As the narrative in Samuel continues, all eyes are turned to David. David is the humble man exalted to be the anointed king. He is not geboah (1.16:7); in fact, he is the youngest (and thus the lowest) in his family. But kingship—even David’s kingship—did not solve Israel’s sin problem. David too was a sinner. Satterthwaite reflects on the closing chapters of Samuel: “Rape and civil war were singled out by the last chapters of Judges as two of the greatest evils of the pre-monarchic period (Judg. 19 and 20), and attributed to the lack of a king (Judg. 17:6; 21:25); they now reappear in David’s kingdom and even in his own household” (“Samuel,” 181).
Nevertheless God still planned for a king to restore this fallen world. The summit of the Samuel narrative is this declaration of the Davidic covenant, for this is a covenant that picks up the promises of earlier covenants and carries them forward. David’s last words reflect on the promise of this covenant that his house will provide a ruler who fears God. This will result in the blessing of all the people (2.23:3-5).
The Psalms often elaborate on the Davidic covenant. In Psalm 2 David declares that the nations of the world (“kings of the earth”) are opposing the Lord and his Messiah. The Lord will respond by establishing the Messiah as the Davidic king (he will rule from Zion) over all the world (2:8-12). The decree “You are my Son; today I have begotten you” is a decree of coronation. It probably looks back to God’s declaration in 2 Samuel 7:14 that he would be the Davidic king’s father and the Davidic king would be his son.
Psalm 110 also predicts the enthronement of the Davidic Messianic king (110:1-2). In light of Psalm 2, the enthroned Lord of Psalm 110:1-2 must be the Messiah. Like the Messiah of Psalm 2, he is enthroned by Yahweh (1:1) on Zion (1:2) from where he will rule over the enemies who have opposed his rule (1:1-2, 5-6). Verse 4 indicates that the coming Messianic king will also be a priest. He, being of the tribe of Judah, could not be a Levitical priest. This passage declares that his order would be that of Melchizedek.
Satterthwaite, Philip E. “Samuel.” In New Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Edited by T. Desmond Alexander and Brian S. Rosner. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2000.