2 Samuel 5


David Becomes King of All Israel

        • ESV Study Bible notes, “It is not clear how soon the events of ch. 5 followed those of ch. 4…Presumably the deaths of of Abner and Ishbosheth caused a shock among David’s supporters in the north (3:19) and caused them to put off accepting David as king. Some of the shock seems to have remained at the time this account was written. David apparently just bided his time, waiting for the elders of Israel to decide that they wanted him as king.”

      • All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “Look, we are your own flesh and bone. In the past, while Saul was king over us, it was you who led Israel out to battle and brought us back in. Yahweh said to you, ‘You will be shepherd over My people Israel and you will rule over Israel.’”

        • On the phrase “we are your own flesh and bone,” ESV Archaeology Study Bible writes, “This expression appears five other times in the OT (Gen 2:23; 29:14; Judg 9:2-3; 2 Sam 19:11-14; and the parallel to this text, 1 Chron 11:1) and is, in each case, an affirmation of unity, loyalty, and commitment characterizing the bond of kinship.”

      • NLT Illustrated Study Bible also points out that the phrase “Yahweh said to you,” indicates that, “Israel was already aware of God’s selection of David (cp 2 Sam 3:9).”

      • So all of the Israelite elders came to the king at Hebron and King David made a covenant with them there before Yahweh and they anointed David king over Israel. David was 30 years old when he began his reign and he reigned for 40 years. He reigned over Judah at Hebron for 7 years and six months, and he reigned over all Israel and Judah at Jerusalem for 33 years.

David Captures Jerusalem

      • The king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites who lived there. Thinking that David could not get in there, the Jebusites said to David, “You will not come in here. Even the blind and the lame can ward you off.”

      • Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, that is, the city of David. On that day David said, “Whoever attacks the Jebusites must go through the water shaft to reach the lame and the blind who David hates.” This is the reason for the saying, “The blind and the lame will never enter this house.”

      • ESV Archaeology Study Bible explains, “The account of David’s kingship over Israel starts with the capture of Jerusalem, on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin. The city had not been controlled by any tribe and thus was both symbolically and geographically better suited than Hebron (in central Judah) to be the capital of all Israel. Jerusalem was the ‘Salem’ of Melchizedek (Gen 14:18) and had been fortified since the Middle Bronze Age, i.e., the first half of the second millennium BC. In the second half of that millennium it was one of many Canaanite city-states under the influence of Egypt. Several letters from the king of Jerusalem to the pharoah are included among the fourteenth-century-BC Amarna letters. The Jebusites are listed among the Canaanites in Gen 10:16 and, broadly speaking, were considered to be among the Amorites at the time of Joshua (Josh 10:15), at which time their city was too strong to be conquered (Josh 15:63; Judg 1:21). Their city- the stronghold of Zion- was located on the western slope of the Kidron Valley, above the city’s water source, the Gihon Spring…Scholars have long believed that the water shaft through which David’s men entered the city was Warren’s Shaft, and ancient water system discovered by British explorer Charles Warren. Recent excavations, however, show that Warren’s Shaft was not part of the man-made ancient water system of Jerusalem. It is possible that David’s men entered the city through Warren’s Shaft, or insread they may have utilized the man-made water system constructed in the eighteenth to seventeenth centuries BC, which was apparently operative in David’s day. This system brought water into the city from the Gihon Spring through two conduits cut in the bedrock, both of which were large enough to accommodate Joab (1 Chron 11:6) and his men.”

        • HCSB adds, “David did not despise truly lame and blind people, as is evident from his treatment of Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth who was crippled in both feet (4:4; 9:3). David permitted Mephibosheth to eat at the royal table daily at the palace in Jerusalem, and treated him as one of his own sons (9:7, 11). When he spoke of the lame and blind here, he was referring sarcastically to what the Jebusites themselves had said about how easy it would be for even the disabled to defend their city.”

      • So David took up residence in the stronghold and called it the city of David. He built all around it, from the terrace inwards. David became more and more powerful because Yahweh of Hosts was with him.

      • King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David along with cedar logs, carpenters, and stonemasons, and they built David a house. David knew that Yahweh had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people, Israel.

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “Hiram king of Tyre is mentioned in 1 Kings 5:1-18 as a friend of Solomon who provides the cedars to built the temple, just as he here provides David with cedars to build his house. Tyre was a trading empire, and it was in its interest to keep the inland trade routes, especially through Israel to Egypt, open to its merchants. According to Josephus, however, Hiram did not begin to reign until near the end of David’s own reign. If that is correct, either this construction should be dated toward the end of David’s reign or the Hiram of 1 Kings is the successor (probably son) of the Hiram here, who continued his father’s good relationship with David. The cedars of Lebanon (which have now all but disappeared) were famous throughout the ancient Near East. There are Assyrian reliefs of men cutting them down and transporting them to Ninevah.”

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible draws our attention to the significance of the last sentence in the passage, “David realized that his reign as king over Israel was for the sake of God’s people Israel, not just for his personal benefit or enrichment.”

      • After David left Hebron, he took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem and more children were born to him. These are the names of the children who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

      • ESV Study Bible explains, “This is a summary statement about David’s kingship in Jerusalem (cf 3:2-5); it does not mean that these sons were all born before 5:17. The birth of Solomon is mentioned in 12:24. None of the other sons play a major role in the Samuel-Kings narratives. The parallel passages 1 Chron 3:5-8 and 14:4-7 list two more sons in addition, and comparison with a Dead Sea Scroll suggests that the two names might have been ommitted in the Masoretic text of Samuel. Nathan (2 Sam 5:14) was an ancestor of Jesus (Luke 3:31), as was Solomon (Matt 1:6-7).”

David Conquers the Philistines

      • When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel they all went in search of him. But David heard about it and went down to the stronghold. So the Philistines came and spread out in the valley of the Rephaim. David inquired of Yahweh, “Should I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hand?” Yahweh answered him, “Go, I will certainly hand the Philistines over to you.”

      • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible writes, “David’s rule over Judah from Hebron had not been contested by the Philistines, but the extension of his domain to include the northern tribes posed a threat to Philistine interests that they could not ignore.” On the location of the “stronghold” mentioned here, “Its identity is debated. In the present context, one naturally thinks of the ‘fortress of Zion’ captured by David in v. 7 and occupied by him in v. 9. (The Hebrew for ‘fortress’ is the same as that for ‘stronghold.’) However, some regard the expression ‘went down’ as inappropriate in reference to Jerusalem and suggest that David returned to a stronghold of prior acquaintance, perhaps at Adullam.”

        • On the valley of Rephaim, the same source notes, “Generally identified with the Wadi el-Ward, the Valley of Rephaim would have run essentially east-west about a mile south of the present-day Old City of Jerusalem. The deployment of Philistines in this valley made good strategic sense, as it would have hindered Judahite reinforcements from joining David in Jerusalem.”

      • So David went to Baal Perazim and defeated them there. He said, “Yahweh has broken through my enemies before me like a breaking flood.” Therefore, that place is called Baal Perazim. The Philistines abandoned their idols there and David and his men picked them up.

        • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible says, “…While the captured gods of defeated foes were often placed in the temples of the more powerful, victorious deities, the Biblical text here gives no indication that David followed this practice. The parallel account in Chronicles complete the picture: ‘The Philistines had abandoned their gods there, and David gave orders to burn them in the fire” (1 Chron 14:12…)”

      • Once again the Philistines came up and spread out in the valley of the Rephaim. David inquired of Yahweh and He answered, “Don’t go straight up, but instead circle around behind them and attack them from opposite the balsam trees. When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then be on the alert, because that will mean Yahweh has marched out ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army.” David did just as Yahweh had commanded him and he struck the Philistines down all the way from Geba to Gezer.

        • NET Bible’s text critical notes point out, “Some translate as ‘balsam trees’ (cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV, NJB, NLT); cf. KJV, NKJV, ASV ‘mulberry trees’; NAB ‘mastic trees’; NEB, REB ‘aspens.’ The exact identification of the type of tree or plant is uncertain.”

        • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible writes, “…two typical aspects of Israelite warfare are evident: clever strategies capitalizing on deception and surprise and divine assistance through the orchestration of natural or supernatural events (cf 2 Ki 7:6, where Yahweh ’caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army’). Here it is not clear whether only David and his army could hear the sound or whether the Philistines also heard it and thought they were being attacked by a much larger force.”

      • ESV Archaeology Study Bible adds, “Saul’s army drove the Philistines as far as Aijalon (1 Sam 14:31), but David pushed them much further west, to Gezer. He effectively rid the hill country of the Philistines and brought it under his control.”

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