Top Commentaries on 2 Samuel

Bible commentaries on the Old Testament book of 2 Samuel are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on 2 Samuel that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the Bible, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more. (See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.)



Best Reviewed Bible Commentaries on 2 Samuel



1 and 2 Samuel (New American Commentary) by Robert D. Bergen


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on 1 and 2 Samuel

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “The best of the evangelical commentaries.”

Tremper Longman: “a competent and readable treatment of the narrative”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new series has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.” See more about the New American Commentary series.



1 and 2 Samuel (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by Joyce G. Baldwin


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “characterized by careful scholarship…writes with the educated lay reader in mind”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Brief but insightful evangelical commentary.”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on 2 Samuel, “a great example of Baldwin’s high quality work. A very good introductory-intermediate level commentary.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.” See more about the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series.



1 and 2 Samuel (New International Version Application Commentary) by Bill T. Arnold


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “[Arnold] does an excellent job revealing the original meaning of the text and bringing it to life for the modern reader”

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on 2 Samuel, “The strength of the NIVAC series is its focus on contemporary applications, and Arnold is helpful here, but he is also concerned to deal with the original meaning of the text and does so very well. It is an engaging work.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.



1 and 2 Samuel (Library of Biblical Interpretation) by Robert P. Gordon


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, “full of good theological insight”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Highly recommended evangelical treatment.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Robert P. Gordon has provided us with a substantial commentary on the English text of the books of Samuel, concentrating on exegesis, but also paying attention to linguistic and textual problems. “I have not tried to “Christianize” 1 and 2 Samuel at every conceivable point. Often as I have sought to show in the brief introductory section comparison; and the only way to arrive at sensible conclusions in this matter is first to appreciate the Old Testament for its own sake- that is in its own literary, historical, cultural and theological contexts. That is principally what this commentary is about.”



1 and 2 Samuel (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised Edition) by Ronald F. Youngblood


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “a solid commentary that shows good exegetical sense and literary and theological sensitivity”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on 2 Samuel, “probably the most helpful intermediate level commentary on the books of Samuel”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…the chief principle followed in this commentary is the grammatico-historical – namely, that the primary aim of the exegete is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstances of its writing.” See more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.



1 and 2 Samuel (Apollos Old Testament Commentary) by David G. Firth


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “insightful on its theological teaching”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Apollos Old Testament Commentary (AOTC) aims to take with equal seriousness the divine and human aspects of Scripture. It expounds the books of the Old Testament in a scholarly manner accessible to non-experts, and it shows the relevance of the Old Testament to modern readers. Written by an international team of scholars and edited by David W. Baker and Gordon J. Wenham, these commentaries are intended to serve the needs of those who preach from the Old Testament, as well as scholars and all serious students of the Bible.” See more about the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series.



2 Samuel (Focus on the Bible) by Dale Ralph Davis


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on 2 Samuel, “written at a level accessible to the layman…numerous insights for pastors and teachers that other commentaries overlook”

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “These commentaries are popular level commentaries especially useful for pastors and small group leaders. They are useful for personal devotions and spiritual growth. Many of the authors of the commentaries are leading expositors of God’s Word on their specialty subjects. The series holds to the inerrancy of scripture and the uniqueness of Christ in salvation.” See more about the Focus on the Bible commentary series.



1 and 2 Samuel (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by Walter Brueggemann


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “his writing style is not just engaging but also exciting”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “This series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.” See more about the Interpretation Bible commentary series.



More Expository Commentaries



The Message of Samuel (The Bible Speaks Today) by Mary J. Evans


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper.” See more about the Understanding the Bible Commentary series.



1 and 2 Samuel (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by Mary J. Evans


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper.” See more about the Understanding the Bible Commentary series.



2 Samuel (Word Biblical Commentary) by A.A. Anderson


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.” See more about the Word Biblical Commentary series.



2 Samuel (Brazos Theological Commentary) by Robert Barron


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Pastors and leaders of the classical church—such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and Wesley—interpreted the Bible theologically, believing Scripture as a whole witnessed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ…The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other Orthodox Christians did for their times and places. The commentaries are designed to serve the church—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.” See more about the Brazos Theological Commentary series.



2 Samuel (Concordia Commentary) by Andrew E. Steinmann


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “A Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture is written to enable pastors and teachers of the Word to proclaim the Gospel with greater insight, clarity, and faithfulness to the divine intent of the biblical text.”



1 and 2 Samuel (Smyth and Helwys Bible Commentary) by Tony W. Cartledge


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written by accomplished scholars with all students of Scripture in mind, this innovative new commentary series is designed to make quality Bible study more accessible. Pastors, professors and students of Scripture are discovering that this commentary is a wonderful new tool for enhancing interpretation. All volumes include these features to support interpretation: insightful sidebars in four categories, a wealth of fine art visuals, and a CD-ROM containing all the text and images of the volume in a searchable format.”



1 and 2 Samuel (New Beacon Bible Commentary) by Kevin Mellish


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New Beacon Bible Commentary provides 21st-century scholars, pastors, theological students, and laity an academically competent, readable commentary in the Wesleyan theological tradition. Each volume features: Contemporary Scholarship from notable experts in the Wesleyan theological tradition. Convenient introductory material for each book of the Bible, which includes information on authorship, date, history, audience, sociological/cultural issues, purpose, literary features, theological themes, hermeneutical issues, and more.”



1 and 2 Samuel (Belief Commentary) by David J. Jensen


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Building on a wide range of sources from biblical studies, the history of theology, the church’s liturgical and musical traditions, contemporary culture, and the Christian tradition, noted scholars focus less on traditional historical and literary angles in favor of a theologically focused commentary that considers the contemporary relevance of the texts. This series is an invaluable resource for those who want to probe beyond the backgrounds and words of biblical texts to their deep theological and ethical meanings for the church today.”



Technical Commentaries



2 Samuel (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by P. Kyle McCarter, Jr.


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Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics.” The series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.” See more about the Anchor Bible Commentary series.



1 and 2 Samuel (International Critical Commentary) by Henry P. Smith

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: The ICC series has “sought to bring together all the relevant aids to exegesis, linguistic and textual no less than archaeological, historical, literary and theological to help the reader understand the meaning of the books of the Old and New Testaments…no attempt has been made to secure a uniform theological or critical approach to the biblical text: contributors have been invited for their scholarly distinction, not for their adherence to any one school of thought.” See more about the International Critical Commentary series.



1 and 2 Samuel (Old Testament Library) by Hans Hertzberg


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.” See more about the Old Testament Library commentary series.



2 Samuel (Forms of Old Testament Literature) by Anthony F. Campbell


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Forms of the Old Testament Literature (FOTL) is a series of volumes that seeks to present, according to a standard outline and methodology, a form-critical analysis of every book or unit of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible). Fundamentally exegetical, each volume examines the structure, genre, setting, and intention of the biblical literature in question. The series also endeavors to study the history behind the form-critical discussion of the material, to bring consistency to the terminology for the genres and formulas of the biblical literature, and to expose the exegetical procedure in such a way as to enable students and pastors to engage in their own analysis and interpretation.”



Classic Christian Commentaries



1 and 2 Samuel (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) edited by John R. Franke


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The ACCS is a post-critical revival of the early commentary tradition known as the glossa ordinaria, a text artfully elaborated with ancient and authoritative reflections and insights. The vast array of writings from the church fathers—including much that is available only in the ancient languages—have been combed for their comment on Scripture. From these results, scholars with a deep knowledge of the fathers and a heart for the church have hand selected material for each volume, shaping, annotating, and introducing it to today’s readers. Each portion of commentary has been chosen for its salient insight, its rhetorical power, and its faithful representation of the consensual exegesis of the early church.”



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