2 Samuel 5 (NRSV)
David Anointed King of All Israel
Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, “Look, we are your bone and flesh. 2For some time, while Saul was king over us, it was you who led out Israel and brought it in. The Lord said to you: It is you who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you who shall be ruler over Israel.”
3So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.
Prior to this, only one of the tribes of Israel recognized David as king. The other tribes recognized the pretend king Ishbosheth, a son of Saul. Ishbosheth was murdered as recorded in 2 Samuel 4 – so now the tribes turned to David.
4David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 5At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.
Jerusalem Made Capital of the Combined Kingdom
6The king and his men marched to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here, even the blind and the lame will turn you back” —thinking, “David cannot come in here.” 7Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion, which is now the city of David.
The Jebusites were so sure they could protect their city that they claimed, “Even the blind and the lame can defend it!”
8David had said on that day, “Whoever would strike down the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack the lame and the blind, those whom David hates.” Therefore it is said, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.”
9David occupied the stronghold, and named it the city of David. David built the city all around from the Millo inwards.
David conquers Jerusalem! Jerusalem was a wise choice for a national capital. It was on a main road; it was more centrally located than Hebron; the city itself had not been part of any particular tribe, thanks to the strong resistance of the Jebusites; and because of its geography (steep cliffs on three sides), it was easy to defend.
10And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.
God had spent a long time preparing David to be the king. His shepherding and slingshot skills, his anointing by Samuel, his patient serving to Saul, his military leadership, his trials that sent him to the Lord — all these were used by God to make him into “a man after my own heart.” Persons who have been chosen for great work must often endure long and difficult preparation.
11King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar trees, and carpenters and masons who built David a house. 12David then perceived that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.
Here we see David’s stature among the leaders of near-by lands; David knew how to build political alliances. We also see that David clearly understands his position:
- God had called him and established him as the king of Israel
- The kingdom belonged to God
- David held that position in order to bless the people
13In Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, David took more concubines and wives; and more sons and daughters were born to David. 14These are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.
Certainly all these children were seen as blessings to the king! But much of the trouble in David’s life will come on account of his wives and sons.
Philistine Attack Repulsed
17When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, all the Philistines went up in search of David; but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold. 18Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the valley of Rephaim. 19David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?”
The Lord said to David, “Go up; for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.”
20So David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. He said, “The Lord has burst forth against my enemies before me, like a bursting flood.” Therefore that place is called Baal-perazim. 21The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them away.
22Once again the Philistines came up, and were spread out in the valley of Rephaim. 23When David inquired of the Lord, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come upon them opposite the balsam trees. 24When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then be on the alert; for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 25David did just as the Lord had commanded him; and he struck down the Philistines from Geba all the way to Gezer.
. . . meaning he expelled the Philistines from Israelite territory!
The King James Version has “mulberry trees.”
“As the Rabbis have it, and it is a very pretty conceit if it be true, the footsteps of angels walking along the tops of the mulberry trees make them rustle; that was the sign for them to fight, when God’s cherubim were going with them, when they should come, who can walk through the clouds and fly through the air, led by the great Captain himself, walking along the mulberry trees, and so make a rustle by their celestial footsteps.”— Charles Spurgeon
HERE is messianic singer and songwriter Paul Wilbur singing “Crowned with many Crowns” to the King of Israel!
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.