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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 5

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-25

David is anointed King, captures Jerusalem, and smites the Philistines

1. There was no longer any member of the house of Saul who could take the lead.

2. Feed] lit. ’act as shepherd to’ (cp. 2 Samuel 7:7;). ’Shepherd’ became a technical term for a ruler (Jeremiah 3:15). The figure is developed in Ezekiel 34.

4. The capture of Jerusalem marks a most important point in the history of Israel. Hitherto, the national life had had no real centre; the residence of a judge or a prophet or a king would be a temporary rallying place, such as the ’palm-tree of Deborah,’ Shiloh (see on 1 Samuel 7:1), Mizpah, Gibeah (of Saul), Nob or Hebron. From this time, the centre is fixed, and, at least for the southern kingdom, all the other cities grew less and less important in comparison with the new capital. Its position, however, in the midst of the rocky, barren ridge running down central Palestine, made it always more suitable for a fortress than a commercial and wealthy capital, such as Solomon tried to make it.

6. Except thou take away the blind and the lame] RM ’but the blind and the lame shall turn thee away.’ The Jebusites considered their city so strong that it needed no other defenders.

7. The strong hold of Zion] called later on the ’city’ (i.e. citadel) ’of David,’ because he built and fortified it. It is to be noticed that the city of David does not mean the city of Jerusalem but the fort on Mt. Zion. David does not yet venture to live in Jerusalem itself, outside the fort.

The city of Jerusalem is built on high ground, which is shaped like a cloven tongue; and it is probable that the ’city of David’ occupied the eastern ’tip,’ behind which rose in later times the Temple. Gradually the city spread to the western ’tip’ of the tongue. ’Millo’ appears to be the name of the part of the city which was not fortified; its meaning is uncertain; later on it also was included within the fortifications. The original ’city of David’ is thus a triangle, two sides of which are naturally protected, and the third, probably at this time, as later, artificially. Below the height on which the fort is built is the Kidron valley.

8. LXX reads ’Whosoever smites the Jebusite, let him slay with the sword both the lame and the blind, and those who hate David’s soul.’ 1 Chronicles 11:6-9 reads, ’Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain,’ and adds, ’And Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, and was made chief’ (RV).

9. Millo] see on 2 Samuel 5:7 and Judges 9:6.

11. Hiram] If we accept the statements of Josephus, this Hiram was the father of Solomon’s friend (1 Kings 5:1). Tyre] the leading city of Phœnicia. They built] For the skill of the Phœnicians in masonry and building see 1 Kings 5:7.

14-16. The list of David’s sons is given also in 1 Chronicles 3:5.; 1 Chronicles 14:4. The variations are interesting and instructive.

14. Nathan] one of the ancestors of the Messiah (Luke 3:31).

17. This was a united and determined effort to crush David before he became too powerful.

The hold] It is uncertain what place is meant.

18. The valley of Rephaim] a valley SW. of Jerusalem, separated by a slight, rocky ridge from the valley of Hinnom.

20. Baal-perazim] Perazim means ’breaches.’ Hence the play upon words. ’The Lord has made a breach.. like the breach.. he called the name.. Breaches.’ It is common to find the names of places compounded with the name of the Baal to whom they were considered to belong: e.g. Baal-Peor, Baal-Gad, Baal-Perazim. Here the Baal is, of course, Jehovah.

21. Their images] They had brought them into the battle to secure victory: cp. 1 Samuel 4:3. Burned them] RV ’took them away,’ i.e. as trophies.

23. Thou shalt not go up] LXX adds ’to meet them.’

24. The sound of a going] RV ’the sound of marching.’ It was the heavenly host marching to join in the attack on the Philistines.

25. Geba] LXX and Chronicles both have Gibeon, which is doubtless correct. This battle is apparently referred to in Isaiah 28:21, where also we have Gibeon.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/2-samuel-5.html. 1909.
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