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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 5

Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the BibleKretzmann's Commentary

Verses 1-5

David Anointed King over all Israel

v. 1. Then, after the death of both Abner and Ishbosheth, came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh, they were all kinsmen of blood by descent from a common ancestor, David not being a foreign usurper, a stranger coming into the country from elsewhere.

v. 2. Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel, 1 Samuel 18:13-16, he had been the most trusted leader in their military campaigns; and the Lord said to thee, Thou shalt feed My people Israel, like a shepherd taking the most tender care of the sheep entrusted to him, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel, their prince in defending them from their enemies. This was the last and strongest ground for their proposal, the Lord's immediate call, as based upon the word of God to Samuel, 1 Samuel 15:28; for the prophets of Naioth in Ramah undoubtedly made this fact known. Note that the king's function as shepherd of the people is mentioned first, a hint for the rulers of all times.

v. 3. So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron, as the representatives of the tribes; and King David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord, a covenant in the presence of God, David accepting their promise of obedience and assuring them of a just and merciful reign. And they anointed David king over Israel, the anointing by Samuel, 1 Samuel 16, l. 12, being now confirmed by that of the entire people.

v. 4. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.

v. 5. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah. Cf 1 Chronicles 29:27. After the long years of suffering, privations, and persecutions, David now enjoyed the fulfillment of God's promise to him. In the midst of all tribulations and afflictions the believers still look up to God, knowing that they mill yet bless Him who is the help of their countenance and their God.

Verses 6-16

Jerusalem made the Capital

v. 6. And the king and his men, all the soldiers of the regular army, went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, for this heathen tribe of the hill country still held the fortress of the city, Judges 1:21; which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither, literally, "Not wilt thou come in, but there will drive thee away the blind and the lame"; thinking, the Jebusites meant to say, David cannot come in hither. They were so firmly convinced that their fortress was impregnable that they considered the blind and the lame a sufficient guard for the defense of its walls.

v. 7. Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion, the southern and highest hill of Jerusalem; the same is the City of David. The name Zion afterwards was applied to the Temple of Jehovah situated on this hill, and so finally was used as a designation of the Church of God, both in the Old and in the New Testament. A special incident of the siege of Jerusalem is now mentioned.

v. 8. And David said on that day, while preparing to storm the fortress, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter and smiteth the Jebusites and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain, 1 Chronicles 11:6-9. The difficult passage is best rendered: Every one who conquers the Jebusites, let him cast into the waterfall both the lame and the blind, hated of David's soul. The expression "blind and lame" applied to all the Jebusites, and the order to throw the slain down the declivity was given in order to gain space for the hand-to-hand encounter in the fortress. Wherefore they said, it became a proverbial saying, The blind and the lame, undesirable people like the Jebusites, shall not come in to the house.

v. 9. So David dwelt in the fort, making the castle his residence, and called it the City of David. And David built round about from Millo, the citadel or fortification proper, and inward; the fort being on the most exposed point, he strengthened the defenses between it and his residence. Thus the entire upper city became one huge fortress.

v. 10. And David went on and grew great, he continued to gain in power, influence, and prestige, and the Lord God of hosts, Jehovah God of Sabaoth, was with him. He owed not only his kingdom, but all the success which attended him to the blessing of the covenant God. Jerusalem, nearer to the center of Canaan than Hebron, was now the capital of all the tribes.

v. 11. And Hiram, king of Tyre, sent messengers to David, a formal embassy, in order to establish friendly relations with the neighboring state, and cedar-trees, whose wood was much used for costly buildings, and carpenters, and masons; and they built David an house, the first fine palace of the kings of Judah.

v. 12. And David perceived, from the success which attended all his undertakings, that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for His people Israel's sake, because He had chosen Israel for His people and promised to make it great and powerful.

v. 13. And David took him more concubines and wives of Jerusalem, according to the custom of Oriental monarchs, after he was come from Hebron. In the law pertaining to kings, Deuteronomy 17:17, the taking of many wives had indeed been forbidden the kings of Israel, and David found out to his sorrow that his following the custom of the heathen kings brought him much trouble and heartache. And there were yet sons and daughters born to David.

v. 14. And these be the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shammuah, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon,

v. 15. Ibhar also, and Elishua (or Elishama, 1 Chronicles 3:6), and Nepheg, and Jephia,

v. 16. and Elishama, and Eliada (or Beeliada, 1 Chronicles 14:7), and Eliphalet. Thus God was with David and established his rule, for under His blessing alone true progress is possible.

Verses 17-25

Two Victories of David over the Philistines

v. 17. But when the Philistines heard that they, the people of Israel, had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines, all the armies of the confederate city-states, came up to seek David, marching up from the lowlands, where they had mobilized their forces, to the highlands of Judah, to attack and subdue this new king before he had become too strong. And David heard of it, and went down, from his palace, to the hold, the citadel of Mount Zion, where he could make preparations for either an offensive or a defensive campaign.

v. 18. The Philistines also came and spread themselves in, occupied and used for their camp, the Valley of Rephaim, a fruitful plain southwest of Jerusalem, well suited for military maneuvers.

v. 19. And David enquired of the Lord, in the usual manner, by means of the Urim and Thummim, Exodus 28:30, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines, venture to attack them? Wilt Thou deliver them in to mine hand? And the Lord said unto David, Go up; for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines in to thine hand.

v. 20. And David came to Baal-perazim. And David smote them there, in a sudden, violent attack, and said, The Lord hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me as the breach of waters, as when a strong torrent breaks down all obstructions and sweeps everything before it. Therefore he called the name of that place Baal-perazim (plain of breaches).

v. 21. And there they, the Philistines, left their images, the figures of their idols, which they had taken along to assure them the victory. And David and his men burned them. Thus the disgrace of the capture of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines was avenged.

v. 22. And the Philistines came up yet again, venturing a second campaign in their anxiety to regain their power over Israel, and spread themselves in the Valley of Rephaim, as upon the first invasion.

v. 23. And when David enquired of the Lord, as before, he said, Thou shalt not go up, not in a direct attack in the front; but fetch a compass behind them, make a wide detour around to their rear, and come upon them over against the mulberry-trees, the baca-trees, small, shrublike trees which exude sap like tears when their twigs or leaves are bruised.

v. 24. And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going, as of an advancing army, in the tops of the mulberry-trees, they being moved as by a strong wind, while there was no mind blowing, that then thou shalt bestir thyself, be sharp, rush quickly to the attack; for then shall the Lord go out before thee, with His own invincible army, to smite the host of the Philistines.

v. 25. And David did so, as the Lord had commanded him, and smote the Philistines from Geba, northwest of Jerusalem, until thou come to Gazer, on the northern edge of the Philistine plain. It was the Lord who gave the enemies into the hands of David. Note: David is a type of Christ. Those who accept Him as their King are assured of His blessing. But all the kings and nations that rebel against His rule will not continue. The King of Grace blesses, strengthens, and protects His kingdom on earth.

Bibliographical Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kpc/2-samuel-5.html. 1921-23.
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