall I have you wander about with us today, wherever I have to go? Return and take your brothers with you, and may the LORD be kind and faithful to you." (2S15:19-20)
20 David Anointed As King (1S16:1-13)
1S16:13Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers;
Becoming king62 Absalom Usurps The Throne (2S15:1-12)
2S15:10Then Absalom sent spies throughout the tribes of Israel to say, "When you hear the sound of the horn, declare Absalom king in Hebron."
20 David Anointed As King (1S16:1-13)
1S16:4"Is your visit peaceful, O seer?"
Peace62 Absalom Usurps The Throne (2S15:1-12)
2S15:9The king wished him a safe journey, and he went off to Hebron.
21 David Plays The Lyte For Saul (1S16:14-23)
A servant spoke up to say: "I have observed that one of the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem is a skillful harpist. He is also a stalwart soldier, besides being an able speaker, and handsome. Moreover, the LORD is with him." (1S16:18)
Promising youth61 Absalom Avenges The Violation Of His Sister (2S13:23-2S14:33)
In all Israel there was not a man who could so be praised for his beauty as Absalom, who was without blemish from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. (2S14:25)
22 David And Goliath (1S17:1-58)
David now said to the men standing by: "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and frees Israel of the disgrace? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine in any case, that he should insult the armies of the living God?" (1S17:26)
Anger to disgrace60 Amnon And Tamar (2S13:1-22)
Absalom, moreover, said nothing at all to Amnon, although he hated him for having shamed his sister Tamar. (2S13:22)
23 Saul Tries To Kill David (1S18:1-30)
The women played and sang: "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands." (1S18:7)
Subordinate's military results59 The Ammonites Crushed (2S12:26-31)
Therefore, assemble the rest of the soldiers, join the siege against the city and capture it, lest it be I that capture the city and it be credited to me." (2S12:28)
24 David Escapes (1S19:1-24)
Saul discussed his intention of killing David with his son Jonathan and with all his servants. But Sauls son Jonathan, who was very fond of David, (1S19:1)
Beloved person58 Solomon Is Born (2S12:15-25)
The LORD loved him 12:25 and sent the prophet Nathan to name him Jedidiah, on behalf of the LORD. (2S12:24-25)
25 The Friendship Of David And Jonathan (1S20:1-42)
But David replied: "Your father is well aware that I am favored with your friendship, so he has decided, 'Jonathan must not know of this lest he be grieved.' Nevertheless, as the LORD lives and as you live, there is but a step between me and death. (1S20:3)
David escapes from a death57 Nathan Condemns David (2S12:1-14)
Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan answered David: "The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. (2S12:13)
26 David and Ahimelech (1S21:1-1S22:23)
David answered the priest: "The king gave me a commission and told me to let no one know anything about the business on which he sent me or the commission he gave me. For that reason I have arranged a meeting place with my men. (1S21:3)
David pretends56 David Commits Adultery With Bathsheba (2S11:1-27)
But once the mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her into his house. She became his wife and bore him a son. But the LORD was displeased with what David had done. (2S11:27)
27 David at Keilah (1S23:1-14)
David then went with his men to Keilah and fought with the Philistines. He drove off their cattle and inflicted a severe defeat on them, and thus rescued the inhabitants of Keilah (1S23:5)
Victory against foreign country55 The Ammonites And Arameans Are Defeated (2S10:1-19)
But the Arameans gave way before Israel, and David's men killed seven hundred charioteers and forty thousand of the Aramean foot soldiers. Shobach, general of the army, was struck down and died on the field. (2S10:18)
28 David at Ziph (1S23:15-28)
1S23:18They made a joint agreement before the LORD in Horesh,
Covenant with Jonathan54 David's Kindness To Mephibosheth (2S9:1-13)
2S9:1"Is there any survivor of Sauls house to whom I may show kindness for the sake of Jonathan?"
29 David Spares Saul's Life (1S24:1-23)
1S24:13The LORD will judge between me and you, and the LORD will exact justice from you in my case.
Judgment53 David's Officers (2S8:15-18)
2S8:15David reigned over all Israel, judging and administering justice to all his people.
30 Death Of Samuel (1S25:1-44)
1S25:35David then took from her what she had brought him and said to her: "Go up to your home in peace! See, I have granted your request as a personal favor."
Tribute is paid to David52 David's Wars (2S8:1-14)
2S8:6and the Arameans became subjects, tributary to David.
31 David Spares Saul's Life A Second Time (1S26:1-25)
1S26:25"Blessed are you, my son David!
Blessing for David51 David's Prayer (2S7:18-29)
2S7:29and by your blessing the house of your servant shall be blessed forever."
32 David Serves King Achish Of Gath (1S27:1-12)
1S27:5"If I meet with your approval, let me have a place to live in one of the country towns.
Settling down50 God's Covenant With David (2S7:1-17)
2S7:10I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them
33 Saul Consults A Medium (1S28:1-25)
1S28:17he has torn the kingdom from your grasp and has given it to your neighbor David.
The Lord doesn't select Saul but David49 Michal Despises (2S6:16-23)
2S6:21"I was dancing before the LORD. As the LORD lives, who preferred me to your father and his whole family when he appointed me commander of the LORD'S people, Israel, not only will I make merry before the LORD,
33 Saul Consults A Medium (1S28:1-25)
1S28:8So he disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and set out with two companions. They came to the woman by night,
Cloth not suitable for king49 Michal Despises (2S6:16-23)
2S6:20"How the king of Israel has honored himself today, exposing himself to the view of the slave girls of his followers, as a commoner might do!"
34 The Philistines Reject David (1S29:1-11)
1S29:4But the Philistine chiefs were angered at this and said to him: "Send that man back! Let him return to the place you picked out for him.
Fear for movement48 David Brings The Ark To Jerusalem (2S6:1-15)
2S6:9David feared the LORD that day and said, "How can the ark of the LORD come to me?" 6:10 So David would not have the ark of the LORD brought to him in the City of David,
35 David Avenges The Destruction Of Ziklag (1S30:1-31)
1S30:8David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I pursue these raiders? Can I overtake them?" The LORD answered him, "Go in pursuit, for you shall surely overtake them and effect a rescue."
David inquires of the Lord and wins47 Philistine Attack Repulsed (2S5:17-25)
2S5:19David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I attack the Philistines--will you deliver them into my grip?" The LORD replied to David, "Attack, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your grip."
36 The Death Of Saul And His Sons (1S31:1-13)
1S31:2the Philistines pursued Saul and his sons closely, and slew Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, sons of Saul.
Sons of king46 Birth Of David's Son At Jerusalem (2S5:13-16)
2S5:13David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem after he had come from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to him in Jerusalem.
37 David Mourns For Saul And Jonathan (2S1:1-27)
2S1:15David then called one of the attendants and said to him, "Come, strike him down";
David orders beating45 Jerusalem Made Capital Of The United Kingdom (2S5:6-12)
2S5:8"All who wish to attack the Jebusites must strike at them through the water shaft. The lame and the blind shall be the personal enemies of David."
38 David Anointed King Of Judah (2S2:1-11)
2S2:4Then the men of Judah came there and anointed David king of the Judahites.
David is anointed and becomes king 44 David Anointed King Of All Israel (2S5:1-5)
2S5:3and they anointed him king of Israel.
39 The Battle Of Gideon (2S2:12-32_2S3:1)
2S2:27 As God lives (2S2:27)
As the LORD lives43 Ishbaal Assassinated (2S4:1-12)
2S4:9 As the LORD lives, who rescued me from all difficulty (2S4:9)
40 Birth Of David's Son At Hebron (2S3:2-5)
2S3:2Sons were born to David in Hebron:
Sons42 Abner Id Killed By Joab (2S3:21d-39)
2S3:39and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too ruthless for me.

Citations of the Bible are from New American Bible, New Revised Standard Version and New Jerusalem Bible.

Creative Commons License
Literary Structure of the Bible by Hajime Murai is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Caution: The copyright of the cited Bible verses belongs to each translator and publisher.