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Two Samuel Five

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

2 Samuel 5:1 Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.

2 Samuel 5:2 Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel.

2 Samuel 5:3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel.

anointed David king. This was David's third anointing. See note on 2 Samuel 2:4.

2 Samuel 5:4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.

2 Samuel 5:5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.

2 Samuel 5:6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither.

went to Jerusalem. David's first priority as king over all Israel was to take Jerusalem from the Jebusites and make it his capital (2 Samuel 5:9). Jerusalem included Mount Moriah, where Abraham had offered Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19) and was strategically located on the border between Judah and Benjamin.

the inhabitants of the land. The Jebusites were a tribe descended from Mizraim, the son of Ham (Genesis 10:16), and had been in Canaan since at least the time of Abraham (Genesis 15:21). Joshua had been unable to drive them out of Jerusalem, their capital, and neither had the hosts of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, who had been given that region of the promised land (Joshua 15:20-62; but note Joshua 15:63; see also Judges 1:21). As a result, the Jebusites were quite smug in their fortress, mocking David by saying their blind and lame could repel his forces.

2 Samuel 5:7 Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.

strong hold of Zion. Despite the arrogance of the Jebusites, David attacked the “lame and the blind,” as the Jebusites mockingly called their armies (2 Samuel 5:8) and took their city, on Mount Zion. David henceforth made Jerusalem the capital city of Judah and of all Israel.

Zion. This is the first of about 150 times when Jerusalem (or the mountain where it is situated) is called Zion. The name itself means something like “fortress,” referring to the conspicuousness and relative impregnability of the mountain.

city of David. Jerusalem is called the city of David because he made it his capital. Bethlehem is also called the city of David because David was born there (Luke 2:4, 11). That it was never the city of Melchizedek (called Salem) is evident from Ezekiel 16:2-4 (see note on Ezekiel 16:4). Compare with Genesis 14:18-20.

2 Samuel 5:8 And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.

to the gutter. This “gutter” was what we today might call a culvert. It had evidently been built by earlier inhabitants of Jerusalem. David's men were able to crawl up this shaft, past the “blind and the lame” that the Jebusites had placed at the city's gates, and attack the city by surprise. This “gutter” was actually discovered in connection with the same excavations that found the water conduit of Hezekiah (see note on 2 Kings 20:20).

2 Samuel 5:9 So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward.

2 Samuel 5:10 And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him.

Lord God of hosts. This is the first of numerous occurrences of this majestic name of God.

2 Samuel 5:11 And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house.

2 Samuel 5:12 And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.

2 Samuel 5:13 And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.

sons and daughters. David eventually acquired several wives and concubines, which was a practice more or less expected of kings in those days. However, God had warned against this practice (Deuteronomy 17:17), and it eventually led to much grief in David's family. Six sons were born in Hebron (2 Samuel 3:2-5), then thirteen children born in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 14:4-7).

2 Samuel 5:14 And these be the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shammuah, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon,

2 Samuel 5:15 Ibhar also, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia,

2 Samuel 5:16 And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet.

2 Samuel 5:17 But when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines came up to seek David; and David heard of it, and went down to the hold.

2 Samuel 5:18 The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.

2 Samuel 5:19 And David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.

enquired of the Lord. This inquiry was probably through the priest Abiathar, with the Urim and Thummim.

2 Samuel 5:20 And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and said, The LORD hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baalperazim.

2 Samuel 5:21 And there they left their images, and David and his men burned them.

2 Samuel 5:22 And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.

2 Samuel 5:23 And when David inquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.

2 Samuel 5:24 And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.

sound of a going. The word for “going” occurs only three times, twice in connection with this event (1 Chronicles 14:15) and once translated “ornaments of the legs” (Isaiah 3:20). It seems to refer to the cadence of marching legs. To be heard in the treetops suggests that the sound would be made by God's angelic hosts (note 2 Samuel 5:10), fulfilling the promise that “then shall the Lord go out before thee.”

2 Samuel 5:25 And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer.