Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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Scripture Passage

      2 Samuel - Chapter 05 (Contemporary English Version)
    1. Israel's leaders met with David at Hebron and said, "We are your relatives.
    2. Even when Saul was king, you led our nation in battle. And the LORD promised that someday you would rule Israel and take care of us like a shepherd."
    3. During the meeting, David made an agreement with the leaders and asked the LORD to be their witness. Then the leaders poured olive oil on David's head to show that he was now the king of Israel.
    4. David was thirty years old when he became king, and he ruled for forty years.
    5. He lived in Hebron for the first seven and a half years and ruled only Judah. Then he moved to Jerusalem, where he ruled both Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.
    6. The Jebusites lived in Jerusalem, and David led his army there to attack them. The Jebusites did not think he could get in, so they told him, "You can't get in here! We could run you off, even if we couldn't see or walk!"
    7. David told his troops, "You will have to go up through the water tunnel to get those Jebusites. I hate people like them who can't walk or see." That's why there is still a rule that says, "Only people who can walk and see are allowed in the temple." David captured the fortress on Mount Zion, then he moved there and named it David's City. He had the city rebuilt, starting with the landfill to the east.
    8. (SEE 5:7)
    9. (SEE 5:7)
    10. David became a great and strong ruler, because the LORD All-Powerful was on his side.
    11. King Hiram of Tyre sent some officials to David. Carpenters and stone workers came with them, and they brought cedar logs so they could build David a palace.
    12. David knew that the LORD had made him king of Israel and that he had made him a powerful ruler for the good of his people.
    13. After David left Hebron and moved to Jerusalem, he married many women from Jerusalem, and he had a lot of children.
    14. His sons who were born there were Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon,
    15. Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia,
    16. Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.
    17. The Philistines heard that David was now king of Israel, and they came into the hill country to try and capture him. But David found out and went into his fortress.
    18. So the Philistines camped in Rephaim Valley.
    19. David asked the LORD, "Should I attack the Philistines? Will you let me win?" The LORD told David, "Attack! I will let you win."
    20. David attacked the Philistines and defeated them. Then he said, "I watched the LORD break through my enemies like a mighty flood." So he named the place "The Lord Broke Through. "
    21. David and his troops also carried away the idols that the Philistines had left behind.
    22. Some time later, the Philistines came back into the hill country and camped in Rephaim Valley.
    23. David asked the LORD what he should do, and the LORD answered: Don't attack them from the front. Circle around behind and attack from among the balsam trees.
    24. Wait until you hear a sound like troops marching through the tops of the trees. Then attack quickly! That sound will mean I have marched out ahead of you to fight the Philistine army.
    25. David obeyed the LORD and defeated the Philistines. He even chased them all the way from Geba to the entrance to Gezer.

2 Samuel - Chapter 05

Entered: January 23, 2008
Again, there is much killing, even to the point of massacring people, such as lining soldiers up and killing hundreds at a time. Lord, I ask for understanding to know why this was condoned. Was it a part of the Old Testament system that later changed? Is it something you still use in dealing with those who turn away from you to other gods? Give me understanding. In this passage God continues to bless David as David continues to look to God for leadership. God is so pleased he promises to keep the position of king within David's bloodline. God blesses who He chooses, and though those He blesses must be faithful to Him, there is no formula that one act of faith produces one blessing, etc., nor even that our blessings will be in the form of position or material goods. Under David, Israel and Judah became a united kingdom once again. It remained this way for the remaining 33 years of his reign. The division of the kingdom during the first seven years of David's reign tends to be overlooked when considering the history of Israel. Now that both Abner and Ish-bosheth were dead, all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and anointed him their king. After David captured the city of Jerusalem from the Jebusites, he made it the royal city which became known as the "City of David." The Jebusites thought the city to be impenetrable, but David discovered its weak point in its water shaft. As David became more established in Jerusalem as king of all Israel and Judah, his wealth increased as did the number of his wives. King Hiram of Tyre befriended him and sent materials and workmen to build a palace for David. The Philistines were another matter, however. When they heard that David was now king over Israel, they went in search of him. David heard of it, though, and went down to the stronghold. The Philistines spread out in the valley of Rephaim and David enquired of God whether he should attack them. God assured him of victory and so David attack and defeated them. Again the Philistines returned to fight and again David enquired of the Lord. This time the Lord gave David a specific battle plan and he defeated them soundly.

Entered: June 18, 2013

Ish-bosheth's death cleared the way for David to rule over all Israel, including the northern tribes who had remained loyal to Saul and his sons. However, the people of the northern tribes recognized that David was God's anointed to "shepherd My people Israel and be ruler over Israel." (5:2) Like David, though, they did not take it into their own hands to displace Saul or Ish-bosheth in order to make David ruler. Now that Ish-bosheth was gone the people of the northern tribes went to David and made a covenant with him and anointed him king. This was his third anointing. The first was by God and the second was by the southern tribes of Judah.

As king over all of Israel, one of David's first actions was to move the capitol from Hebron to the more central location of Jerusalem. However, the city was inhabited by the Jebusites so he had to remove them. Jerusalem was so impenetrable that the Jebusites taunted David for even trying to take it, saying, "Even the blind and lame can repel you." (5:6) But David found a way into the city through a water tunnel and overtook the Jebusites. David took up residence in the city and began to develop it.  

King Hiram of Tyre helped to build a palace for David by providing cedar logs along with skilled carpenters and stonemasons. Becoming established in Jerusalem along with the support of King Hiram convinced David and the people that the Lord truly "established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom." (5:12) One practice of the ancient Near Eastern world that David adopted was the acquisition of a large harem, a practice that cannot be defended on David's behalf and one that eventually caused him considerable grief. It was a clear violation of the Lord's covenant with Israel.

By this time the Philistines realized that David was not the ally they thought him to be and they pursued him, spreading out their army in the Valley of Rephaim. David inquired of the Lord whether he should go to war against them and the Lord told him to go. He did and defeated them, but some time later they returned. Again, David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord sent him against them again with a different strategy. This time David defeated them even more decidedly. It is noteworthy to point out that David was not satisfied to seek the Lord's guidance only once for both engagements with the Philistines, but sought it each time. Though David was no doubt a capable leader in his own right, his success as king and military leader was due to his pursuit of God rather than his leadership ability.