At what point in his life did David write Psalm 26, was it before or after the events of 2 Samuel 11?

  • 1
    The Psalm is undated and there is nothing by which it can be dated.
    – Dottard
    May 5, 2021 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


According to its sub-title, it is a Psalm of David (c. 1010–970 BCE). According to Charles and Emilie Briggs, it is to be dated within the Persian period (539 to 333 BCE). See: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Psalms.

The Briggs describe the psalm as "a profession of integrity by a Levite, engaged in worshipping Yahweh in the temple choir."

A later editor by additions and changes introduces elements of prayer (v 1a, 9-11).

Note that this psalm generally is not considered a Davidic psalm by scholars, these are Pss 3, 7, 18, 34, 51, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 60, 63, 142.

As for its relation to 2 Samuel 11, the original ancient Hebrew manuscripts recorded the books of Samuel as only one book. The first time these books were divided was in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures, and they were referred to as the First and Second Books of Kingdoms. 1 and 2 Kings were referred to as the Third and Fourth Books of Kingdoms. When looking closely at the King James version of the Bible the titles are still arranged in this way.

Modern scholarly thinking posits that the entire Deuteronomistic history (including the Book of Samuel) was composed circa 630–540 BCE by combining a number of independent texts of various ages. The book of Samuel specifically is thought to be first committed to writing around 550 BCE, during the Babylonian Exile.

  • Can you please edit this to give a summary of the evidence these scholars give for their assertions?
    – curiousdannii
    May 5, 2021 at 12:50
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    Your summary of the modern scholarly thinking on the book of Samuel is not correct. This is what wikipedia says: "This view of late compilation for Samuel has faced serious scholarly opposition on the basis that evidence for the Deuteronimistic history is scant, and that Deuteronimistic advocates are not in consensus as to the origin and extent of the History. Secondly, the basic theological concerns identified with the Deuteronimistic school are tenets central to Hebrew theology in texts that are widely regarded as predating Josiah."
    – bach
    May 5, 2021 at 14:24
  • Thirdly, there are notable differences in style and thematic emphasis between Deuteronomy and Samuel. The alternative view is that it is difficult to determine when the events of Samuel were recorded: "There are no particularly persuasive reasons to date the sources used by the compiler later than the early tenth century events themselves, and good reason to believe that contemporary records were kept."
    – bach
    May 5, 2021 at 14:24
  • References to actual studies that corroborate your argument would be appreciated, not just a WikiPedia quote,
    – Codosaur
    May 5, 2021 at 19:33

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