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Monday, May 27th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 5

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes

Verse 1

Compare the marginal reference. The chronicler adds some interesting details 2Sa. 12:23-40 of the manner in which the various tribes from both sides of the Jordan came to Hebron to make David king, and of the joyful festivities on the occasion. The consummation to which events in God’s Providence had been leading had now come. Saul and Jonathan, Abner and Ish-bosheth, were dead; David was already head of a very large portion of Israel; the Philistines, and perhaps the remnant of the Canaanites, were restless and threatening; and it was obviously the interest of the Israelite nation to unite themselves under the sovereignty of the valiant and virtuous son of Jesse, their former deliverer, and the man designated by the word of God as their Captain and Shepherd. Accordingly he was at once anointed king over all Israel (compare 2 Samuel 2:4 note).

Verse 3

Before the Lord - Abiathar and Zadok the priests were both with David, and the tabernacle and altar may have been at Hebron, though the ark was at Kirjath-jearim.

Verse 4

The age of David is conclusive as to the fact that the earlier years of Saul’s reign (during which Jonathan grew up to be a man) are passed over in silence, and that the events narrated from 1 Samuel 13:0 to the end of the book did not occupy more than 10 years. If David was 20 years old at the time he killed Goliath, four years in Saul’s service, four years of wandering from place to place, one year and four months in the country of the Philistines, and a few months after Saul’s death, would make up the 10 years necessary to bring him to the age of 30.

Verse 6

David immediately after being anointed king of Israel, probably wished to signalize his accession by an exploit which would be popular with all Israel, and especially with Saul’s tribe, Benjamin. He discerned the importance of having Jerusalem for his capital both because it belonged as much to Benjamin as to Judah, and on account of its strong position.

Except thou take away the blind ... - Rather, “and (the Jebusite) spake to David, saying, Thou shalt not come hither, but the blind and the lame shall keep thee off,” i. e. so far shalt thou be from taking the stronghold from us, that the lame and blind shall suffice to defend the place.

Verse 7

The stronghold of Zion - Or castle 1 Chronicles 11:5, 1 Chronicles 11:7. The ancient Zion was the hill on which the temple stood, and the castle seems to have been immediately to the north of the temple. The modern Zion lies to the southwest of the temple.

The same is the city of David - The name afterward given to it 2 Samuel 5:9, and by which it was known in the writer’s time.

Verse 8

i. e. “Whosoever will smite the Jebusites, let him reach both the lame and the blind, who are the hated of David’s soul, by the gutter or water-course, and he shall be chief.” The only access to the citadel was where the water had worn a channel (some understand a subterranean channel), and where there was, in consequence, some vegetation in the rock. Joab (see the marginal reference) took the hint, and with all the activity that had distinguished his brother Anabel 2 Samuel 2:18, climbed up first. The blind and the lame are either literally such, placed there in derision by the Jebusites who thought the stronghold impregnable, or they are the Jebusite garrison, so called in derision by David.

Wherefore they said ... - i. e. it became a proverb (as in 1 Samuel 19:24). The proverb seems merely to have arisen from the blind and the lame being the hated of David’s soul, and hence, to have been used proverbially of any that were hated, or unwelcome, or disagreeable.

Verse 9

David dwelt in the fort - or stronghold, (as in 2 Samuel 5:7) i. e. eventually, when the buildings were completed, which may not have been for two or three years. Millo appears to have been a fortress of some kind, the northern defense of the city of David, and to have been a part of the original Canaanite defenses of Zion, as appears probable also from there having been a fortress called the house of Millo in the Canaanite city of Shechem. (Judges 9:6 note, and 2 Samuel 9:1-20.) Millo may be the native name. Some identify it with the great platform called the Haram es Sherif.

David built round about - Probably meaning built his own house and other houses and streets, all, in short, that caused it to be coiled the city of David. (Compare 1 Chronicles 11:8.) The buildings were within, on the south of Millo, so as to be protected by it on the north, as they were east, west. and south, by the precipitous ravines.

Verse 11

Hiram king of Tyre - Now mentioned for the first time. He survived David, and continued his friendship to Solomon (marginal references). The news of the capture of the city of the Jebusites had doubtless reached Tyre, and created a great impression of David’s power.

Verse 17

The hold - Not the same place which is so named in 2Sa 5:7, 2 Samuel 5:9, but probably the cave (or hold) of Adullam 2 Samuel 23:13. The invasion most probably took place before David had completed his buildings in the city of David; and is probably referred to in 2 Samuel 23:8-17.

Verse 20

Baal-perazim - Master or possessor of breaches, equivalent to place of breaches. It was on a hill near Gibeon (see the marginal reference).

Verse 21

And there they left their images - An indication of the precipitancy of their flight, and the suddenness with which the Israelites burst upon them like a “breach of waters.” The King James Version rendering “Burned them,” does not give a translation (compare the margin), but a gloss, warranted by the explanation given in marginal references

Verse 23

The mulberry trees - Rather, the Bacah-tree, and found abundantly near Mecca. It is very like the balsam-tree, and probably derives its name from the exudation of the sap in drops like tears when a leaf is torn off. Some think the valley of Baca Psalms 84:6 was so called from this plant growing there.

Verse 25

Geba - Better, as in marginal reference “Gibeon.” Gazer should be “Gezer” (Joshua 10:33, etc.); it lay between the nether Bethhoron and the sea; on the direct route therefore which the Philistines, fleeing from Gibeon, would take. The exact site has now been identified (1 Kings 9:16).

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/2-samuel-5.html. 1870.
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