2 Samuel 5:23
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And when David inquired of the LORD, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees.

King James Bible
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.

American Standard Version
And when David inquired of Jehovah, he said, Thou shalt not go up: make a circuit behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry-trees.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And David consulted the Lord: Shall I go up against the Philistines, and wilt thou deliver them into my hands? He answered: Go not up against them, but fetch a compass behind them, and thou shalt come upon them over against the pear trees.

English Revised Version
And when David inquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up: make a circuit behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

2 Samuel 5:23 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

David gains two Victories over the Philistines (compare 1 Chronicles 14:8-17). - Both these victories belong in all probability to the interval between the anointing of David at Hebron over all Israel and the conquest of the citadel of Zion. This is very evident, so far as the first is concerned, from the words, "When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel" (2 Samuel 5:17), not when David had conquered the citadel of Zion. Moreover, when the Philistines approached, David "went down to the hold," or mountain fortress, by which we cannot possibly understand the citadel upon Zion, on account of the expression "went down." If David had been living upon Zion at the time, he would hardly have left this fortification when the Philistines encamped in the valley of Rephaim on the west of Jerusalem, but would rather have attacked and routed the enemy from the citadel itself. The second victory followed very soon after the first, and must therefore be assigned to the same period. The Philistines evidently resolved, as soon as the tidings reached them of the union of all the tribes under the sovereignty of David, that they would at once resist the growing power of Israel, and smite David before he had consolidated his government.

2 Samuel 5:17-18

"The Philistines went up to seek David," i.e., to seek him out and smite him. The expression לבקּשׁ presupposes that David had not yet taken up his abode upon Zion. He had probably already left Hebron to make preparations for his attack upon the Jebusites. When he heard of the approach of the Philistines, he went down into the mountain fortress. "The hold" cannot be the citadel of Zion (as in 2 Samuel 5:7 and 2 Samuel 5:9), because this was so high that they had to go up to it on every side; and it is impossible to sustain the opinion advanced by Bertheau, that the verb ירד (to go down) is used for falling back into a fortification. המּצוּדה (the hold), with the definite article, is probably the mountain stronghold in the desert of Judah, into which David withdrew for a long time to defend himself from Saul (vid., 2 Samuel 23:14 and 1 Chronicles 12:8). In 2 Samuel 5:18 the position of the Philistines is more minutely defined. The verse contains a circumstantial clause: "The Philistines had come and spread themselves out in the valley of Rephaim," a valley on the west of Jerusalem, and only separated from the valley of Ben-hinnom by a narrow ridge of land (see at Joshua 15:8). Instead of ינּטשׁוּ the Chronicles have יפשׁטוּ, they had invaded, which is perfectly equivalent so far as the sense is concerned.

2 Samuel 5:23 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

enquired

2 Samuel 5:19 And David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? will you deliver them into my hand?...

fetch

Joshua 8:2,7 And you shall do to Ai and her king as you did to Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof...

1 Chronicles 14:14 Therefore David inquired again of God; and God said to him, Go not up after them; turn away from them...

Matthew 9:29,30 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it to you...

Matthew 8:23-25 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him...

John 9:6,7 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay...

the mulberry trees. The word {bechaim} rendered mulberry trees, is rendered Aquila, (), pear-trees, as the LXX. also render in

1 Chronicles 14:14,15 Therefore David inquired again of God; and God said to him, Go not up after them; turn away from them...

; and so the Vulgate in both places has {pyrorum}. The Rabbins, however, believe {bacha} signifies the {mulberry-tree}; with whom Ursinus agrees. It more probably denotes a large shrub which the Arabs still call {baca}, from its {distilling} an odoriferous gum, from {bachah} to {distil}, as tears. Of this opinion is Celsius, who quotes a passage from {Abulfadi}, who describes it as a balsam shrub, having long leaves, and bearing a large fruit with an acrid taste. M. Forskal mentions a tree by the name of {baeca}, with leaves rather ovated??, smooth, entire: its berries are poisonous to the sheep.

Cross References
1 Samuel 22:15
Is today the first time that I have inquired of God for him? No! Let not the king impute anything to his servant or to all the house of my father, for your servant has known nothing of all this, much or little."

1 Samuel 23:2
Therefore David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I go and attack these Philistines?" And the LORD said to David, "Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah."

2 Samuel 5:19
And David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?" And the LORD said to David, "Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand."

1 Chronicles 14:14
And when David again inquired of God, God said to him, "You shall not go up after them; go around and come against them opposite the balsam trees.

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