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This Chapter opens with a brighter prospect to David's life and reign than any before. All the tribes of Israel now come to him, claiming relationship, and offering him the whole kingdom. David is anointed. He goeth forth to war; builds a city; receives from the king of Tyre both materials for building and builders; is established in his kingdom; takes to himself more concubines and wives; his children are increased; fights with the Philistines, and is encouraged by the Lord. These things are related in this Chapter.
(1) ¶ Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. (2) Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. (3) So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel.
The time was now arrived when all Israel, as one man, should set their eyes towards David as their king. Though David had been so long exercised with difficulties, yet there is a set time to favor every son and daughter of Zion. No doubt it seemed a long time to David to wait the fulfillment of the Lord's promises concerning him. Reader! it appears thus to all the spiritual seed of David! How long, how long? is the fervent cry of the awakened soul amidst his sharp exercises! But depend upon it, in your instance, as well as David's, the Lord's time is the best time. Sooner than the Lord appoints, would neither answer your purpose, nor his glory. But is there not beside this, a beautiful representation of the advancement of our Jesus to his spiritual crown over all Israel, and indeed over every son and daughter of his Israel? From the first moment that he manifests his grace in the heart, and that promise, to make his people kings and priests to God and the Father, is revealed to the soul, is it not, like David, a long and tedious expectation before Jesus gains the entire sovereignty? Even like David, after being brought to Hebron, many of the provinces stood out, and set up their Ish-bosheth; so our hearts too long and too frequently rebel, set up rivals, and attempt to divide the empire with the Lord. But, blessed Jesus, grant that like all the tribes of Israel, thy people may at length all come to thee, to be under thy full government. And we would claim thy dominion over us by the same endearing argument as they did David's; surely we are thy bone and thy flesh; thou hast taken our nature, and married us to thyself; thou hast fought our battles also; thou hast conquered sin, death, hell and the grave; and thou hast done all these things for us and our salvation; condescend then, dearest Jesus, to be our king and our God. For in thee we behold the precept given to Moses can only be fulfilled; thou art the king, which the Lord our God and Father did choose; thou art from among thy brethren, and not a stranger, therefore thou, and thou alone, are suited both by law and gospel to be our king. See Deuteronomy 17:15 .
(4) David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. (5) In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.
Was there not somewhat similar to our spiritual David in all this? Jesus entered on his public ministry at about the age of thirty. See Luke 3:23 . And as Hebron was the city of the priests, and Jerusalem the city of the kings, were not these shadowy representations of the gospel state? Joshua 14:14-15 ; Revelation 21:10 .
(6) ¶ And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. (7) Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David. (8) And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. (9) So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built roundabout from Millo and inward.
Israel had suffered the Jebusites to remain among them contrary to the Lord's command, and therefore they became a snare to them as the Lord had said. See Judges 1:21 ; Deuteronomy 7:16-18 , etc. It should seem that the Jebusites had so fortified Jerusalem, that even blind men and lame (speaking after the manner of men), might defend it. But some have thought by the blind and lame here spoken of, is meant the images and figures on the walls. But I conceive that an higher and more interesting illustration may, without violence, be given to the passage, considered spiritually, and with an eye to Jesus, of whom David was, in many points, an eminent type. Till Jesus takes away the blindness of our eyes, and cures the palsied faculties of our mind, there is no entrance for him in the strong holds of the heart, while the strong men armed keepeth the palace. But, when he comes, and opens both the blind eye, and heals the crippled state of our souls, the strong holds of sin and Satan are thrown open, and thrown down. Come, then, Lord Jesus, come to thy lawful dominion; take possession of the city of thy people, both as the gift of thy Father, the purchase of thy blood, and the conquest of thy Spirit; and do thou dwell in us, and call it, as it rightly is, thine own, the city of the living God; build both inward, and outward, and roundabout; and upon all the glory let there be thy defense. Isaiah 4:3-6 ; 1 Corinthians 6:19 , etc.
(10) And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him. (11) ¶ And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house. (12) And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.
How delightful it is to read of David's greatness, when we learn at the same time, that David's Lord made him so. It was the same grace towards David, which inclined the heart of Hiram, king of Tyre, to minister to David's accommodation. Sweet is that promise, and abundantly sure; when a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7 , And still more in a spiritual sense, the Lord hath promised his dear Son, concerning his people, that the sons of strangers shall build up the walls of his Zion, their kings shall minister unto him; they shall bring the forces of the Gentiles, and their kings shall be brought. Isaiah 60:10-11 . But what I beg the Reader particularly to notice in this account of David, is that David perceived the Lord's hand in all his advancement. Oh! Reader, what a mercy was this! It was this distinguishing mercy which crowned and sweetened all. Thousands there are upon earth, surrounded with blessings, but who live unconscious of the Lord's hand in the gifts. And tens of thousands who live only to abuse them. Nay, Reader, many among the Lord's people lose much of the sweetness of his precious gifts, from forgetting to eye his hand in them. Lord! I would say, both for myself and Reader, open thou our eyes to see thy gracious goings forth, and as gracious comings in with thy blessings; that we may enjoy Jesus in his blessings, and all blessings for his sake. But, Reader! we must not stop here in our improvement on this view of David. Was not David, very eminently here, a type of his Almighty Saviour? Was David exalted for his people's sake, and was his throne established over Israel; and shall not my faith take wing, and fly up to the contemplation of thee, thou risen and exalted Jesus, who art purposely exalted as a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and remission of sins? Yes! blessed Lord! thou art indeed exalted, far above all principalities and powers, and might, and dominion! God our Father hath highly exalted thee, and given thee a name above every name. And dearest, blessed Jesus, if thou art thus exalted, and thus lifted up, do I not know (for thou hast thyself spoken the words) that it is to draw all thy people unto thee. Not for thyself, but for Israel's sake; for thy glory as God, one with the Father, could receive no exaltation, no increase; but, as King of thy people, and their Mediator, the Lord our God hath made thee his first-born, higher than the kings of the earth. Psalms 89:27 ; John 12:32 .
(13) And 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. (14) And these be the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shammua, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, (15) Ibhar also, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia, (16) And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet.
We may well blush in the perusal of what is here said of David. Alas! what is man in his highest exaltation, and wherein doth he differ, considered in himself, from others. Reader! recollect, that though grace refines the spiritual part, it doth not renew the bodily. David's many wives and concubines producing many children, must produce trouble. Every fruit from the root of sin must be bitter. The sequel of David's history manifests this in an eminent degree. If the reader wishes to anticipate this subject, and see how those sins brought forth trouble, he may consult 2Sa_15:10-16; 2Sa_16:21-22 .
(17) ¶ But when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines came up to seek David; and David heard of it, and went down to the hold. (18) The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. (19) And David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.
It is beautiful to trace David's steps, when he acts like himself, in consulting the Lord. Reader! depend upon it, the more the believing soul keeps up communion with Jesus by prayer, the more he will be conformed to the lovely similitude of Jesus, in life and conversation. Reader! do observe, though David knew that his kingdom was established by the Lord, and, that the Lord had guided him all his life long, yet, now he is established, he doth not remit seeking counsel from the Lord. Our security and interest in Jesus, so far from relaxing our need of him, renders him increasingly necessary, and increasingly precious. Oh! thou dear Lord! is it not, that the more I know of thee, the more I may see my need of thee, and the more I desire my whole heart and soul to be drawn unto thee? Be it so with me, dearest Jesus! But reader, observe how ready the Philistines are, the moment David is crowned in Jerusalem, to come up against him. Here again, we see David a type of the ever blessed Jesus. No sooner doth the poor sinner crown Jesus for his King, but the enemy comes forth against him, And was it not so by the church at large? When Jehovah set his King upon his holy hill of Zion, the kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers took counsel together against the Lord and against his anointed. Psalms 2:6; Psalms 2:6 .
(20) And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and said, The LORD hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baalperazim. (21) And there they left their images, and David and his men burned them.
Here is the issue of the battle. David conquers in the name of the Lord, and to the Lord gives all the glory. Baal-perazim signifies the Lord of the breaches. The leaving their dunghill gods behind them, and the burning of them by David, shows very plainly what they were. It is worthy remark, that when in the awful war, in which the Lord delivered Israel into the hands of their enemies for their sins, and even suffered the ark of God to be taken, the presence of the ark consumed the Philistines. In this, their contemptible gods falling into the hands of Israel, were themselves consumed. David's burning of them was in obedience to the divine command. See Deuteronomy 7:5 .
(22) And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. (23) And when David enquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. (24) And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. (25) And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer.
Observe how variously God works. And observe also, how the Lord's servants keep up their intercourse with heaven, by prayer. David still seeks to God: and God still answers him. Is there not somewhat which leads the mind to the contemplation of the Spirit's work upon the heart, in this direction concerning the sound of a going in the mulberry trees? The Holy Ghost, in his descent upon the minds of the apostles, came down in the sound of a mighty rushing wind. And what is it now? The taking of the things of Jesus and showing them to the people. Depend upon it, reader! it is the work of the Holy Ghost, when at any time your heart is led to see and feel your need of Jesus; his fulness, and all-sufficiency to supply; and you are secretly inclined to come unto him. Draw me, (saith the Church) and we shall run after thee. Song of Solomon 1:4 .
BEFORE we quit this very instructive Chapter, let us, my Christian friend, look at it once more; and while we view the zeal of all the tribes of Israel in anointing David king, let you and I see whether we have manifested an equal readiness to bend the knee to the sceptre of grace before our Jesus, and crown him Lord of all. It is God the Father that hath constituted him in his mediatorial glory, King in Zion; while, in the fullness of his Godhead he is one with the Father, Universal Lord over all, God blessed forevermore. And in his Almighty hands are the issues of life and death, spiritual, temporal, and eternal. Yes! blessed Jesus, thy kingdom is thy church; thy body, thy fair one, thy spouse: thou art of our kindred, and we of thine, thy bone and thy flesh. Thou hast fought, and art still fighting for us all our battles. Thou hast led us out, and brought us in. Thou feedest thy people with thyself, for thou art both the bread of life, and the water of life. And surely the love, the service, the voluntary homage of thy people, when thou hast made them willing in the day of thy power, is thy lawful, just, and proper right. And when thou hast taken away the blind, and the lame, and entered by thine own Almighty arm and power, into the strong holds of Zion; oh! Lord Jesus, do thou dwell there, and make our souls and bodies thy temple of abode. Reader! have you and I thus bent the knee to Jesus? Have we crowned him with the crown of free grace, in ascribing all salvation to him? Is he dear, is he precious, is he the altogether lovely, is he the Lord our righteousness? Dearest Jesus! give both him that writes, and him that reads, grace to say amen: and let every high thing that would exalt itself against his sovereignty be brought down, and every thought brought into captivity to the obedience and love of Christ.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 5". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany