2 Samuel 2:5
And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have shewed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him.
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2 Samuel 2:5-7. That ye have showed this kindness — This respect and affection. For as it is an act of inhumanity to deny burial to the dead, so it is an act of mercy and kindness to bury them. The Lord show kindness and truth unto you — That is, true and real kindness; not in words only, but also in actions, as you have done to your king. I also will requite you — So far am I from being offended with you for this kindness to my late enemy. This shows the great generosity of David’s spirit, who expressed such affection and gratitude to those who had honoured the dead body of one that hated and sought to kill him. Let your hands be strengthened — Be not afraid lest the Philistines should punish you for this act, but take courage. For, &c. — Or rather, though your master Saul be dead — And so your hearts might faint, as if you were now as sheep without a shepherd. The house of Judah have anointed me king — This he mentions that they might not be discouraged on the ground of their wanting one to head them, for he intimates that, being invested with the royal dignity by the tribe of Judah, he would look upon himself as bound to protect them also.

2:1-7. After the death of Saul, many went to David at Ziklag,David had already been anointed by Samuel 1 Samuel 16:13. His first anointing indicated God's secret purpose, his second the accomplishment of that purpose. (Compare the case of Saul, 1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 11:14.) David was anointed again king over Israel 2 Samuel 5:3. The interval between the anointing of the Lord Jesus as the Christ of God, and His taking to Himself His kingdom and glory, seems to be thus typified. 5-7. David sent messengers unto the men of Jabesh-gilead—There can be no doubt that this message of thanks for their bold and dangerous enterprise in rescuing the bodies of Saul and his sons was an expression of David's personal and genuine feeling of satisfaction. At the same time, it was a stroke of sound and timely policy. In this view the announcement of his royal power in Judah, accompanied by the pledge of his protection of the men of Jabesh-gilead, should they be exposed to danger for their adventure at Beth-shan, would bear an important significance in all parts of the country and hold out an assurance that he would render them the same timely and energetic succor that Saul had done at the beginning of his reign. This kindness; this respect and affection to procure him burial. For as it is and ever was esteemed an act of inhumanity to deny burial to the dead; so it is an act of mercy and kindness to bury them.

And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead,.... To return them thanks for their courage and boldness in rescuing the bodies of Saul and his sons out of the hands of the Philistines, and for their civility in the burial of them:

and said unto them, blessed be ye of the Lord; which may be considered either as a wish, the Lord bless you for it, or as a prediction, the Lord will bless you:

that ye have showed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul,

and have buried him. To bury the dead, with the Jews, was always reckoned an instance of humanity and kindness, and indeed of piety; an act done in imitation of God (z), who buried Moses, and so it might be expected the divine blessing would attend it.

(z) T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 32. 2. and Sotah, fol. 14. 1.

And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have showed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him.
Verse 5. - David sent messengers unto the men of Jabesh-Gilead. This was David's first act as king, and it was worthy of him. Some suppose that when David was told of their deed, it was with a view of prejudicing him against them. But this is not credible. By this time all men knew how loyal and affectionate were David's feelings towards his former king; and moreover the men of Jabesh were bound to Saul by no ordinary ties of gratitude (1 Samuel 11.). Nor could David wish that Saul's remains, and those of Jonathan, should be subject to indignity. We may well feel sure that information respecting Saul was eagerly welcomed at Hebron, and the valiant men there would all rejoice at finding that the high spirit of the nation was not quenched. But in sending to thank them, in premising to requite them, and in bidding them persevere in similar conduct, David was acting as the head of the nation; and, to justify his action, he informs them that the men of Judah had made him their king. 2 Samuel 2:5David's return to Hebron, and anointing as king over Judah. - 2 Samuel 2:1. "After this," i.e., after the facts related in 2 Samuel 1, David inquired of the Lord, namely through the Urim, whether he should go up to one of the towns of Judah, and if so, to which. He received the reply, "to Hebron," a place peculiarly well adapted for a capital, not only from its situation upon the mountains, and in the centre of the tribe, but also from the sacred reminiscences connected with it from the olden time. David could have no doubt that, now that Saul was dead, he would have to give up his existing connection with the Philistines and return to his own land. But as the Philistines had taken the greater part of the Israelitish territory through their victory at Gilboa, and there was good reason to fear that the adherents of Saul, more especially the army with Abner, Saul's cousin, at its head, would refuse to acknowledge David as king, and consequently a civil war might break out, David would not return to his own land without the express permission of the Lord. 2 Samuel 1:2-4. When he went with his wives and all his retinue (vid., 1 Samuel 27:2) to Hebron and the "cities of Hebron," i.e., the places belonging to the territory of Hebron, the men of Judah came (in the persons of their elders) and anointed him king over the house, i.e., the tribe, of Judah. Just as Saul was made king by the tribes after his anointing by Samuel (1 Samuel 11:15), so David was first of all anointed by Judah here, and afterwards by the rest of the tribes (2 Samuel 5:3).

A new section commences with ויּגּדוּ. The first act of David as king was to send messengers to Jabesh, to thank the inhabitants of this city for burying Saul, and to announce to them his own anointing as king. As this expression of thanks involved a solemn recognition of the departed king, by which David divested himself of even the appearance of a rebellion, the announcement of the anointing he had received contained an indirect summons to the Jabeshites to recognise him as their king now.

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