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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 5

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-25

2 Samuel 5:2 . Thou shalt feed my people. Probably the highpriest, or a prophet, delivered a short coronation charge, as Samuel had already done. This divine promise is made the final reason why they came to place David on the throne of all Israel.

2 Samuel 5:6 . Went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites. This city is called Jebus, Judges 19:10; and Salem, Genesis 14:18. Psalms 76:2. The lower part of it, falling to the lot of Judah, was taken and burnt; but the upper part falling to the lot of Benjamin, and being always deemed impregnable, had never been taken.

2 Samuel 5:9 . Millo. It was wise to take the stronghold of the Jebusites, that the centre of his kingdom might have an impregnable fortress.

2 Samuel 5:18 . Rephaim. The LXX read, the titanes or the giants; they had once, it would seem, lived there. Genesis 15:20. They are called Aseans in the Samaritan. From this name Asia, or the land of giants, is supposed to be derived.

2 Samuel 5:24 . The sound of a going. The Lord caused the Syrians to hear the sound of chariots and horses, and in so terrific a manner that they fled precipitately from the siege of Samaria. 2 Kings 7:6. Isaiah 7:0. Xenophon wittily makes Cyrus, when going to battle on the plains of Babylon, and on hearing a peal of thunder on his right, say, “We follow thee, oh Jupiter.”


The house of Saul being extinct, and the nation now exonerated from the oath made to that family, hasted to anoint and receive David for their king. This was done by a deputation of military captains and elders from all the tribes, who gladdened the occasion by a feast of three days in Hebron. The arguments they used were highly becoming the occasion. First, that David was their own flesh; and being no stranger, he would seek the good of the empire. Secondly, they conferred on him the crown as the reward of his former victories. They had farther in view in the offer of the crown, that David should feed the people by preserving and exemplifying the true religion, and defending the country against all its enemies. And with these views Christ reigns at the right hand of God.

The first great design which the hero of Bethlehem formed, after his full inauguration to the throne, was to carry the fortress of Zion, and to fix the seat of empire in the more central and commodious city of Jerusalem. But the reduction of this strong place being found impracticable by open assault, Joab won the chief command by forcing his way through the subterranean gutter. This was a most laudable action in a martial view; for the enemy had boasted, on being summoned to surrender, that the blind and the lame were competent to its defence. So Satan, long seated in the sinner’s heart, boasts of his impregnable fort. He has inspired the man of sin to mock at conscience and deride danger. Our temporary and irresolute efforts to besiege him in his fort, have been so often assayed, and so often abandoned, that he already boasts of his invincible hold; but emboldened by the presence of the true David, let us make another and a successful effort to vanquish sin in the strength of our God. Armed with the might of his Spirit, all things are possible to the believing soul; the strong man of sin shall be destroyed at a stroke, and by the breath of the Lord.

David, after taking the fortress by storm, purged it of idols, adorned it with splendid buildings, made it his residence, the palace also and the seat of the divine glory. So will Jesus do in the faithful and victorious soul. He will cleanse us from all our idols, and from all our filthiness, as David cleansed his Zion; yea he will put his laws in our heart, and write them in our inward parts. Surely the Jebusites possessing the fortress, while Israel possessed most of the city, may convey much instruction and reproof to those lukewarm and indolent souls, who have long been enlightened by the gospel, but who to this day are controlled by unbelief and the carnal mind. How long shall sin insult the soul, as the enemy insulted David, by saying that the blind and the lame would keep him out. Let us make efforts: like Caleb, or like Joab, let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it. So will the Lord give us purity of heart, and make us his temple and the habitation of his glory for ever.

The hero of Israel having defeated the enemy within, next opposed the enemy without. Twice did the Philistines conspire against him; and twice in the counsel and might of the Lord he routed them without much apparent loss. But the second defeat was the most remarkable. The Lord bade him make a circuitous approach, which on one side cut off their retreat. He next bade him wait till he heard a going of wind on the top of the mulberry trees, or otherwise the going of an army at the entrance of the mulberry trees. Then, confident of victory, he smote them to the gates of their capital, because they had dared to trouble him a second time. Oh what enmity is stirred up in the hearts of the world, to see Messiah triumphant! But while the wind of Pentecost blows on Zion, let her fear neither the multitude nor the enmity of all her foes. Animated by the power of faith and the comforts of the Holy Spirit, we have the pledges of victory; and those hallowed pledges which cannot fail in the day of combat.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/2-samuel-5.html. 1835.
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