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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 5

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and HomileticalLange's Commentary

Verses 1-5

David becomes Sole Ruler over Israel

2 Samuel 4:1 to 2 Samuel 5:5

I. Murder of Ishbosheth. 2 Samuel 4:1-8

1And when [om. when] Saul’s Song of Song of Solomon 1:0 heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, [ins. and] his hands were [became] feeble, and all the Israelites [Israel] were troubled. 2And Saul’s son had two men that were captains of bands. The name of the one was Baanah and the name of the other Rachab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin; for2 Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin. 3And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were [have been] sojourners there until this 4day. And3 Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled; and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth. 5And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon [and he was taking his midday-rest].4 6And they came thither5 into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched [fetching] wheat; and they smote him under the fifth rib 7[in the abdomen]; and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.6 For when they [And they] came into the house, [ins. and] he lay on his bed in his bed-chamber, and they smote him and slew him and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night. 8And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to Hebron,7 and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which [who] sought thy life; and the Lord [Jehovah] hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul and of his seed.

II. Punishment of Ishbosheth’s Murderers by David. 2 Samuel 4:9-12.

9And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, As the Lord [Jehovah] liveth, who hath redeemed 10my soul out of all adversity, When one [Hebrews 8:0 who] told me, saying, Behold Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings—I took hold of him and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given [in Ziklag, to give him9] a reward for his tidings; 11How much more when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now [and now, shall I not] require his blood of your hand, and take you away [destroy you] from the earth?10 12And David commanded his [the] young men, and they slew them and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over [at]11 the pool in Hebron. But [And] they took the head of Ishbosheth and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.

III. David anointed King over Israel. 2 Samuel 5:1-5.

1Then came all the tribes of Israel [And all… came] to David unto Hebron, and spake,12 saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. 2Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest [led]13 out and broughtest [brought] in Israel; and the Lord [Jehovah] said to thee, Thou shalt feed my 3people Israel, and thou shalt be a [om. a] captain over Israel. So [And] all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron, and king David made a league [covenant] with them in Hebron before the Lord [Jehovah], and they anointed David king over Israel. 4David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and14 he reigned forty years. 5In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.


I. 2 Samuel 4:1-8. Murder of Ishbosheth

2 Samuel 4:1. In consequence of the news of Abner’s murder, Ishbosheth’s hands became “slack,” the opposite of the “strong” (חָזַק) comp. 2 Samuel 2:7; 2 Samuel 16:21—that is, he completely lost heart. And all Israel was troubled, because people knew Ishbosheth’s incapacity, and that Abner alone had been the prop of his kingdom (2 Samuel 3:6). [Things were generally in an unsettled state. Patrick: By Abner’s death the treaty with David was broken off, or there was nobody to manage it like Abner; Plato observes: “when any calamity is about to befall a city, God is wont to take away (the) excellent men out of that city.”—Tr.]

2 Samuel 4:2. The son of Saul had15 two band leaders, Baanah and Rechab, sons of Rimmon.—Noteworthy is the designation “son of Saul” for Ishbosheth, who is never called “the Anointed of the Lord.”—The two “band-leaders” in Ishbosheth’s service were no doubt bold, adventurous men. The part that they play, as well as Abner’s conduct, suggests the supposition that the firm military organization that Saul had called into being had relaxed, and a disintegration of the army into separate bodies under adventurers and partisans was imminent, if it had not already occurred. Of the sons of Benjamin; for Beeroth also was reckoned to16 Benjamin.Beeroth, according to Rob. II. 345 sq. [Am. Ed. i. 451–453, ii. 262] and Later Bibl. Researches 190 [Am. Ed. III. 289], the present village Bireh, seven miles north of Jerusalem in an unfruitful and stony region on a mountain, with old foundations, not far from Gibeon on the western border of Benjamin. Comp. Joshua 9:17; Joshua 18:25. As from its border-position, it might easily be reckoned to another tribe, it is here expressly mentioned as belonging to Benjamin, that there might be no doubt that these murderers were really Benjaminites, fellow-tribesmen of Saul’s son.

2 Samuel 4:3. An explanatory statement about Beeroth with reference to the time of the narrator, when that Beeroth was no longer in existence. Not: “they had fled” (for at the time of Ishbosheth’s murder Beeroth no longer existed), but: “they fled to Gittaim.” They dwelt there as strangers (נָּרִים) not protégés (against Ewald, Then.). Neither the reason for their flight, nor the position of this place is known to us. In Nehemiah 11:33 a Gittaim is mentioned among the places inhabited by Benjaminites after the Exile. If that is the same with our Gittaim, we yet cannot certainly conclude that it belonged to Benjamin before the Exile; the contrary rather is probable. The word “strangers” points to the fact that the fugitive Beerothites dwelt there among non-Israelites. It was perhaps one of the places on the border of Benjamin belonging to the non-Israelitish Amoritic Gibeonites. [Patrick and Philippson suggest that Beeroth was abandoned by its inhabitants at the time of the Philistine invasion, 1 Samuel 31:7. Bib.-Com. (supposing the Beerothites to be Gibeonites) conjectures that the flight was occasioned by Saul’s attack, 2 Samuel 21:1-2, and that the act of Baanah and Rechab was one of vengeance.—But we know nothing certainly about it.—Gittaim has been supposed to be the Philistine Gath (Then. and others) or Gath-Rimmon, Joshua 19:45; Joshua 21:24 (Wellh.).—Tr.].

2 Samuel 4:4. A historical remark in respect to the then condition of Saul’s house. Its only representative besides Ishbosheth was Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth, five years old at the time of the catastrophe at Jezreel, lame in both feet, helpless therefore, and neither a support to Ishbosheth nor fit to succeed him on the throne. In view of this the narrator here inserts this statement in order to make clear how, on the murder of Ishbosheth related below, the kingdom of Saul’s house was necessarily extinguished. For further notices of Mephibosheth see 9, 2 Samuel 16:1 sq.; 2 Samuel 19:25 sq. Instead of this name we find (parallel with Eshbaal for Ishbosheth—see on 2 Samuel 2:8) in 1 Chronicles 8:34; 1 Chronicles 9:40, Meribbaal = “opponent, conqueror of Baal,” and Mephibosheth17 also perhaps means “exterminator of Baal.” [This statement about Mephibosheth also prepares the way for the subsequent notices of him.—Tr.].

2 Samuel 4:5. “In the heat of the day” the murderers came to Mahanaim where Ishbosheth dwelt, see 2 Samuel 2:8. He lay on the midday-bed, that is, in a quiet, remote, cool spot of the house. They chose this time of midday-rest as favorable to their purpose.

2 Samuel 4:6. “And hither.”18 The phrase “fetching wheat” explains how they could penetrate “into the midst of the house,” where Ishbosheth was lying; they came as persons that wished or were directed to fetch wheat. The Particp. is sometimes put for the Impf. as our Fut., as Exodus 10:8, “who are they that are going?” (=that purpose going), and so in narration does the duty of the Pret., as Genesis 19:14, “marrying his daughter” (=who were to or wished to marry). Ewald, § 335 b. They came not as “purchasers of wheat” (Buns.), but as band-leaders, to get wheat for the support of their men, “corn [grain] to divide out to their soldiers, which was kept in the middle of Ishbosheth’s house” (Cler.). We need not suppose that this was merely a pretext; rather their entrance into the midst of the house is the more easily explained when we suppose that this was a usual practice in accordance with their military position, and that they had done it before. Thus without attracting attention they could slay Ishbosheth, and quickly make their escape.—The Sept., departing completely from the Masoretic text, here reads: “and behold, the portress of the house was cleansing wheat and had fallen asleep and slumbered; and Rechab and Baanah, the brothers, escaped (or, slipped by).” Thenius’ restoration of the original text after the Sept. is rejected by Böttcher as “frightfully far” from the masoretic text, while Thenius disapproves Böttcher’s reading (which Ewald with some modifications adopts) as more circumstantial than his own. If the original text accorded with these conjectures, it is not easy to see how the present masoretic text (which differs from it so much) came from it, while it is easy to suppose that the Sept. (according to its custom), tried by an interpretation to explain partly how the two murderers could get into the house unopposed, partly the strange repetition of the account in 2 Samuel 4:7. The Vulg. (which, through the Itala on which it is based, is dependent on the Sept.) has the corresponding insertion: “and the portress of the house cleansing wheat fell asleep,” while in the rest of the verse it follows the masoretic text against the Sept. All the other ancient versions follow the Heb. According to the latter there is certainly a tautology in 2 Samuel 4:6-7, the entrance into the house and the murder being twice mentioned. But in the first place, it is to be observed that in the attempted restorations of the original text the phrase “came into the house” remains in 2 Samuel 4:5 and 2 Samuel 4:7. But we must further bear in mind a peculiarity of Heb. narration (referred to by Königsfeld, Annot. ad post. libr. Sam., and Keil), by which a previously-mentioned fact is repeated in order to add something new. So in 2 Samuel 3:22-23 the coming of Joab, and in 2 Samuel 5:1; 2 Samuel 5:3 the coming of the Tribes is twice mentioned. Here the “coming” of 2 Samuel 4:5 is more fully described in 2 Samuel 4:6, and the “slaying” of 2 Samuel 4:6 is defined in 2 Samuel 4:7 as beheading, and this makes the transition to the account in 2 Samuel 4:8, that the murderers brought the head of Ishbosheth to David, having during the night traversed the Arabah or plain of the Jordan. Comp. 2 Samuel 2:29.

2 Samuel 4:8. To the king.—Notice that David is always here so termed, while in respect to Ishbosheth the title is avoided. Behold the head of thy enemy, who sought thy life.—The better to justify their deed, and to gain favor and reward from David, the risen star, they stigmatize Ishbosheth as one that sought after David’s life, thinking perhaps that the recollection of Saul’s persecution and Abner’s hostility would give the color of truth to their false assertion. [Others hold less well that Saul is the enemy here meant.—Tr.]. Nothing is said in the history of attempts on David’s life by Ishbosheth, and David’s designation of him as a “righteous man,” who was guilty of no evil deed stamps that assertion as a lie. They have the effrontery indeed to represent their crime as an act or judgment of God, the better to commend themselves to David, though they had committed the murder of their own accord without any commission at all.

II. 2 Samuel 4:9-12. Punishment of Ishbosheth’s murderers by David

2 Samuel 4:9. The words: Who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity—are therefore not a confirmation of the murderers’ assertion about Ishbosheth, but contain the thought “that David is not obliged to free himself by crime from his enemies” (Keil).

2 Samuel 4:10. He who told me… thinking himself a messenger of good—a recapitulation of the history of the Amalekite (2 Samuel 1:0), here put in the absolute construction, and the words and I seized him follow as principal assertion, instead of: “if I seized and slew him who told me” (2 Samuel 1:15). “In order to give him a reward for his tidings,” that is, to inflict on him the punishment he deserved.19 [See “Text. and Gram.” The last clause of this verse is of the nature of biting irony—David gave the man a reward, and it was death.—Tr.].

2 Samuel 4:11. “How much more!” (אַף כִּי) the apodosis to the protasis in 2 Samuel 4:10. The words: wicked men… on his bed are (as in 2 Samuel 4:10) proposed in absolute construction, instead of: “how much more shall I require his blood from your hand, ye wicked men!” The “wicked men” stands in sharp contrast with the “righteous man.” David characterizes Ishbosheth as a “righteous man,” that is, as one who had never done anything wicked (so Josephus). This judgment accords with the character given of Ishbosheth in chaps. 2, 3. (he was a “good man,” without falsehood and blameless), and is at the same time a decided refutation of the charge by which the murderers think to palliate their crime. “David declares that Ishbosheth was blameless, having done nothing to occasion this end” (Cassel). With the phrase “and now” David brings his speech to a close, pronouncing sentence of death, by the same royal authority as in 2 Samuel 1:14-15. The form of the thought is a progression from the less to the greater: If I executed in Ziklag him who avowed having killed at his own request on the battle-field my adversary Saul, under whose persecutions the Lord delivered me from all adversity, how much more must I demand at your hands the blood of this righteous man whom ye murderously slew in his house on his bed. On the phrase “require blood,” see Genesis 9:5, according to which God Himself is the avenger of blood, comp. Psalms 9:13. David recognizes himself as king in God’s service and His instrument, when he causes these criminals to be slain in expiation of intentional homicide. Comp. Numbers 35:31.—“Take away, destroy;” the verb (בִּעֵר) is used of extermination by death, for example, in Deuteronomy 13:6 (5); not “from the earth,” but “from the land” (אֶרֶץ), since according to the law (Numbers 35:33), the murderer lost his abode in the land of promise.

2 Samuel 4:12. The order for execution is given and carried out. It is specially severe in two points: the dismemberment of the corpses by cutting off hands and feet, the deepest indignity, and the hanging up of the mutilated corpses at the pool in Hebron, a place where many persons came and went; this was for a public testimony to David’s righteous severity against such evil-doers, as well as his innocence of the murder, and for a terrible example, comp. Deuteronomy 21:21-22. [Hands and feet were cut off because these were the offending members (Abarb. in Philippson). This sort of punishment has always been common in the East.—Tr.].—David had “Ishbosheth’s head” buried in “Abner’s sepulchre in Hebron” on account of the relation that had existed between the two men.

III. 2 Samuel 5:1-5. David anointed king over all Israel.

2 Samuel 5:1. These incidents (the murder of Abner and that of Ishbosheth), which made a deep impression on the whole people, taken in connection with the growing inclination to David in all Israel, necessarily favored and hastened the attainment of the end after which Abner had striven in his negotiations with the elders (2 Samuel 3:17-18). The tenor of the history leads us to hold with Ewald that the recognition of David as king over all Israel occurred immediately after Ishbosheth’s death, against Stähelin, who thinks that there was an interval of several years after his death, during which the tribes gradually came over to David. [Here the Book of Chronicles again falls in with our history (1 Chronicles 11:0), and runs parallel with it in general (though with many differences) to the end of David’s life. The differences will be noticed as they present themselves.—Tr.].—Thus, then, appear at Hebron “all the tribes of Israel,” that is, the elders (2 Samuel 5:3) of all the tribes except Judah. The elders give three reasons (arranged in order of importance) for raising David to the throne over the whole nation: 1) Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.—This expression denotes blood-relationship in the family, Genesis 29:14; Judges 9:2; it here refers to their common descent from one ancestor: “we are thy kinsmen by blood,” in view of which the enmity between us must cease.

2 Samuel 5:2. 2 Samuel 5:2) Before, when Saul reigned over us, it was thou that leddest Israel out and in—the same thing is said of Joshua in Numbers 27:17. The expression “lead out and in” does not refer to the affairs of Israel (Keil), but the people itself (“Israel”), and “the whole people” indeed. This is expressly affirmed in 1 Samuel 18:16 in the words: “And all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and in before them,” and that this “going out and in” is to be understood of military leadership is clear from 2 Samuel 5:5, 2 Samuel 5:13, and from the whole connection. The bond of fellowship and love, which had bound him to them (even under Saul) as leader in their military undertakings, is the second ground of their proposal.—3) Their last and strongest ground is the immediate call by the word of the Lord to be shepherd and prince over Israel. And the Lord said to thee; on the word “feed” (רָעָה) see Psalms 78:70-72, and on “prince” [captain] see 1 Samuel 25:30. No such word of the Lord, spoken immediately to David, is ever mentioned. The declaration of the elders is to be explained as Abigail’s in 1 Samuel 25:30, and Abner’s in 2 Samuel 3:9; 2 Samuel 3:18 [that is, as belonging to the circle of prophetic thought.—Tr.]. It is perhaps based on the word of the Lord to Samuel, 1 Samuel 16:1-2, by which David was chosen to be king over Israel, comp. with 1 Samuel 15:28.—The first and third grounds answer exactly to the precept in Deuteronomy 17:15 : “Thou shalt make him king over thee whom the Lord thy God shall choose; out of the midst of thy brethren shalt thou make a king over thee.” [Patrick: 2 Samuel 5:1. They were not overcome by the arms, but by the piety and justice of David, to acknowledge him their king.

2 Samuel 5:2. This is the first time we find a governor described in Scripture as pastor of the people; afterwards the name is much used by the prophets, particularly Ezekiel 34:23 and many other places. Whence our Lord Christ is called “the good Shepherd” and “the great Shepherd.”—Evil rulers are called “roaring lions, hungry bears, and devouring wolves,” etc., Ezekiel 19:2.—Comp. the Homeric epithet ποιμένες λαω̄ν, and the emblematic animals in Dante’s Inferno. Bk. I.—Tr.].

2 Samuel 5:3. And the elders… came to Hebron—resumption of the words of 2 Samuel 5:1 with exacter definition of the expression “tribes” by the mention of their representatives “the elders,” for the purpose of further detailing the solemn covenanting of David with the people and his anointing as king of Israel. And king David made a covenant with them before the Lord.—Comp. 2 Samuel 3:21, “that they may make a covenant with thee.” In this word of Abner is given one side of the covenant, namely, the obligating of the people to obey him as the king given them by the Lord; here the other side is given, namely, David promises in this covenant, in accordance with his divine choice and call to the throne, to rule the people according to the will of the Lord. Notice the expression of the Heb. “made to them a covenant” (כָּרַת לְ), which does not permit us to regard this as a mere bargain, wherein both parties have equal rights and authority” (Œhler, Herz. viii. 11). The relation of both parties to the Lord is indicated by the expression “before.” The view that an agreement was here entered into of the nature of a modern constitution [There was probably gradually established between king and people some recognition of mutual rights and duties—an unwritten, or possibly in part a written law. This would not be out of harmony with the theocratic conception of the government. Philippson points out some apparent indications (as 1 Kings 12:0.) of such a law.—Tr.]

(Then.), does not accord with the relation that the theocratic principle of the Davidic kingdom established between king and people in their common obligation to the Lord, the true king of His people. And they anointed David king over Israel—to which the Chronicler adds (1 Chronicles 11:3): “according to the word of the Lord by Samuel,” an explanatory addition referring to the Lord’s command to Samuel to anoint David king over Israel, 1Sa 16:1; 1 Samuel 16:12. David’s anointing by Samuel (1 Samuel 16:0) is now confirmed by the anointing of the people, they having expressly and solemnly recognized his divine call to be king of Israel (1 Samuel 15:28), made by Samuel and witnessed by Samuel’s anointing. The Chronicler, deriving his information from precise accounts, declares that there was a large attendance of military men from the whole nation at this royal festival (1 Chronicles 12:23-40).

2 Samuel 5:4-5. The statement in 2 Samuel 2:11 is here resumed, and we have stated, 1) David’s age (30 years) at his accession to the throne; 2) the whole time of his reign (40 years), and 3) the time of his reign over Israel (33 years). See on 2 Samuel 2:11. These statements of time are given in 1 Chronicles 29:27 at the close of David’s reign. [Bib. Com.: The age of David (30 years) shows that the events narrated from 1 Samuel 13:0 to the end of the book did not occupy above 10 years—four years in Saul’s service, four years of wandering, one year and four months among the Philistines, and a few months after Saul’s death.—Tr.]


1. In the section 2 Samuel 4:1 to 2 Samuel 5:5 we have the completed fulfilment of the statement made in 2 Samuel 3:1 concerning the theocratically contrasted fortunes of Saul’s house and David, up to the culmination of the latter’s rise and the uttermost point of the former’s depression. The spiritual weakness, moral slackness and personal insignificance of Saul’s heir on the throne, the unfaithfulness, ambition, selfishness, rude violence and dissolution of all discipline and order about the royal court, the increasing favor of the people to David and the entire absence of prospect for the physical maintenance of the kingdom in Saul’s house, whose last scion was a cripple—all this co-operated to bring about the fall of this kingdom before the eyes of the people and the fulfilment of the divine judgment on Saul’s house, without David’s doing the slightest thing to produce the catastrophe or staining his hands with Ishbosheth’s blood, holding, as he did, to what he had sworn to Saul, 1 Samuel 24:22. Amid the affecting events that introduce the final fall of Saul’s house, and the severe temptations with which he is beset to make a compact with sin, or at least to come in contact with crime in order to gain his end, David holds, as from the beginning, firm and unshaken to his stand-point of humble obedience to and complete dependence on the will and leading of the Lord, knowing himself to be in person and life and in his destination for the throne of Israel solely in the hand of God. The anger with which he repels self-commending crime [2 Samuel 4:8-11], appealing to the guidance of his God who had brought him through all adversity, is at the same time a positive witness to his determination to take all further steps also up to the attainment of his promised dominion only at the hand of his God, and to guard against all tainting of his divine mission by sin and crime. “His way to the throne had hitherto been always the way of obedience to God’s will; it was ever the way of the fear of God and of conscientious fulfilment of duty, and with such crimes he had never had anything to do. How could he now defile himself with them! The execution of these two murderers was a testimony to all the people, what ways David went and wished further to go, and that whoever would avail anything with this king, must tread solely the path of godly fear and duty” (Schlier).

2. Ishbosheth’s violent end is not to be regarded as a natural step in the fall of Saul’s house, or as a necessary consequence thereof, but as a revelation of the divine justice against his guilt in permitting himself (by his good-nature and moral weakness) to be misused by his ambitious and high-aiming general Abner, to be made a rival king and seduced into hostile undertakings against David (2 Samuel 2:12). Such an end must Ishbosheth’s kingdom according to the divine justice have had, since it was founded on opposition to God’s will.

3. And so, in respect to God’s judgments on men’s sins, the God-fearing man, like David, with all his holy anger against evil, which is a reflection of God’s holy anger, and with all his obligatory energy of punitive justice, must yet exhibit recognition of the good that exists in his neighbor who is smitten by the judgment of God, and especially cherish gentleness and forbearance where personal wrong has been done him.
4. The covenant, which David made with the people on his accession to the throne, is not to be thought of as a contract between two parties, who by negotiations and mutual concessions produce a constitutional relation, in which their mutual rights and duties are to be considered and carried out.—This would be directly contradictive of the fundamental idea of Israel’s constitution, namely, that the God of the fathers, who had chosen the people, separated them to be His people, redeemed them from the bondage of Egypt, and made a law-covenant with them at Sinai, was their king, and that they owed Him obedience as their ruler according to the demands of His law. People and God-given king had to obey the Lord as their proper, true king; there is no contrasting of king and people, but both have to render unconditional obedience to the invisible God as their Lord and Ruler. See 1 Samuel 12:20-25. The conviction that David was called immediately by the Lord to be king of Israel had spread from Samuel and the prophets throughout the nation, and announced itself expressly in the formal and solemn recognition of David as king in accordance with the demand in Deuteronomy 17:15 : “Thou shalt set as king over thee him whom the Lord thy God shall choose.” This recognition of the divine call precedes the covenanting and the anointing. On the basis, now, of this recognized fact, the covenanting could include nothing but what followed necessarily from the principle of the theocratic kingdom, to govern the people in the name of the Lord, and according to the law that the invisible King of the people had given. David promised, in accordance with Deuteronomy 17:19-20, faithfully to perform the law given by the Lord for him as well as for the people, and not merely a constitutional law agreed on between him and the people; and the people promised to obey the Lord their God in His royal government, and to be subject to David as God-appointed instrument of the theocracy. [While this statement of the joint subordination of king and people to the divine law is perfectly just, so that there could not be in Israel a political constitution, political progress, or free institutions according to modern conceptions, we may still suppose that in carrying out the details of the government there came to be recognized certain principles (subordinate to the central principle) which controlled the customary action of sovereign and people, and were of the nature of Common Law or a Constitution.—Tr.].

5. The establishment of David on the throne of Israel as an act of God (completed by the people, in the knowledge and recognition of God’s will, by the anointment as an act of choice and homage) restored externally and internally on the old deep theocratic basis, the unity of the people introduced by Samuel, which was gradually weakened under Saul’s government, and after his death destroyed by the division of the nation into two parts and the establishment of two kingdoms, so that a recurrence of the disintegration of the Period of the Judges was imminent. The perfect unity of all the tribes shows itself at David’s anointment in Hebron, 1) in the avowal of the blood-relationship of the whole people with David through their common descent from one ancestor —in contrast with the nations that were corporally foreign to them (comp. Deuteronomy 17:15); 2) in the recognition of David’s services to the whole nation even in Saul’s time as military leader against foreign nations, and of the bond of love and confidence that consequently bound the whole people to him; 3) in the declaration that David was called by the Lord Himself to be king over all Israel (comp. Deuteronomy 17:15), and 4) in the covenant that the two, king and people, make with one another before the Lord as their King, on the basis of the law-covenant that God had made with His people (comp. Deuteronomy 17:19-20, with 1 Samuel 12:20 sq., and Exodus 19:20.)


2 Samuel 4:1 sq. Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, 1) Because of the frailty of all flesh and of all human supports, with which fall the hopes based on them. 2) Because of the faithlessness of men, in whom blind confidence is placed instead of putting all confidence in the faithfulness of the Lord. 3) Because of the danger of ruin of body and soul, to which one thereby exposes himself.

2 Samuel 4:8. How evil seeks deceitfully to clothe itself with the appearance of good, 1) by falsehood, in alleging something evil in others as a pretext to make itself appear right and good; 2) by hypocrisy, in representing itself as in harmony with God’s Word and will; 3) by the pretence of having promoted the interest of another.

2 Samuel 4:8-12. How the children of God should guard against the power of evil which presses upon them. 1) By repulsing every service of evil that is to their advantage, and pointing to the Lord who alone is their help. 2) By avoiding all participation in others’ guilt. 3) By energetically testifying, in word and deed, against evil.

2 Samuel 5:3. What kingdom is in truth a kingdom by the grace of God? That which, 1) is based on the solid ground of the word and will of God; 2) conducts its government only in the name and service of-the living God, fulfilling its office of shepherd and leader, and 3) strives after the welfare of the people only in the covenant of love and obedience towards the holy and gracious God.

2 Samuel 4:1. Starke: Let no one trust in men, Jeremiah 17:5; for they are nothing, Psalms 62:10 [9], and when they fall, all hope falls, too, Psalms 146:3-4.—S. Schmid: At last the will of God does come to pass, and His promises go on to their fulfilment, Romans 4:21; Hebrews 2:3.

[2 Samuel 4:2. Scott: Wretched indeed are they who are engaged in undertakings in which none can serve them without opposing the known will of God ! The more exalted their station, the greater is their danger; for the very men in whom they repose their chief confidence are destitute of principle, serve them only for gain, and will betray or murder them when their mercenary schemes require it.—Tr.].

2 Samuel 4:2-3. Berl. B.: A true king is nothing else than the shepherd of the people, 2 Samuel 7:7; Psalms 78:71-72. Accordingly God made David a shepherd of men, as Peter a fisher of men.

2 Samuel 4:3. Starke: God causes His own people, whom He wishes to exalt, first to come under the cross awhile, Proverbs 13:12.—S. Schmid: Kings and princes must know that they stand under God, according to whose will and direction they have to judge themselves.—Wuert. B.: Although God does not cause that which He has promised the pious, to come to them immediately, yet He does at least give it to them, and indeed the longer He delays the more glorious it becomes. So let men patiently wait for the right time.

2 Samuel 4:4. Osiander: What often seems most hurtful to us, must often be most helpful to us.—Wuert. B.: When God with His grace turns away from a man or a whole race, there is then no more prosperity, but all gradually goes down.

2 Samuel 4:8. Cramer: Ungodly men boast of their trickery and villainy, and imagine they will thereby gain praise, and glory in their sin.—Berl. B.: They wish, as it were, to spread the name of God and His Providence as a mantle over their knavery, as bad boys are wont to do.—[Wordsworth: It has been often so in the history of the world and of the Church, where zeal for God is sometimes a color for worldly ambition, and an occasion for deeds of cruelty and treachery.—Tr.].—Schlier: Where is there a human heart that knows nothing of selfishness? O do let us recognize such an enemy in ourselves, and humble ourselves therefor, do let us all our days fight against the enemy with real earnestness! Either thou slayest selfishness or it slays thee, and plunges thee into sin and shame, and thereby into ruin and damnation. It was selfishness that made these two Benjaminites become murderers of their king.—[2 Samuel 4:8. Scott: Many are conscious that they should be pleased with villainy, provided it conduced greatly to their profit: thus they are led confidently to conclude that others will be so too; and as numbers are rewarded for villainous actions, they expect the same.—Tr.]

2 Samuel 4:9-11. To hate and avoid sin is to be prudent, to keep out of sneaking ways is to build one’s fortune, and to put away from us even enticing offers that are not in accordance with duty and the fear of God is to be sensible for time and eternity.

2 Samuel 4:9. Cramer: True Christians should commit and commend all their affairs to God, who judges righteously; He can and will make all well, 1 Peter 2:23; Psalms 37:5

2 Samuel 4:10. Cramer: God-fearing rulers should not bring territory and people to them through treachery, assassination, unfaithfulness, apostasy from known truth, hypocrisy and such like villainous tricks; for to be pious and true will alone protect the king, and his throne is established by righteousness, Proverbs 20:28.

[2 Samuel 4:11. Henry: Charity teaches us to make the best, not only of our friends but of our enemies, and to think those may be righteous persons who yet in some instances do us wrong.—2 Samuel 5:1. Wordsworth: And thus God overruled evil for good, and brought good out of evil. He made the crimes of Abner, Joab, and of the two Beerothites to be subservient to the exaltation of David, and the establishment of his kingdom over all Israel. Thus God will make all the sins of evil men to be one day ministerial to the extension and final settlement of the universal dominion of Christ.—Tr.]

[2 Samuel 4:1. When the sudden death of one man completely disheartens a whole people, it shows that he was a great man, but also that the people were already in an evil condition. And this man who seemed the prop of everything, may have long been in fact delaying some grand Providential destiny.—Tr.]

[2 Samuel 4:4. Sunday-school address, The little lame prince. His lameness was produced under very sad circumstances, was itself a sad calamity, and Seemed to cut him off from a great career. Yet it afterwards preserved his life, and brought him wealth and honor (2 Samuel 9:0.). Let us not conclude that the afflicted or unfortunate have no future. Let us remember how often Providence turns calamity into blessing.—Tr.]

[2 Samuel 4:5-12. Sunday-school address, The assassins. Describe them walking rapidly all night along the plain of the Jordan, bearing the slain king’s head. 1) Their foul deed, 2 Samuel 4:6-7; 2 Samuel 11:2) Their false pretences, 2 Samuel 4:8. 2 Samuel 4:3) Their deserved and terrible fate, 2 Samuel 4:12. Reflections: The sacredness of human life—trickery often fails—it is a shame to claim God’s sanction for wickedness—men becoming immortal by their crimes alone.—Tr.]

[2 Samuel 4:9. Memory of past deliverances by the Lord. 1) Inspiring gratitude. 2) Restraining from sin. 3) Cheering with hope. (Each may be richly illustrated by David’s circumstances when he uttered the text).—Tr.]

[2 Samuel 5:4. How has David reached the throne? 1) By aspiring to it only because divinely appointed. 2) By deserving it a) in what he did; b) in what he refused to do. 3) By waiting for it, a) continuing patient through a long course of trials; b) using all lawful means in his power to gain it (e. g., 2.5; 2 Samuel 3:20; 2 Samuel 3:36); c) preparing for it, consciously and unconsciously, learning how to rule men, and to overcome difficulties.—Tr.]


[1][2 Samuel 4:1. Sept. (Jebosthe) and Syr. (Ashboshul) prefix the name “Ishbosheth,” and Sept. also in the beginning of 2 Samuel 4:2. Wellhausen thinks the omission due to the same feeling that led to the change of Eshbaal (or Ishbaal) to Ishbosheth, namely, repulsion to a bad (idolatrous) name. But the omission may naturally be explained as a breviloquence or ***, the context clearly fixing the reference to Ishbosheth; similarly the Sept. inserts in this verse after Abner the words “son of Ner.” Comp. 1 Samuel 22:7-9; 1 Samuel 22:12-13.—Tr.]

[2][2 Samuel 4:2. The brackets of Eng. A. V. may just as well be omitted, since the Heb. regards this statement as part of the narrative, and 2 Samuel 4:4 is as much a parenthesis as 2 Samuel 4:3.—Aq. improperly makes these men εὔζωνοι = שׂרי ג׳.—The notice 2 Samuel 4:2-3, is an archæological or historical remark of the editor, not necessarily a “marginal remark” (Wellh.) that has gotten into the text.—Tr.]

[3][2 Samuel 4:4. This verse is an explanatory historical remark; see the Exposition. It is “too peculiar for a gloss” (Wellh.).—“Made haste” is not strong enough for חָפַו, which contains the notion of “terror,” Sym. θορυβεῖσθαι Erdmann: sie sich in der angst beeilte, Chald., Syr., Cahen, Philippson as Eng. A. V.—The name Mephibosheth is written by Sept. Memphibosthe, by other Greek VSS. Memphibaal. For the first part of the name no satisfactory etymology has been found, and it is not improbably a corruption of Merib in Meribbaal, 1 Chronicles 9:40.—Tr.]

[4][2 Samuel 4:5. Lit.: “sleeping the sleep of noon” (example of cognate Ace.).—Instead of “about” we may render “at (or, in) the heat of the day.”—Tr.]

[5][2 Samuel 4:6. הֵנָּה, “hither,” which Norzius (cited by De Rossi) declares to be the true reading. Some MSS. and printed Edd., together with Sept., Syr., Chald., read הִנֵּה, “behold.” (So the Chald. text of P. de Lagarde; but others have the masc. pron. הֵמָּה, “they.”)—Instead of עַר תּוֹךְ, some MSS. and EDD. have אֶל־תוֹךְ.—Tr.]

[6][2 Samuel 4:6. Two points are to be noted in the criticism of the difficult text of 2 Samuel 4:6; 2 Samuel 7:1) the seeming repetition of the masoretic text, double account of the murder; 2) the divergence of the Sept. in 2 Samuel 4:6 especially from the Heb. The Vulg. agrees with Sept. in 2 Samuel 4:6 a; the Chald. and Syr. substantiate (with slight variations) the masoretic text.—The view taken of the text will depend largely on the decision of the first point.—Some hold the repetition in the Heb. of 2 Samuel 4:6 and 2 Samuel 4:7 to be unmeaning, and therefore adopt the Sept., out of which they endeavor to explain the MSS. text as a corruption (Ew., Böttch., Then., Wellh., who all differ somewhat in their restorations of the original text). Others regard the repetition as a characteristic of Heb. historical narration, and take the Sept. in 2 Samuel 4:6 as a corruption or an explanatory paraphrase (Keil [who cites Königsfeld], Philipps., Erdmann, Bib.-Com.). A middle view seems preferable: the repetition seems unnecessary; but the corruption of the Sept. text into the masoretic is improbable. It is therefore more natural to suppose that the Heb. contains two different accounts of the same fact put together by the editor, and that the Sept. either represents a different text or is a corruption of the masoretic.—The following are some of the restorations attempted. Thenius: וְהִנֵּה פְקִידַת דֶּלֶת הַבַּית לֹקֶטֶת חִטִּים וַתָּנָם וַתִּישַן וְדֵכָב וּבַעַנָה אָחִיו נִמְלָטוּ “and behold the female overseer of the door of the house was gathering wheat, and nodded [slumbered] and slept. And Rechab and Baanah his brother (came) unperceived (into the house).” But the Greek has “cleansing,” not “gathering” wheat, and it is not easy to construct the masoretic text out of this. Böttcher: לִקְחחַֹ חִטִּים וְנָמָה הִוא ונְרְדָּמָה וְרֵכָב ונו׳ וְהִנֵּה הַשׁוֹעֶרֶת תּוֹךְ הַבַּיִת, and behold, the portress (was) within the house to cleanse wheat, and she had slumbered and slept; and Rechab and Baanah had slipped through.” He introduces a verb קחח, “to purify,” from the Arabic, and does not account for the Heb.: “smote him in the underbody.”—Ewald adopts Thenius’ reading except that he puts אֲשֶׁר עַל for the Heb.בָאוּ עַד, and instead of לקט writes םקל. Wellhausen: וְהְנֵּה שׁוֹעֶרֶת הַבַּיְת םֹקְלָה ח׳, “and behold, the portress of the house was stoning wheat,” where the סקל makes a difficulty.—If the suggestion made above be adopted, we may take the masoretic text as the original (though a blending of two contemporary accounts), and then with the help of these emendations explain the emergence of the Sept. text from it—Tr.]

[7][2 Samuel 4:8. Acc. of limit. Three MSS. prefix the prep. בְּ, “in.”—Tr.]

[8][2 Samuel 4:10. Partcp. as preposed absolute Nominative.—Tr.]

[9][2 Samuel 4:10. Lit.: “who (or, which) for my giving to him [the reward of] tidings.” Hence three renderings: 1) “which (namely, the slaying him) was to give him;” 2) “to whom I should have given;” 3) “who thought that I would have given him.” The first is simplest and strongest (so Bottch., Cahen, Philipps., Keil, Erdmann). The second is that of the Sept. and Vulg. The third is adopted by Chald. and Eng. A. V. The Syr. has (in the simplifying style it so often adopts): “instead of giving him.”—בְּשׂרָה, “good tidings,” here stands for “reward of good tidings.”—Tr.]

[10][2 Samuel 4:11. Or: “from the land” (Böttcher, Erdmann), a more distinctively Israelitish conception.—Tr.]

[11][2 Samuel 4:12. עַל in the sense of “on, at” (ἐπί with Dat.).—Tr.]

[12][2 Samuel 5:1. Lit.: “said, saying,” at which repetition offence has been taken, but improperly, since it is genuine Heb. (though rare), comp. Exo 15:1; 2 Samuel 20:18.—The first word is omitted in 1 Chronicles 11:1 and in the Vulg.; the second by two MSS., Sept., Syr., Ar. After וַיֹּאמְרוּ some MSS., Sept., Syr., Ar., insert לוֹ, “to him.”—Tr.]

[13][2 Samuel 5:2. Eng. A. V. is here ungrammatical. The sentence would now more naturally read: “it was thou that leddest.”—Remove the final ה from הָיְתָה, and prefix it (as Art.) to the following word, as the masoretic note suggests. Comp. 1 Chronicles 11:2—Tr.]

[14][2 Samuel 5:4. The “and” is found in several MSS. and VSS., a natural interpolation.—Tr.]

[15]It is necessary to supply לְ (but not לְאִישׁ־בּשֶׁת) before בֶּן־שָׁאוּר.

[16] על = “on to,” “to.”

[17] בּשֶׁת for בַּעַל and מְפִי from פָאָה “scatter” (only Hiph., Deuteronomy 32:26, Sept. διασπερῶ αὐτούς, and so Ar., Chald.)

[18]It is unnecessary (with Ges. § 121, 6, Rem. 1) to take הֵנָּה as Pron. fem. for masc.; we may render “hither” (Maur.), or point הִנֵּה “behold.”

[19]The initial כִּי introduces the discourse. The אְשֶׁר in the last clause=ὄτι (Ew. § 338 b) introducing the following words.

Verses 6-25


2 Samuel 5:6 to 2 Samuel 14:25

David’s reign at its culmination and greatest splendor

2 Samuel 5:6 to 2 Samuel 10:19

I. Its Glorious Establishment And Confirmation

2 Samuel 5:6 to 2 Samuel 6:23


I. The victory over the Jebusites and the conquest of the citadel of Zion. 2 Samuel 5:6-16.

6And the king2 and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land. Which [And they] spake unto David, saying, Except3 thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither; thinking [saying], David 7cannot [shall not] come in hither. Nevertheless [And] David took the stronghold of Zion; the same is the city of David. 8And David said on that day, Whosoever4 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. Wherefore they said [say], 9The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. So [And] David dwelt in the fort [stronghold], and called it the city of David. And David built5 round about from Millo and inward. 10And David went on and grew great [David kept growing greater and greater], and the Lord God [Jehovah the God] of hosts was with him.

11And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees and carpenters and masons; and they built David an house. 12And David perceived that the Lord [Jehovah] had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted6 his kingdom for his people Israel’s sake.

13And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron; and there were yet sons and daughters born to David. 14And these be [are] the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem: Shammuah 15[Shammua] and Shobab and Nathan and Solomon, Ibhar also [And Ibhar] and 16Elishua and Nepheg and Japhia, And Elishama and Eliada and Eliphalet.

2. David’s two victories over the Philistines. 2 Samuel 5:17-25

17But when [And] the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, [ins. and] all the Philistines came up to seek David; and David heard of it, and went down7 to the hold. 18The Philistines also [And the Philistines] came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. 19And David enquired of the Lord [Jehovah], saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord [Jehovah] said unto David, Go up; for I will doubtless 20[certainly] deliver the Philistines into thine hand. And David came to Baal-pera-zim,8 and David smote them there, and said, The Lord [Jehovah] hath broken forth upon [broken asunder] mine enemies before me as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baal-perazim. 21And there they left [they left there] their images,9 and David and his men burned them [took them away].

22And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of 23Rephaim. And when [om. when] David enquired of the Lord [Jehovah], [ins. and] he said, Thou shalt not go up; but [om. but] fetch a compass behind10 them, and come upon them over against the mulberry-trees [baca-trees]. 24And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry-trees [baca-trees], that then thou shalt bestir thyself; for then shall [will] the Lord [Jehovah] go out before thee to smite the host of the Philistines. 25And David did so, as the Lord [Jehovah] had commanded him, and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer [Gezer].


I. 2 Samuel 5:6-16. Victory over the Jebusites, conquest of the citadel of Zion, and fixing of Jerusalem as the capital.—In keeping with the reminder of the elders that he had before led the people out and in to battle and victory, David now proceeds without delay to fulfil the warlike duties that devolved on him as king of Israel against the external enemies of the kingdom; for a principal condition of the establishment of internal unity and of the vigorous theocratic development of the national life was the purging of the land from the still powerful remains of the Canaanitish peoples.

2 Samuel 5:6-10. See the parallel 1 Chronicles 11:4-9. The two accounts agree substantially; being taken from a common source, they complement and confirm one another in particular statements, of which each has some peculiar to itself. [In respect to these differences it is important to remember that in general “Samuel” is more biographical and annalistic, “Chronicles” more historiographical.—Tr.]-2 Samuel 5:6. And the king and his men went—that is, according to the Chronicler, the Israelitish warriors who gathered around him from “all Israel,” and were now united with his former soldiers—to Jerusalem against the Jebusites.—This undertaking followed immediately on the anointing in Hebron, as is evident from the statement (2 Samuel 5:5) that David’s reign in Jerusalem was co-extensive with his reign over all Israel (Keil). After the word “Jerusalem,” instead of “unto the Jebusites… saying,” “Chronicles” has: “that is Jebus, and there (are) the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, and the inhabitants of Jebus said to David.” Which of the two forms is nearer to the original account in the common source must remain undetermined. [Well-hausen remarks that “the original author would not have written ‘Jerusalem, that is, Jebus,’ but more naturally ‘Jebus, that is, Jerusalem;’ the Chron. inserts this statement in order to explain the transition from Jerusalem to the Jebusites—and this leads to the further remark that the Jebusites were dwelling in the land” According to this, the author of Chronicles (who wrote after the Exile) introduces this historical explanation as necessary for his time.—Tr.] The Jebusites11 belonged to the great Canaanitish race (Genesis 10:6), who dwelt, when the Israelites took possession of Palestine, in the mountain-district of Judah by the Hittites and Amorites (comp. Numbers 13:30; Joshua 11:3), especially at the place afterwards called Jerusalem, and under kings, Joshua 10:1; Joshua 10:23. Neither Joshua (Joshua 15:8; Joshua 15:63; Joshua 18:28), who conquered the Jebusites along with other Canaanitish tribes in a battle (Joshua 11:3 sq.), nor the children of Judah, who only got possession of the lower city (Judges 1:8; comp. Jos. Ant. V. 2, 2), nor the Benjaminites, to whom the city had been assigned (Joshua 18:28), could conquer the strong citadel of Jebus on Mount Zion, which was the centre of their dwellings spread out “in the land,” that is, around Jerusalem (Judges 1:21; Judges 19:11 sq.). In the time of the Judges Jebus is still called “a strange city, in which are some of the children of Israel” (Judges 19:12). But as long as this point was unconquered, the possession of southern and middle Palestine was unassured; and so David’s first act was the siege and capture of the citadel. Relying on its hitherto invincible strength, they declared that David could not get into it; but the blind and the lame repel thee—that is, if only blind and lame defend it, thou canst not take the citadel,12 “saying” (=namely, the Jebusites meant to say), “David will not come in hither.” Some have supposed (after Josephus) that the Jebusites had really in derision of David put lame and blind men on the wall, trusting to the strength of their citadel; an expression that is by no means so strange (Then.) as that which regards the blind and lame as the idol-images of the Jebusites, which they had placed on their walls for protection, and had so called in order to scoff at the Israelites, who (Psalms 115:4 sq. et al.) described heathen idols as “blind and lame” (Cler., Luth., Wasse [de cœcis et claudis Jebusœorum, Witt., 1721]). Would the Jebusites have used such expressions of their gods?13 This saying of the Jebusites is not found in “Chronicles.” [Omitted in Chron. perhaps as being obscure, or else as unnecessary to the general sense, “Chronicles” avoiding details that do not bear on its main aim, the history of the development of the theocratic cultus.—Tr.]

2 Samuel 5:7 it is briefly remarked that in spite of this braggart reliance of the Jebusites on the impregnability of their fortress, David took it. This old Jebusite city and fortress lay on the highest of the hills or mountains that surrounded Jerusalem, “Mount” Zion (2 Kings 19:31; Isaiah 4:5; Isaiah 29:8; Psalms 48:3), which stretched out in the south and south-west of the city, mount Ophel and Moriah on the east (more precisely north-east) lying opposite, separated from it by a precipitous ravine. See more in Winer s. v. [and in the Bible Dictionaries and books of travel; Philippson has a good description of Jerusalem in his Comm. on this passage. It is not yet possible however to restore with precision the Jerusalem of David’s time.—Tr.] The name “Zion” probably=“the dry mountain” (from צָיָה “to be dry”). [See Psalms 78:17; Psalms 105:41; Isaiah 25:5, where the root occurs. Some take the name to mean “sunny” (Ges.), others “lofty” (Abarb. in Philippson). The rock-formation on which the city stands is limestone.—Tr.] The explanatory addition, “city of David,” anticipates what is narrated in 2 Samuel 5:9. From this mountain, where David built (whence arose the city of David, that is, the Upper City) and resided, the city extended itself northward and eastward. [The name “City of David” was sometimes given afterwards to Jerusalem, Isaiah 29:1; and see 1 Kings 11:43; 1 Kings 15:8 for its use as burial-place of the kings.—Tr.]

2 Samuel 5:8. “David had said,” the sense requiring the Plup. (Then.)—an appended incident of the capture in connection with the derisive words of the Jebusites. We must undoubtedly assume a reference to those words in the treatment of the following difficult and variously explained saying of David. The “blind and lame” are the Jebusites themselves, so called by David in answer to their scornful words. We must further suppose that the assailants had a difficult task before them, and were all the more embittered by the derisive remarks of the Jebusites, as David’s words indicate. In the attempt to explain this obscure passage, the principal point is the meaning of the expression ba-zinnor, בַּצִּנּוֹר [Eng. A.V.: “to the gutter”]. Zinnor occurs elsewhere only Psalms 42:8, where the meaning assigned by several expositors (mostly with regard to our passage), “conduit, canal,” does not suit at all, but the connection (in which the Psalmist speaks of the roaring of violently swelling and plunging waves) indicates the signification to be that adopted (after Sept. καταῤῥαικταί) by Keil, Moll, Delitzsch, and others, “cataract, waterfall.” Ewald accordingly translates: “Every one who conquers the Jebusites, let him cast down the precipice both the lame,” etc.; and this of all the attempts at explanation is the simplest in sense and construction, suiting the locality also, since Mount Zion had steep declivities on the east, south and west, which, with the opposite-lying heights, formed deep gorges. Yet it is better with Keil to keep more strictly to the signification of the word according to Psalms 42:8, and to take it as meaning not with Ewald the precipitous declivity of the rock that produces the waterfall, but the waterfall itself. We are therefore not to think of an aqueduct, by cutting off which the capture of the citadel was decided (Stähelin), nor water pipes for carrying off the rain from the height (Vatab., Cler.), nor gutters (Luther), nor a subterranean passage (Joseph.). But there is nothing opposed to the supposition of a waterfall on one of the declivities. At present the south-east part of the ridge, which slopes somewhat toward the northwest (the ridge running from south to north) is still the point where appear the only springs in Jerusalem, at the foot of the declivity (comp. E. Hoffmann, Das gelobte land, 1871, p. 116 sq.). There is the pool of Siloah in the valley Tyropœon [cheesemongers’ valley], on the border of Zion and Moriah, which receives its water from a lofty-lying basin hewn out of the rocky side of Zion,14 into which it flows from springs that break forth higher up. Might not this be conjecturally the precipice spoken of in our passage, if the question of locality (a precise answer to which is impossible) is to be raised? But in another place also, for example, on the west, where is found the lower pool under the highest part of the northwestern corner of Zion, there might be waterfalls which in the precipitous descent of the rocky declivity plunged into a gorge. According to this view, David gives strict orders that when the Jebusites are overcome in the fortress, where the space was relatively limited, their slain should be thrown into the waterfall. He calls them “the lame and the blind,” taking up their own words, with reference, perhaps, at the same time, to the expression “every one that smiteth,” etc; the fallen and slain in the battle (regarded as a victory) are to be cast down15 the precipice, that the citadel may be free and habitable for the Israelites. The next clause may be rendered “they hate,” or “who hate,” pointing the verb as 3 plu. Perf.; the absence of the Eel. Pron. (Keil) is not a decisive objection to this rendering; comp. Ges. § 123, 3; Ew. § 332, 333 b. But the connection and warlike tone make the marginal pointing (Pass. Partcp.) also appropriate: “who are hated of David’s soul,” that is, hated by David in his “soul.” Both of these admissible renderings point to the fact that the Israelites had to maintain a furious, embittered combat with this enemy who so confidently and scornfully boasted of his strong fortress, and they were directed to make short work of it with the “blind and lame” in the assault, and clear the ground of the enemy straightway. Therefore they say: Blind and lame will not come into the house.—That is, one holds no intercourse with disagreeable, hateful people like the Jebusites; or, with reference to the crippled condition of lame and blind persons, the sense is: “will not get home,” like those blind and lame plunged into the precipice and unable to get back.16 “Into the house.” Some (Buns., Then.) understand by this the temple, and assume (with reference to Acts 3:2; John 9:1; John 8:59) an old law, forbidding the blind and the lame to enter the temple, which law the narrator derives from this incident; but this view is wholly without support. This explanation [Erdmann’s explanation of the whole passage] avoids the difficulty that ensues when David’s address is taken as protasis merely, and the apodosis supplied [as in Eng. A. V., Philippson]. Against Thenius’ rendering: “he who smites the Jebusites (paves the way to the capture of the city, in that he first) reaches the battlements and the lame and the blind—him David’s soul envies” apart from its unwarranted changes of text17—it is rightly remarked by Böttcher that its tone is too modern: one cannot well think of David as showing envy at such a military exploit (unfortunately not open to him), in order to inflame the ardor of his warriors. Böttcher translates: “he who smites the Jebusites shall attain the staff,” that is, become captain; against which it is to be remarked with Thenius that he has not succeeded in showing (Zeitschr. d. morgenl. Gesellschaft, 1857, p. 541 sq.) that zinnor means “captain’s staff,” and that, according to the unrestricting phrase “every one that smites,” David would have had a good many staffs of the sort to bestow; and for the same reason the remark of the Chronicler (1 Chronicles 11:6, which omits our 2 Samuel 5:8) that “David announced that whoever first smote the Jebusites should be chief and captain, and Joab won this prize,” is not to be taken as an exhibition of the sense of our passage (against Böttcher). Maurer changes the text18 and translates: “He who has smitten the Jebusites and reached the canal, let him slay those blind and lame,” to which the objection is the tautology in protasis and apodosis. Maurer’s other rendering:19 “whoever shall slay the Jebusites and reach with the sword either the lame or the blind, him will David’s soul hate” [that is, as Maurer explains, David forbids his men to slay the Jebusites with the sword, in order that these boasters might die a shameful death.—Tr.], contains, as Thenius rightly remarks, a contradictio in adjecto, “and David would, according to this, have desired something impossible.” Joab, having led the stormers in the attack, was named by David “head and prince,” that is, elevated to the rank of general-in-chief of the whole army of Israel, which, according to 2 Samuel 2:13, he could not yet have been. [The decisive objection to Erdmann’s rendering: “let him cast into the waterfall the blind,” etc., is that the verb (נגע) whether in Qal or in Hiphil, cannot be so translated. In Qal it means only “to reach, touch, strike,” the object reached being usually introduced by בְּ; in Hiph it means “to cause to touch, to join, to raze,” usually followed by עַד ,עַל ,אֵל or לְ. In the passages most favorable to Erdmann’s rendering, such as Ezekiel 13:14; Isaiah 26:5, the object introduced by the Prep, is that to which something is brought (corresponding to the signification “touch” of the verb), not that into which it is cast. Similarly, for reasons derived from the construction of the verb, we must reject the interpretation of Bib. Com.: “whosoever will smite the Jebusites, let him reach both the lame and the blind, who are the hated of David’s soul, by the water-course, and he shall be chief,” which, moreover, hardly renders the וְ in the first וְאֶת) (it must here= “and,” though it might as an emendation of text be omitted). The natural conception of the passage would lead us to take zinnor as the object reached (so Eng. A. V., Philippson, Cahen), but it is very difficult in that case to find a satisfactory meaning for this word, or to construe the following words. Wellhausen would take it to mean some part of the body, a blow on which or violent grasping of which produces death, and Hitzig suggested the ear, others the throat (zinnor being supposed to mean a “tube”); but the absolute form of the word (“let him seize the throat”) is opposed to this rendering, and the construction of the following words presents a difficulty, even if we suppose the אֵת to be used as equivalent to בְּ. Taking zinnor (as seems safest) to mean “channel, canal,” the whole context and tone suggests that “the blind and the lame” is the object of the verb “smite,” or some similar verb, and it is not unlikely that the inversion of the Eng. A. V. (though an impossible translation of the present text) gives the general sense. The supplying of an apodosis is harsh, but we have here only a choice of difficulties. No defensible translation of the passage has yet been proposed, and it is natural to conjecture that the text is corrupt, though its restoration is now perhaps impossible.—Tr.]

2 Samuel 5:9. Two things are here said: 1) David took up his abode in the conquered Jebusite citadel, which with its buildings formed the Upper City, and called it the City of David. Chron.: “therefore it is called the city of David.” He made it the royal residence (which was equivalent to making Jerusalem the capital), on account of its remarkable strength, through which alone the Jebusites had been able to hold it so long, and on account of its very favorable position on the border between Judah and Benjamin, almost in the centre of the land. 2) The building up of this city. And David built round about from the Millo and inward.—The Def. Art. before “Millo” shows that this work was already in existence at the time of the capture, having been founded by the Jebusites. From the connection the Millo must have belonged to the citadel on Zion and have formed a part of the fortification. This alone would set aside the explanation of the word (founded on the etymology = “a filling out”) as = “outfilling embankment,” an earthwall, which ran aslant through the Wady and connected Mount Zion with the opposite-lying temple-mountain (Kraft’s Topog., p. 94, Schultz, Jerus. 80, Ewald and others)—apart from the fact that that connection is shown by the latest investigations to have been not an earthwall, but a bridge resting on arches (Tobler, Dritte Wande-rung, p. 223 sq.). But a comparison of Judges 9:6; Judges 9:20; Judges 9:46-49, puts it beyond doubt that Millo is the castle proper of the citadel or fortification=Bastion, a strong fortified tower or separate fortification which is called “house” in Judges 9:6; Judges 9:20; 2 Kings 12:21. The fort designed to protect the citadel and Upper City on Zion, lay no doubt at the point most exposed to hostile attack, that is, the northwest end of Zion, where the castle still stands. “From the Millo out” David built “around and inward,” that is, while Millo formed the most advanced fortification, he built in connection with it and out from it on Zion, 1) “roundabout” the city and citadel for further fortification, as was necessary especially on the north towards the Lower City, where an attack could be most easily made, and 2) “inward,” so that the Upper City (City of David or of Zion) was extended by houses and defensive edifices, and more and more covered the mountain. The Chronicler (1 Chronicles 11:8) expresses substantially the same thing: “from one surrounding to the other,” that is, the whole space between the fortifications which were built around. As it is here clearly only buildings designed to fortify and extend the city on Zion that are spoken of, Josephus has misunderstood this passage when he relates (Ant. 7, 3, 2) that David surrounded the Lower City and the citadel with a wall, and united them into one. Comp. “Winer. s. v. and Arnold in Herzog, s. v. “Zion” (XVIII. 623 sq.). On the extension of the Millo and the other fortifications by Solomon see 1 Kings 9:15; 1 Kings 9:24; 1 Kings 11:27. [See also 2 Chronicles 32:5.—Bib. Com. refers to Lewin’s “Siege of Jerusalem.” p. 256 sq., where it is argued from the etymology and the mentions in the Bible that the great platform, called the Haram esh-Sherif (1500 by 900 feet) was itself Millo, and Mr. Lewin thinks that Solomon’s Palace (Beth-Millo, so called from abutting on Millo) was built on a terrace immediately below, and to the south of the Temple-area.—Patrick: “Some take Millo to be the low place between the fort and the city, which was now “filled’ with people.”—On the “Palace of Solomon” see “Recovery of Jerusalem” (Am. Ed.) pp. 84, 91, 222, 249, and see also the remarks on the Haram esh-Sherif.—Tr.]. According to 1 Chronicles 11:9, “Joab renewed the rest of the city,” that is, he restored at David’s command what was destroyed in the capture. He thus seems as “chief and captain” to have been charged also with other than military affairs.

2 Samuel 5:10. General statement of the continuous advance and growth of David in power and consideration. Observe, 1) how this is referred to the highest source, not merely to God’s assistance, but to the fact that God was with him, and 2) how God is in this connection called the God of Hosts.

2 Samuel 5:11-16. David’s house. Building of a royal residence, and extension of his family. Comp. 1 Chronicles 14:1-7.—And Hiram, king of Tyre, sent messengers unto David.—This name is written variously, Heb. Hiram or Huram (חוּרָם 2 Chronicles 2:2), Phœnician Hirom (1 Kings 5:24, 32), Sept. Χειράμ (Cheiram), Joseph., Eiram and Eirom. That this king Hiram, who was in friendly connection with David, is the same Hiram that was Solomon’s friend and ally, and his helper in building the Temple and palace, is clear not only from 2 Chronicles 2:2 : “as thou hast done to David my father, (so do to me also”), but also from 1 Kings 5:15 : “Hiram had always been David’s friend.” We can neither suppose therefore, with Ewald, that this king Hiram is the grandfather of Solomon’s friend of the same name, nor with Thenius that his (our Hiram’s) father is here meant, whose name according to Menander of Ephesus (in Joseph, cont. Ap. I. 18) was Abibaal, whether this be considered a surname to the proper name Hiram, or it be held that the two persons are here confounded. The occasion to this hypothesis has been given by the difference that exists between the Biblical chronological statements and those of Josephus after Menander. The latter relates (Jos. ubi sup.) that Hiram succeeded his father Abibaal, and that he died in the thirty-fourth year of his reign and the fifty-third of his life. With this is to be connected the statement of Josephus (ubi sup. and Ant. 8, 3, 1) that Solomon began the temple in the twelfth year of Hiram. Now, according to 1 Kings 9:10 sq., Hiram was still living after twenty years of Solomon’s reign, counting from the beginning of the Temple-building (and therefore twenty-four years of his reign in all) had elapsed, namely seven years for the building of the Temple (1 Kings 6:38, and thirteen years for the building of the palace (2 Samuel 7:1). On comparing these statements of the Bible and Josephus, it appears that Hiram reigned at the most eight years contemporaneously with David, and that therefore David began his palace in about the seventh year before his death, that is, in the sixty-third year of his life, and that his determination to build a temple to the Lord (which was after the completion of his palace, 2 Samuel 7:2) was not made till the last years of his life. Both these conclusions, however, are incompatible with our passage and with 2 Samuel 7:0.; for the position of these two narratives in the connection of the history leaves no doubt that both things belonged to David’s prime of manhood. It has indeed been declared, in order to set aside the discrepancy, that the Books of Samuel narrate events not so much in chronological order as in the connection of things, and that here the building of the palace, which occurred much later, is related in connection with other buildings (Movers, Phöniz. ΙΙ. 1, 147 sq., Rütschi in Herzog. s. v. Hiram, Stähelin, spez. Einl. 107). And in fact it must be admitted that David’s palace-building, which must have taken time, and supposes a corresponding period of rest and peace, probably did not (as might appear from the narrative) follow immediately on the conquest of Zion, before the Philistine war (2 Samuel 5:17) which broke out as soon as the Philistines heard of David’s anointment as king over Israel, but after this war. “The historian has rather attached to the conquest of Zion and its choice as David’s residence not only what David gradually did to strengthen and beautify the new capital, but also the account of his wives and the children that were born to him in Jerusalem.” (Keil). But though in detached instances a topical rather than a chronological arrangement of the material is to be recognized, it is nevertheless not probable in itself that David would have deferred the building of a royal palace till the last part of his life; and further, this, as Winer rightly observes, would not accord with 2 Samuel 11:2, where the palace whence David sees Bathsheba is called the “king’s palace,” which is to be understood, not of the simple house that David took as his dwelling-place on Mount Zion immediately after its capture, but of the place that he had had built for himself there. Comp. 2 Samuel 7:1-2. And if the affair with Bathsheba occurred when David was an old man, which is in itself highly improbable, Solomon, who was born a couple of years later, would have been a little child when he ascended the throne. If David had not resolved on the building of the Temple till in advanced life, or towards the close of his life, we could not harmonize this fact with 1 Samuel 7:12, and 1 Chronicles 22:9, according to which Solomon was not yet born when David received the divine promise there mentioned. If therefore the account of the palace-building is in this place chronologically anticipatory, the building is nevertheless not to be put towards the end of David’s reign. We are therefore forced to assume a longer reign for king Hiram, and to suppose inaccuracies in the chronological statements of Josephus, as has been shown to be true in the periods of reign of the succeeding Tyrian kings, even when he refers to Menander. See more in Movers (ubi supra) and Keil on this verse.—[On Tyre see Movers and Arts, in Bib. Dict.—Tr.]

It is not said that the object of this embassy, as in Solomon’s case (1 Kings 9:15), was to congratulate David on his accession to the throne (Then.), and this is improbable from the length of time (presupposed in his purpose to build) that must have elapsed since his accession. We should rather infer from the sending of cedar wood and workmen along with the messengers, that David had previously put himself in connection with Hiram, partly to maintain a good understanding with a powerful neighbor, partly and especially to obtain the help of this king (who was renowned for his magnificent edifices, Mov. ΙΙ. 1, 190 sq.) in his building plans.—The eastern part of Lebanon (Antilibanus), which belonged to Israel, produced only firs, pines and cypresses (Rob. Pal. ΙΙΙ. 723)20; the northwestern part, which alone was covered with cedar-forests, and furnished the best cedar for building, belonged to Phœnicia. On account of its strength, durability, beauty and fragrance, the cedar-wood was much used for costly building and wainscoting.—Through Tyrian workmen David began the splendid structures of cedar in Jerusalem, which had so increased in Jeremiah’s time that he could exclaim to the city: “Thou dwellest on Lebanon and makest thy nest in the cedars” [ Jeremiah 22:23].

2 Samuel 5:12. And David perceived, namely, from his success externally against Israel’s enemies and in the connection with the friendly king of Tyre, and internally in the establishment of unity in Israel and in the execution of his plans, that the Lord had established him King over Israel; the “established” (in contrast with the previous divine choice of David as king and the fate of Saul’s kingdom) refers to the divine providences, through Which, as David clearly saw, all doubt as to the permanence of his kingdom was ended, and it immovably established. And that he had exalted his kingdom (Chron: “and that his kingdom was exalted on high” [I. 2 Samuel 14:2]) for his people Israel’s sake, that is, not for the sake of the blessing that rested on his people Israel (Bunsen), nor simply because he had chosen them (Then.), but because he wished to rule them as his (chosen) people through David’s kingdom, glorify himself in them and make them a great and mighty people according to his covenant-faithfulness.

2 Samuel 5:13-16. Account of the growth of David’s house and family, appended to the summary statement concerning the establishment of his kingdom and his palace-building. Concubines and wives.—David follows the custom of eastern princes, and gathers a numerous harem. See the law against this, Deuteronomy 17:17. The “concubines” are mentioned first in order to bring out prominently the extension of the harem, as an essential part of oriental court-state, and as a symbol of royal power. The omission of the “concubines” in 1 Chronicles 14:3 is not to be regarded as intentional (against Then.), for David’s concubines are mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:9.—“From Jerusalem” (מִן) is not = “elsewhere than in Jerusalem,” which view (Keil) cannot be based on the following words, “after he came from Hebron,” but (because of this very chronological statement) = “from, that is, out of Jerusalem,” substantially agreeing with Chron.: “in Jerusalem.” After changing his residence from Hebron to Jerusalem, David took concubines and wives in the latter place also.—The statement: sons and daughters were born to him shows clearly that, in all these summary accounts concerning family and building, a greater space of time than at the beginning of his reign is assumed; and this statement is here put proleptically not only before the following notice of the Philistine wars, but also before the narrative concerning Bathsheba. For among the sons of David (given in 1 Chronicles 14:5-7, and also in 2 Samuel 3:5-8) occur here first the names of the four sons of Bathsheba: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. For Shammua Chron. (I. 2 Samuel 3:5) has Shimea, and for Elishua it has (2 Samuel 5:6) Elishama, a clerical error from the following Elishama. After Elishua, 1 Chronicles 3:6; 1 Chronicles 14:6 sq. have the two names Eliphalet (or Elpalet) and Nogah. This last is not to be taken as miswriting of Nepheg (Mov.). Thenius supposes that the latter (Nogah) has fallen out of our text by oversight, and that the former (Eliphalet) got into the text of Chron. by mistake from the following verse (2 Samuel 5:16), that David had, therefore, only eight sons, not nine (as in 1 Chronicles 3:8) born in Jerusalem.—Keil thinks that the names of these two sons are omitted in our passage because they died early, and the late-born Eliphalet (whose name stands last) received the name of his dead brother; but the question is involved in doubt. According to the former view David had in all eighteen sons, according to the latter nineteen, of whom six were born in Hebron (2 Samuel 3:2 sq.). Instead of Eliada 1 Chronicles 14:7 has Beeliada, another form of the name, with Baal [= lord] instead of El [= God]. No daughter is named (see 2 Samuel 5:13), because daughters are in general not considered in genealogical lists. The only daughter that appears by name in the following history is Tamar, 2 Samuel 13:1. [Patrick: Kimchi says that Sam. gives the sons of the wives only, Chron., those of wives and concubines, which does not agree with 1 Chronicles 3:9.—It was looked on as a piece of political wisdom in princes to endeavor to have many children, that by matching them into many potent families they might strengthen their interest and authority.—Tr.]

II. 2 Samuel 5:17-25. David’s victories over the Philistines, 1 Chronicles 14:8-17.

2 Samuel 5:17. And when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel—this was the occasion of the war. From David’s elevation to the throne of all Israel and the consequent unification of the people, the Philistines feared (and did their best to prevent) such increase in his power as would endanger their power and foot-hold not only in Palestine [Israel], but also in their own land. Hence, according to the narrative, their attack followed on the receipt of intelligence of his anointment, which must have come on them as a surprise. Ewald conjectures (but it is a mere conjecture, and unnecessary) that the occasion of the war was David’s withholding the tribute that he had paid the Philistines while he was in Hebron.—And all the Philistines marched up, namely, from the lowlands of Judah which they held, or from their own land against the Israelitish army (with which David had attacked the Jebusites) which was on the mountain-plateau of Judah. As this Jebusite war followed immediately on David’s anointment (comp. 2 Samuel 5:3; 2 Samuel 5:6), and the gathering of all the Philistines was not the affair of a moment, it is for this reason alone an untenable view that these two victories “probably belonged in the interval between the second anointment at Hebron and the capture of Zion” (Keil). But the following words: And when David heard of it, he marched down to the hold, are decisive, for the reference (as the context shows) is here to Mount Zion, which is mentioned just before (2 Samuel 5:7; 2 Samuel 5:9); and this is proved also by the Def. Art., which (from the context) cannot refer to some other stronghold in Judah resorted to by David in Saul’s time (so Keil, who cites 2 Samuel 23:14), but points to the citadel of Zion which is here twice named with emphasis as the centre of David’s position. The expression “he went down to the hold” is not against this view; for, though the citadel of Zion was so high that one ascended to it from all sides, yet its plateau was by no means a horizontal plain, but was made up of higher and lower parts, and David of course made his residence on the highest and safest part, the most favorable position for a military outlook, while the fortifications most protective against the enemy (enlarged by him, 2 Samuel 5:9) must certainly have lain on the relatively lower north-western side (in accordance with their design), and with this agrees the fact that the Philistines advanced to the attack from the west. David, accordingly, on hearing of the approach of the Philistines, went down from his residence to the fortifications on Zion, in order to make at this rendezvous and sally-point of his army the necessary preparations whether for defence (Maur.) or for attack. Maurer: “David was not yet certain whether to defend himself at the walls, or to advance to meet the enemy,” comp. 2 Samuel 5:19. There is no need, therefore, to change the text21 (Syr., Mich., Dathe) to “siege” (besiegers), the narrative giving no hint of a siege. It is by no means sure (Then.) from 2 Samuel 23:13-14, that the hold here referred to is the cave of Adullam; for, even if the incident here related was an episode in this Philistine war, it may very well have occurred after David had left the citadel to march against the Philistines, while they were encamped in the valley of Rephaim. [Still, the impression made on us is that David went down into the plain against the Philistines; thus in 2 Samuel 5:20 he does not go down, but comes to Baal-perazim, as if he were already in the plain. Perhaps the editor has here inserted a separate narrative of this war, so that the “hold” here may be different from the “hold” in 2 Samuel 5:9. Adullam was a strong place, and was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:7). If we take the narrative in 2 Samuel 23:13-17 to belong to the time of this war, it would show that David was at one time hard pressed; but this cannot be determined with certainty.—Tr.]—The phrase: “to seek David,” cannot prove that David had at this time not yet taken up his residence on Zion (Keil), but only that the aim of the Philistines was to get possession of the person of David so dangerous to them.

2 Samuel 5:18. The strategical position of the Philistines. Instead of our text-word “spread themselves,” 1 Chronicles 14:9 has “made an inroad” (פשׁט). The valley of Rephaim, according to Joshua 15:8, was a fruitful plain,22 nearly three miles long by two wide, separated from the valley of Ben-hinnom (south and southwest of Jerusalem) by a ridge, and large enough to hold a large army in camp; it was named after the old Canaanitish giant-tribe, the Rephaim (Genesis 14:5). Comp. Rob. I. 365 [Am. Ed. I. 219, 469], Tobl., Top. Jerus. II. 401 sq., and 3 Wand. 202, Winer II. 322, Thenius in Käuffer’s Stud. II. 137 sq. [For various opinions see Kitto, Porter, Bonar, Fürst.—Tr.] The Philistines had probably advanced from the west by way of Bethshemesh (comp. 1 Samuel 6:9).

2 Samuel 5:19. David inquires of the Lord (comp. 2 Samuel 2:1; 1 Samuel 23:2), 1) whether he shall march out against the Philistines, and 2) whether he shall get the victory over them. The expression “shall I go up?” is explained by the fact that David has led his army down from Mount Zion, the defence of which he had first to keep in view. He now advances to the attack from his position in the plain, which lay lower than the Philistines, perhaps near the cave of Adullam (Then.), after having inquired of the Lord and received an affirmative answer. He no doubt made a sudden impetuous attack, as is clear from the meaning of the name “Baal-perazim,” the place where he “smote” the Philistines. He said, namely (referring the victory to the Lord according to the Lord’s answer, 2 Samuel 5:19): “The Lord hath broken asunder (or through) my enemies before me as the breach of waters,” that is, as a violent torrent makes a rift or breach. All other explanations, that make the point of comparison the division of the water-mass itself, depart from the conception of the expression, and weaken the force of the image. The place where the battle was fought was thus called, from the way that David won it, Water breach, “Bruch-hausen, Brechendorf” (Keil) [Breach-ham, Break-thorpe—the Heb. name = “possessor of breaches.”23—Tr.]. It cannot have been far from the Valley of Rephaim. In Isaiah 28:21 it is called (with allusion to this battle) “mount” Perazim. This fills out the topographical description of the place, and in exact accordance with the name “water-breach.” As a torrent plunging from the mountain rends asunder everything before it, so David rushed with his army suddenly and unexpectedly on the Philistines, from a gorge opening into the valley of Rephaim, burst through and scattered them with impetuous and irresistible power. Perhaps he marched northward around the position of the Philistines, and attacked them from the rocky height (the border of the valley of Hinnom), that bounds the valley of Rephaim on the north, comp. Joshua 15:8.

2 Samuel 5:21. And there they left their images behind, which they were doubtless accustomed to carry with them to war, in order to make the victory more certain.24 Clericus: “as if they would feel the help of the gods more present, if they had their statues along. Perhaps they imitated the Hebrews, who sometimes carried the ark of God into camp.” Their abandonment of their sacred images confirms the supposition (founded on the name of the scene of battle) that David made a sudden attack. Chron. has (by way of explanation) “gods” instead of “images.” According to our passage David took them away as spoil; according to Chron., they were at David’s command burned with fire. It cannot be determined whether this text of Chron. is an addition from another source (Movers), or taken from the same source as our text (Keil), or an explanatory remark of the Chronicler himself according to Deuteronomy 7:5; Deuteronomy 7:25, where the burning of heathen idols is prescribed. Thus the disgrace of the Philistine capture of the Ark was wiped out.

2 Samuel 5:22-25. Second invasion by the Philistines and victory over them.

2 Samuel 5:22. Their approach is described (as 2 Samuel 5:17) by the phrase: came up. They had therefore fled as far as the lowland on the west, but, as David had not pursued them, soon assembled again. They advance (as 2 Samuel 5:18) to the valley of Rephaim. Chron. (2 Samuel 5:13) has simply: “in the valley,” Rephaim being understood from the context, and in fact supplied by Sept., Syr. and Arab. [Joseph., Ant. 12, 7, 14) and Gadaris (Strabo XVI. 759)—an old Canaanitish royal city (Joshua 12:12), belonging to the tribe of Ephraim, who did not drive the Canaanites out of it (Joshua 16:9-10; Judges 1:29), in the south of Ephraim (whose border passed from Lower Beth-horon over Gezer to the sea north of Joppa), north-west of Beth-horon on the western declivity of Mount Ephraim, where the latter sank into the Philistine plain (Plain of Sharon). Solomon fortified it, along with other important military positions (1 Kings 9:15-17), inasmuch as it formed a strong defence towards the south against the Philistines; for “from this point an army might penetrate into the country and reach the capital far more easily than over the mountains of Judah” (see Then. and Bähr in loco). It is noteworthy that this place plays an important part as fortress in the Maccabean time also, and that the route taken by Judas Maccabæus from Emmaus to Gazer (1Ma 4:15) and from Adasa to Gazer (1Ma 7:45) is the same as this, namely, the north-westerly. Comp. v. Raumer, p. 191, and his map. For the Geba, from which David pursued the Philistines, is not = Gibeon (according to the inexact reading of Chron., which constantly changes the Gibeah of First Samuel into Gibeon, Stähelin, Leben Davids 38), which is adopted by Movers, Then., Keil, Dächsel—nor = Gibeah, whether Gibeah in Judah (Joshua 15:57), 8–10 miles south-west of Jerusalem (Bertheau, Stähelin), or Gibeah of Samuel (Cler., Budd., O. v. Gerlach), neither of which could here come into consideration as a military position—but it is the place known from 1 Samuel 13:15-23 as the camping-ground of Saul and Jonathan, on the southern border of the Wady-es-Suweinit, opposite Michmash (now Mukhmas) which is on the northern border of the Wady, where Rob. found a place Jeba (with ruins) still existing. Comp. Isaiah 10:29. See Rob., Bibliotheca Sacra, 1844, p. 598, and v. Raumer, 196, Furrer, Wanderungen, 212–217, Fay [in Lange’s Biblework] on Joshua 18:24. The battle therefore passed from the valley of Rephaim on the west of Jerusalem about nine miles northward to the plateau of Geba, where the Philistines vainly tried to make a stand, and, having the deep gorge of Michmash before them, took a north-westerly direction towards Bethhoron and Gezer. Here the pursuit ceased, because the Philistines were driven into the plain, and no danger could be apprehended from them. According to Joseph. (Ant. 7, 4. 1) Gazer was then their extreme northern limit. On the great extension of their power northward comp. Stark, Gaza, 170.—[Gibeon (instead of Geba) is here preferred by many critics, because Gibeon lies more nearly on the road from Rephaim to Gezer; but the pursuit may easily have gone first north to Geba and then west to Gezer, as Erdmann points out. It is not to be expected, however, that we can settle with absolute certainty these minute geographical points.—The phrase: “till thou come to Gezer,” does not necessarily mean: “up to Gezer,” but, like the similar expression: “as thou goest,” may = “on the way to.” See on 1 Samuel 27:8.—Tr.]

In reference to the chronological relation of the account here, 2 Samuel 5:17-25, and that in 1 Chronicles 14:8-17 it is to be remarked that the two differ, in that the former puts these victories without further statement in the beginning of David’s government over all Israel, the latter in the interval between the unsuccessful and the successful attempts to remove the Ark. “Whether this exacter statement of time is correct cannot be determined with certainty” (Stähelin, ubi sup., p. 37).


1. In his first royal deed of arms David, by a victory over the last Canaanites of any power that were left, completed the conquest of the land for the Lord’s covenant-people, and thus concluded the military work that was first entrusted by divine command to Joshua (Joshua 1:1-9), but had been completed neither by him, nor by the Judges, nor by Saul. The result of this first exploit against the Jebusites was the firm establishment of the royal rule in the strongest position and in the centre of the land.

2. In David’s person and government the Covenant-God, the King of His people, takes His royal seat on Mount Zion, and the city that David builds there is (with old Jerusalem under Zion) called, as being the theocratic dwelling-place and holy city of God, the “city of the great King” (Matthew 5:35). In the historical books the “City of David” (2 Samuel 5:9) always has the narrower signification of the old Upper City or David’s city, being used only in poetry of the whole city (Isaiah 22:9; comp. Isaiah 31:1) while according to 1 Kings 8:2; 2 Chronicles 6:2; 1 Chronicles 15:1; 1 Chronicles 15:29; it is distinctly differenced from Jerusalem as a whole. So “Zion” in the historical books means originally only Mount Zion, on which the city of David lay, but is used by Poets and Prophets for Jerusalem in general, in allusion to its character as God’s royal dwelling-place and throne (see Arnold, “Zion” in Herzog XVIII., Hupfeld in Zeitschr. d. deutsch. morgenl. ges. XV., p. 224, Rem. 67). From the time of David’s making his residence on Mount Zion dates in the theocratic language of the Old Covenant the terminology of God’s royal dwelling and enthronement in the midst of His people on His regnal seat, “Mount Zion.” See Psalms 3:5 [4]: “He hears me from His holy mountain.” Psalms 9:12 [11]: “Sing ye to the Lord, who is enthroned on Zion.” Psalms 15:1; Psalms 24:3; Isaiah 8:18; Joel 4:16, 21, and other passages. “Zion” is the royal seat of the future Anointed of the Lord, of whom David with his theocratical kingdom is the type, and concerning whom the promise in 2 Samuel 7:0 comes to him, the fulfillment of which is the matter of the prophetic declaration in Psalms 2, 89, 110. Mount Zion is the geographical-historical symbol of the dominion of the Messiah to be sent by God to His people, and of the extension of the Messianic kingdom of God from this as centre. Hengstenberg on Psalms 2:6 : “Zion, the holy mountain of the Lord, is the fitting seat for His king; for as after David’s time it was the centre of Israel, so is it destined to become some day the centre of the world, for from Zion goes forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).

3. The military stamp of the first part of David’s reign is the pre-indication of the military character of the whole of it. That the theocracy in Israel may be developed, he purges the land of the remains of the heathen, extends the borders of Israel, and secures for the people the possession of the land and the maintenance of their boundaries by mighty victories over all their enemies. In the Psalms of David we hear the echo of this warlike and victorious theocracy. They are mostly songs of conflict and victory in praise of the God who saved His people from their enemies. Psalms 9:0. may serve as an example of them all, much of it corresponding with David’s experiences in these first wars and victories, though it cannot be said that it was composed with special reference thereto.

4. Several prominent features characteristic of the prophetical-theocratical historiography appear in this section (which embraces the elevation of David to the throne of Israel, his wars against internal and external enemies): 1) the relation between king and people is described as essentially a covenant before the Lord (2 Samuel 5:3); 2) it is declared to be the task and calling of the theocratic king to be shepherd and captain of the people (2 Samuel 5:2); 3) the reference of all the king’s successes to the highest and last source, the God of Sabaoth, who was with him, whereby all his own human merit is excluded (2 Samuel 5:10); 4) the conception of all these events whereby David’s kingdom was confirmed and recognized even by the powerful heathen king of Tyre, through whose friendly relations with David it was exalted and honored at home and abroad, as ordinations of God, the object of which was to establish David’s kingdom as a divine institution, and give him the assurance that he was confirmed by the Lord immediately as king over Israel (2 Samuel 5:12); 5) the repeated exhibition of David’s humble subjection of his will to the will of God, which he seeks and asks after, that he may have a sure path in what he is to do, which path the divine answer shows him (2 Samuel 5:19; 2 Samuel 5:23); and 6) the express declaration of David’s unconditional active obedience to the Lord’s will, which is revealed to him in a definite Yes and No (2 Samuel 5:25).

5. All the powers and goods of the world which have their origin in the might and goodness of God, are employed by Him also for the ends of His wisdom in the government of His kingdom of grace (which is founded on His positive self-revelation) and of His people. The help of the heathen king in David’s Zion-buildings (and so in Solomon’s Temple) sets forth the great truth that all the art and treasures of the lower, natural world are to be subservient to the higher world, which has entered humanity through the kingdom of God, and to contribute to the glorification of the name of God. Bähr on 1 Kings 5:15-18 : “Israel was destined not to foster the arts, but to be the bearer of divine revelation, and to secure for all nations the knowledge of the one living and holy God; thereto had God chosen this people out of all peoples, and therewith is closely connected its manner of life and occupation, yea, its whole development and history. To the attainment of this its destiny the other nations had to contribute with the special gifts and powers which had been lent them. Israel, in spite of faults and errors, stood as high above the Phœnicians in the knowledge of the truth, as they above Israel in technic and artistic performances (comp. Duncker, Gesch. u. Alterth., p. 317–320); distinguished as was Phœnicia for arts and industries, its religion was nevertheless the most perverted and its cultus the rudest (Duncker, ubi sup., 155 sq.).”


2 Samuel 5:6-9. The stronghold25 on Mount Zion: 1) How it is gained: a) by holy war against the enemies of God’s kingdom; b) by holy victory, which God vouchsafes. 2) How it is maintained: a) in defiance of God’s enemies, and b) as a reliance for God’s friends.

2 Samuel 5:10-12. The true kingdom by the grace of God: 1) It is firmly founded through the Lord’s power; 2) It grows and prospers under the Lord’s blessing; 3) It renders subservient to itself the Lord’s enemies; 4) It serves the Lord in the Lord’s people.

2 Samuel 5:12. The true salutary relation between government and people rests on two things: 1) That the people recognize the authorities as set over them by God’s grace, and honor them. 2) That the authorities regard themselves as constituted by God only for the people’s welfare, and fulfil their calling to that end.

2 Samuel 5:17-25. The war-counsel from on high: 1) How it is inquired after—by looking above. 2) How it is imparted—by the voice from above. 3) How it is carried out—by help from above.—Victory comes from the Lord: 1) When it is beforehand humbly asked for according to the Lord’s will and word; 2) When the battle is undertaken in the Lord’s name and for His cause; 3) When it is fought with obedient observation of the Lord’s directions and guidance.

The Lord will go out before thee (2 Samuel 5:24): 1) A word of consolation in sore distress; 2) A word of encouragement amid inward conflict; 3) A word of exhortation to unconditional obedience of faith; 4) A word of assurance of the victory which the Lord gives.

The rustling of the Lord’s approaching help in the tops of the trees (2 Samuel 5:24): 1) Dost thou wait for it at His bidding? 2) Dost thou hear it with the right heed? 3) Dost thou understand it in the right sense? 4) Dost thou follow it without delay?

2 Samuel 5:6-9. Krummacher: David dwells now in Mount Zion, the crown of the land, and from here on begins the history of Jerusalem, which as the history of a city has not its like in grandeur, in change of fortunes, and in importance for the whole world.—Now exalted to heaven, now cast down to hell, thrice destroyed to the foundations and always rising again from the ruins, now given up to the heathen, plundered, covered with shame, and then again crowned with the highest honors, the city stands on its seven hills amid the cities of the earth as a high seven-branched candlestick, from which shines forth into the world both the consuming flame of God’s holiness and justice, and the mild and blessed light of the divine long-suffering, love, compassion and covenant-faithfulness.

2 Samuel 5:6 sq. S. Schmid: In that which God has commanded, we must not look to what others have done before us, but to God’s command (1 Samuel 15:22-23).—Schlier: The Lord, who delivered Jerusalem’s stronghold into David’s hand, still lives to-day, and will, so far as it is good for us, always help us still in every time of need, and well is it for all them that trust in Him.

2 Samuel 5:10. [Henry: Those that have the Lord of hosts for them need not fear what hosts of men or devils can do against them. Those who grow I great must ascribe it to the presence of God with them, and give Him the glory of it.—Tr.]—Berl. Bible: The world thinks little of it when it is said, God be with a man. But it is assuredly no trifle, it is the greatest of all things, for one to have with him the God of all the hosts of heaven and earth.—Krummacher: O blessed is the man on whose heart nothing so presses as this, that in all his doings he may be with God and God with him.

2 Samuel 5:11. Cramer: A glorious testimony that even the heathen will serve Christ.—Starke: God knows how to incline towards pious rulers the minds of neighboring princes and kings, so that they may show them all friendly good-will (Proverbs 21:1)

2 Samuel 5:12. J. Lange: Great lords exist for the sake of their subjects, not these for their sake: O that the fact might be recognized!—[2 Samuel 5:13-16. Scott: Alas! even good men are apt to grow secure and self-indulgent in prosperity, and to sanction by their example those abuses which they should oppose or repress; and all our returns for the Lord’s mercies are deeply tinged with ingratitude.—Tr.

2 Samuel 5:17. Schlier: Then might David clearly enough see that there is appointed to man no true resting-time upon earth. David’s life was a warfare, and from one strife it went on into another, and when he thought to have found rest, then battle and strife began anew. Our life upon earth is not yet the resting-time; what awaits us is strife and warfare.—Cramer: The pious never cease to encounter opposition; therefore whoever wishes to be pious, let him prepare for this (Luke 14:28).—Krummacher: The old enemy of Israel stood again in arms upon the plain. God the Lord knows how to mingie always with the encouragements which He gives His friends so much also of the humbling as suffices to secure them against the danger of losing their equilibrium.

2 Samuel 5:19 sqq. Schlier: Whatever we undertake then, we must look to the Lord in beginning it, and it should be to us a matter of earnest concern that we may really have the Lord’s word and will on our side.—So long as we have a good cause, we too may comfort ourselves with the help of the Lord; but what does it help if we pray and have a bad cause, or use God’s word, and yet do not walk in the Lord’s ways! God’s word and prayer make no bad cause good, but help only when we undertake a good, God-pleasing work. And there is one more thing we must not overlook if we wish really to have the Lord’s help, namely, that we must be acting only and entirely for the Lord’s cause and honor. How did it stand, properly speaking, between Israel and the Philistines? On the one side was the Lord, and on the other the idols; there was the Lord’s people, and here an idolatrous or heathen people. So the conflict was the cause of the Lord; the Lord’s name and kingdom was in question; David’s defeat would have been the Lord’s defeat; a victory for David was the Lord’s victory.

2 Samuel 5:20. Berl. Bible: David will not agree that the honor of the victory which he has gained by the help of God’s goodness shall be ascribed to him, but rather to God.—Cramer: Believers when they have been rescued from distress should heartily thank God for it, and recognize that the victory comes from Him; for He fights for His Church (Psalms 50:15; Psalms 115:1).

2 Samuel 5:21. Berl. Bib.: Men do not commonly let their idols go until they have been smitten by God, and do not quite let them go even then.

2 Samuel 5:23-25. Krummacher: It rustles in the tops of the baca-trees, as if an invisible host were passing over them. We know what this meant for him. Nothing less than what was once meant for Jacob by his dream of the heavenly ladder, for Moses by the burning bush that was not consumed, for Elijah by the still, small voice on Horeb, and for Saul by the light which shone round him from heaven. The Lord was near and would go out for him.—Berl. Bible: God Himself gives to those who tranquilly trust in Him to know His will, and also places them in a position to be able to carry it out.—Krummacher: The word of the Lord: “As soon as thou shalt hear the rustling in the tops … bestir thyself,” applies figuratively to us also in our spiritual conflict with the children of unbelief in the world. There too it comes to nothing that one should make war with his own prowess and merely in the human equipment of reason and science. Success can only be reckoned on when the conflict is waged amid the blowing of the Holy Spirit’s breath and with the immediate gracious presence of the Lord and of the truth of His word.—[Henry: But observe, though God promised to go before them and smite the Philistines, yet David, when he heard the sound of this going, must bestir himself, and be ready to pursue the victory. God’s grace must quicken our endeavors. Philippians 2:12-13.—Tr.]

[2 Samuel 5:6-7. Men are prone to rely on strong fortifications, so as to feel no fear of successful attack, and no need of help from God. So at a later period the men of the southern kingdom were at ease in this same Zion, and those of the northern kingdom trusted in the mountain of Samaria, which was also a very strong place, and neither Judah nor Israel felt that their help came from Jehovah (Amos 6:1-8). The same principle applies as to all reliance on mere human agencies, without recognizing our dependence on God; for example, on religious societies and boards, eloquent preachers, active pastors, famous revivalists, beautiful houses of worship, etc.—Tr.]

[2 Samuel 5:12. A good man in great prosperity. 1) He ascribes it all to the Lord. 2) He regards it as given him for the benefit of his fellow-men. (This is the text of Maurice’s Sermon on “David the King,” see “Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament.”—Tr.]

[2 Samuel 5:17 sqq. The Philistines could conquer Saul, who had been forsaken by God for his disobedience; but they only stimulate David to fulfil his divine calling (2 Samuel 3:18), and to seek divine guidance (2 Samuel 5:19).—Tr.]

[2 Samuel 5:24. In like manner, when we perceive signs of the Spirit’s special presence among us, we should bestir ourselves to secure the blessed results.—Tr.]

[Chap. 5. King David’s first years of sunshine. After struggling through so many years of darkness, he now Galatians 1:0) a new crown, 2 Samuel 5:1-3; 2 Samuel 2:0) a new capital, 2 Samuel 5:6-9; 2 Samuel 3:0) a new palace, 2 Samuel 5:11; 2 Samuel 4:0) new victories over the old enemy, 2 Samuel 5:17-25; and in them all, 5) new proofs of Jehovah’s favor, 2 Samuel 5:2; 2Sa 5:10; 2 Samuel 5:22; 2 Samuel 5:19; 2 Samuel 5:24.—Tr.]


2 Samuel 5:6; 2 Samuel 5:6. Instead of “king” we find “David” in several MSS., in Sept., and in 1 Chronicles 11:4, and “king David” in Syr., Ar.; we can feel the differences that these readings make in the tone of the narrative, but it is hardly possible to decide which of them is original.—Tr.]

[3][2 Samuel 5:6. Eng. A. V. has here unnecessarily inverted the clauses; read: “thou shalt not come in hither except, etc.;” so Sym., Chald., Syr., Vulg., pointing הֱםִירְךָ as Inf. But others point it Perf. plu. הֱםִירֻךָ and render: “thou shalt not come in hither, but (כּי אִם) the blind and the lame will keep thee away” (Sept., Then., Böttch., Wellh., Bib. Com., Erdmann and others), which rendering (making “the blind and the lame” the subject of the sentence) Philippson declares to be unnecessary and ungrammatical. The sentence presents serious grammatical difficulties: on the one hand the כִּי אִם requires a finite verb after it (when a noun follows it, it is always as object of a preceding verb, which the Inf. cannot here be), on the other hand the verb should here be Impf. (Philippson’s difficulty is not serious). The difficulty might be removed by prefixing בּ to the Infin. (so Symm., Chald.), or by reading Perf. 2 sing. masc. הֱםִירֹתָ (so Syr., Vulg. perhaps).—Wellhausen thinks the subjoined explanation (“saying, David shall not, etc.”) unnecessary (the meaning being clear enough), and therefore hardly original, perhaps a marginal gloss; but it is not merely a repetition, since it puts absolutely what was before put as conditional.—Tr.]

[4][2 Samuel 5:8. In this sentence there are three points of difficulty: 1) the construction of וְיִגַּע, whether it is to be joined to the preceding protasis, or regarded as beginning the apodosis, that is, whether the whole sentence is to be taken as protasis, the apodosis being omitted (so Then., Philippson, Cohen, Eng. A. V., which supplies the apodosis from 1 Chronicles 11:6), or as containing protasis and apodosis (so Böttch., Ew., Erdmann). 2) The pointing and construction of שנאו, and 3) the meaning of צִנּוֹר. For the discussion see the Exposition.—Tr.]

[5][2 Samuel 5:9. Read after Sept. וַיִּבְנֶהָ “built it” (so Wellh.).-From “Millo” Aq. has ἀπὸ πληρώματος , Sym. ἀπὸ προθἐματος (Jerome says that Sym. and Theod. had adimpletionem), Sept. ἀπὸ τῆς ἄκρας.—Tr.]

[6][2 Samuel 5:12. נִשֵא Piel 3 sing. masc.; 1 Chronicles 14:2 נִשֵּׂאת, Niph. 3 sing. fem. According to Wellh. the final ת in Chr. represents the first מ in the following word in Sam. Which reading is original can hardly be determined.—Tr.]

[7][2 Samuel 5:17. 1 Chronicles 14:8 : “And went out before them (= against them.).” The Chr. omits the details of the movement, but this does not show that he could not reconcile the “went down” of Sam. with the preceding (against Wellh.). Nor is there any good reason why the same narrator should not apply the same word (מְעוּדָת “hold”) to two different places in consecutive paragraphs. It is a common noun, and moreover the use in 2 Samuel 5:9 is defined in 2 Samuel 5:7 by the phrase “of Zion.”—Tr.]

[8][2 Samuel 5:20. Baal perazim = “possessor (= place, margin of Eng. A. V. plain) of breaches.” Sept. ἐκ τῶν ἐπάνωδιακοπῶν = מִמּעל, etc. Aq. ἔχων διακοπάς. The point of the comparison seems to be not the dividing of waters (Sept. ὡς διακόπτεται ὕδατα. Vulg., sicut dividuntur aquœ), but the violent rending asunder by a torrent of water—Tr.]

[9][2 Samuel 5:21. Aq. τὰ διαποδήματα. Sym. τὰ γλυπτά, Sept. τούς θεούς.—Instead of “took them away,” Eng. A. V. has taken the text of 1 Chronicles 14:12 “burned them,” supposing perhaps that this was the true explanation of our text. The meaning here rather is that David carried off the images, either to destroy them, or to bear them in triumph. The margin of Eng. A. V. has “took them away.”—Tr.]

[10][2 Samuel 5:23. Instead of אֶל־אַחֲרֵיהֶם some MSS. and EDD. and Syr., Ar. have מֵאַחֲרֵיהֶם, which does not change the sense. In a few MSS. the Prep. is omitted, as in 1 Chronicles 14:14. The difference between the texts in Sam. and Chr. is obvious, perhaps in the latter an attempt at greater clearness; the meaning is the same in both. It is not necessary to supply anything here after “go up” (תַעֲלֶה), since the word implies “going to meet.”—Tr.]

[11]Heb. “Jebusite” (יְבֻסִי), poetically individualizing Sing. for Plu. “Inhabitant” (יושׁב), the proper, aboriginal people. [The Sing, is not poetic, but collective; see its use in Genesis 10:16; Genesis 15:21; Numbers 13:29 : Judges 19:1 [—the name of the tribe as an individual.—Tr.] So the verb וַיּאמֶר is Sing.

[12] כִּי אִם after a negation = “but,” Ew. §356 a. The הֱסִירְךָ is not Inf., but Perf., expressing a complete action. The Sing, is used because it precedes the subject (Keil, Ew. §119 a). But we may with Then, point it as Plu. הֱסִירֻךָ (comp. Genesis 1:28; Isaiah 53:3-4, where also וּ has fallen out). אֵאמרֹ = “namely.” [On the grammatical difficulties here see “Text, and Gramm.” The sense, however, is tolerably plain.—Tr.]

[13][According to the Midrash (Targ. and Pirke Eleazar 36) the images of the blind Isaac and the lame Jacob are here meant, Abraham having agreed with the Jebusites (Genesis 23:0.) not to lay claim to their city. See Patr. and Philipps.—Tr.]

[14][Instead of “Zion” we should here read “Moriah.” See Art. Siloam in Smith’s Bib. Dict.—Tr.]

[15]The verb is to be pointed as Hiph. יגּע “cast down.”

[16][Or because they are poor defenders (Philippson).—Tr.]

[17]He changes בַצִנּוֹר into בַּפִּנוֹת, and שׂנאו into קנְּאוֹ = “envies him.”

[18]He reads יַכֶּה instead of וְאֶת.

[19]Following Sept. ἐν παραξιφίδι (Hesych.—ἐν μαχαίρᾳ) he reads בַּצּוּר for בַּצִּנּוֹר, referring to Psalms 89:44 צוּר חֶרֶב.

[20][See Am. Ed. of Rob. III. 441, 485, 489, 491, 547, 548 and 420; also II. 437, 438, and for the cedars II. 493, III. 588–593; see also Articles in the Bible Dictionaries and later books of travel, as Thomson’s Land and Book, 1. p. 292–297.—Tr.]

[21] מְצוּרָה instead of מְצוּרָה.

[22] עֵמֶק, comp. Isaiah 17:5. [See Stanley’s “Sinai and Pal.,” App. § 1.—Tr.

[23][Or, possibly “lord (= God) of breaches.” Comp. Genesis 22:14; Genesis 16:13 (El-roi).—Tr.]

[24][So the Edomites, 2 Chronicles 25:14. The heathen idols were carried off with impunity—not so the Ark of God (Pat.).—Tr.]

[25][There is here an allusion to Luther’s famous hymn, Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott.—Tr.]

Bibliographical Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lcc/2-samuel-5.html. 1857-84.
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