2Samuel 5

 

2Samuel 5:1–25

David Rules Over all Israel


Outline of Chapter 5:

 

         vv.     1–5           David is Made King over all Israel

         vv.     6–10         David Takes Jerusalem as his new Capital City

         vv.    11–12         Hiram King of Tyre Builds David a Palace

         vv.    13–16         The Line of David in Jerusalem

         vv.    17–21         The First Israel-Philistine War under David

         vv.    22–25         The Second Israel-Philistine War under David


Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         Clarke and Henry’s Outline of 2Sam. 5

         Introduction         2Samuel 5 Synopsis

         Introduction         The Events of 2Sam. 2–6 as found in 1Chronicles

         v.       2              Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd

         v.       2              Jehovah God, the Rock of Israel: Shepherd of Israel

         v.       2              Why Northern Israel Chose David as their King

         v.       2              Prophesies About David Becoming King

         v.       2              Those who Acknowledge that God Chose David to be King over All Israel

         v.       3              The 3 Anointings of David

         v.       3              How Many Groups from the North Came to Visit with David?

         v.       4              The Time Frame of David’s Life Before Becoming King over Judah

         v.       6              The Doctrine of the Jebusites

         v.       6              The Blind and the Lame

         v.       6              Why it is Okay for David to Make Jerusalem his Capital City

         v.       7              Commentary on the Stronghold of Zion

         v.       8              Picture of David’s Tunnel under the Jerusalem Walls

         v        8              Interpreting 2Samuel 5:8

         v.       8              The Different Views of 2Sam. 5:6–8

         v.       8              Undeniable Conclusions Drawn from 2Samuel 5:6–8

         v.       8              Probable Conclusions Drawn from 2Samuel 5:6–8

         v.       8              What Does 2Samuel 5:6–8 Say to Me?

         v.       9              What is Millo? The Opinions of Commentators

         v.       9              The History of Jerusalem up until the Time of David

         v.      12              Whose Kingdom? Whose People?

         v.      13              David’s Sons and Daughters

         v.      14              The Parallel Genealogies—David’s Children by Bathsheba

         v.      16              The Parallel Genealogies—David’s 2nd Set of Children

         v.      17              Why Do the Philistines Continually War Against Israel?

         v.      17              The Philistines War Against David

         v.      17              The Timing of this First Philistine Invasion

         v.      17              Location of the Stronghold—Various Opinions

         v.      18              Map of the Valley of Rephaim

         v.      18              Where is David when the Philistines Spread out in the Valley of Rephaim?

         v.      19              When God Guides David Directly

         v.      19              Why David Needs to Ask for God’s Guidance Here

         v.      20              Personal Application of David’s War with the Philistines

         v.      23              What Kind of Trees are These?

         v.      24              The Rustling of the Trees in the Second Philistine Battle

         v.      25              A Map of Geba to Gezer

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of 2Samuel 5


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

Jebusites

 

Zion

Gibeah, Geba and Gibeon


I ntroduction: 2Sam. 5 is an assortment of events, some which are clearly in the general chronological order of things (David being made king over all Israel; the first war again the Philistines under David); some which cover several decades (the children born to David in Jerusalem); and some events which may or many not chronologically fit right here (the second war against the Philistines under David). It gives us insight into how the Hebrew mind works, and even suggests that an editor came along, sometime after this history was recorded, and inserted the few verses which tell us who David’s children were.


This chapter includes two of the most historically significant events to occur in the time of David: the establishing of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and the sound defeat of the Philistine army. The former event has impact up until today; and the latter affected Israel for several hundred years. Footnote

 

Matthew Henry connects chapters 4 and 5: How far Abner's deserting the house of Saul, his murder, and the murder of Ish-bosheth, might contribute to the perfecting of the revolution, and the establishing of David as king over all Israel, does not appear; but, it should seem, that happy change followed presently thereupon, which in this chapter we have an account of. Footnote


Despite the idea that this seems to be a mishmash of narrative, each section is clearly defined and most commentators also divided this chapter up similarly.

Clarke and Henry’s Outline of 2Sam. 5

Verses

Clarke

Henry

2Sam. 5:1-5

The elders of all the tribes of Israel come and anoint David king over all Israel.

I. David anointed king by all the tribes.

2Sam. 5:6-10

He goes against the Jebusites, and takes the strong hold of Zion, and afterwards the city itself; which is called the city of David.

II. Making himself master of the strong-hold of Zion.

2Sam. 5:11–12

David’s prosperity, and friendship with Hiram, king of Tyre (2Sam. 5:10-12).

III. Building himself a house and strengthening himself in his kingdom.

2Sam. 5:13-16

He takes more concubines, and begets several sons and daughters.

IV. His children that were born after this.

2Sam. 5:17-25

The Philistines gather together against him in the valley of Rephaim; he defeats them; they abandon their idols, and David and his men burn them (2Sam. 5:17-21).

V. His victories over the Philistines. Footnote

They assemble once more in the valley of Rephaim, and David smites them from Geba to Gazer (2Sam. 5:22-25). Footnote

As you can see, the differences in outlining this chapter are very few. I include David’s great prosperity with the taking of Jerusalem; these two exegetes present it as a different section. They differ as to where to put v. 10. Clarke and I separate out the two Israel-Philistine wars; Matthew Henry groups them together.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

Usually, at this point, I go through the chapter, almost verse by verse, and tell what is going to occur. This time, I think that I am going to give an expanded outline of the chapter, and explain what will happen in each section.

2Samuel 5 Synopsis

Verses

Section

Time Frame

Brief Synopsis

1–5

David is Made King over all Israel

Chronologically, the first 3 verses fit right here; after the intrigue of 2Sam. 4 and before the Ark is brought to Jerusalem.


The last two verses of this section are a summary which had to be written after David’s death.

After the political intrigue of the previous chapter, representatives are sent to David from the northern tribes in order to make a pact and to recognize David as king over all Israel (vv. 1–3). There appear to be two meetings here (vv. 1–2 and v. 3).


In vv. 4–5, the years that David ruled are summarized. This would have been added, more than likely, by an editor writing several years after David’s death.

Vv. 4–5 are logically tied to vv. 1–3; David is first made king over all Israel; therefore, it is logical to next tell the length of his reign.

Chronologically, v. 6 picks up where v. 3 leaves off. David is just made king over all Israel; therefore, his next order of business is a slightly more centralized capital city.

6–12

David Takes Jerusalem as his new Capital City

Chronologically fits right here.

Once David is made king over all Israel, he decides to go further north and set up a capital city in Jerusalem. The Jebusites opposed this move and told David that he would not be entering into their city—that even lame and blind men could keep him out. David’s men attacked Jerusalem through their underground water lines, and took the city. Vv. 6–12

Vv. 6–12 are logically tied to the next section. David takes the city of Jerusalem; the author then tells us about the children who are born to David in Jerusalem. This is also chronological, but coterminous with the incidents which follow, both in this chapter and in the next several chapters.

13–16

The Line of David in Jerusalem

These sons born to David would have been born over a period of perhaps a decade or so; so, topically this fits here.

In line with the summary of the years that David rules, and in line with his taking of Jerusalem, his children are listed here—those born to him in Jerusalem. We actually know very little about these children, apart from who the mother is for the first 4; and we find them in 2 other genealogies will precious little additional information. Vv. 13–16

Chronologically, v. 17 follows v. 12 (possibly even v. 3). When the Philistines hear that David is made king over all Israel, they advance against him. Since Jerusalem is not mentioned, it is not clear whether these wars occur before or after Jerusalem is made the capital city of (Re) United Israel.

17–21

The First Israel-Philistine War under David

The Philistines act as soon as they hear about David being made king over Israel; so this fits right here chronologically.

As soon as the Philistines hear that David is ruler over all Israel, they determine that something must be done (recall that they had soundly defeated Saul and, apparently, had some control over Israel since then). Vv. 17–21

We don’t know how close together these two wars (or battles) are. The second obviously followed the first; but we do not know if there are intervening events or not.

22–25

The Second Israel-Philistine War under David

We do not know when this second war occurred; this is definitely topically placed; possibly chronologically placed.

After David soundly defeats the Philistines, they return for another war, wherein, David uses strategy and tactics to defeat them.

Although it is reasonable to assume that most of 2Samuel is going to be chronological, this brief chart should make it clear that even one chapter can contain events or information from David’s entire reign. However, what should be clear is, this information is not simply thrown in here randomly, but there is a definite order and logic to it.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

I spoke of chronology in the previous table; and the chapter which follows this chapter will be about David bringing the Ark to Jerusalem after it has been kept for some time at the house of Abinadab. We ought to take a quick look at this particular era of 2Samuel and 1Chronicles side-by-side.

As you see these laid out side-by-side, bear in mind that we seem to be getting a human perspective in 2Samuel and the divine perspective in 1Chronicles.

The Events of 2Sam. 2–6 as found in 1Chronicles

Historical Events

2Samuel

1Chronicles

After David is made king in Hebron over Judah, there is a great deal of political intrigue which goes on.

2Sam. 2:1–4:12

David is made king over all Israel

2Sam. 5:1–3

1Chron. 11:1–3

Israelites from all over come to Hebron to show their support for David. It is not clear if these came up to Hebron to celebrate David becoming king over all Israel, or if they initiated David’s popular support. The former seems the most logical. However, I think this occurs informally first with the people of Israel, and then officially by the elders of Israel.

2Sam. 5:1?

1Chron. 12:22–40

David takes Jerusalem as his capital city.

2Sam. 5:6–10

1Chron. 11:4–9

The Philistines hear about David being made king over all Israel and they were probably even more concerned about the gathering of the men of war to David (1Chron. 12:22–40). So they deploy against David and are defeated in two battles by David’s army.

2Sam. 5:17–25

1Chron. 14:8–17 18:1

David and the Ark of God

2Sam. 6:1–19

1Chron. 13:1–14 15:1–17:27

The children born to David while in Jerusalem.

2Sam. 5:13–16

1Chron. 3:5–9 14:3–7

David’s length of reign.

2Sam. 5:4–5

1Chron. 29:26–27

I made every attempt to place the historical events in chronological order; you will note that even though Samuel and Chronicles are in some sort of order, and that it is often chronological, it is not consistently so.

Note that Chronicles ignores the political intrigue which went down during the time of David.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

 

Other commentators have also written that the book of Samuel is not altogether chronological. Edersheim writes: What we have just related must, of course, not be taken as indicating a strict chronological succession of events. The building of these walls no doubt occupied some time, and many things occurred in the interval, which are related afterwards. Apparently the intention of the sacred historian was to complete his sketch of all connected with David's conquest of Zion and his making it the royal residence, not to write in chronological order. Hence we have also here notices of the palace which David built on Mount Zion, and of the help which Hiram, king of Tyre, gave him both in men and materials, and even of David's fresh alliances and of their issues, although the children were born at a much later period than this. As we understand it, soon after his accession, probably after the capture of Jerusalem and the final defeat of the Philistines, Hiram sent an embassy of congratulation to David, which led to an interchange of courtesies and to the aid which the king of Tyre gave in David's architectural undertakings. Footnote


Because we have information in this chapter which takes us to David’s death (i.e., the length of his entire reign over Israel), it should be clear that either a later editor pieced David’s kingship together or that David wrote an account of his kingship, and that a later editor added a few pertinent facts (e.g., the length of David’s reign). Given all that Solomon wrote, and given his spiritual state, both at the beginning and at the end of his life, it is logical to assume that he assembled and/or edited 2Samuel. Although I would assume that David recorded the events of his life, I would not rule out them being recorded by the hand of Nathan the prophet or even by the young priest, Abiathar, who joined up with David after Saul killed his entire family in Nob.


Originally, there appear to be 3 historical documents: The Chronicles of Samuel the Seer, The Chronicles of Nathan the Prophet, and the Chronicles of Gad the Seer (1Chron. 29:29–30). It is reasonable that the book we have in our hands is properly known as the Chronicles of Samuel the Seer. These are historical events which Samuel recorded, possibly beginning at a very early age (after being called by God into service). It is clear that Samuel did not record all of the events found in this book—we spoke of authorship throughout the book of 1Samuel, making a number of observations as to the likely authors. Whether there are some events from Nathan and Gad’s books added into the book of Samuel, we do not know. It is clear that the book of Samuel (our book of Samuel) had a later editor, or that information was added in by a later editor (or editors). This is why we have the length of David’s reign found in 1Sam. 5. Word processing software was fairly rare when David was made king over all Israel, so for the period of time of David’s reign to be found as early in 2Samuel as chapter 5 indicates that there was an editor at work after David’s death (or at David’s retirement; he did actually retire before dying; he did not die in office).


For the same reason, we know the book of Chronicles had to have been composed hundreds of years after some of the events found in the book of Chronicles. The chronologies found in the first few chapters, which appear to extend over hundreds of years, suggests a late authorship. The details found in this book suggest that the author-editor probably took from at least 3 sources: the books of Samuel, Nathan and Gad. I would suppose that there were extensive genealogical records to which he referred as well. Again, the location of the genealogies at the beginning of the book and the extensive time frame of this book suggest late authorship, which is in agreement with most scholarship on this point.


It is possible, and actually, quite reasonable, that much of this chapter (up until the invasion of the Philistines), is an overview of David’s reign from Jerusalem. That is, there is no reason to assume that all which follows occurred within the first few years of his living in Jerusalem. Obviously, the wives which David took and the children he sired would be the result of several years; and his children by Bathsheba, named in this chapter, will not come on the scene for perhaps a decade or more. The reason I mention this is, we have Hiram, king of Tyre, building a palace for David. There is no reason to assume that this occurred immediately upon David’s taking the crown. This might have been done later on in David’s kingship.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


David is Made King over all Israel

1Chronicles 11:1–3 (12:22–40) 29:26–27


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so come all tribes of Israel unto David Hebron-ward; and so they say to say, “Behold us! Your bone and your flesh [are] we.

2Samuel

5:1

Then, all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, “Observe us; we [are] your bone and your flesh.

Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and they said, “Listen, we are your flesh and blood;...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so come all tribes of Israel unto David Hebron-ward; and so they say to say, “Behold us! Your bone and your flesh [are] we.

Septuagint                              And all the tribes of Israel come to David to Chebron, and they said to him, “Behold, we are your bone and your flesh.

 

Significant differences:           None, except that to say is repeated in the Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Israel's leaders met with David at Hebron and said, "We are your relatives.

The Message                         Before long all the tribes of Israel approached David in Hebron and said, "Look at us—your own flesh and blood!.

NAB                                       All the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said: “Here we are, your bone and your flesh.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

HCSB                                     All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, "Here we are, your own flesh and blood.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

WEB                                      Then came all the tribes of Israel to David to Hebron, and spoke, saying, Behold, we are your bone and your flesh.

Young’s Updated LT             And all the tribes of Israel come unto David, to Hebron, and speak, saying, “Lo, we are your bone and your flesh.


What is the gist of this verse? The men from the northern tribes of Israel came down to David in Hebron and begin by tell him they are his flesh and blood (they use the terms bone and flesh).


2Samuel 5:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

shêbeţ (ט ב ֵש) [pronounced SHAYB-vet]

rod, staff, club, scepter and figuratively for a tribe, subdivision of a tribe or family

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #7626 BDB #986

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

Cheberôwn (ןר׃ב∵ח) [pronounced khebv-ROHN]

association, league, joined; transliterated Hebron

proper noun; location; with a directional hê

Strong’s #2275 BDB #289


Translation: Then, all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron,... In the previous chapter, we found David in Hebron while some political intrigue went on all around him. When David realized what was going on, he had the guilty parties executed.


This reads all the tribes of Israel; that does not mean that every single person from up north, or every single male from up north came down to speak with David; these are representatives from every single tribe. There are enough of them and they have enough popular support to speak for all northern Israel.


What I believe took place here is, there was an almost spontaneous gathering of the armies of northern and eastern Israel to David. A huge number of men gathered to him in Hebron in 1Chron. 12:22–40, and I believe that is what is referenced to by this verse (this verse is equivalent to 1Chron. 11:1). I think that this gathering occurs first, and then the elders of Israel decide that they should officially recognize David as king over United Israel. There are other options and variations of this, which I will cover in greater detail when we complete v. 3.


Hebron is David’s first headquarters as king over Judah (and soon to be king over all Israel).


2Samuel 5:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle; with the 1st person plural suffix

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

׳etsem (םצע) [pronounced ģeh-TSEM]

bone, substance, self; self-same; corporeality, duration, existence, and therefore identity

feminine singular substantive; with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6106 BDB #782

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bâsâr (ר ָ ָ) [pronounced baw-SAWR]

flesh; body; animal meat

masculine singular noun with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1320 BDB #142

ănachenûw (נח-נֲא) [pronounced uh-NAHKH-noo]

we; (sometimes a verb is implied)

1st person plural pronoun

Strong’s #587 BDB #59


Translation: ...and said, “Observe us; we [are] your bone and your flesh. The first of 3 reasons this delegation will give David is that they are related to David. Similar phrasing is found in Gen. 29:14 Judges 9:2 2Sam. 19:13 Heb. 2:14 (the latter verse testifies as to the humanity of Jesus Christ). If and when Israel appointed a king over them, this king must be of Israel (Deut. 17:15).


What had been occurring may have seemed confusing to some. Joab, David’s nephew, had murdered Abner, Saul’s previous top general, and who had aligned himself with David. In fact, because of this murder, we read and all Israel was disturbed (2Sam. 4:1b). Also, two generals, apparently hoping to get into David’s good graces, executed Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, and the king of Israel (2Sam. 4), originally put into power by Abner. So, the northern kingdom must have become quite concerned over all of this. Abner had lobbied strongly for Northern Israel to follow after Ishbosheth, and then Abner changed sides, and was murdered; and then Ishbosheth was murdered by his own top generals. The north was without a clear leader. Therefore, they sent a delegation to speak to David, to try to make certain everything was okay, and to ally themselves with David. Or, in the alternative, once all of this intrigue played out, huge armies from all the tribes showed up to ask David to be their king.


Also yesterday, also 3 days ago in was Saul king over us, you [even] you were leading out and bringing in Israel. And so says Yehowah to you, ‘You [even] you will shepherd My people Israel and you [even] you will be for a prince over Israel.’ ”

2Samuel

5:2

In the past, when Saul was king over us, you [even] you led out and brought in Israel. [Even] then, Yehowah said to you, ‘You [even] you will shepherd My people; [you will shepherd] Israel; and you will be a prince over Israel.’ ”

In the past, even when Saul was king over us, it was you who led Israel’s army out and brought them back in; and even then, Jehovah said to you, ‘You specifically will shepherd my people, you will shepherd Israel, and you will be a prince over Israel.’ ”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       Also yesterday, also 3 days ago in was Saul king over us, you [even] you were leading out and bringing in Israel. And so says Yehowah to you, ‘You [even] you will shepherd My people Israel and you [even] you will be for a prince over Israel.’ ”

Septuagint                              And yesterday and the third day, Saul being king over us, you were he that led out and bring in Israel: and the Lord said to you, ‘You will feed my people Israel, and you will be for a leader to my people Israel.’ ”

 

Significant differences:           Although it appears as there is a difference of verbs (to feed in the Greek; to shepherd in the Hebrew), the Hebrew verb may be translated in both ways.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Even when Saul was king, you led our nation in battle. And the LORD promised that someday you would rule Israel and take care of us like a shepherd."

The Message                         In time past when Saul was our king, you're the one who really ran the country. Even then GOD said to you, 'You will shepherd my people Israel and you'll be the prince.' "

NLT                                        For a long time, even while Saul was our king, you were the one who really led Israel. And the Lord has told you, “You will be the shepherd of my people Israel. You will be their leader.’ ”

REB                                       In the past, when Saul was still king over us, it was you that led the forces of Israel on their campaigns. To you the Lord said, “You are to be shepherd of my people Israel; you are to be their prince.” ’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         "Even in the past when Saul ruled us, you were the one who led Israel in battle. The LORD has said to you, 'You will be shepherd of my people Israel, the leader of Israel.'"

HCSB                                     Even while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led us out to battle and brought us back. The LORD also said to you, 'You will shepherd My people Israel and be ruler over Israel.'"

JPS (Tanakh)                         Long before now, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led Israel in war [lit., “lead Israel out and in”] and the Lord said to you: You shall shepherd My people Israel; you shall be ruler of Israel.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

LTHB                                     Both yesterday and the day before, when Saul was king over us, you were he who led out and brought in Israel. And Jehovah said to you, You shall shepherd My people Israel, and you shall be for a leader over Israel.

Young’s Updated LT             Also heretofore, in Saul’s being king over us, you have been he who is bringing out and bringing in Israel, and Jehovah says to you, You will feed My people Israel, and you are for leader over Israel.”


What is the gist of this verse? These representatives tell David that, even when Saul was in power, it was David who led the army out to battle and brought them back in. Furthermore, Jehovah told David that he would shepherd Israel and be a ruler over Israel.


2Samuel 5:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

gam (ם ַ) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

ethemôwl (למ ׃∵א) [pronounced ethe-MOHL]

 yesterday; and is used figuratively for recently, formerly

adverb

Strong’s #865 (and #8543) BDB #1069

There are apparently different spellings of this adverb, a slightly different spelling used in the same essential phrase is found in 2Sam. 3:17.

gam (ם ַ) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

shileshôwm (םש  ׃ל  ̣ש) [pronounced shil-SHOHM]

three days ago, the day before yesterday

adverb

Strong’s #8032 BDB #1026

Literally, these adverbs read also yesterday, even three days ago or both yesterday and three days ago. The lexicons give the meaning as formerly, so formerly, so more recently. The more literal translators in our passage render this in times past (HNV, MKJV, NASB, NKJV, the Tanakh—1917, WEB); in the past (HCSB); before now (LTHB); for some time now (God’s Word™); for some time past (ESV); all along (the Tanakh—1985); heretofore (Young). I think the idea is recently and persistently (or, continuously). Let me add the translation, for awhile now.

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

Qal infinitive construct

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

The infinitive construct, when combined with the bêyth preposition, can often take on a temporal meaning and may be rendered when [such and such happens]. It can serve as a temporal marker that denotes an event which occurs simultaneously with the action of the main verb.

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity; with the 1st person plural suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752


Translation: In the past, when Saul was king over us,... The phrase here refers to something which has occurred in the past. Saul was killed in battle; however, these representatives are speaking about back when Saul was king over Israel. They are going to make a point, and they are going to recognize who and what David was, even when Saul ruled over Israel.


2Samuel 5:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

attâh (הָ-א) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

yâtsâ (אָצָי) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to cause to go out, to lead out, to bring out, to carry out, to draw out, to take out; [of money:] to put forth, to lay out, to exact; to promulgate; to produce

Hiphil participle

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to take in, to bring, to come in with, to carry

Hiphil participle with the definite article

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation: ...you [even] you led out and brought in Israel. Although we do not know the time frame here, for awhile, David was second or third in command under Saul. He apparently led Saul’s primary army and did so for a reasonably long period of time (say, 5–15 years). When it says that David used to lead Israel out and bring Israel back in, the idea is, David led their army out to battle and brought them back (the latter phrase indicates that David was consistently successful in battle). We find very similar wording way back in 1Sam. 18:13–16: So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. And he went out and came in before the people. And David had success in all his undertakings, for the LORD was with him. And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them.


2Samuel 5:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition; with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

attâh (הָ-א) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

râ׳âh (ה ָעָר) [pronounced raw-ĢAWH]

to shepherd, to pasture, to tend to graze, to feed; to rule?

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7462 BDB #944

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

׳am (ם ַע) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation:[Even] then, Yehowah said to you, ‘You [even] you will shepherd My people; [you will shepherd] Israel;... These representatives point out that even back then, Jehovah told David that he would shepherd Israel. The sign of the direct object is repeated, which indicates that we would repeat the subject and verb, as the sign of the direct object takes this right back to the original verb (rather than back to My people). Therefore, it is proper to insert the phrase you will shepherd before Israel.


David is a type of Christ, so he is a picture of the Great Shepherd, the One Who will shepherd His people Israel.

Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd

Scripture

Point of Doctrine

Matt. 9:36 Mark 6:34

Israel needed a shepherd: When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Matt. 25:32

Jesus, as the Great Shepherd, will separate the believers from the unbelievers: Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

Matt. 26:31 Mark 14:27

(Zech. 13:7)

Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd, would be crucified, and His sheep will scatter: Then Jesus said to them, "You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' 

John 10:1–16

Jesus clearly indicates to His disciples that He is the Good Shepherd: "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

Heb. 13:20–21

The writer of Hebrews identifies Jesus Christ as the Great Shepherd in the doxology for that book: Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

1Peter 2:25

Peter tells the Jews that they had been straying from Jesus Christ as their Shepherd: For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

1Peter 5:4

Pastor-teachers will receive a great reward as shepherds of their flocks at the appearing of the Great Shepherd: And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Rev. 7:17

Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, would also be the Shepherd to the other sheep: For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

2Sam. 5:2b

David is a picture of Jesus Christ; and he will shepherd God’s people: “And the LORD said to you, 'You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.' "

It is interesting that Luke, of all the gospel authors, does not mention Jesus as the Great Shepherd. However, Luke presents Jesus as the Son of Man, as fully man, as equal to man; and therefore, not in a position of superiority.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

Let’s take a moment and see the Great Shepherd in the Old Testament:

Jehovah God, the Rock of Israel: Shepherd of Israel

Scripture

Point of Doctrine and Scripture Citation

Gen. 48:15–16

Jacob, when he blessed Joseph’s sons, spoke of God as his Shepherd: And he blessed Joseph and said, "The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."

Gen. 49:24

Jacob, when blessing his son Joseph, makes mention of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, who would be from the seed of Joseph’s father (Jacob): “...his [Joseph’s] arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (from there [Jacob] is the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel),...

Psalm 23

David clearly identifies the Lord as the Great Shepherd:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 28:8–9

In another psalm, David calls upon Jehovah to shepherd His people:

The LORD is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed.

Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

Psalm 80:1–4

Asaph calls upon God to deliver Israel, calling Him the Shepherd of Israel:

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock!

You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.

Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up Your might and come to save us!

Restore us, O God; let Your face shine, that we may be saved!

O LORD God of hosts, how long will You be angry with Your people's prayers?

Eccles. 12:11

The Great Shepherd is also the source of Scripture: The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.

Isa. 40:10–11

Isaiah also speaks of God as the Great Shepherd:

Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and His arm rules for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in his arms; He will carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

Jer. 31:10

Jeremiah presents God is the Shepherd of Israel: "Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, 'He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.' ”

Ezek. 34:15–17

Ezekiel presents God as the true Shepherd of Israel: “I myself will be the shepherd of My sheep, and I Myself will make them lie down,” declares the Lord GOD. “I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice. As for you, My flock, thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and male goats.”

Ezek. 34:22–24

Ezekiel also presents David (actually, Jesus Christ) as the Shepherd over His Sheep. The idea here is, David is a type of Christ. I will rescue My flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, My servant David, and He shall feed them: He shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be Their God, and My servant David shall be prince among them. I am the LORD; I have spoken.

Ezek. 37:24–28

This same theme is found again in Ezek. 37: "My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have One Shepherd. They shall walk in My rules and be careful to obey My statutes. They shall dwell in the land that I gave to My servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children shall dwell there forever, and David My servant shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD Who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore." This will be the Millennial rule of Jesus Christ.

Micah 5:2–4

From Bethlehem, the Shepherd of Israel will come: But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me One who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore He shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of His brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And He shall stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they shall dwell secure, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth.

Zech. 13:7–9

Jesus Christ, the Shepherd of God, would be struck down [at the cross], and His sheep would be scattered. "Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, against the Man who stands next to Me," declares the Lord of hosts. "Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; I will turn my hand against the little ones. In the whole land, declares the Lord, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon My name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'They are My people'; and they will say, 'The Lord is My God.' " This is also a wonderful example of intercalation, where the Church Age is left out, and Scripture jumps from the first advent to the second.

Clearly, David, as the shepherd of Israel, is a picture of Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd of Israel.

On occasion, an Israelite king is also called a shepherd: Psalm 78:71 (for David) and Jer. 23:1–4.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

 

Interestingly enough, according to Gnana Robinson, Sumerian kings were known as shepherds. He has personally observed a shepherd in Palestine walking in front of his flock, and the sheep in single file walking behind him, with a dog at the rear. He suggests that there is a parallel here, and that the king is the shepherd, the nagid (prince), which means the one who walks in front. Footnote


2Samuel 5:2d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

attâh (הָ-א) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nâgîyd (די̣גָנ)   [pronounced naw-GEED]

prince, crown-prince, leader, ruler, noble

masculine singular noun

Strong's #5057 BDB #617

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation: ...and you will be a prince over Israel.’ ” David was crowned as king over Israel; but he did not assume that position immediately. Therefore, we have the term prince used here. God actually made David the crown-prince of Israel, and that he would become king when God was ready for him to become king.


This is interesting that God the Holy Spirit would use this phrasing. I think back to 1Sam. 16, when Samuel chose David out from Jesse’s sons, I believe the word which was used was anointed. That David had been anointed to become king over Israel became fairly well-known; even Saul knew it. The information which we have in 1Sam. 16 seems somewhat limited—either that we did not get the full story there, or that God made His wishes known at other times which are not recorded.


This delegation gives David 3 reasons why he should be their king:

Why Northern Israel Chose David as their King

1.      They are related to David (“We are your bone and your flesh”).

2.      Even when Saul was king, David was their true military leader (“You led Israel in and out”).

3.      Jehovah appointed David to be king over all Israel.

This was more or less taken from Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Bible; from e-Sword, 2Sam. 5:1. Besides, its pretty obvious.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

It would be an interesting study to see the references to David becoming king and to compare them with the only historic account of Samuel anointing David. .

Prophesies About David Becoming King

Scripture

Prophecy

1Sam. 13:13–14

Samuel tells Saul that God will take the kingdom from him: And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the LORD your God, with which he commanded you. For then the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you."

1Sam. 15:22–23

Once again, Samuel tells Saul that God has chosen another to take his place: And Samuel said, "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king."

1Sam. 16:11–13

The original prophecy was made when Samuel first met David: Then Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here." And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, "Arise, anoint him, for this is he." Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward.

These seem to be rather threadbare insofar as prophecies go with respect to David becoming king over all Israel; and that there must be more, given that so many people know that David will be made king over all Israel. Let me suggest several options: (1) Samuel could have said more than what we find recorded when he anointed David king over all Israel. David’s brothers later may have spoke of these things, albeit with an ill temper, as in, “Can you believe what that old prophet Samuel said about my jerk-weed little brother David?” (2) Samuel prophesied at other times about David (e.g., at his school for prophets; particularly when Saul and David showed up), which information was freely shared throughout the kingdom of Israel. (3) Other prophets spoke of David becoming king over Israel, and such pronouncements were never recorded in Scripture.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

Many people seemed to be aware that God chose David to be king over all Israel.

Those who Acknowledge that God Chose David to be King over All Israel

Scripture

Others Acknowledge that God Chose David

1Sam. 20:14–15

Jonathan seems to imply that he knows that God will cut off all David’s enemies in the future when he said to David: “If I am still alive, show me the steadfast love of the LORD, that I may not die; and do not cut off your steadfast love from my house forever, when the LORD cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” This could be just a saying, but I believe it is more than that.

1Sam. 24:17–22

Even King Saul acknowledged that David would be king over all Israel: He said to David, "You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the LORD put me into your hands. For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safe? So may the LORD reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. Swear to me therefore by the LORD that you will not cut off my offspring after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father's house." And David swore this to Saul. Then Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

1Sam. 25:24–31

When Nabal stiffs David for moneys owed, his wife, Abigail, intercedes on his behalf, and, while doing so, recognizes that David will be king over Israel: She fell at his feet and said, "On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. Let not my lord regard this worthless fellow, Nabal...But I your servant did not see the young men of my lord, whom you sent. Now then, my lord, as the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, because the LORD has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal...Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the LORD, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live...And when the LORD has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you prince over Israel, my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my lord taking vengeance himself. And when the LORD has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant."

2Sam. 3:9–10,

17–18

Abner told Ishbosheth that he would do everything in his power to make David king over all Israel, as God had sworn to David: God do so to Abner and more also, if I do not accomplish for David what the LORD has sworn to him, to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beersheba." He later, when gathering the support of the elders for David, said the same thing essentially: And Abner conferred with the elders of Israel, saying, "For some time past you have been seeking David as king over you. Now then bring it about, for the LORD has promised David, saying, 'By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines, and from the hand of all their enemies.'"

2Sam. 5:1–2

The delegation which came to David recognizes that God made him king over Israel: Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, "Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the LORD said to you, 'You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.'"

Psalm 78:70–71

The psalmist Asaph looks back upon David, as God’s chosen one to shepherd His people:

He chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds;

from following the nursing ewes He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people, Israel His inheritance.

That God had chosen David to rule over Israel was well-known throughout all Israel.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


And so come all elders of Israel unto the king Hebron-ward; and so he cuts to them the King David a covenant in Hebron to faces of Yehowah. And so they anoint David to king over Israel.

2Samuel

5:3

So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and he made a covenant with them in Hebron before Yehowah. Therefore, they anointed David as the king over [all] Israel.

So, all the elders of northern Israel came to King David at Hebron and he made a covenant [or, treaty] with them. So they anointed David as king over all Israel.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so come all elders of Israel unto the king Hebron-ward; and so cuts to them the king David a covenant in Hebron to faces of Yehowah. And so they anoint David to king over Israel.

Septuagint                              And all the elders of Israel come to the king to Chebron; and king David made a covenant with them in Chebron before the Lord; and they anoint David king over all Israel.

 

Significant differences:           The Greek adds the modifier all at the end of this verse, just as I did in the more relaxed translation. We may properly speak of the northern kingdom as Israel; however, since it was united with Judah under Saul and given the name Israel, the casual reader may miss the import here.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       During the meeting, David made an agreement with the leaders and asked the LORD to be their witness. Then the leaders poured olive oil on David's head to show that he was now the king of Israel.

NAB                                       When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron, King David made an agreement with them there before the Lord, and they anointed him king of Israel.

NJB                                        So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them in Yahweh’s presence in Hebron, and they anointed David as king of Israel.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         All the leaders of Israel had come to Hebron. King David made an agreement with them at Hebron in front of the LORD. So they anointed David king of Israel.

HCSB                                     So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron. King David made a covenant with them at Hebron in the LORD's presence, and they anointed David king over Israel.

JPS (Tanakh)                         All the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them in Hebron before the Lord. David and they anointed king over Israel.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     And all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron. And King David made a covenant with them in Hebron before Jehovah. And they anointed David king over Israel.

Young’s Updated LT             And all the elders of Israel come unto the king, to Hebron, and king David makes with them a covenant in Hebron before Jehovah, and they anoint David for king over Israel.


What is the gist of this verse? A delegation of elders (possibly different than those spoken of in the previous two verses), come to David and make a covenant with him, making him king over all Israel.


2Samuel 5:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

zâkên (ן ֵקָז) [pronounced zaw-KANE]

elders

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #2205 BDB #278

Owen lists this as an adjective.

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Cheberôwn (ןר׃ב∵ח) [pronounced khebv-ROHN]

association, league, joined; transliterated Hebron

proper noun; location; with a directional hê

Strong’s #2275 BDB #289


Translation: So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron,... At first, I thought this was the same group of men, but as I exegete and re-read this, I suspect that a more formal group of representatives came down to Hebron after an agreement was reached. That is, the initial group determined where David’s thinking was with respect to the northern tribes; and then a group which could represent this tribes and sign for them also showed up. The first group determined David’s thinking about the northern kingdom, and the second group came down a ratified a proper covenant.


That there is but one group is also a reasonable interpretation. They came down, discussed with David how they saw the matter (that God anointed David as king over all Israel), and then agreed to a treaty with him.


I should mention that, there is a third group of Israelites as well—a huge number of soldiers who will come to celebrate David becoming king over Israel. We will discuss them at the end of this verse.


2Samuel 5:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

kârath (תַרָ) [pronounced kaw-RAHTH]

to cut off, to cut down; to kill, to destroy; to make a covenant

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3772 BDB #503

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition; with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

berîyth (תי .ר) [pronounced bereeth]

pact, alliance, treaty, alliance, covenant

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #1285 BDB #136

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

Cheberôwn (ןר׃ב∵ח) [pronounced khebv-ROHN]

association, league, joined; transliterated Hebron

proper noun; location

Strong’s #2275 BDB #289

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (םי̣נָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean upon the face of, before, before the face of, in the presence of, in the sight of, in front of. When used with God, it can take on the more figurative meaning in the judgment of. This can also mean forwards; the front part [or, the edge of a sword]. Lepânîym (םי.נָפל) can take on a temporal sense as well: before, of old, formerly, in the past, in past times.

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...and he made a covenant with them in Hebron before Yehowah. Since David is king, he is the one who determines the content of the treaty and he signs it first (or puts his mark to it) as he is the authority. They agree to the terms as well.


All of this was done before God, Who had anointed David as king over all Israel in the first place. That this was done before Jehovah is not completely clear—is this a general statement, indicating that, God chose David to be king over Israel, God brought this to pass on His Own timetable, and now that the northern kingdom has recognized David as king, God is over all, approving these events? Another view is, the priests are closely involved at this point and there are sacrifices and rituals occurring along side these elders making David their king. It is possible that there are 4000 Levites in attendance here (1Chron. 12:26). Is the Tabernacle here? Are there functions being performed by Nathan the prophet or by Abiathar the young priest? Although I lean toward the latter, that there are some sacrifices occurring here as well, we do not have any evidence of this apart from the phrase before Jehovah. However, we do have precedent, so I want you to recall Saul’s coronation: So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal. There they sacrificed peace offerings before the LORD, and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly (1Sam. 11:15). Given David’s level of spiritual growth, I think we can reasonably conclude that there were sacrifices occurring during this celebration.


2Samuel 5:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mâshach (ח  ָמ) [pronounced maw-SHAHKH]

to smear, to anoint

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #4886 BDB #602

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

The meanings of the lâmed preposition broken down into groups: ➊ to, towards, unto; it is used both to turn one’s heart toward someone as well as to sin against someone; ➋ to, even to;  in this sense, it can be used with a number to indicate the upper limit which a multitude might approach (nearly). ➌ Lâmed can be equivalent to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς), meaning into, as in transforming into something else, changing into something else (Gen. 2:7). This use of lâmed after the verb hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW] (Strong’s #1961 BDB #224) is one thing becoming another (Gen. 2:7). ➍  Its fourth use is the mark of a dative, after verbs of giving, granting, delivering, pardoning, consulting, sending, etc. This type of dative is broken down into several categories, but one includes the translation by, which would be apropos here. ➎ With regards to, as to. Similar to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς) plus the dative. [Numbering from Gesenius]. ➏ On account of, because, propter, used of cause and reason (propter means because; Gesenius used it). ➐ Concerning, about, used of a person or thing made the object of discourse, after verbs of saying. ➑ On behalf of anyone, for anyone. ➒ As applied to a rule or standard, according to, according as, as though, as if. ➓ When associated with time, it refers to the point of time at which or in which anything is done; or it can refer to the space of time during which something is done (or occurs); at the time of.

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation: Therefore, they anointed David as the king over [all] Israel. After a treaty was ratified by the parties, these men—or the priests Abiathar and Zadok—anoint David as their king, which completes God’s choice of David as king over all Israel. Samuel first anointed David as the next king back in 1Sam. 16, and here, representatives of northern Israel anoint David as their personal king, which would have been a ceremony which involved (probably) anointing David’s head with oil. Since Samuel did the anointing originally, we would expect that a priest would have done the anointing at this point, even though they are not so identified. Although we know that the Ark is in Kiriath-jearim at this point in time, we do not know where the Tabernacle is located. It may very well be found in Hebron. It surprises me that these details are left out—but, on the other hand, perhaps the elders of the northern kingdom are the ones to anoint David as their king. To help us make this determination, please see the table below:


Let’s quickly view the 3 anointings of David:

The 3 Anointings of David

Anointed by...

Anointed as...

Commentary

Samuel

David is anointed as God’s anointing, implying that David is God’s man to rule over Israel, as Saul had failed (1Sam. 16:2–7, 12–13).

God seemed to guide Samuel throughout this procedure, identifying who His anointed was.

Men of Judah

David is anointed as king over the house of Judah (2Sam. 2:4).

It seems to be pretty clear that the men of Judah performed this anointing.

Elders of Israel

David is anointed as king over [northern] Israel (2Sam. 5:3).

It seems most likely that the elders of Israel anointed David as their king.

Because it appears as though David was anointed by the men of Judah back in 2Sam. 2, this suggests that he is anointed here by the elders of Israel.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


The Greek adds the adjective all, which is quite reasonable. Most of us still view Israel as a whole country which was split temporarily. When it divided permanently, the northern portion was called Israel (and later Samaria) and the southern portion was called Judah. David was already king over Judah, crowned back in 2Sam. 1. However, these representatives now made him king over northern Israel, and so, he is therefore king over all Israel.


It is interesting to find the verbiage as we find here. For David to be called king over Israel (a reference to northern Israel), indicates that, either this division and the name for the northern kingdom occurred much earlier than we realize (that is, even though they were unified under Saul, they still went by the name Israel; or, the other possibility is that this history was completed and edited after the rule of Solomon, after the kingdom split. To determine which possibility it is, we will need more evidence one way or the other.


Anywhere between 1 and 3 groups from northern and eastern Israel showed up to Hebron. We read in 1Chron. 12:22–40: For from day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God. These are the numbers of the divisions of the armed troops who came to David in Hebron to turn the kingdom of Saul over to him, according to the word of the LORD. The men of Judah bearing shield and spear were 6,800 armed troops. Of the Simeonites, mighty men of valor for war, 7,100. Of the Levites 4,600. The prince Jehoiada, of the house of Aaron, and with him 3,700. Zadok, a young man mighty in valor, and twenty-two commanders from his own fathers' house. Of the Benjaminites, the kinsmen of Saul, 3,000, of whom the majority had to that point kept their allegiance to the house of Saul. Of the Ephraimites 20,800, mighty men of valor, famous men in their fathers' houses. Of the half-tribe of Manasseh 18,000, who were expressly named to come and make David king. Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command. Of Zebulun 50,000 seasoned troops, equipped for battle with all the weapons of war, to help David with singleness of purpose. Of Naphtali 1,000 commanders with whom were 37,000 men armed with shield and spear. Of the Danites 28,600 men equipped for battle. Of Asher 40,000 seasoned troops ready for battle. Of the Reubenites and Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh from beyond the Jordan, 120,000 men armed with all the weapons of war. All these, men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with full intent to make David king over all Israel. Likewise, all the rest of Israel were of a single mind to make David king. And they were there with David for three days, eating and drinking, for their brothers had made preparation for them. And also their relatives, from as far as Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, came bringing food on donkeys and on camels and on mules and on oxen, abundant provisions of flour, cakes of figs, clusters of raisins, and wine and oil, oxen and sheep, for there was joy in Israel. I have exegeted this passage and you may find it instructive to examine the exegesis of it.

2Sam. 5:1–2: Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, "Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the LORD said to you, 'You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.'"

2Sam. 5:2: So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel.

From these verses, there are as many as 3 different groups from northern and eastern Israel who have come to David while he is in Hebron, in relation to making him king over all Israel.

How Many Groups from the North Came to Visit with David?

Scripture

Incident

3 Meetings with David

After all of the political intrigue of 2Sam. 3–4 runs its course, a delegation from the north arrives and speaks with David (1Chron. 11:1–2); when David agrees to be their king, the elders of the tribes show up and come to an official agreement with David (1Chron. 11:3); afterwards, men from all over Israel show up to Hebron and celebrate (1Chron. 12:22–40). If there are 3 separate meetings, the armies could have shown up at any time—before the two meetings of 1Chron. 11:1–3, in the middle or after.

2 Meetings with David

Armies of men spontaneously show up to Hebron to show popular support for David (1Chron. 11:1–2 12:22–40). Afterwards, a delegation of elders from the north show up and make the reunification official (1Chron. 11:3). This could occur in the reverse order.

2 Meetings with David

A delegation of elders arrive to speak with David and make him king over all Israel (1Chron. 11:1–3); armies of men from all over northern, eastern and southern Israel then show up and celebrate (1Chron. 12:22–40). This could occur in the reverse order.

1 Meeting with David

The tribes who come to David at Hebron are the armies who show up at the end of 1Chron. 12; among them are elders who make a treaty with David.

In my opinion, there are 3 distinct groups, but two of them show up at the same time. There is first a delegation from northern Israel, possibly not perfectly representative of the northern and eastern tribes, which comes down simply to speak with David and indicate that they would like for him to be king over them. When they return and submit his response to the elders of Israel, the elders come down to make it official. Simultaneously, news of this breaks out over all northern Israel, and the armies of Israel come down to proclaim David their Commander-in-Chief, and to celebrate. The armies and the elders all arrive at approximately the same time. Armies from Judah and Simeon also come to celebrate this reunification. The elders, who form a representative form of government, will sign treaties to make David king; simultaneously, the armies show their whole-hearted support for David by showing up to celebrate.

All of this movement—particularly the armies from all over, will cause the Philistines no little concern, and they will attempt (unsuccessfully) to reinforce their control over Israel.

Part of the reason that I go into this kind of detail is, there is always the cynic who says, The Bible contradicts itself; in one place, we have several armies coming to David; in another, it is elders; in another, we don’t really know who it is. My point is, we cannot necessarily definitively state who comes when, or even how many groups there are (although I believe I am correct in my personal assessment), but I have shown that there is no contradiction, no set of different accounts which contradict one another. You can have different people who observe a similar occurrence over a period of a few weeks, and, even if their recollection is perfectly accurate, they will not sound the same. Some will tell you about this, others about that. Some will emphasize one thing over another. A good example of this is, those who went to the tomb of Jesus after the crucifixion; each gospel gives a slightly different account, listing different people who went at different times. These are not contradictory accounts, but complimentary accounts. In fact, I once put together a complete listing of who went to the tomb and in which order, which is completely consistent with the 4 gospel accounts.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

 

Concerning  The public and solemn inauguration of David, Henry writes: A convention of the states was called; all the elders of Israel came to him; the contract was settled, the pacta conventa – covenants, sworn to, and subscribed on both sides. He obliged himself to protect them as their judge in peace and captain in war; and they obliged themselves to obey him. He made a league with them to which God was a witness: it was before the Lord. Hereupon he was, for the third time, anointed king. His advances were gradual, that his faith might be tried and that he might gain experience. And thus his kingdom typified that of the Messiah, which was to come to its height by degrees; for we see not yet all things put under him (Heb. 2:8), but we shall see it (1Cor. 15:25). Footnote


Application: What I want to emphasize is, this was all done in God’s time; God did not anoint David one day and make him king the next. Too often, when a person is saved, especially when it is all emotional, in a week or two, he is out there giving his testimony, telling everyone what it is all about. God has a timetable and most of us require some spiritual growth before we begin producing. A huge contingent of believers today do not even know rebound! Footnote That means, their Christian service is meaningless. One thing which David teaches us is, patience. Allow God to work at His Own pace. There are steps a pastor-teacher much take: after he identifies his spiritual gift, which may take several years, then he needs concentrated spiritual training at a seminary. You just don’t start teaching because you have the want to or you found a group of desperate believers who want you as their pastor. You need to know the Scriptures, you need to know theology, you need to know the Greek and the Hebrew, and you need to know the history (and geography) of that time period. That doesn’t happen overnight. It is God’s timing, and He often is willing to take more time than we are. Even in our secular lives, we get out of school and we want the wife, the family, the new car, the big house and then all of the goodies to fill the house. It does not happen like that. This all takes time. I have been very blessed in many areas; and, believe it or not, I can come up with more areas in which God can bless me. However, I have learned a long time ago that I do not need to spend all of my energies chasing after additional blessings. God is much better at this than I am. When it is time, He will provide. You do not need to be antsy or impatient.


As always, there are going to be some details left out. When Israel placed themselves under David, and later under Solomon, realize that there were going to be some conditions. We don’t know who laid down these conditions, if they were understood, written down, or whatever, but there is some kind of a covenant between any king and his country. We will see the importance of this when we come to 1Kings 12, and Israel splits from Judah because Rehoboam (Solomon’s son) would not back off on the excessive taxation which Solomon had placed upon northern Israel (as leader, Solomon had a lot of building projects, and this required money and manpower). When Rehoboam refuses to negociate, northern Israel separates once again, and permanently.


A son of thirty year David in his reigning; forty year he reigned.

2Samuel

5:4

David [was] 30 years old when he [began to] reign; [and] he reigned [for] 40 years.

David was 30 years old when he began to reign and he reigned for 40 years.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       A son of thirty year David in his reigning; forty year he reigned.

Septuagint                              David was a son of thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.

 

Significant differences:           In the Hebrew, it makes sense to refer to year as a singular noun; it does not make sense to do this in the Greek or in the English, which is why it is plural in both places.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David was thirty years old when he became king, and he ruled for forty years.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David was 30 years old when he became king, and he ruled for 40 years.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                David was thirty years old when he began his forty years’ reign.

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

Young's Updated LT              A son of thirty years is David in his being king; forty years he reigned:....


What is the gist of this verse? David was 30 when he began to reign over Israel and he reigned for 40 years total.


2Samuel 5:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

shelôshîym (םי.שֹלש) [pronounced shelow-SHEEM]

thirty

plural numeral

Strong’s #7970 BDB #1026

shânâh (הָנָש) [pronounced shaw-NAW]

year

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #8141 BDB #1040

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

mâlake ( ַל ָמ) [pronounced maw-LAHKe]

to reign, to become king or queen

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4427 BDB #573

The infinitive construct, when combined with the bêyth preposition, can often take on a temporal meaning and may be rendered when [such and such happens]. It can serve as a temporal marker that denotes an event which occurs simultaneously with the action of the main verb.


Translation: David [was] 30 years old when he [began to] reign;... Given the context, that David is herein made king over all Israel, I would assume that he is 30 when he begins to rule over all Israel; however, this notion will be corrected in the next verse, where it will become clear that David begins to rule over Judah at age 30, and, 7 years later, assumes control over all Israel.


This also gives us some ideas about David and Saul and their relative ages. David was possibly anointed by Samuel while he was very young—even as young as 10 or 11 (which helps to explain, to some degree, why his father did not think to bring him out before Samuel).


David would have begun work in the palace of Saul as early as age 11 or 12. I am assuming that he is first anointed and then goes to work at the palace (which seems to make sense).


When David fights Goliath, he would still be very, very young—as young a s 12 or 13 in fact (probably no older than 15). Not only is David small for his age, but he looks very young, and his appearance before Goliath would have been almost humorous. Men could be warriors as early as age 15 or 16; this was not unusual; therefore, a 16 year old warrior would not have seemed so unusual before Goliath. A small, 13 year old, on the other hand, would have caused Goliath to question out loud the wisdom of Saul to send out such a boy.


After that, David earned a place of respect in Saul’s army and became a very young general—perhaps as young as 16 or 17; and he spent a considerable period of time under Saul, gaining recognition and respect from his peers, but eventually pissing Saul off because of his successes. For David to have spent about 10 years as one of Saul’s generals in about enough time for him to have earned an almost permanent reputation (which was alluded to in the previous verse).


Furthermore, we require this youth of David in order for him to begin reigning over Israel at age 30. We need for him to spend several years on the run from Saul, and then 1.5 years in Philistia as an ex-pat.


Several commentators give their own views of David’s age when he did this or that.

The Time Frame of David’s Life Before Becoming King over Judah

Event

Barnes

 

Kukis

 

Anointed by Samuel

 

 

10–12 years old

 

Fought Goliath

20 years old

 

12–15 years old

 

In service to Saul

4 years

 

Began 12–14 years old as a court musician; 10 years as a general under Saul

 

On the run from Saul

4 years

 

3–5 years

 

In Philistia as an ex-pat

1 year, 4 months

 

1 year, 4 months

 

Begins to rule over Judah

30 years old

 

30 years old

 

Total number of years from 1Sam. 13 to rulership over Judah

10 years

 

15–20 years

 

I must admit to being surprised that few exegetes made any estimations at this point.

We don’t know any of these ages or time frames for certain; we just read the Scripture and make reasonable guesses based upon the information we are given.

Note that David begins his proper function as a king about the same age as Jesus when He began His public ministry (Luke 3:23).

Barnes estimations come from Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes on the Old Testament; from e-Sword, 1Sam. 5:4.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


2Samuel 5:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

arebâ׳îym (םי.עָר-א) [pronounced are-BAW-ĢEEM]

forty

undeclined plural noun

Strong’s #705 BDB #917

shânâh (הָנָש) [pronounced shaw-NAW]

year

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #8141 BDB #1040

mâlake ( ַל ָמ) [pronounced maw-LAHKe]

to reign, to become king or queen

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect; pausal form

Strong’s #4427 BDB #573


Translation:...[and] he reigned [for] 40 years. David’s entire reign over Judah and both kingdoms, totaled 40 years. This will be split up properly in the next verse.


It’s interesting that God seems to see 40 years as being the ideal time for a ministry or job. The ministry of Moses lasted 40 years; David’s reign is for 40 years (although he functioned under Saul for several years and he functioned as a leader for several years); Saul apparently was king for 40 years. Although this is certainly not written in stone, it does appear to be a reasonable time for a man to work.


In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three year over all Israel and Judah.

2Samuel

5:5

He ruled over Judah from Hebron seven years and six months; and in Jerusalem he ruled for 33 years over both [lit., all] Israel and Judah.

He ruled over Judah from Hebron for 7½ years; and he ruled over Israel and Judah for 33 years with Jerusalem as his capital city.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Peshitta                                  In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three year over all Israel and Judah.

Septuagint                              Seven years and six months he reigned in Chebron over Juda, and thirty–three years he reigned over all Israel and Juda in Jerusalem.

 

Significant differences:           No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       He lived in Hebron for the first seven and a half years and ruled only Judah. Then he moved to Jerusalem, where he ruled both Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.

TEV                                        He ruled in Hebron over Judah for seven and a half years, and in Jerusalem over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         In Hebron he ruled Judah for seven years and six months. In Jerusalem he ruled for 33 years over all Israel and Juda.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.

Young's Literal Translation     ...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.


What is the gist of this verse? David’s reign is broken down: he reigned for 7½ in Hebron over Judah and for 33 years in Jerusalem over Judah and Israel.


In the previous verse, I mentioned how we needed more information in order to determine when this was written; since we have David’s entire reign mapped out here from the beginning, this means that at least a portion of this manuscript was completed after his death. Either the final recording of the historical events surrounding his life was done after he died; or an editor added in pertinent information.


2Samuel 5:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

Cheberôwn (ןר׃ב∵ח) [pronounced khebv-ROHN]

association, league, joined; transliterated Hebron

proper noun; location

Strong’s #2275 BDB #289

mâlake ( ַל ָמ) [pronounced maw-LAHKe]

to reign, to become king or queen

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #4427 BDB #573

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

Yehûwdâh (הָדהי) [pronounced yehoo-DAW]

possibly means to praise, to be praised; and is transliterated Judah

masculine proper noun/location

Strong’s #3063 BDB #397

sheba׳ (ע ַב ש) [pronounced sheb-VAHĢ]

seven

numeral masculine noun

Strong's #7651 BDB #987

shânâh (הָנָש) [pronounced shaw-NAW]

year

feminine plural noun

Strong’s #8141 BDB #1040

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shishshâh (הָ̣ש) [pronounced shish-SHAW]

six

feminine form of numeral

Strong’s #8337 BDB #995

chôdesh (ש∵דֹח) [pronounced KHOH-desh]

new moon, month

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #2320 BDB #294


Translation: He ruled over Judah from Hebron seven years and six months;... David began ruling over Judah and his capital city was Hebron. For about 7½ years he reigned from Hebron. He reigns there until these representatives from northern Israel come to speak with him.


2Samuel 5:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

Yerûwshâlayim (ם̣יַלָשר׃י) [pronounced yroo-shaw-LAH-yim]

possibly means founded upon peace or city of the Jebusites (or both); it is transliterated Jerusalem

Proper singular noun, location

Strong’s #3389 BDB #436

mâlake ( ַל ָמ) [pronounced maw-LAHKe]

to reign, to become king or queen

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #4427 BDB #573

shelôshîym (םי.שֹלש) [pronounced shelow-SHEEM]

thirty

plural numeral

Strong’s #7970 BDB #1026

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâlôsh (שֹלָש) [pronounced shaw-LOHSH]

a three, a trio, a triad, a threesome

numeral; masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7969 BDB #1025

shânâh (הָנָש) [pronounced shaw-NAW]

year

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #8141 BDB #1040

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yehûwdâh (הָדהי) [pronounced yehoo-DAW]

possibly means to praise, to be praised; and is transliterated Judah

masculine proper noun/location

Strong’s #3063 BDB #397


Translation: ...and in Jerusalem he ruled for 33 years over both lit., all] Israel and Judah. This does not mean that, the very moment when David took power over all Israel, that he moved his palace to Jerusalem. The idea is, these things occurred around the same time. One reason for him ruling from Jerusalem is that it is further north and on the border of Judah and Benjamin. Given that Saul was a Benjamite, it makes sense for David to rule from Saul’s home territory. Logically and chronologically, this takes us to David’s capture of Jerusalem.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


David Takes Jerusalem as his new Capital City

1Chronicles 11:4–9


And so goes the king and his men [to] Jerusalem unto the Jebusite inhabiting the land. And so he says to David to say, “You will not come in here for if cause to depart the blind and the lame, to say, ‘Cannot come in David here.’ ”

2Samuel

5:6

And the king and his men went to Jerusalem to the Jebusites who inhabited the land. One said to David, “You will not come in here, for even [lit., if] the blind and the lame can turn you away, saying [to themselves], ‘David cannot come in here.’ ”

Later the king and his men went to Jerusalem to the Jebusites who then inhabited that area. One of their spokesmen approached David and said, “You will not come into this city. Even an army of our blind and lame men could turn you back.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so goes the king and his men [to] Jerusalem unto the Jebusite inhabiting the land. And so he says to David to say, “You will not come in here for if cause to depart the blind and the lame, to say, ‘Cannot come in David here.’ ”

Septuagint                              And David and his men, departed to Jerusalem, to the Jebusite that inhabited the land: and it was said to David, You will not come in here: for the blind and the lame withstood him, saying, David shall not come in here.

 

Significant differences:           The Hebrew begins by referring to David as the king; he is simply called David in the Greek. That is the only significant difference in the texts.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The Jebusites lived in Jerusalem, and David led his army there to attack them. The Jebusites did not think he could get in, so they told him, "You can't get in here! We could run you off, even if we couldn't see or walk!"

The Message                         David and his men immediately set out for Jerusalem to take on the Jebusites, who lived in that country. But they said, "You might as well go home! Even the blind and the lame could keep you out. You can't get in here!" They had convinced themselves that David couldn't break through.

NAB                                       Then the king and his men set out for Jerusalem against the Jebusites who inhabited the region. David was told, “You cannot enter here: the blind and the lame will drive you away!” which was their way of saying, “David cannot enter here.”

NLT                                        David then led his troops to jer to fight against the Jebusites. “You’ll never get in here,” the Jebusites taunted. “Even the blind and lame could keep you out!” For the Jebusites thought they were safe.

REB                                       The king and his men went to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, the inhabitants of that region. The Jebusites said to David, ‘You will never come NIV Study Bible here, not till you have disposed of the blind and the lame,’ stressing that David would never come in.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The king and his men went to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived in that region. The Jebusites told David, "You will never get in here. Even the blind and the lame could turn you away" (meaning that David could never get in there).

HCSB                                     The king and his men marched to Jerusalem against the Jebusites who inhabited the land. The Jebusites had said to David: "You will never get in here. Even the blind and lame can repel you," thinking, "David can't get in here."

JPS (Tanakh)                         The king and his men set out for Jerusalem against the Jebusites who inhabited the region. David was told, “You will never get in here! Even the blind and the lame will turn you back.” (They meant: David will never enter here.) [Much of the meaning of this verse is uncertain].


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Bullinger (updated)                And the king and his men went to Jerusalem, to the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who spoke to David, saying, “You will not come in here, for the blind and the lame will drive you away by saying, ‘David will not come in here.’ ”

ESV                                       And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, "You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off"--thinking, "David cannot come in here."

Dr. Kennicott (updated)          And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land; who spoke unto David, saying; you will not come in here; for the blind and the lame shall drive you away by saying,“David will not come in here.” Footnote

MKJV                                     And the king and his men went to Jerusalem to the Jebusites, the people of the land. And one spoke to David saying, You shall not come in here, except the blind and the lame will turn you away; also saying, David cannot come in here.

Young’s Updated LT             And the king goes, and his men, to Jerusalem, unto the Jebusite, the inhabitant of the land, and they speak to David, saying, “You will not come in here, except you turn aside the blind and the lame;” saying, “David does not come in hither.”


What is the gist of this verse? David takes some men to Jerusalem to possibly take it as his royal city. He is met by a delegation of Jebusites, one of whom tells him that, even a blind and lame man could turn him away. David is clearly told that he will not enter into Jerusalem.


2Samuel 5:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ănâsîym (םי.שָנֲא) [pronounced uh-NAW-seem]; also spelled îyshîym (םי.שי ̣א) [pronounced ee-SHEEM]

men; inhabitants, citizens; companions; soldiers, followers

masculine plural noun

Strong's #376 BDB #35

Yerûwshâlayim (ם̣יַלָשר׃י) [pronounced yroo-shaw-LAH-yim]

possibly means founded upon peace or city of the Jebusites (or both); it is transliterated Jerusalem

Proper singular noun, location

Strong’s #3389 BDB #436

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Yebûçîy (י ̣סֻב׃י) [pronounced yevoo-SEE]

an inhabitant or descendant of Jebus; transliterated Jebusite

adjective gentilis with the definite article

Strong’s #2983 BDB #101

yâshab (בַשָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

inhabiting, staying, remaining, dwelling, sitting

Qal active participle

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, ground, soil

feminine singular noun; with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75


Translation: And the king and his men went to Jerusalem to the Jebusites who inhabited the land. David, after having been made king over all Israel, decides to choose a city which is slightly more centrally located. Jerusalem is on the border of Judah and Benjamin. Bear in mind as you read this, that God had given all the land to the Jews; it was theirs for the taking.


The Jebusites are a people about whom we know very little. Therefore, we ought to examine...

The Doctrine of the Jebusites

1.      The Jebusites are a Canaanite people, most of whom lived in the Land of Promise. Gen. 10:15–19 1Chron. 1:13–14

2.      God promised to give Abraham “...the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.” (Gen. 15:18–21).

3.      God spoke to Moses in the desert, and promised to give him and God’s people “...a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites (Ex. 3:7–8), which promise Moses conveyed to elders of the enslaved Jews (Ex. 3:14–22).

4.      When the plagues against Egypt had been completed, Moses confirmed God’s promise to bring His people to “...the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey.” Ex. 13:3–5

5.      God, through Moses, demanded the obedience of the Jewish people, that they not worship the gods of the heathen, and then He would send His angel before them to blot out “...Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites.” Ex. 23:22–24

6.      The LORD said to Moses, "Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, 'To your offspring I will give it.' I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people." Ex. 33:1–3 (see also Ex. 34:11–15). Interestingly enough, although I don’t pretend to understand any significance by it, the Jebusites are always listed last on these grocery lists of people whom God will allow the Jews to conquer.

7.      When Moses sent spies into the Land of Promise, they returned with the following report: And they told him, "We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the hill country. And the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan." (Num. 13:27–29). Unlike what has come before, this is not a grocery list, but their report identifies the locations of these various people.

8.      Moses, in one of his last messages to Israel, says the following: "When the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than yourselves, and when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire.” Deut. 7:1–5

9.      The approach that Israel was to take was as follows (as per the instructions of Moses): "When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it. And if it responds to you peaceably and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labor for you and shall serve you. But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. And when the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword, but the women and the little ones, the livestock, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as plunder for yourselves. And you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the LORD your God has given you. Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not cities of the nations here. But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall devote them to complete destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the LORD your God has commanded, that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the LORD your God.” Deut. 20:10–18

10.    Joshua, in Joshua 3:10, tells the people: “Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites.”

11.    When Israel began to conquer the land, there were two very different reactions: some of the people banded together to oppose Israel and others submitted to them. As soon as all the kings who were beyond the Jordan in the hill country and in the lowland all along the coast of the Great Sea toward Lebanon, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, heard of this, they gathered together as one to fight against Joshua and Israel. But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, they on their part acted with cunning and went and made ready provisions and took worn-out sacks for their donkeys, and wineskins, worn-out and torn and mended, with worn-out, patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes. And all their provisions were dry and crumbly. And they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, "We have come from a distant country, so now make a covenant with us." Joshua 9:1–6

12.    Joshua kills the king of Jerusalem (therefore, the king of the Jebusites) at Beth-horon, along with several other kings. Joshua 10:1, 5, 26

13.    An alliance of several peoples, including the Jebusites, gathered to meet Joshua, and God told him not to be afraid, and delivered this alliance into Joshua’s hand. Joshua 11:1–8

14.    We have a list of the kings conquered by Joshua, which includes the king of Jerusalem (Joshua 12:7–24).

15.    The city of the Jebusite is listed as a border city for Judah and Benjamin in Joshua 15:8 18:16.

16.    Even though Joshua had conquered the king of Jerusalem, this does not mean that they conquered Jerusalem itself. When Joshua conquered the king of Jerusalem, he was with an alliance of other kings who had attacked the Gibeonites. So, Joshua could have conquered him without conquering Jerusalem. In any case, the Jebusites were never completely defeated, and they lived in Jerusalem side by side Judahites (Joshua 15:63) and the Benjamites (Judges 1:21).

17.    Very near his death, Joshua reminded the people of God’s faithfulness, and that He had given these other nations into their hand (Joshua 24:11).

18.    However, even though Israel had conquered these people, they did not completely wipe them out, and lived among several groups of people during the time of the judges and afterward as well (Judges 3:1–5). This, by the way, is the final list of the peoples in the land, and the Jebusites are listed last, as found throughout.

19.    At some point, the tribe of Benjamin was almost completely wiped out, save for 600 (Judges 19–21), so we may reasonably assume that Benjamin lost control of most of their cities—at least of Jerusalem. However, it is suggested in Judges 19:11 that even before the Benjamite tribe was decimated, that the Jebusites had control of Jerusalem.

20.    Now, although the tribe of Benjamin built itself up over a few hundred years, they apparently did not take back Jerusalem; and the Jebusites took this opportunity to build up the defense wall system of Jerusalem.

21.    We do not hear about the Jebusites again until this passage, when David takes the city of Jerusalem from them. 2Sam. 5:6–9 1Chron. 11:4–8

22.    Apparently, not all of the Jebusites are wiped out, as we hear about individual Jebusites from time to time. 2Sam. 24:16, 18 1Chron. 21:15, 18, 28 2Chron. 3:1

23.    In fact, it is from one of these Jebusites that David purchases the site upon which the Temple is built by Solomon (2Sam. 24:16–25 1Chron. 21:24–25). Although this Jebusite tries to give David the property for free, David insists on purchasing it. The interaction between this Jebusite and David shows both him and David in a good light.

24.    The heathen that Israel did not destroy, remained in the land until the time of Solomon, and he made slaves of them. 1Kings 9:20–21 2Chron. 8:7–8

25.    After the time of Solomon, apparently many descendants of these heathen groups were either removed from slavery, or, when Israel was conquered, the Israelites were in the same states as these people (slavery). Therefore, there had been some intermarriage between the Israelites and these heathen. Ezra 9:1–2

26.    Levites remind returning Israel of God’s faithfulness in giving them the land of these heathen peoples in Neh. 9:7–8. Interestingly enough, this is again one of the few lists where the Jebusites are not listed last (the Girgashites is listed last here).

27.    It is likely that a group of believer-Jebusites became a part of Israel (apparently as slaves of Solomon) who returned to the Land of Promise along with the Israelites. Neh. 7:57 11:3 Ezra 3:1

28.    The Jebusites are mentioned one more time in a prophecy given by Zechariah about the neighboring nations of Israel. He warned that Ekron would be like the Jebusites. Zech. 9:7

Normally, I do doctrines separately; however, this one was so short, there was no reason to treat it otherwise.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


All of this fits together well except for just one verse, 1Sam. 17:54, which reads: And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent. I see two possible explanations here: (1) this verse is a gloss and indicates that David brought Goliath’s head to Jerusalem much later (that is, around this time). This explanation makes the second half of this verse confusing. Why do we have a mention of taking Goliath’s head into Jerusalem years later, but his armor is taken to David’s tent at the time of this narrative? This would indicate that half of this verse is a gloss, which is possible. (2) After the Benjamites were wiped out, the Jebusites began to fortify Jerusalem. Some Jews were apparently allowed to live around Jerusalem and possibly even within the walls; however, this was probably a very small population, and it possibly afforded David privileges when he was a very young man.


I lean toward the latter explanation, but it requires more of an explanation—that is, why did David take Goliath’s head to Jerusalem? Again, we are left to speculate: (1) David had some family who lived there, and the head was put with his family. That just does not strike me as a reasonable explanation. (2) The head was taken to Jerusalem under the direction of Saul, who kept a small contingent of Benjamites in Jerusalem. When the Benjamite population dropped to almost nothing, there were probably no Benjamites in Jerusalem. When Saul became king, he did not go into Jerusalem to take it, but he probably set up some Benjamites in this city, and felt that a display of Goliath’s head would send a message to the Jebusites. He would not have to confront the Jebusites, but the fact that Goliath’s large head is displayed in their city might intimidate the Jebusites somewhat. They would know all about Goliath’s challenge to Saul’s army, they would find out about David, this small teenager, killing Goliath; and the head would be displayed in Jerusalem so that this would keep this in their thinking.


Logically, the walls of Jerusalem might have gone up right after the Philistines defeated Saul. They had about 7½ years to put these walls up (recall that the king of Northern Israel, Ishbosheth—is on the other side of the Jordan for this time period). Quite frankly, I don’t know how long it takes to accomplish a project like that. If they put a Houston Road Crew on the job, it might take 20 years; however, given that many kings and pharaohs completed huge building projects during their lifetimes (fortified walls, several cities, many buildings), I would think that 7½ years would be enough time to fortify Jerusalem. In fact, their attitude toward David at this time indicates to me that they had a great deal of faith in these walls, which could indicate that they are relatively new.


There is another explanation, which is very similar to what I have already given, with an important distinction: when Saul was king, he took control of Jerusalem, and had the head of Goliath taken there by David simply to intimidate the Jebusites, who apparently were not a very compliant bunch of people. However, when Saul was defeated by the Philistines and his son Ishbosheth escaped to the other side of the Jordan, the Jebusites not only took Jerusalem back, but they fortified it as well during those 7½ years. Whether Saul had complete control or not over Jerusalem, the historical events recorded herein still make perfect sense.


2Samuel 5:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55


Translation: One said to David,... There is a spokesman who comes forward and speaks to David directly. Jerusalem is apparently a fortified city, with a great wall around it, and a small delegation comes out to meet David outside of these walls.


2Samuel 5:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

hênnâh (הָ ֵה) [pronounced HAYN-naw]

hither, here

adverb

Strong’s #2008 BDB #244


Translation:...“You will not come in here,... Apparently, David is met by a delegation of men, but one steps forward and tells him that he is not going to enter into Jerusalem. The impression I have here, is they knew quickly that David was approaching the city and they met him right at the city gates (or, right in front of the city outside the gate).


Now, this indicates to me that David first came to these people in peace. He apparently would like to make Jerusalem his royal city, but he does not simply take his army in and wipe out the people who are here; he makes, as I see it, an offer of peace to them first, as God had told Moses to do. This is why we find David and these men conversing in the first place. If David is simply going to attack the city and take it, then meeting with them eliminates the surprise, which would have been poor tactics on the part of David. The idea behind Israel first offering terms of peace to the cities of the land is, those who are positive toward the Jews will also possibly be positive toward their Jehovah God.


Now, David coming to this city to take it over may offend your sensibilities, and I understand that. However, the people in the Land of Promise are pretty much heathen, and their only hope to be saved forever is to have a good relationship with Israel, which could lead to a good relationship with the God of Israel. If they believe in the God of Israel, then they are saved. There was significant evidence that Jehovah God worked in the lives of the Israelites—not just evidence to the Israelites but to the many peoples in that general area. What God did on behalf of the Jew was well-known throughout that general area. Therefore, do you withstand the Jews, meaning you take a stand against the True God of the Universe, or do you accept God for Who and What He is?


Application: At the time that I write this, historically, two things have happened. There has been some sort of independence established of certain Palestinian areas, and Iraq has had an evil, vicious dictator removed. For the past 50 years, we have been told that, the problem of the Palestinians is Israel, and the constant Jewish attacks against them. Now we have a situation where the Palestinians completely control certain sections of what was previous Israeli territory (if I recall correctly, the Gaza strip and the West Bank area), and they are still in turmoil and they are still fighting and dying in the streets (and, on occasion, they still lob missiles over into Israel). You would think—if you are thinking with human viewpoint—that these Palestinian areas would settle down and become relatively peaceful. However, it is the inner workings of the souls of the Palestinian people which prevent them from establishing any sort of a democratic government. In Iraq, the United States removed one of the most brutal dictators who has ever lived, and we would think, with our forces there to insure some peace and stability, along with our influence to establish a democracy in that area, that they would hop to and try to make that work. However, that is not the case at the time that I write (August 2007). There is still a lot of chaos in Iraq among the people. Footnote However, in any case, they have this window of opportunity to live outside of a brutal dictatorship, and there are a significant number of Iraqis who can’t deal with that (I would guess 5–10%); and then there would be a significant number of Iraqis who are hedging their bets, not certain as to how long we will remain in Iraq.


Application: The problem is the souls of these people. They have a defect in their souls and they have, for the most part, rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior. What remains is their evil souls influenced by their evil religion. The best way to achieve any sort of stability in Iraq is to establish unequivocal religious freedom and then to invade their country with missionaries. Even a small set of believers in Iraq would bring them blessing and stability.


These people with whom David is meeting here stand on the crossroads of their lives. They can accept his authority and worship the God of Israel, who is the God of the universe; or they can reject Him and die.


2Samuel 5:6d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, because; that; when

explanatory conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

îm (ם ̣א) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

Together, kîy îm (ם ̣א י ̣) [pronounced kee-eem] act as a limitation on the preceding thought, and therefore should be rendered but, except, except that, unless and possibly only. However, these particles are not used in a limiting way if they follow an oath, a question or a negative. Then they can be rendered that if, for if, for though, that since, for if, but if, indeed if, even if; for even.

çûwr (רס) [pronounced soor]

to cause to depart, to remove, to cause to go away; to turn away from

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect; with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #5493 (and #5494) BDB #693

׳ivvêr (ר̤.ע) [pronounced ģihv-VAIR]

blind [literally or figuratively], blind [men, people]; blindness

masculine plural adjective [used here as a substantive]; with the definite article

Strong’s #5787 BDB #734.

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

piççêach (-ח̤.פ) [pronounced pihs-SAY-ahkh]

lame

masculine plural adjective [used here as a substantive]; with the definite article

Strong’s #6455 BDB #820


Translation: ...for even [lit., if] the blind and the lame can turn you away,... This person speaking to David is insulting him greatly. He tells David that even blind and lame men could turn David and his army away (perhaps the idea is an army of blind and lame men?). In any case, the idea is, these men have little regard for David. They believe that the walls around Jerusalem are unassailable.


I hope you note the literary contrast. Those from northern Israel come down and show David great respect, and also revealing that they know what God’s will is for this situation. The Jebusites, on the other hand, show David contempt, and, not coincidentally, are also negative toward God, and are, to a great extent, sealing their eternal fate here with their negative volition.


Although we are going to go into this in greater detail in a couple of verses, let’s examine various theories concerning...

The Blind and the Lame

Theory

Comments

The fortification of Jerusalem is so good that, even blind and lame soldiers could keep David from coming in to take Jerusalem.

This seems to be the correct sense here; the Jebusites not only settled into Jerusalem but they fortified their city well with walls which they believed would protect them. Their words here simply indicate that they are so confident of their walls that even a guard of blind and lame soldiers could defend the city.

The fortification of Jerusalem is so good that the Jebusites posted blind and lame soldiers at the walls.

This seems so silly to me, I don’t know that I should comment. I can’t even recall where I read this and am not certain I want to list the commentator who suggested this. However, protecting a city is not a game to these people; it is their very lives. They certainly are going to build the best walls that they can afford, and they will have the best trained military men to guard their city. Hiring just blind and lame soldiers is simply a ridiculous notion.

The Jebusites are saying that they will fight until the last man, including the blind and the lame. Footnote

Although this sounds good, archeology reveals no widespread destruction of Jerusalem from this time period (meaning that David did not destroy this city and its inhabitants). We will have Jebusites mentioned later in Scripture as well. Furthermore, the words used here do not seem to indicate that this is what is meant by “You will not come in here, for even the blind and the lame will turn you way” thinking “David cannot enter here” (2Sam. 5:6b).

Perhaps the sense is, the Jebusites realize that, if their city is violated, they could end up blind and lame.

Although this seems reasonable, the text of this passage just does not support this understanding.

The Philistines brought out their blind and lame as a ritual display to curse David’s troops with blindness and lameness if they attacked the city. Footnote

Although this sounds good, and even reasonable, there is nothing in the text which indicates that this happened.

This will simply warm us up for the discussion to come.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


2Samuel 5:6e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

hênnâh (הָ ֵה) [pronounced HAYN-naw]

hither, here

adverb

Strong’s #2008 BDB #244


Translation: ...saying [to themselves], ‘David cannot come in here.’ ” I must say that I did not really grasp at first read, the idiom of this sentence. I would think that they are saying that even the blind and lame could turn David back, given their walls. However, here, they also say [or, think; or, determine], “David will not enter in here.” They had so much confidence in their defense system (their walls), that they are certain they can keep David out. In fact, it is very possible that, as the Jews moved all around them (Saul had established his palace directly north of them), and as the Philistines moved in and out of the land, these Jebusites went about building great walls in order to defend their city.

 

Interestingly enough, Clarke tells us: Scarcely a passage in the sacred oracles has puzzled commentators more than this. For my own part, I do not think that it is worth the labor spent upon it, nor shall I encumber these pages with the discordant opinions of learned men. From the general face of the text it appears that the Jebusites, vainly confiding in the strength of their fortress, placed lame and blind men upon the walls, and thus endeavored to turn into ridicule David’s attempt to take the place. Footnote Although I may spend a little time viewing what other commentators have written about this passage (there are only 3 viewpoints), let me add, the Jebusites did not put together an army guard of blind and lame men to defend Jerusalem. That is absurd! However, the gist again is, this city is so well-fortified, it could be defended by blind and lame men!


So, you are thinking, just what gives David the right to march into Jerusalem and take it over?

Why it is Okay for David to Make Jerusalem his Capital City

1.      David is ruler over all of Israel and Judah; this includes the city of Jerusalem.

2.      God had given the Land of Promise to the Jews, and all they had to do was to take it.

3.      Joshua conquered the Land of Promise and he conquered Jerusalem as well.

4.      The Jews did not kill every heathen inhabitant of the land; sometimes, this was because of a treaty (e.g., with the Gibeonites) or because the individual tribes just did not get around to it. There were times when God specifically told leaders of Israel to wipe out a people (for instance, God told Saul to wipe out all the Amalekites)

5.      Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, not to the Jebusites. The Jews have allowed the Jebusites to live; however, their negative volition is going to impact on the quality of their lives in Jerusalem, as negative volition impacts the life of any person.

There is this mental attitude among liberals today who are all upset because the United States took some land and established itself as a country; and we were so mean to the Indians and Mexicans. Pretty much every country is carved out by a people who take it militarily from someone else. Some geographical areas experience dozens of military actions in its history which transfer power. Some incorporate the people who were there; some conquer the people who were there, and some wipe out the people who were there. It is simply a fact of life in the devil’s world.

It is rather interesting that some feel that we should somehow atone for our sins against the Indians or the Mexicans; how long until this same group will expect us to atone for our sins against German Nazis? On the other hand, none of them grasp the importance or the implication of Adam’s sin; nor do they seem to realize that they are in a fallen world.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Jerusalem is well fortified by the Jebusites, with great walls. Victor Matthews tells us that some walls in Palestine are as much as 30 feet thick and 50 feet high. They are typically constructed of stone and mud brick, and, near mountainous areas, there is more stone, as it is more readily available there. Sometimes stone from previous cities is used, which makes it more difficult for archeologists to identify which layer corresponds to which time period. Footnote I have no data on these walls at Jerusalem, but apparently, the Jebusites believed them to be quite secure. They were further protected by the fact that Jerusalem was at a great height to begin with.


And so captures David a stronghold of Zion—this, a city of David.

2Samuel

5:7

Nevertheless [lit., and so], David captured the stronghold of Zion (this [is] the city of David).

Nevertheless, David captured the stronghold of Zion (now known as the city of David).


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic text                        And so captures David a stronghold of Zion—this, a city of David.

Septuagint                              And David took the hold of Sion: this is the city of David.

 

Significant differences:           The LXX reasonably translates the demonstrative pronoun as this is.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David captured the fortress on Mount Zion, then he moved there and named it David's City.

NAB                                       But David did take the stronghold of Zion, which is the City of David.

TEV                                        (But David did capture their fortress of Zion, and it became known as “David’s City.”)


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         But David captured the fortress Zion (that is, the City of David).

HCSB                                     Yet David did capture the stronghold of Zion, the city of David.

JPS (Tanakh)                         But David captured the stronghold of Zion; it is now the City of David.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Bullinger (updated)                Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion; the same is [called] the city of David.

ESV                                       Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David.

Young's Updated LT              And David captures the fortress of Zion, it is the city of David.


What is the gist of this verse? Despite the confidence of the Jebusites that David could not get through their fortifications, David did capture this city, and it became known also as the city of David.


2Samuel 5:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

The wâw consecutive can also be rendered so, that, yet, therefore. There are times when the wâw consecutive simply carries the action along and we do not need an English translation in order to indicate that.

lâkad (ד ַכ ָל) [pronounced law-KAHD]

to capture, to seize, to take, to choose [by lot]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3920 BDB #539

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

metsûwdâh (הָדצמ) [pronounced metzoo-DAW]

fortress, stronghold, top of a mountain; capture, prey, hunted; snare, net; transliterated Masada

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #4686 BDB #845

Tsâyôwn (ןיָצ) [pronounced tzaw-YOHN]

dry, parched ground; and is transliterated Zion

Proper noun/location

Strong’s #6726 BDB #851


Translation: Nevertheless [lit., and so], David captured the stronghold of Zion... David ruled over all Israel, the northern and southern kingdoms. Part of the responsibility given to the Jews (at that time) was to take the land and the cities in it. Joshua captured dozens of cities and defeated as many kings, but he did not ferret out each and every heathen living in the land. This was left up to the Jews to do in subsequent years, something which David undertook with great vigor.


Interestingly enough, even though the name Zion is found over 160 times in Scripture, this is the first mention of this place here. Since Jerusalem has not been captured by Israel previously, there is no reason for us to have heard about Zion prior to this chapter.


Stronghold means fortress, stronghold, top of a mountain; capture, prey, hunted; snare, net; and it is transliterated Masada. In this context, we are probably looking at the fortified portion of Jerusalem, which may be even more fortified than the city Jerusalem. This could be a castle, it could be a particular place within Jerusalem which is even more difficult to take, or simply the fortified portion of Jerusalem. It appears that the stronghold of Zion is simply another name for fortified Jerusalem.


It might be a good idea to see the few comments made by others:

Commentary on the Stronghold of Zion

Scripture

Incident

Barnes

The ancient Zion was the hill on which the temple stood, and the castle seems to have been immediately to the north of the temple. The modern Zion lies to the southwest of the temple. Footnote

Gill

A fortress without the city, and separate from it, and which was very strong; and the taking it might facilitate the taking of the city, which yet as appears by what follows, was very difficult to do. Footnote

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown

Whether Zion be the southwestern hill commonly so-called, or the peak now level on the north of the temple mount, it is the towering height which catches the eye from every quarter--"the hill fort," "the rocky hold" of Jerusalem. Footnote

Keil and Delitzsch

[Zion] was the name of the southern and loftiest mountain of Jerusalem. Upon this stood the fortress or citadel of the town, which had hitherto remained in the possession of the Jebusites; whereas the northern portion of the city of Jerusalem, which was upon lower ground, had been conquered by the Judaeans and Benjaminites very shortly after the death of Joshua (Judges 1:8). Footnote

Scripture

And David captured the stronghold of Zion (this [is] the city of David) (2Sam. 5:7).

In other words, what David captures is the stronghold of Zion, also known as the city of David, which appears to be fortified Jerusalem.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


We covered the Doctrine of Zion in Psalm 110:2.


Again, the idea behind the previous verse is, David did go to the Jebusites peacefully. Obviously, he was going to take the city, but they would have been given peaceful coexistence and, by Mosaic Law, they would not be treated like second-class citizens.


Edersheim Footnote suggests that Israel had already captured Jerusalem back in the days of Joshua, and David was conquering the stronghold on Mount Zion. Whereas, this is not necessarily wrong, given that the Israelites had been recently beaten back by the Philistines, there is no reason to assume that they still had a complete hold over any city in middle Israel. The sense of our passage could be what Edersheim suggests, or it could be the last stand of the Jebusites, after David came into the city. In any case, David’s takeover of Jerusalem is complete.


2Samuel 5:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hîy (אי.ה) [pronounced hee]

she, it; also used as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this

3rd person feminine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

Several good translators rendered this that is; perhaps the connotation could be also known as.

׳îyr (רי ̣ע) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine singular construct

Strong's #5892 BDB #746

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation:...(this [is] the city of David). Over and over again, we find that this narrative was either composed years after the events, or edited after the fact. When David took Jerusalem, it was not called the city of David; years later, after David had lived there for a long time, it became known as the city of David. Keil and Delitzsch say that David gave Jerusalem this name after it became his residence and capital city. Footnote I don’t see David as naming Jerusalem himself after himself, simply because, had David so renamed the city, we would be using the new name even today. David is the most popular king in Israel’s history; had he chosen to rename Jerusalem, the new name, even an eponymous one, would still remain, if not supercede Jerusalem. However, this feels more like a footnote in history. Some Jews and Christians may still refer to Jerusalem as the city of David, but more as an historical reference than an equivalent designation. We have a modern example in Ho Chi Minh City, which is the name given to Saigon. If we look on a map, we find the name Ho Chi Minh City; and today, more people know it by its new name than by its historical designation. Anyway, I believe that after David took the city and made it his residence and capital city, that people began to call it the City of David and probably continued to use that designation for a couple of generations as often as the name Jerusalem. We might see this as a more popular name, e.g., Sacramento is sometimes called the River City (along with many other cities) and Houston is called H-town.

 

McGee: In David’s day, Jerusalem was down near the Kidron valley. Excavation of the walls that went around the city in that day have been found down in that area. The present city of Jerusalem is up nearer Mount Zion, where the palace of David was build. Later on, below Mount Zion, the Temple was erected. Footnote


It is possible that David traveled first with a small envoy to Jerusalem, and then went back for his army. He may have come to the city with a small envoy, but with his army nearby; and he may have showed up to Jerusalem backed by his army. The latter option seems to be the most reasonable, so that these events all occur one right after the other (v. 7, by the way, is a summary verse, although we get very few details in the following verses, and some of them are difficult to follow).


I need to warn you that the next verse is one of those verses that makes you want to throw your hands in the air, and quickly move on to the next verse. The verse feels incomplete; it is not clear who hates who; and it is not clear who has said what to whom. It appears as though some text may have suffered in some way, whether a few words have been dropped out or become unreadable, we do not know.


And so says David, “In the day the this, all striking the Jebusite and he reaches [or, strikes] in the water conduit, and the lame and the blind hated by a soul of David. Upon so, they say, “A blind [man] and a lame [man] will not come in unto the house [or, a blind [man] and lame [man] say, “He will not come into the house”].”

2Samuel

5:8

And David said, “In this day, anyone who strikes [and defeats] the Jebusites [more literally, each striker of the Jebusite] that he reaches through [lit., unto] the water conduit.” [or, And David said, “This day, each will assault the Jebusites by going up the water shaft.”] Furthermore, the lame and blind are hated by the soul of David; therefore, they say, “No blind man or lame man may come into the house [or, temple?] [or, because the lame and the blind said, “He will not come into the house”].

David had said, “This day, the Jebusites will be defeated by reaching them through the water conduit.” Furthermore, David hated the lame and the blind [i.e., the Jebusites], and therefore, it is said, “No blind man or lame person may enter into the House [of God].”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Dead Sea Scrolls                   That day, David had said, “Who[ever has a mind to de]feat [the Jebu]sites, let him seize Footnote the water conduit and strike the bl[ind and] the [lam]e whom David hates.” [That is w]hy they say, “The [bl]ind and the lame cannot [come into the house].” Let me remind you that, whatever is in brackets is unreadable in the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is inserted based upon what we have in the scrolls as compared with the MT or the LXX.

Latin Vulgate                          For David had offered that day a reward to whosoever should strike the Jebusites and get up to the gutters of the tops of the houses, and take away the blind and the lame that hated the soul of David: therefore it is said in the proverb: The blind and the lame shall not come into the temple.

Masoretic Text                       And so says David, “In the day the this, all striking the Jebusite and he reaches [or, strikes] in the water conduit.” And the lame and the blind hated by a soul of David. Upon so, they say, “A blind [man] and a lame [man] will not come in unto the house [or, a blind [man] and lame [man] say, “He will not come into the house”].”

Peshitta                                  And David said on that day, “Whosoever strikes down a Jebusite and whosoever strikes with a weapon the blind and the lame, he is a hater of David’s soul.” Therefore, they say, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the temple.”

Septuagint                              And David said on that day, “Every one that smites the Jebusite, let him attack with the dagger both the lame and the blind, and those that hate the soul of David.” Therefore they say, “The lame and the blind shall not enter into the house of the Lord.”

 

Significant differences:           The first thought in the Hebrew appears to be incomplete; therefore, the Latin and the Greek make attempts to complete it. In the Greek, those who attack the Jebusites will attack with daggers (no water conduit mentioned here). In the Latin, David is giving a reward to those who attack the Jebusites (and an attack plan is given). We have seen this approach in the past (e.g., Judges 1:12). However, the text may have been altered or added to with this in mind. In the Latin, the water conduit is not found, but gutters at the top of the house are found (I would bet that such things were more commonplace in the world of Jerome). This makes a little less sense than the Hebrew.

 

The Greek and Latin have the active voice used when it comes to hating; that is, it is the lame and the blind who hate David; as opposed to him hating them. In the Hebrew, the difference between the active and passive participles is more a matter of tradition than anything else. The vowel points are different and there is a letter which follows the verb to indicate that we are dealing with a passive participle. Obviously, whether this is passive or active will have a big effect upon the interpretation of this portion of the verse. However, in either case, the sentence is still somewhat incomplete.

 

I feel as though I need to make this statement again: even though we have a number of problems with the text, and some serious disagreements between ancient texts, what we do not find is, a doctrinal problem. The book of Samuel is primarily narrative (although we can find a great deal of application from it); and portions of this narrative are problematic. However, what we do not find are areas where it appears that the text has been changed to be in agreement with this or that doctrinal viewpoint. This is important to bear in mind whenever we deal with problematic verses.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David told his troops, "You will have to go up through the water tunnel to get those Jebusites. I hate people like them who can't walk or see." That's why there is still a rule that says, "Only people who can walk and see are allowed in the temple." David captured the fortress on Mount Zion, then he moved there and named it David's City. He had the city rebuilt, starting with the landfill to the east. [vv. 7–9].

The Message                         That day David said, "To get the best of these Jebusites, one must target the water system, not to mention this so-called lame and blind bunch that David hates." (In fact, he was so sick and tired of it, people coined the expression, "No lame and blind allowed in the palace.")

NAB                                       On that day David said: “All who wish to attack the Jebusites must strike at them through the water shaft. The lame and the blind shall be the personal enemies of David.” That is why it is said, “The blind and the lame shall not enter the palace.”

NJB                                        That day, David said, ‘Whoever gets up the tunnel and kills a Jebusite...’ [Then sentence breaks off. The tunnel, a secret passage from the spring to the interior of the city, still exists.] As for the blind and the lame, David hated them with his whole being. (Hence the saying: the blind and the lame may not enter the Temple.)

NLT                                        When the insulting message from the defenders f the city reached David, he told his own troops, “Go up through the water tunnel into the city and destroy those ‘lame and blind’ Jebusites. How I hate them.” That is the origin of the saying, “The blind and the lame may not enter the house.” [The meaning of this saying is uncertain].

REB                                       On that day, David had said, ‘Everyone who is eager to attack the Jebusites, let him get up the water-shaft to reach the lame and the blind, David’s bitter enemies.’ That is why they say, ‘No one who is blid or lame is to come into the Lord’s house.’

TEV                                        That day David said to his men, “Does anybody here hate the Jebusites as much as I do? Enough to kill them? Then go up through the water tunnel and attack those poor blind cripples.” (That is why it is said, “The blind and the crippled cannot enter the Lord’s house.”) [Verse 8 in Hebrew is unclear].


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         That day David said, "Whoever wants to defeat the Jebusites must reach the lame and the blind who hate me by using the water shaft." So there is a saying, "The blind and the lame will not get into the palace."

HCSB                                     He said that day, "Whoever attacks the Jebusites must go through the water shaft to reach the lame and the blind who are despised by David." For this reason it is said, "The blind and the lame will never enter the house."

JPS (Tanakh)                         On that occasion David said, “Those who attack the Jebusites shall reach the water channel and [strike down] the lame and the blind, who are hateful to David.” That is why they say: “No one who is blind or lame may enter the House.” [Much of the meaning of this verse is uncertain].

NIV                                         On that day, David said, “Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water-shaft to reach those ‘lame and blind’ who are David’s enemies.” That is why they say, “The ‘blind and lame’ will not enter the palace.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Bullinger (updated)                And David said on that day, “Whoever gets up by the Tsinnor [which was an underground watercourse], and strikes the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, who hate David’s soul, [he will be chief or captain] because they [the blind and the lame] said, ‘He will not come into the house [or, citadel].” Bullinger fills in the ellipsis with information given in 1Chron. 11:6.

Edersheim (updated)             And David said in that day, “Whoever strikes the Jerubsites, let him throw [them] down the water-course, both ‘the blind and the lame’ who are hated of David’s soul!” (Because they said, “he will not come into this house.”) I did not have the entire verse by Edersheim, so I have to take what I did have and build upon that.

ESV                                       And David said on that day, "Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack 'the lame and the blind,' who are hated by David's soul." Therefore it is said, "The blind and the lame shall not come into the house."

Keil and Delitzsch                  Every one who smites the Jebusites, let him hurl into the waterfall [i.e., down the precipice] both the lame and blind, who are hateful to David's soul (because the lame and the blind said, “He will not come into the house”).

Dr. Kennicott (updated)          And David said, “Whoever strikes the Jebusites, and through the subterranean passage reaches the blind and the lame who hate the life of David (because the blind and lame had said, “He will not come into the house”) shall be chief and captain. Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first and was chief. Footnote

MKJV                                     And David said on that day, Anyone who strikes the Jebusite, let him go by the water-shaft and take the lame and the blind, the hated of David's soul. On account of this they say, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.

NRSV                                     David had said on that day, “Whoever would strike down the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack the lame and the blind, those whom David hates [Another reading is those who hate David].” Therefore, it is said, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.”

Young’s Updated LT             And David says on that day, “Any one smiting the Jebusite, (let him go up by the watercourse), and the lame and the blind—the hated of David”s soul,” —because the blind and lame say, “He does not come into the house.”


When a verse confuses me, I often quote a number of translations, hoping that it will become clear to me after awhile. However, the explanation of the NIV Study Bible seems to be pretty good on this (the footnote they offer, not the translation).


What is the gist of this verse? David appears to be offering a reward to anyone who leads an attack against the Jebusites through their water supply lines, which apparently run under the walls. It is possible that this is simply David’s plan of attack. The second half of the verse deals with the lame and the blind, whom David hates (or, who hate David). And a reason for David’s hatred is given: They said that he could not come into the house, whatever that means.


To me, it feels as though there is an incomplete thought here; i.e., the first half of this verse has an incomplete thought that seems to have fallen from the text; and the second half of the verse deals with something else entirely. Most translations attempt to complete the first half of the verse with the second, which is the logical thing to do; however, they do not seem to be related at first read to me. This is confirmed by the text of Chronicles: And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, that is Jebus, where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land. The inhabitants of Jebus said to David, "You will not come in here." Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. David said, "Whoever strikes the Jebusites first shall be chief and commander." And Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, so he became chief (1Chron. 11:4–6).


Part of the problem is determining at what point does David’s quote end; and what is the verb which is applied to the lame and the blind? That is, do we apply to strike to the lame and the blind; or do we apply the second verb, the hated (of David’s soul).


2Samuel 5:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yôwm (םי) [pronounced yohm]

day; time; today (with a definite article); possibly immediately

masculine singular noun with a definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

that; this

masculine singular, demonstrative pronoun with a definite article

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

Owen does not mention that this demonstrative pronoun has a definite article.

The bêyth preposition, yôwm and hûw (with definite articles) mean in that day, on that day, in [on] the same day.

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

nâkâh (ה ָכ ָנ) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate

masculine singular construct, Hiphil participle

Strong #5221 BDB #645

Yebûçîy (י ̣סֻב׃י) [pronounced yevoo-SEE]

an inhabitant or descendant of Jebus; transliterated Jebusite

adjective gentilis

Strong’s #2983 BDB #101


Translation: And David said, “In this day, anyone who strikes [and defeats] the Jebusites [more literally, each striker of the Jebusite]... This verse begins with a difficult section. It sounds as if David is setting up the protasis for a conditional clause, but this protasis is not completed anywhere (or, if it is completed by the latter half of this verse, then it makes very little sense).


Bullinger suggests that this is an ellipsis; that words have been left out, and that they are supplied by 1Chron. 11:6 (David said, "Whoever strikes the Jebusites first shall be chief and commander." And Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, so he became chief). We can only speculate why the writer in Chronicles includes this and the historian of Samuel does not. They may have had the same source material which they wrote from, and the writer of Samuel simply did not include all of the details. It is also possible that, early on, this phrase became unreadable or left out in the Samuel text. I am only speculating here. However, the passage in Chronicles at least helps us to complete the thought of this verse, which is incomplete. It is not unfathomable that some of the text simply dropped out of Samuel. This has clearly happened from time to time in Scripture.


In any case, David is speaking to the men in his army, to those who will potentially strike down the Jebusites. This can be read as a promise that David is making to those who take Jerusalem (but an incomplete promise); and the idea could be tactics (which makes sense, but is not exactly in line with the Hebrew text—see below).


2Samuel 5:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâga׳ (ע ַג ָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHĢ]

to touch, to reach into; to violate, to injure; to come to a person; to strike

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5060 BDB #619

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

tsinnûwr (ר.צ) [pronounced tsihn-NOOR]

pipe, spout, conduit, water conduit

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6794 BDB #857

The Latin reads, instead: For David had offered that day a reward to whosoever should strike the Jebusites and get up to the gutters of the tops of the houses. This does not mean that Jerome found this reading in his Hebrew text; it is possible that he believed that there was missing text here, and that he filled in the best that he could, without radically changing it (and I suspect that he did not know the meaning of tsinnûwr, which is found only twice in the Old Testament and was rendered gutter in the KJV). In the alternative, this could have been a translation from his text or a translation from text where this problem was noted and “solved.”

The Greek text has, instead, And David said on that day, “Every one that smites the Jebusite, let him attack with the dagger... I suspect that they had problems with the meaning of the same Hebrew word.


Translation: ...that he reaches through [lit., unto] the water conduit.” [or, And David said, “This day, each will assault the Jebusites by going up the water shaft.”] The Latin and Greek are above. No matter which way you understand this verse, it does appear as though their mode of attack was through the water conduit. This was David’s strategy to take the city (which obviously worked).


One possible way to view this is, David is giving battle plans to his men. He is telling them how they will invade Jerusalem. And David said, “This day, each will assault the Jebusites by going up the water shaft.” This latter understanding gives a complete understanding to the first half of this verse, reasonably separates it from the latter half of the verse, and does not require us to do too much damage to the original language.


2sam_05.gifThis is one artist’s interpretation of how David got into the city of Jerusalem. Taken from The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times; Ralph Gower; ©1987 by Moody International; Ⓟ by Moody Press; p. 205.

Together this gives us: “In this day, anyone who strikes [and defeats] the Jebusites [more literally, each striker of the Jebusite] that he reaches through [lit., unto] the water conduit.” [or, And David said, “This day, each will assault the Jebusites by going up the water shaft.”] The alternative reading makes perfect sense, but does not really reflect the existing Hebrew text exactly. A good translation of the Hebrew text seems to leave us wanting an additional statement, e.g., the promise of a reward (as we find in the Latin text).

 

Victor Matthews describes another water tunnel in Jerusalem which was possibly constructed by Hezekiah. It was constructed to divert the waters of the Spring of Gihon prior to the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem (2Kings 20:20). It was driven through solid rock for over 1700 feet by two teams of workmen cutting from opposite directions (Sirach 48:17–19). In some places, this tunnel is over 155 feet below the ground. Water was stored in the tunnel and was channeled into a pool inside the city. Footnote Now, whether Hezekiah was improving on this same water tunnel or whether this is a completely new bit of construction, I have no idea.


The Hebrew text appears to be missing something, which does not seem to be completed by the phrase that follows. For this reason, I take the phrase which follows to be a new thought entirely.


2Samuel 5:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

piççêach (-ח̤.פ) [pronounced pihs-SAY-ahkh]

lame

masculine plural adjective [used here as a substantive]; with the definite article

Strong’s #6455 BDB #820

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

׳ivvêr (ר̤.ע) [pronounced ģihv-VAIR]

blind [literally or figuratively], blind [men, people]; blindness

masculine plural adjective [used here as a substantive]; with the definite article

Strong’s #5787 BDB #734

sânê (אֵנָ) [pronounced saw-NAY]

to hate; in the participle, it is the ones hating; in the passive: those being hated by

masculine plural, Qal passive participle

Strong’s #8130 BDB #971

Could this be the Qal active participle? That this is a masculine plural, Qal passive participle is according to Owen (from whom I take all morphological information). However, I cannot confirm what the form is; as my books list the various absolute forms of the participles, but not the construct forms. The Hebrew form of this verb here is senûêw (ו̤אֻנ) [pronounced senoo-AY]. In any case, this seems to be the preferred understanding of this verb in this context.

nephesh (שפ נ) [pronounced NEH-fesh]

soul, life, living being, desire

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #5315 BDB #659

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: Furthermore, the lame and blind are hated by the soul of David;... Here, we have another problem; does David hate the lame and the blind, or do they hate David’s soul? Here, they are the objects of a verb, but it is really not clear which verb. That is, we don’t tend to have the participle used as the main verb, and direct it toward the lame and the blind. For this reason, it appears as though there is a verb missing here, which would be applied to them.


One might want to connect this to the verb to strike, to attack, to kill (which is applied to the Jebusites). That is, David tells his men not to just attack the Jebusites, but to kill the lame and the blind as well, a group of people who would normally be ignored (I assume). The only problem with this theory is, Jebusite is not preceded by the sign of the direct object, which we would expect, and which would easily tie the Jebusites to the lame and the blind. On the other hand, in the early part of this verse, we have that Jebusite is an obvious object of the verb; in this part of the verse, the lame and the blind are not obvious objects of the verb, and therefore the sign of the direct object is used, so that we understand that we have continued the sentence to include them.


I think the correct understanding of this verse means identifying the blind and the lame with the Jebusites themselves. That is, the Jebusites have told David, “Even the blind and the lame could keep you from entering into this city.” David did enter into the city and he did take the city; and, quite obviously, the Jebusites did not form an army of blind and lame to fight David, but they fought David themselves. From hereon out, when David speaks of the blind and the lame, he is speaking of Jebusites—notably, those who fought against him in this city.


For some, David’s feeling of entitlement may seem a bit harsh; he goes and speaks to these Jebusites and they make fun of the idea that David would be able to take their city. What we have here is a whole different mindset than we are used to. God has given the Jews the Land of Promise. These cities have been given to the Jewish race by God. You may not like this and it may even offend your sensitive nature, but that is what has happened. Even though this offends some of you, note that David does not just invade the city and take it. He speaks to the occupants first. These occupants are well-aware of what God has done on behalf of the Jews. Their being moved from Egypt into the land and their being given the land (Joshua’s taking of the land) is well-known to every group of people in this land. So, the Jebusites should not be taken back by David knocking at their front door to take their city. Their negative response, given all that they know about David and about the God of the Jews, apparently angers David. David is not mad at blind and lame people in general; nor is he mad at the blind and lame Jebusites; he is angry at the Jebusites themselves. Had these men cooperated, they could have continued to live in their city without any problems, apart from, their heathen worship would have probably been stopped.


Application: Christians and unbelievers have problems with this passage—what is David doing, just taking this city from the Jebusites, as they are the rightful owners? People who are Americans, but hate their own country, are similarly concerned as to how we took the country away from the more ecologically-correct Indians who respected (and worshiped) the earth (which is how some of these people function as well). Pretty much every plot of ground was taken from one set of people by another set of people. Although I am sure that somewhere out there, there are a couple of nations where those who live there now are descendants of the first people to walk over that land, but that is rare. What is more common is, a strong group of people takes a nation from a weak group of people. Sometimes this occurs within a nation (e.g., a Communist revolution, which liberals seems to have little problem with) and it may be an invasion from the outside in order to take the land. So, this is not the exception, but the rule; however, we are so many generations removed from this, that some American’s are squeamish or even ashamed of it. Footnote God clearly gave David that city and any part of the Land of Promise which the Jews did not already occupy and control. The peoples who occupied this land were degenerate in the worst ways. We know that the religious ceremonies in some parts of Palestine involved parents taking their own babies and playing them onto the fire-hot hands of a statue Molech, in which hands the babies were sacrificed to Molech in the most painful ways. They did not do this to their enemies; they did this to their own children! It is barbarism beyond imagination. That the Jews took the land from these people, and, in many cases, wiped them out, was a good thing.


Application: Now, God is not giving the land of this or that country to anyone else in the same way that He gave it to the Jews. However, there are times when wide-scale destruction of a people is necessary. Most of us understand just how evil Hitler was and the death camps which he established. Complicit with him were the German soldiers. These people needed to be destroyed. We could not have simply let them be. They invaded country after country after country, killing men, women and children; and at home, they rounded up and destroyed Jews and Christians. It was clear that this people needed to be destroyed, at least in part. A believer in Jesus Christ, who understands historical trends, could grasp that. Similarly, we were attacked by the Japanese, and we had to respond. We had no other choice. And Truman’s final act, to use atomic weapons, was both sobering and necessary, and something which we may see again in our lifetimes.


Application: We are presently dealing with a group of peoples who have become corrupted by their false religion, Islam. No matter what the merits of this religion might be, the end results are, a significant percentage of Muslims believe that suicide bombings are legitimate and sometimes necessary; and huge numbers of Muslims are raising their own children from the youngest age to believe that they should become suicide bombers. Footnote Furthermore, these terrorists have no problems with killing children, and some bombings primarily target children (and, most often, they target fellow Muslims). This is a degeneracy which matches the degeneracy of the ancient people who once lived in the Land of Promise. This indicates to me that, either we evangelize these people, or we will probably have to kill large numbers of them in our very near future. God does allow for the destruction of masses of degenerate people, who do not believe in Jesus Christ, and who, as a people, violently oppose believing in Jesus Christ.


2Samuel 5:8d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳al (לַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

kên (ן ֵ) [pronounced kane]

so or thus

adverb

Strong's #3651 BDB #485

Together, ׳al kên (ל-ע ן̤) mean so, upon the ground of such conditions, therefore, on this account, on account, for this reason.

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

׳ivvêr (ר̤.ע) [pronounced ģihv-VAIR]

blind [literally or figuratively], blind [men, people]; blindness

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #5787 BDB #734

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

piççêach (-ח̤.פ) [pronounced pihs-SAY-ahkh]

lame

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #6455 BDB #820

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

The Dead Sea Scrolls read: That day, David had said, “Who[ever has a mind to de]feat [the Jebu]sites, let him seize Footnote the water conduit and strike the bl[ind and] the [lam]e whom David hates.” [That is w]hy they say, “The [bl]ind and the lame cannot [come into the house].” Let me remind you that, whatever is in brackets is unreadable in the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is inserted based upon what we have in the scrolls as compared with the MT and/or the LXX.


Translation: ...therefore, they say, “No blind man or lame man may come into the house [or, temple?][or, because the lame and the blind said, “He will not come into the house”]. Again, there are a couple of ways to understand this. The most common way to understand this is, after this battle, there was a saying where the lame and the blind could not come into the House of God, which all goes back to the menacing Jebusites who met David originally.


The other way to understand this is, the blind and the lame were attacked because the blind and the lame said, “He [David] will not come into the house [i.e., Jerusalem].”


Now, before I launch off in an attempt to deal with this text, let me give you the text of 1Chron. 11:4–6: And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, that is Jebus, where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land. The inhabitants of Jebus said to David, "You will not come in here." Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. David said, "Whoever strikes the Jebusites first shall be chief and commander." And Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, so he became chief.


Because this verse is so difficult to understand, I am going to cover whatever translations and interpretations that I can find. The interpretation will be based upon an alternate translation, as the text does not appear to be complete in the Masorite manuscripts.

Interpreting 2Samuel 5:8

Source

Translation

Interpretation/Commentary

Dead Sea Scrolls

That day, David had said, “Who[ever has a mind to de]feat [the Jebu]sites, let him seize Footnote the water conduit and strike the bl[ind and] the [lam]e whom David hates.” [That is w]hy they say, “The [bl]ind and the lame cannot [come into the house].”

This translation makes perfect sense, but, if you will notice, what holds it together (or completes the verse) is text which is actually missing from the first half of the verse and inserted by Abegg Jr., Flint and/or Ulrich (who translated and wrote commentary for the book The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).


Interpretation: anyone who wants to defeat the Jebusites can do so by seizing (?) the water conduit and striking down the lame and the blind (i.e., the Jebusite army) whom are hated by David. Because of the previous 2½ verses, we have the saying the lame and the blind cannot come into the house.

Kennicott

And David said, “Whoever strikes the Jebusites, and through the subterranean passage reaches the blind and the lame who hate the life of David (because the blind and lame had said, “He will not come into the house”) shall be chief and captain. Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first and was chief.

This translation, the result of a great deal of work and explanation, still does not make good English sense. However, of those who attack the Jebusites, they will be able to reach them through the subterranean passage and be able to attack the blind and the lame who hate David (which is made clear when they said, “He [David] will not come into the house.” The person who apparently leads in this attack will be promoted, and Joab, David’s nephew (remember him—the one who killed Abner?).


I don’t know where Kennicott got the final sentence and a third; and I was unable to locate his complete work online.

Latin Vulgate

For David had offered that day a reward to whosoever should strike the Jebusites and get up to the gutters of the tops of the houses, and take away the blind and the lame that hated the soul of David: therefore it is said in the proverb: The blind and the lame shall not come into the temple.

First of all, David offers a reward to those who attack Jerusalem, according to the tactics which he has determined. We have seen this occur on many occasions in the past, so this makes the Latin approach very logical. Our only problem is, we do not find the corresponding words in the Hebrew text.


The part which I seriously question is that the Jebusites are attacked via the gutter work at the tops of the houses; this does not seem like a good approach.


The second half of this verse also introduces a verb not found in the Hebrew (to take away) and the lame and blind are the ones who are said to hate David’s soul. Finally, because they are removed and because of their hatred, they are not allowed into the house [of God]. This involves some more interpretation, which is not necessarily wrong. There is no temple at this time, but there would be a tent of God (from what I can understand from David’s early years as king).

NIV Study Bible

On that day, David said, “Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water-shaft to reach those ‘lame and blind’ who are David’s enemies.” That is why they say, “The ‘blind and lame’ will not enter the palace.”

[This is] an ironic reference to the Jebusites (compare v. 6). The ‘blind and lame’ will not enter the palace. The proverb may mean that the Jebusites did not have access to the royal palace, though they were allowed to remain in the city and its environs. Footnote The blind and lame refer to the Jebusites themselves throughout, and they were not give access to the palace due to their negative volition.

Peshitta (the Syriac translation)

And David said on that day, “Whoever strikes down a Jebusite and whosoever strikes with a weapon the blind and the lame, he is a hater of David’s soul.” Therefore, they say, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the temple.”

This does not make much sense to me. David is going to take the city; therefore, why should he say that anyone striking down a Jebusite (or, the blind and the lame) is a hater of David’s soul? And then to tack on the saying, the blind and the lame will not come into the temple makes even less sense.

Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation)

And David said on that day, “Every one that smites the Jebusite, let him attack with the dagger both the lame and the blind, and those that hate the soul of David.” Therefore they say, “The lame and the blind shall not enter into the house of the Lord.”

The Greek understanding was, this indicates that those who hate David (the Jebusites—the blind and the lame) should be attacked. This is, no doubt, the easiest interpretation; however, the Greek does not consistently render the Hebrew, particularly in the book of Samuel. Therefore, we should not be shocked that they allowed themselves some latitude here.


Even though the LXX is based upon manuscripts older than we have, the translation tends to be less than literal in certain books (like the book of Samuel). Therefore, we cannot simply take their translation and replace the Hebrew with it.

I think that the NIV Study Bible has the best explanation.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

Let’s look at these three verses as a whole: And the king and his men went to Jerusalem to the Jebusites who inhabited the land. One said to David, “You will not come in here, for even [lit., if] the blind and the lame can turn you away, saying [to themselves], ‘David cannot come in here.’ ” Nevertheless [lit., and so], David captured the stronghold of Zion (this [is] the city of David). And David said, “In this day, anyone who strikes [and defeats] the Jebusites that he reaches through [lit., unto] the water conduit.” [or, And David said, “This day, each will assault the Jebusites by going up the water shaft.”] Furthermore, the lame and blind are hated by the soul of David; therefore, they say, “No blind man or lame man may come into the house [or, temple?][or, because the lame and the blind said, “He will not come into the house”]. Now let’s see what others have said as to their meaning:

The Different Views of 2Sam. 5:6–8

Commentator

Explanation

Clarke

Scarcely a passage in the sacred oracles has puzzled commentators more than this. For my own part, I do not think that it is worth the labor spent upon it, nor shall I encumber these pages with the discordant opinions of learned men. From the general face of the text it appears that the Jebusites, vainly confiding in the strength of their fortress, placed lame and blind men upon the walls, and thus endeavored to turn into ridicule David’s attempt to take the place. Footnote Again, this seems silly to have an actual system of guards who are blind and lame. Furthermore, this explanation covers v. 6, but does not explain why David would not allow these lame and blind men into his palace (most of them would have been killed in the assault).

Gill

Many understand the lame and the blind to refer to the idols of the Jebusites, which had eyes, but could not see, and feet, but could not walk. Therefore, the Jebusites were saying that their idols would keep David and his army out. It is logical that David would hate their idols (v. 8) and that idols would not be allowed into his palace. However, it does not seem as likely that the Jebusites would have referred to their own idols as blind and lame, although, historically, many heathen did place a great deal of faith in their idols. Footnote Gill, by the way, is simply giving one of the several opinions here; this is not necessarily his.

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown

[Jerusalem] was strongly fortified and deemed so impregnable that the blind and lame were sent to man the battlements, in derisive mockery of the Hebrew king's attack, and to shout, "David cannot come in hither." To understand the full meaning and force of this insulting taunt, it is necessary to bear in mind the depth and steepness of the valley of Gihon, and the lofty walls of the ancient Canaanitish fortress. Footnote

Keil and Delitzsch

The Jebusites relied upon the unusual natural advantages of their citadel, which stood upon Mount Zion, a mountain shut in by deep valleys on three different sides; so that in their haughty self-security they imagined that they did not even need to employ healthy and powerful warriors to resist the attack made by David, but that the blind and lame would suffice. Footnote


They also On that day, i.e., when he had advanced to the attack of the citadel Zion, David said, “Every one who smites the Jebusites, let him hurl into the waterfall (i.e., down the precipice) both the lame and blind, who are hateful to David's soul.” This is most probably the proper interpretation of these obscure words of David, which have been very differently explained. Taking up the words of the Jebusites, David called all the defenders of the citadel of Zion “lame and blind,” and ordered them to be cast down the precipice without quarter. Footnote

Kennicott

Kennicott rendered this passage: And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land; who spoke unto David, saying; you will not come in here; for the blind and the lame shall drive you away by saying, “David will not come in here.” Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. And David said, “Whoever strikes the Jebusites, and through the subterranean passage reaches the blind and the lame who hate the life of David (because the blind and lame had said, “He will not come into the house”) shall be chief and captain. Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first and was chief. (I don’t have any of his works, so I had to guess on v. 7). It is the blind and the lame who are said to hate David; Kennicott includes the name of the one who went in first and led the assault.

Kukis

The Jebusites were so certain that their walls were impregnable that they told David a small army of blind and lame men could keep David from coming in. Because of their negative volition (they could have lived peaceably with David in their city), David hated the Jebusites, whom he calls lame and blind men, as they attempted unsuccessfully to defend their city against David’s army. For this reason, Jebusites (called blond and lame men) were not allowed to come into David’s palace. This would make sense from a security standpoint as well—if these men hate David so much as to try to keep him out, then these are not men whom David can trust, and therefore, there would be no reason to allow them to get close to David.

Wesley

[The Jebusites] confided in the strength of their fortifications, which they thought so impregnable, that the blind and the lame were sufficient to defend them, against the most powerful assailant. And probably they set a parcel of blind and lame people, invalids or maimed soldiers, to make their appearance on the wall, in contempt of David and his men. Footnote

To sum up, there seem to be 3 basic opinions: (1) there are literal blind and lame men guarding Jerusalem; (2) idols are guarding Jerusalem, and they are called blind and lame men by the Jebusites; (3) this is simply an expression, a saying, which indicates that blind and lame men could defend Jerusalem because the walls are so impregnable.

We should be able to agree that (1) this is a taunt or sorts and that (2) the Jebusites had complete confidence in the fortification which they had built up.

Given these things, I think most would agree that this is a taunt and a saying developed by the Jebusites which indicated how much faith they had in their defensive walls. Perhaps as they built these walls, one contractor to another would make such a statement to where it became a common-place saying. Now, obviously (at least obviously to me), the Jebusites aren’t going to put together an army of blind and lame men on their walls. How many men who are blind and lame would they be able to get together? And why take some reasonable saying and try to make it into something that it is not?

Although I like the idea of this referring to idols, it just does not make sense that these Jebusites would refer to their own idols as being blind and lame. The Jews with doctrine would refer to them as such, but not the Jebusites themselves.

This leaves the final interpretation that this is a saying, but the defense was an army of Jebusites, and this defense failed. David and his men, therefore, began referring to the Jebusites as blind and lame men, which is also a taunt. Not allowing them into the palace makes perfect sense, as the Jebusites were hostile toward David, hostile toward the Jews in general, and therefore, hostile toward their God, the True God of the Universe.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

Given all that I have said so far, are there any undeniable conclusions can we draw from these few verses?

Undeniable Conclusions Drawn from 2Samuel 5:6–8

1.      The Jebusites would not agree to let David take control of Jerusalem and had build a strong fortification to keep their enemies out.

2.      These Jebusites were dependent upon their own human works and they rejected the God of David, the God of the Jews.

3.      When David approached them civilly (remember, they were within the Land of Promise, which had been given to the Jews by God and had already been conquered by Joshua), they rebuffed him, taunting him.

4.      David developed a successful strategy to take Jerusalem.

5.      David and his army took Jerusalem.

So, even though we struggled greatly with this final verse, and the meaning of the text, the gist is fairly easy to understand and summarize.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

There are some conclusions which we can reasonable draw from this text, but with less dogmatism:

Probable Conclusions Drawn from 2Samuel 5:6–8

1.      The gist of the Jebusite taunt was, their wall fortifications were so good that even blind and lame men could defend their city against David.

2.      David promised some sort of reward or promotion to whoever led a raid into Jerusalem via their water conduit system, which ran under the city.

3.      Because they taunted David with this saying, and because David defeated their army and took the city, he referred to the Jebusites (particularly their army) as blind and lame men (who were unable to defend their city) and the ones who remained alive functioned without normal diplomatic privileges. This would have been because they were negative toward David and Jehovah God.

So, even though we struggled greatly with this final verse, and the meaning of the text, the gist is fairly easy to understand and summarize.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

Application: So, you are thinking, you have pretty much explained this passage in great detail; big deal; what does this have to do with me? Bear in mind, first of all, that Scripture was recorded in order to aid men of thousands of generations in at least two dispensations. Therefore, some of the information recorded is not for you specifically. Some of the information found in Scripture may not have an application to your life. Some Scriptures may be found in order to help understand the context, history or vocabulary of other Scriptures. Some Scripture may have great impact on several generations, and less on other generations centuries removed.

What Does 2Samuel 5:6–8 Say to Me?

1.      The human viewpoint of the Jebusites was that, they could keep David out of Jerusalem—and his God—because they build great fortifications. Please realize, you may have the best medical insurance, a safe room, and a healthy lifestyle. However, when your time is up, God is going to take you. You might even die young. There is no way to increase your days on this earth by human means; there is no amount of protection that you can devise to protect yourself from the judgment of God (this includes the frequent use of condoms).

2.      You do not go overboard, by the way, and wander out into freeway traffic to test God. You will not test the Lord your God (Deut. 6:16 Matt. 4:7).

3.      What God has done, you cannot undo. What God has promised, He will bring to pass. There is nothing that you can do to stop, slow, or detour God’s plan. God’s plan was for David to take Jerusalem; God had given Jerusalem (among the other cities) to the Jews.

4.      It is a very bad idea to treat Jews poorly or to take God’s Word lightly. Again, what God has promised, He will bring it to pass.

5.      The Jebusites could have continued to live peacefully in the city of Jerusalem side by side with the Jews, with all of the privileges of the Jews. Many could have received eternal life through believing in Jesus Christ. If you are reading this, then salvation and anti-Semitism are probably not issues in your life. However, there are things going on in your life that, quite frankly, piss you off or cause you great emotional distress, but you cannot change them. You cannot make them go away; you cannot neutralize them; you cannot get rid of the people who are causing you this torment. You can rage all that you want to; you can use all of the human viewpoint that you can muster (as did the Jebusites when they built the walls of Jerusalem); but you are flat out wasting your time. There are things in your life that are going to be difficult—some extremely difficult. God will not put upon you more than you can bear. God will provide a way out or a way through the difficulties that you face. Who are you going to be? David, who is able to deal with what God places before him (remember, David did not go straight from being a shepherd boy to being king over all Israel; and remember, David did not always get fair and just treatment from man)? Or are you going to be like the Jebusites, putting faith in what you have done for yourself, and defying God?

So, even though we struggled greatly with this final verse, and the meaning of the text, we are still able to even apply it to our own lives without having to take a dogmatic stand on facts which we are not really certain of.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


And so David lives in the stronghold and so he calls to her a city of David and so builds David round about from Millo and inward.

2Samuel

5:9

David lived in the strong hold and called it the city of David. David also built round about from Millo inward [or, from Millo to the house].

David lived in the stronghold and called it the city of David. He also build all around this area, from Millo inward.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And David dwelt in the castle, and called it, The city of David: and built round about from Mello and inwards.

Masoretic Text                       And so David lives in the stronghold and so he calls to her a city of David and so builds David round about from Millo and inward.

Septuagint                              And David dwelt in the hold, and it was called the city of David, and he built the city itself round about from the citadel, and his own house.

 

Significant differences:           The LXX interprets Millo as meaning a citadel; and interprets that David built his own house as a part of this building project.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

The Message                         David made the fortress city his home and named it "City of David." He developed the city from the outside terraces inward.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David lived in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built the city of Jerusalem around it from the Millo to the palace.

HCSB                                     David took up residence in the stronghold, which he named the city of David. He built it up all the way around from the supporting terraces inward.

JPS (Tanakh)                         David occupied the stronghold and renamed it the City of David; David also fortified the surrounding area, from Millo [a citadel] inward.

NIV Study Bible                      David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the supporting terraces inward.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And David lived in the stronghold and called it the city of David. And David built the city all around from the Millo inward.

Young’s Updated LT             And David lives in the fortress, and calls it the City of David. And David builds round about, from Millo and inward.


What is the gist of this verse? David decides to live in Jerusalem, calling it the city of David. He also began several building projects around the city.


2Samuel 5:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâshab (בַשָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

to remain, to stay; to dwell, to live, to inhabit; to sit

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

metsûwdâh (הָדצמ) [pronounced metzoo-DAW]

fortress, stronghold, top of a mountain; capture, prey, hunted; snare, net; transliterated Masada

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4686 BDB #845


Translation: David lived in the stronghold... David chose this city as his capital city, possibly because he liked the general area, and possibly because it was slightly more centrally located, being on the border of Judah and Benjamin. Given that he is now the recognized leader over all Israel, having a more centralized capital makes perfect sense. Furthermore, it sounds as though Jerusalem is better fortified than Hebron.


The stronghold probably refers to the most secure portion of Jerusalem, which would be surrounded by a natural ravine.


2Samuel 5:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qârâ (א ָר ָק) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon; to call, to name [when followed by a lâmed]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition; with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳îyr (רי ̣ע) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine singular construct

Strong's #5892 BDB #746

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: ...and called it the city of David. For whatever reason, David was quite taken by this city and this area, and he called it the city of David. This could be interpreted that someone other than David so named Jerusalem; that is simply became known as the city of David over time.


David’s taking of this city and making it the capital city of Israel is inspired; Hebron was too far south, and would be seen as favoring Judah; Mahanaim (the city which Ishbosheth established as his capital) was far too easterly; and, in fact, chosen for that very reason by Abner. Jerusalem was centrally located. Furthermore, since it had been primarily under the control of the Jebusites for so many years, Jerusalem was not clearly associated with northern or southern Israel. Footnote


There was obviously some personal preference on David’s part, with respect to Jerusalem, although we do not know exactly why. You will recall that when David defeated and beheaded Goliath, he took Goliath’s head to Jerusalem. That suggest to me that, David had to have had some experiences with Jerusalem, possibly as a shepherd boy, which drew him back there. We don’t know if he was thrilled with the city as a young man, overtaken by its beauty, or what—there was something which drew David to Jerusalem, even as a young man. Now I can offer a similar situation, but on a much smaller scale. After I had lived in the Houston area for a few years, I saw a house that a friend of mine built which I found to be spectacular. At the time, I was working for peanuts, and the idea of buying a house like that was clearly out of the question. Less than 10 years later, I was able to purchase this house and it is where I live now. It strongly appealed to me those many years ago, and even to this day, I am glad that I live here. David, for whatever reason, was similarly drawn to Jerusalem; and it was time for him to take it.


2Samuel 5:9c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bânâh (ה ָנ ָ) [pronounced baw-NAWH]

to build, to rebuild, to restore

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1129 BDB #124

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

çâbîyb (בי̣בָס) [pronounced sawb-VEEBV]

around, surrounding, circuit, round about, encircle

adverb/preposition

Strong’s #5439 BDB #686

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

Millôw (א.מ) [pronounced mihl-LOW]

rampart; mound; transliterated Millo

Proper masculine singular noun; with the definite article

Strong’s #4407 BDB #571

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the directional hê

Strong's #1004 BDB #108


Translation: David also built round about from Millo inward [or, from Millo to the house]. Millo is mentioned several times in Scripture, and it is obviously located within Jerusalem. Matthew Henry suggests that it is the town hall or state house. Footnote There is apparently another Millo which is near Shechem.


The other word used is the word house, and affixed to it is the directional hê. There is another Hebrew word with different vowel points (melô), which means fulness, that which fills, that which is full; multitude, crowd [i.e., those which fill a city]. Perhaps what is meant is, David built from his own habitation which he established there out to the crowded area. I am only speculating, obviously. In any case, we are looking at a building project which David is doing which would be necessary for a new capital city.


It is interesting that we find Millo listed several times in Scripture, and really don’t know what it is.

What is Millo? The Opinions of Commentators

Commentators

Opinion

Easton

Probably the Canaanite name of some fortification, consisting of walls filled in with earth and stones, which protected Jerusalem on the north as its outer–most defense. It is always rendered Akra i.e., “the citadel”, in the LXX. It was already existing when David conquered Jerusalem (2Sam. 5:9). He extended it to the right and left, thus completing the defense of the city. It was rebuilt by Solomon (1Kings 9:15, 24 11:27) and repaired by Hezekiah (2Chron. 32:5). Footnote

Gordon/Kenyon

The Millo, a concern also of Solomon (1Kings 9:15, 24 11:27), cannot be precisely identified. The probable connection with the Hebrew mâlê (fill in) gives a possible clue; a construction (tower?) built on a filled-in platform of earth or stones, or a reference to the artificial terracing on the eastern slope of the hill on which the ancient city stood, are the main candidates. Footnote Kenyon prefers the latter explanation (which I read in Gordon’s commentary).

Gower

When David fortified Jerusalem with retaining walls and narrow terraces, these were known as Millo (1Kings 9:15, 24). Footnote The efficacy of these fortifications may have led to Jerusalem becoming known as the city of peace (which is possibly more a play on words than an interpretation).

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown

[What David builds is] probably a row of stone bastions placed on the northern side of Mount Zion, and built by David to secure himself on that side from the Jebusites, who still lived in the lower part of the city. The house of Millo was perhaps the principal corner tower of that fortified wall. Footnote

Keil and Delitzsch

The “Millo” was at any rate some kind of fortification, probably a large tower or castle at one particular part of the surrounding wall (compare Judges 9:6 with Judges 9:46 and Judges 9:49, where Millo is used interchangeably with Migdal). The name (“the filling”) probably originated in the fact that through this tower or castle the fortification of the city, or the surrounding wall, was filled or completed. The definite article before Millo indicates that it was a well–known fortress, probably one that had been erected by the Jebusites. With regard to the situation of Millo, we may infer from this passage, and 1Chron. 11:8, that the tower in question stood at one corner of the wall, either on the north–east or north–west, “where the hill of Zion has the least elevation and therefore needed the greatest strengthening from without” (Thenius on 1Kings 9:15). This is fully sustained both by 1Kings 11:27, where Solomon is said to have closed the breach of the city of David by building (fortifying) Millo, and by 2Chron. 32:5, where Hezekiah is said to have built up all the wall of Jerusalem, and made Millo strong, i.e., to have fortified it still further (vid., 1Kings 9:15 and 1Kings 9:24). Footnote

Lewin

Millo is the Temple area; and there was another Millo in Shechem (Judges 9:6) which is also designated as the migdal or tower of Shechem. Footnote

NIV Study Bible

They render millo as supporting terraces, and tell us that these are the stone terraces on the steep slopes of the hill, creating additional space for buildings. Footnote

New Living Testament

Millo is a rampart of two walls with a space between them [which is] filled in. Footnote They also refer to Millo as being an older section of the city. Footnote

Smith

Mil'lo. (a rampart, mound). A place in ancient Jerusalem. Both name and place seem to have been already in existence when the city was taken, from the Jebusites by David. (2Sam. 5:9 1Chron. 11:8). Its repair or restoration was one of the great works, for which Solomon raised his "levy" (1Kings 9:15, 24 11:27), and it formed a prominent part, of the fortifications by which Hezekiah prepared, for the approach of the Assyrians. 2Chron. 32:5. The last passage seems to show that "the Milo" was part of the "city of David," that is, of Zion. Compare 2Kings 12:20. Footnote

Wesley

Millo seems to have been the town - hall or, state - house, near the wall of the city of Zion. Footnote

Millo is obviously well-known to those who originally wrote this manuscript; however, at some point, it became little more than a thing, place or whatever in Jerusalem.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Some commentators say that David is building a wall around the city, but I don’t believe that David dismantled the existing wall and simply build a new one. He may have built more walls, but I think the idea is, he simply built more buildings appropriate to a capital city—his guards and attendants, for instance, need places to live. Although nothing is said in this regard, I would not be surprised if David used slave labor—possibly even Jebusites—to do this.


Apparently, there is a lower city and a section of the city which is at a higher elevation, and therefore more difficult to transgress. Certainly, David concentrated on building projects in the upper section of Jerusalem.


David taking Jerusalem and making it the capital city of Israel was one of the most significant acts of his reign; even today, Jerusalem is thought of by most as the capital city of the Jews.


It might be a good idea to get a little background on Jerusalem and the Jebusites whom David defeated to take the city.

The History of Jerusalem up until the Time of David

Time

Scripture

Comments

3rd Millennium b.c.

 

As far as we know, the site where Jerusalem is was first occupied at this time.

Circa 2200 b.c.

Gen. 14:18–20

This was apparently a royal city even back to the time of Abraham, and, more importantly, a city of spiritual import. Melchizedek, the king of Salem (Jerusalem) was a king priest, who ruled over Jerusalem, and performed the priestly duties as well. It may seem odd to us today to occupy this position, but Melchizedek foreshadowed Jesus Christ, our King-Priest. His very name means king of righteousness (or, my king is righteous).

19th and 18th centuries b.c.

 

We find the name Jerusalem in the Egyptian Execration Texts (it is written Urshalim). Footnote

1440 b.c.

 

Apparently, Jerusalem was first known as the city of Salem (or, as it is found in the Amarna letters: Urushalim or Uru-Salem). Since its king appears to be a Hittite, Jerusalem was probably first controlled by Hittites (they were at least, early settlers in Jerusalem). These same letters indicate that this king was killed and the city captured, which takes us to the time of Joshua below, which indicates that the Jebusites must have captured the city.

Circa 1400 b.c.

Joshua 10:1– 14, 22–27, 12:7, 10

Joshua did conquer Jerusalem originally. Several kings formed an alliance against him, including the king of Jerusalem, and he soundly defeated them, killing the kings.

Circa 1350 b.c.

Joshua 15:63

Although Jerusalem was taken by Joshua, the Jebusites apparently took back their control of it, the Jebusites coexisting with Judah.

Circa 1300 b.c.

Judges 1:8, 21

Although Jerusalem was on the border of Benjamin and Judah, apparently neither tribe controlled it; and both tribes had attacked it. Judah burned the city with fire and the Benjamites lived with the Jebusites, unable to dislodge them.

1300–1000 b.c.

 

My guess is, Jerusalem was somewhat of an international city. It had existed there for a long time, and it is even possible that original residents had some minor stake in this city. In any case, it is very likely that Jebusites, Benjamites and Judæans all lived in this city from time to time, and, possibly, coterminously and with some semblance of peace.

Circa 1000 b.c.

2Sam. 5:6–13

When David conquered this city, he clearly subdued the Jebusites. We do not hear of a confrontation between the Jews and the Jebusites ever again, although some individual Jebusites will be mentioned from time to time.

This was inspired by and partially taken from The NIV Study Bible; ©1995 by The Zondervan Corporation; p. 425 (footnote).


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

 

Commentary of the NIV Study Bible: The city David conquered covered somewhat less than 11 acres and could have housed not many more than 3,500 inhabitants. By locating his royal city in a newly conquered town on the border between the two segments of his realm, David united the kingdom under his rule without seeming to subordinate one part ot the other. Footnote


Gnana Robinson tells us that Jerusalem does not really mean city of peace, but is a reference to a deity Shalem who is worshiped there. Footnote Gower suggests that David’s security measures (improved walled and walkways) made Jerusalem a city of peace. Footnote I suppose that the idea is, Jerusalem became so known more as a play on words rather than by direct interpretation. That is, maybe there was a deity there named Shalem, and the city was so named, but with the idea that, this was a city at peace because it could easily defend itself in war. At this point, I am merely speculating, based upon what Gower and Robinson have said.


And so goes David going great and Yehowah Elohim of armies [is] with him.

2Samuel

5:10

And David greatly advanced and Yehowah Elohim of the armies [was] with him.

And David continued to move forward, always advancing, becoming greater in power and substance; and Jehovah God of the armies was always with him.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And he went on prospering and growing up, and the Lord God of hosts was with him.

Masoretic Text                       And so goes David going great and Yehowah Elohim of armies [is] with him.

Septuagint                              And David advanced and became great, and the Lord Almighty was with him.

 

Significant differences:           In the first thought, the Hebrew uses the same verb twice; the Greek actually has 3 verbs here, two which have the same root and mean to advance; and a 3rd which means to become great. There does not appear to be a strong difference in meaning. The Greek also has a slightly different title for God (the Lord Almighty instead of the Lord God of the armies).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David became a great and strong ruler, because the LORD All-Powerful was on his side.

REB                                       David steadily grew more and more powerful, for the Lord the God of Hosts was with him.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David became a great and strong ruler, because the LORD All-Powerful was on his side.

HCSB                                     David became more and more powerful, and the LORD God of Hosts was with him.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And David became greater and greater, for the LORD, the God of hosts, was with him.

WEB                             David grew greater and greater; for Yahweh, the God of Armies, was with him.

Young’s Updated LT             And David goes, going on and becoming great, and Jehovah, God of Hosts, is with him.


What is the gist of this verse? David continues to advance in greatness (in prosperity, power and prestige); and God is with him.


2Samuel 5:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

Qal infinitive absolute

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

A Qal infinitive absolute is a verb which can act like noun, a verb or an adverb. Generally it takes the place of a noun and serves to intensify meanings. When used as a complement of affirmation, it may be rendered surely, indeed, definitely; and when it is a complement of improbability and condition, we render it at all, freely, indeed. The Qal infinitive absolute can also serve as an adverbial complement; or, as a verb, it can replace finite verbs, imperatives, participles, and the infinitive constructs. Footnote

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

gâdôwl (לד ָ) [pronounced gaw-DOHL]

large, great or mighty [in power, nobility, wealth; in number, or magnitude and extent], loud, older, important, distinguished; vast, unyielding, immutable, significant, astonishing

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #1419 BDB #152


Translation: And David greatly advanced... It is difficult to literally render this verse; the idea is, David continued to grow spiritually, and, as he grew spiritually, he grew in wealth and power and prestige. The entire key to this verse is—David is moving forward; he is advancing—and the second half of this verse confirms that this is a spiritual advance.


Application: Don’t mistake this for the prosperity gospel; whereas God often blesses believers who are growing (as I can testify to), these blessings can take on multifarious forms. Therefore, not all of you will become powerful, political rulers after you believe in Jesus Christ and begin to grow spiritually. Your blessings may include a wonderful wife or great children, or an incredible job. Don’t ever think that all blessings are material or that you deserve great material blessings (although they do come to some people).


Part of David’s advancement was against heathen armies and heathen strongholds. Throughout the Land of Promise there were groups of heathen who hate Israel, as there are today. David continued to war against these types and he conquered more and more cities and dispensed with more and more heathen populations.


Application: We have problems in the United States with warfare because, unlike Harry Truman of several generations ago, we are not as willing to kill as many of the enemy as possible to achieve peace. For this reason, we fought a continuous war against North Viet Nam, yet we did not have the guts to flat out attack North Viet Nam. Thousands upon thousands of American soldiers died because of this. We are today in a very different sort of war in Iraq, but we have our own soldiers second-guessing themselves, as no soldier wants to be brought up on charges of killing innocents. Our enemies are just the opposite; when they kill groups of people, they could care less if innocents are involved or not; they could care less which side of the fence these innocents are on.


2Samuel 5:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural construct

Strong's #430 BDB #43

tsebâôwth (תאָבצ) [pronounced tzeb-vaw-OHTH]

armies, hosts; wars

masculine plural noun, simply the plural of Strong’s #6635, but often used in titles

Strong’s #6635 BDB #838

׳îm (ם̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near; like; from

preposition of nearness and vicinity; with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767


Translation: ...and Yehowah Elohim of the armies [was] with him. God is with David because David has positive volition toward Him. Note God’s title here: Jehovah of the armies. Too often, this meaning is buried in the title the Lord of Hosts.


Application: There are those who think that mankind is always advancing, but war is more prevalent today than it was a hundred years ago. There are those who think that we )the United States) can lead the world in showing a great humanity and greater mercy, but if this is not tempered with military might, most countries will view this as weakness.


In reading this verse, one can’t help but recall Rom. 8:31: If God is for us, who can be against us? However, the true function of this verse is to summarize all that is to come in the rest of this chapter. In vv. 1–9 David is established as the king over all Israel; and in what follows, we will observe David becoming greater and greater.


We are going to find two very distinct groups of people in and around Israel: those who ally themselves with Israel and have a friendly relationship with Israel, and those with a deep animosity towards Israel (and, therefore, towards God). We will study the former in v. 11 and the latter in vv. 17–25.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Hiram King of Tyre Builds David a Palace

1Chronicles 14:1–2


And so sends Hiram king of Tyre messengers unto David and trees of cedars and engravers of wood and engravers of a manger of a wall; and so they build a house for David.

2Samuel

5:11

Hiram, king of Tyre, sent messengers to David with cedar trees, carpenters and wall-builders; and they built a [royal] residence for David.

Hiram, the king of Tyre, sent messengers to David, along with cedar trees, carpenters and masons. They built a royal residence for David.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so sends Hiram king of Tyre messengers unto David and trees of cedars and engravers of wood and engravers of a manger of a wall; and so they build a house for David.

Septuagint                              And Chiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar wood, and carpenters, and stone–masons: and they built a house for David.

 

Significant differences:           The fourth thing sent to David is uncertain; I don’t think we have men building mangers of a wall.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       King Hiram of Tyre sent some officials to David. Carpenters and stone workers came with them, and they brought cedar logs so they could build David a palace.

NAB                                       Hiram, king of Tyre, sent ambassadors to David; he furnished cedar wood, as well as carpenters and masons, who built a palace for David.

TEV                                        King Hiram of Tyre sent a trade mission to David; he provided him with cedar logs and with carpenters and stone masons to build a palace.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Then King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedarwood, carpenters, and stonemasons. They built a palace for David.

HCSB                                     King Hiram of Tyre sent envoys to David; he also sent cedar logs, carpenters, and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built David a house.

Young's Updated LT              And Hiram king of Tyre sends messengers unto David, and cedar-trees, and artificers of wood, and artificers of stone, for walls, and they build a house for David.


What is the gist of this verse? The king of Tyre sends a wonderful present to David; he sends David an army of carpenters and masons to build a great palace for David.


2Samuel 5:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for [forth, away], to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth, to stretch out

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

Chîyrâm (מָרי.ח) [pronounced khee-RAWM]

noble and transliterated Hiram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #2438 BDB #27

Also spelled Chîyrôwm (מרי.ח) [pronounced khee-ROHM].

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Tsôr (רֹצ) [pronounced tsohr]

rock; knife; and is transliterated Tyre or Tyrus

proper singular noun; location

Strong’s #6865 BDB #862

Also spelled Tsôwr (רצ) [pronounced tsohr], and is identical to Strong’s #6864 (which means flint, hard pebble; knife).

maleâke (ָא׃לַמ) [pronounced mahle-AWKe]

messenger or angel; this word has been used for a prophet (Isa. 42:19) and priest (Mal. 2:7)

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #4397 BDB #521

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: Hiram, king of Tyre, sent messengers to David... Tyre is a Phœnician city along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, north of Israel. I would assume that this area was also well-known for its cedars in that era, just as Lebanon was. Hiram is sending a great many things to David, so he first sends messengers to explain to David what he is doing.


What happens in Israel is well-known throughout the ancient world. We do not know if Hiram personally knows David or only knows him by reputation. We may reasonably assume that some trade has taken place between the Jews and Hiram. In any case, Hiram apparently has a great deal of respect for David, as we will see.

 

The NIV Study Bible comments: This Phœnician king was the first to accord the newly established King David international recognition. It was vital to him that he have good relations with the king of Israel since Israel dominated the inland trade routes to Tyre, and Tyre was dependent on Israelite agriculture for much of its food (also true in the first century a.d.; see Acts 12:20). A close relationship existed between these two realms until the Babylonian invasions. Footnote


2Samuel 5:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳êts (ץ ֵע) [pronounced ģayts]

trees felled for building (1Kings 5:20, 32), lumber (Gen. 6:14 2Kings 12:13), sticks or logs for fuel (Gen. 22:3 Lev. 1:7)

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #6086 BDB #781

erez (ז∵ר∵א) [pronounced EH-rez]

cedar

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #730 BDB #72


Translation: ...with cedar trees,... Along behind these messengers we have a number of cedar trees, which no doubt are brought along by a large number of men who somehow transport these trees (in what manner, I don’t know).


2Samuel 5:11c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

chârâsh (ש ָר ָח) [pronounced khaw-RAWSH]

graver, engraver, artificer, metal worker, blacksmith; artisan, craftsman

masculine plural construct

 Strong's #2796 BDB #360

׳êts (ץ ֵע) [pronounced ģayts]

tree, wood; wooden post, [wooden] stake, gallows; [collectively for] a forest of trees

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #6086 BDB #781


Translation: ...carpenters... Literally, we have here craftsmen of wood; men whom we would call carpenters today. Now, even though many of the tools we have today, they had then, I imagine that they were quite dissimilar, and therefore, these artisans of wood had great skills, but those which are different from carpenters today.


To me, this is an amazing profession. I designed a portion of my house, which took about a year, working with an architect. This was the end result of about 10 years of thinking and pondering. Carpenters came in next and framed the home in a very short amount of time, making several adjustments. Just watching the process, seeing ideas being brought to life, was quite impressive to me. It is one thing to have an idea; it is completely another to see this idea take a physical form. It is also impressive to me, a rank amateur carpenter, to see the handiwork and craftsmanship of a real carpenter.


2Samuel 5:11d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

chârâsh (ש ָר ָח) [pronounced khaw-RAWSH]

graver, engraver, artificer, metal worker, blacksmith; artisan, craftsman

masculine plural construct

 Strong's #2796 BDB #360

eben (ןבא) [pronounced EHB-ven]

stone

feminine singular construct

Strong's #68 BDB #6

For reasons which elude me, both the Strong’s number in Edersheim and in my e-sword is wrong, both of them identifying this word (incorrectly) as Strong’s #18 BDB #7, which is êbûwç (סב̤א) [pronounced ay-BOOCE], and it means crib, manger, feeding trough. I have confirmed that the correct reading from the Hebrew text.

qîyr (רי .ק) [pronounced keer]

the wall [of a city], a wall; a place fortified with a wall [i.e., a fortress]; a side

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7023 BDB #885


Translation: ...and wall-builders;... Literally, this reads craftsmen of stone of a wall, which, taken together, mean craftsmen of stone walls; which is a different set of skills from the carpenters named above. The idea of a wall is to keep people out and to keep those on the other side of the walls safe. Even though there was apparently a wall built already around Jerusalem, additional walls provided additional safety.


On my own home project, a portion of it was done with stone, and it is quite impressive to view the work of a stone-mason. They work with real stones of a variety of shapes and sizes (the depth has to be fairly constant), and these must be pieced together in such a way that the concrete filler is roughly similar throughout, in order to provide a good bond which is aesthetically pleasing. You cannot fill with an half inch of concrete here, and then, a foot or two later, have 2 inches of concrete filling. Furthermore, you cannot build too many feet at a time; the bottom layers must be fully set and fully stable in order to build upon them. As I watched the stone masons at my own house do this work, it became apparent that they were as much artists as laborers—in fact, more so. The end result, given the raw material with which they worked, was amazing—a thing of real beauty.


In any case, Hiram was showing great respect to David by sending these men to him—he sends much of the raw material along with the men who know how to work with this raw material, with the result that a great palace will be built for David.


2Samuel 5:11e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bânâh (ה ָנ ָ) [pronounced baw-NAWH]

to build, to rebuild, to restore

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1129 BDB #124

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: ...and they built a [royal] residence for David. Even though this simply says that these men built a house for David, we are probably talking a wonderful, royal palace. This is an incredible gesture by the king of Tyre, and much different than those of the Mideast today.


Gill suggests Footnote a slightly different scenario: he suggests that Hiram first sent messengers congratulating David who also indicated that they could see that a royal residence was built for David (whether free or at cost or whatever, we do not know). This does make more sense, so first send messengers to indicate what you are willing to do. Afterwards, came the cedars and the workers. I suspect that we are dealing with slave labor and that this only cost Hiram the loss of their labors for a few months. In any case, Israelites were skilled in orchards, farming, and raising animals; and the Tyrians and Sidonians had skills in the realm of building. Whether this was a gift or whether it was in trade for food and livestock, we do not know; however, it certainly indicates friendly relations between the two nations. David will later refer to his house as a house of cedar (2Sam. 7:2).


Why do we find this verse here? What is the purpose? The war between Israel and the Philistines below (vv. 17–25) and this great gesture of Hiram are representative examples of how those around Israel related to Israel. Hiram, in this act, shows great respect for David, and leads us to believe that Hiram was possibly saved. This act toward David, the king of the Jewish nation, indicates positive volition on the part of Hiram. It indicates that Hiram is showing favor towards God’s people, the Jews; and specifically, to God’s man, David. Even if Hiram did not know David personally prior to this act, no doubt Hiram came to know David later. Although none of this is recorded for us, we might well imagine that David will unabashedly speak of his God, Elohim Jehovah, the True God of the Universe, and it is reasonable to suppose that Hiram believed in Jesus Christ and was saved. In the alternative, it is possible that Hiram has already met David, that he has already believed in Jesus Christ, and that building this house for David is a result of that.


This is the first mention of Hiram; but he will continue his relationship with Solomon, David’s son, as well. (1Kings 5:1–2 , 7–8 7:10–13, 40, 45 9:11–12, 14, 27 10:11, 10:22). It is possible that this became the common name for the kings of Tyre Footnote and that Solomon actually enjoyed a good relationship with Hiram’s son. However, 1Kings 5:1 seems to indicate that this is the same person (Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram always loved David). Footnote

 

We actually do not know the exact time frame that this palace was built. Of course, it seems to make a great deal of sense that this occurs soon after David takes Jerusalem. It is only reasonable that the next couple things on his list are to fortify the city of Jerusalem; and it is reasonable that Hiram, the king of Tyre, show his respect early on, rather than to hold back and wait until David has been king for awhile. However, Gordon does suggest that this occurs later in David’s ministry. He writes: This aspect of David’s building activity may, strictly, belong to the later part of his reign, since Hiram I of Tyre did not become king until about 969 b.c.. Hiram presided over a commercial empire based on a maritime monopoly (compare 2Chron. 8:18), but the prosperity of his kingdom depended heavily on the situation in the hinterland. It was important, therefore, that Israelites expansion did not deny Tyre and her trading partners the use of inland trade routes. Hiram, it would seem, was guided by self-interest when he made his generous contribution to David’s palace-building. Footnote I do not know how well-established the time frame of Hiram’s reign is. However, logically, this all seems to fit well as occurring early in David’s reign.


By the way, Gordon says something here which rubs me a little the wrong way—that this act is in Hiram’s own self-interest. One could reasonably argue that everything that we do is in our own self-interest. The friendships that we cultivate, though based on common interests and other similarities, may be classified as being made in our own self-interest. However, this does not mean that Hiram did not have a profound respect for David; and this does not mean that Hiram did not like David. It is possible for two kings to see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues and be willing to set up an alliance which is both a matter of self-interest and yet also a recognition of commonality of temperament and persuasion. Throughout my life, I have become friendly with a number of people, and the first thing that popped into my head has not been, “Okay, what can that person do for me? I can see developing a friendship if I can recognize some benefit to me in the long (or short) run.” Sometimes, friendships are just formed; the mutual benefit of a friendship is almost inherent in the relationship (unless you choose lousy friends). I can think of one recent friend who has been of great benefit to me; and I to him; however, our friendship did not begin with this in mind, as these benefits were not known for years (in the realm of construction, this guy can do practically anything!).


Bear in mind that David has a well-deserved reputation. As one of Saul’s generals, David has guided his troops in and out of battle and they, in turn, developed a great respect for him as a leader. Such information would be available to Hiram. Although one could argue that Hiram cultivated David’s friendship in order to retain his trade routes, one could also argue that allying himself with the Philistines might have done the same thing. However, the key here is really positive volition. Those who showed positive volition toward the Jew often believe in Jehovah Elohim, God of the Jews. Those who allied themselves against the Jews obviously did not believe in Jehovah Elohim, as who would be so foolish as to oppose the God of the Universe?


On the other hand, we have the Philistines, who, for the most part, hated the Jews and hated David (we have studied the one exception to this: Achish, king of Gath). Their negative volition toward David indicates (probably) negative volition toward the God of David, Jehovah Elohim. The end result is, many of them would die in battle and go immediately into torments.


And so knows David that established him Yehowah to king over Israel and that He lifted up his kingdom because of His people Israel.

2Samuel

5:12

Then David realized [or, perceived] that Yehowah had established [or, prepared] him as [lit., for a] king over Israel and that He exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel.

It was then that David realized that Jehovah had established him as king over Israel and that Jehovah lifted up his kingdom on behalf of His people Israel.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so knows David that established him Yehowah to king over Israel and that He lifted up his kingdom because of His people Israel.

Septuagint                              And David knew that the Lord had prepared him to be king over Israel, and that his kingdom was exalted for the sake of his people Israel.

 

Significant differences:           The only problem is the second verb, which the LXX renders as prepared. This is actually a reasonable rendering of the Piel of the Hebrew verb.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David knew that the LORD had made him king of Israel and that he had made him a powerful ruler for the good of his people.

The Message                         David took this as a sign that GOD had confirmed him as king of Israel, giving his kingship world prominence for the sake of Israel, his people.

NJB                                        David then knew that Yahweh had confirmed him as king of Israel and, for the sake of his people Israel, had extended his sovereignty.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         So David realized that the LORD had established him as king of Israel and made his kingship famous for the sake of Israel, the LORD'S people.

HCSB                                     Then David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel.

JPS (Tanakh)                         Thus David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingship for the sake of His people Israel.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     And David saw that Jehovah had established him king over Israel, and that He had made his kingdom sure for His people Israel's sake.

Young’s Updated LT             And David knows that Jehovah has established him for king over Israel, and that He has lifted up his kingdom, because of His people Israel.


What is the gist of this verse? At this point in time, David realized that God had established him as king over all Israel, as God had promised; and that his kingdom would be stable and that God did this for His people Israel.


2Samuel 5:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâda׳ (עַדָי) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to know, to perceive, to acquire knowledge, to become acquainted with, to know by experience, to have a knowledge of something; to see

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

Dâvid (ד ̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, because; that; when

explanatory conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

kûwn (ן) [pronounced koon]

to erect (to stand up perpendicular), to set up, to establish, to prepare, to strengthen, to be stabilized

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil perfect; with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3559 BDB #465

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

׳al (לַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation: Then David realized [or, perceived] that Yehowah had established [or, prepared] him as [lit., for a] king over Israel... The verb to know can indicate that David suddenly realized all that God had done on his behalf. Now, we mostly know about David over many years of studying; and it all seems just what we would expect—that God would exalt him. Furthermore, Samuel anointed David. So, why am I saying that David suddenly realized what God did on his behalf? When I was younger, a new believer, I heard about testing of different types and I heard about prosperity testing and I thought, okay, God, give that to me. Well, years and years later, I looked around at where I was one afternoon in my house, and realized that God answered that prayer. Whereas, I am not a member of the super-rich, by any means, I am in a very good situation with respect to finances and living conditions. I began by living in a house where a motorcycle gang drove in and out of via ramps at the front and back doors. I had to sell most of my valuable possessions in order to buy food at that time. Most of the carpet came from carpet scraps which I had glued together (it looked cool!). When I took a teaching job in Texas, the salary was so low, women who found out that I was a teacher would pretty much stop talking to me (I had this occur several times). In other words, when I spoke to God about these things, I was in a moderately impoverished condition (for America). Now, years later, it is much different. I live reasonably well and retired at the age of 51. Now, on the other hand, there are a plethora of problems when you live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. You may think that money solves everything, but it doesn’t. With money comes problems; sometimes, significant problems.


In any case, David suddenly realizes the same thing. He looks around and realizes that what God had promised, God brought to pass. He knew all about being anointed king; but all of a sudden, he realizes that God has done all of this on his behalf; he is here—David is king over all Israel, as a result of God’s work.


2Samuel 5:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, because; that; when

explanatory conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

nâsâ (אָָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to exalt; to help, to aid; to offer gifts; to take away

3rd person masculine singular, Piel perfect

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

mamelâkâh (ה ָכ ָל  ׃מ ַמ) [pronounced mahme-law-kaw]

kingdom, sovereignty, dominion, reign, dynasty; used to refer to both the royal dignity and to the country of a king

feminine singular noun with 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4467 BDB #575

baģăbûwr (רבֲע -ב) [pronounced bah-ģub-VOOR]

because of, for, that, for the sake of, on account of, in order that; while

preposition/conjunction; substantive always found combined with the bêyth preposition

Strong’s #5668 BDB #721

Actually a combination of the bêyth preposition (in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before) and ׳âbûwr (רבָע) [pronounced ģawv-BOOR] which means a passing over, a transition; the cause of a crossing over; the price [of transferring ownership of something]; purpose, objective. Properly, it is the passive participle of Strong’s #5674 BDB #720. Strong’s #5668 BDB #721.

׳am (ם ַע) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation: ...and that He exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel. Now, there is some interpretation here. We have two 3rd person masculine singular suffixes, and to whom should they be applied? Both to David, both to God, one to David and the other to God?


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


In the English, we capitalize the pronouns which refer to God. This is not true in the Hebrew, where there are no capital letters; nor is it true for the Greek, where this convention is not used. There are four ways that we can understand this portion of v. 12:

Whose Kingdom? Whose People?

Scripture

Interpretation

And that He exalted His kingdom for the sake of His people Israel.

God exalts His kingdom—divine rule in the nation Israel—for the sake of His people, the Jews.

And that He exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.

God exalts David’s kingdom on behalf of, or for the sake of David’s people, the Jews.

And that He exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel.

God exalts David’s kingdom—his rulership, his power in Israel—for the sake of God’s people, the Jews.

And that He exalted His kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.

God exalts His kingdom—divine rule in the nation Israel—on behalf of David’s people the Jews.

In my opinion, which is generally correct, the third option is what is meant here.

Because there are differences in interpretation—passages like these, for instance—some Bible translators do not capitalize pronouns which refer to God because there are some occasions where it is not completely clear whether they should be capitalized or not. Personally, I think that such passages should be footnoted and capitalized where appropriate.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

 

Matthew Henry comments: David's government settled and built up (2Sam. 5:12). 1. His kingdom was established, there was nothing to shake it, none to disturb his possession or question his title. He that made him king established him, because he was to be a type of Christ, with whom God's hand should be established, and his covenant stand fast (Psalm 89:21–28). Saul was made king, but not established; so Adam in innocency. David was established king, so is the Son of David, with all who through him are made to our God kings and priests. 2. It was exalted in the eyes both of its friends and enemies. Never had the nation of Israel looked so great or made such a figure as it began now to do. Thus it is promised of Christ that he shall be higher than the kings of the earth (And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth—Psalm 89:27). God has highly exalted him (Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father—Philip. 2:9–11. Footnote


Later, through Nathan the prophet, God will make an incredible promise to David: And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever (2Sam. 7:10–16).


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


The Line of David in Jerusalem

1Chronicles 14:4–7


And so takes David more mistresses and women from Jerusalem after his coming from Hebron. And so are born more to David sons and daughters.

2Samuel

5:13

After his coming from Hebron, David took more mistresses and wives from Jerusalem. More sons and daughters were then born to David.

After coming to Hebron, David took even more wives and mistresses from Jerusalem, and sired more sons and daughters.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so takes David more mistresses and women from Jerusalem after his coming from Hebron. And so are born more to David sons and daughters.

Septuagint                              And David took again wives and concubines out of Jerusalem, after he came from Chebron: and David had still more sons and daughters born to him.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       After David left Hebron and moved to Jerusalem, he married many women from Jerusalem, and he had a lot of children.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David married more concubines and wives from Jerusalem after he had come there from Hebron, and he fathered more sons and daughters.

HCSB                                     After he arrived from Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David.

Young's Updated LT              And David taketh again concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after his coming from Hebron, and there are born again to David sons and daughters.


What is the gist of this verse? Interestingly enough, David’s wives and childr