Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.
2Sa 5:1-5. The Tribes Anoint David King over Israel.
1, 2. Then came all the tribes of Israel—a combined deputation of the leading authorities in every tribe. [See on 1Ch 11:1.] David possessed the first and indispensable qualification for the throne; namely, that of being an Israelite (De 17:15). Of his military talent he had furnished ample proof. And the people's desire for his assumption of the government of Israel was further increased by their knowledge of the will and purpose of God, as declared by Samuel (1Sa 16:11-13).
Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel.
So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel.
3. King David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord—(see on 1Sa 10:17). This formal declaration of the constitution was chiefly made at the commencement of a new dynasty, or at the restoration of the royal family after a usurpation (2Ki 11:17), though circumstances sometimes led to its being renewed on the accession of any new sovereign (1Ki 12:4). It seems to have been accompanied by religious solemnities.
David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.
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.
And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither.
2Sa 5:6-12. He Takes Zion from the Jebusites.
6. the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites—The first expedition of David, as king of the whole country, was directed against this place, which had hitherto remained in the hands of the natives. It 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.
Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.
7. the stronghold of Zion—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.
And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.
8. Whosoever getteth up to the gutter—This is thought by some to mean a subterranean passage; by others a spout through which water was poured upon the fire which the besiegers often applied to the woodwork at the gateways, and by the projections of which a skilful climber might make his ascent good; a third class render the words, "whosoever dasheth them against the precipice" (1Ch 11:6).
So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward.
9. David dwelt in the fort, &c.—Having taken it by storm, he changed its name to "the city of David," to signify the importance of the conquest, and to perpetuate the memory of the event.
David built round about from Millo and inward—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.
And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him.
And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house.
11, 12. Hiram … sent carpenters, and masons—The influx of Tyrian architects and mechanics affords a clear evidence of the low state to which, through the disorders of long-continued war, the better class of artisans had declined in Israel.
And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.
And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.
2Sa 5:13-16. Eleven Sons Born to Him.
13. David took him more concubines and wives—In this conduct David transgressed an express law, which forbade the king of Israel to multiply wives unto himself (De 17:17).
And these be the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shammua, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon,
Ibhar also, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia,
And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet.
But when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines came up to seek David; and David heard of it, and went down to the hold.
2Sa 5:17-25. He Smites the Philistines.
17. when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel—During the civil war between the house of Saul and David, those restless neighbors had remained quiet spectators of the contest. But now, jealous of David, they resolved to attack him before his government was fully established.
The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
18. valley of Rephaim—that is, "of giants," a broad and fertile plain, which descends gradually from the central mountains towards the northwest. It was the route by which they marched against Jerusalem. The "hold" to which David went down "was some fortified place where he might oppose the progress of the invaders," and where he signally defeated them.
And David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.
And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and said, The LORD hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baalperazim.
And there they left their images, and David and his men burned them.
21. there they left their images—probably their "lares" or household deities, which they had brought into the field to fight for them. They were burnt as ordained by law (De 7:5).
And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
22. the Philistines came up yet again—The next year they renewed their hostile attempt with a larger force, but God manifestly interposed in David's favor.
And when David inquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.
And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.
24. the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees—now generally thought not to be mulberry trees, but some other tree, most probably the poplar, which delights in moist situations, and the leaves of which are rustled by the slightest movement of the air [Royle].
And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer.