Darby's Bible Synopsis
Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.
The following commentary covers Chapters 10, 11, and 12.
A brief recital of the ruin of Saul's house introduces Jehovah's establishment of the house of David. All that took place before the people gathered themselves to David at Hebron, and before the kingdom was established in his house over all Israel at Jerusalem, is passed over in silence.
After this we find, as a general subject, the order of the kingly power, and of the kingdom as established in the house of David-the kingdom, looked at as ordained of God in blessing, rather than the historical account of all that took- place;-excepting, so far as was necessary to furnish this picture. There is not perfection here; but there is the order which God appointed. The faults and the sufferings of David, whether before or after he was made king, are consequently passed over in silence.
After having mentioned the king himself, anointed by Samuel according to the word of Jehovah to rule over all Israel, the history begins with that which constituted the strength and glory of David's kingdom. The high priest no longer occupies the foreground. Jehovah's anointed is essentially a man of war, although it is not always to be so. Joab and the mighty men who had been David's companions in arms come immediately after the king. The first place next to the king is his who delivered Zion out of the enemy's hands [See Note #1]; and this spot, chosen of Jehovah, becomes the city of David and the seat of royal power. We are then told how David's companions in arms successively joined him, though yet for a long time rejected and pursued by Saul, mean as yet in appearance, a fugitive and without power to resist.
The first who are pointed out as having come to him-a proof that God and the knowledge of His will had more value in their eyes than parentage and the advantages which flow from thence-are from among the brethren of Saul (that is, of the tribe of Benjamin), and men of the greatest skill in handling the bow and the sling, the weapons with which Saul was slain in the battle in which he was overthrown. There were some who came from beyond Jordan to David, while he was still concealed in the wilderness; for faith and the manifestation of God's power tend to bring into play the energy and strength of those who connect themselves with it. He with whom God is attracts those with whom God is working; and their energy develops itself in proportion to the manifestation of His presence and favour. Many of these had been with Saul, but when with him they were not mighty men; many also had never been with him. Yet even in Saul's camp David had been able to slay the Philistines when all Israel was in terror. After that, similar achievements become almost common. At the beginning such things required immediate communion with God, so as to shut out the influence of all that surrounded the man who enjoyed this communion. Afterwards the surrounding influence was favourable, and, in this sense, faith propagates itself. These were but the chief of the mighty men whom David had. When God acts in power, He gives strength to the weak, and produces, by the energy of faith and of His Spirit, an army of heroes. In those who came from Benjamin and Judah we see that there was this link of faith (1 Chronicles 12:16). They knew that David's God helped him. David committed himself to God with respect to those who joined him, for he was in a very difficult position towards the end of his career of trial and affliction. Those to whom God had given energy and strength came to him in great numbers; for everything was ripe for his elevation to the throne of Israel, and for the transfer of Saul's kingdom to him.
There were various characteristics in this army of God: all famous for their valour, some among them had understanding of the times to know what Israel ought to do, and, in this case, all their brethren were at David's command; others were armed for battle; others had all instruments for war, and were not of a double heart. And these things were according to the gift of God, and they all came with one heart to make David king; their brethren had prepared everything in abundance, for there was joy in Israel. It is always thus when Christ is really magnified by upright hearts who only seek His glory.
David having built the city from Millo round about, Joab repaired the rest of the city. We may observe that Shammah the Harorite is not mentioned here. Perhaps it is Shammah in 1 Chronicles 11:27: but this is doubtful (see 2 Samuel 23:25). It may also be observed that the exploits of these mighty men consisted especially of victories over the Philistines, the enemies by whom Saul, who had been raised up for the purpose of destroying them, was overcome. Whatever may have been their subsequent achievements, it was there they learnt to conquer, and that they acquired the reputation which procured them a place in the archives of God. It is well that the reader should remember the connection between this whole history, and the establishment of the power of Christ, the Son of David, on the earth.
And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel.
Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel.
And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land.
And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David.
And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.
And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David.
And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city.
So David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts was with him.
These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel.
And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had; Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time.
And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties.
He was with David at Pasdammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines.
And they set themselves in the midst of that parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the LORD saved them by a great deliverance.
Now three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines encamped in the valley of Rephaim.
And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines' garrison was then at Bethlehem.
And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, that is at the gate!
And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the LORD,
And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest.
And Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew them, and had a name among the three.
Of the three, he was more honourable than the two; for he was their captain: howbeit he attained not to the first three.
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day.
And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.
These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties.
Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard.
Also the valiant men of the armies were, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,
Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite,
Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abiezer the Antothite,
Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite,
Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite,
Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah, that pertained to the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite,
Hurai of the brooks of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite,
Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite,
The sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shage the Hararite,
Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur,
Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite,
Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai,
Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Haggeri,
Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armourbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah,
Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,
Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai,
Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him,
Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite,
Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jehiel the sons of Hothan the Aroerite,
Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite,