Beginning of the End


The Prosperous Reign of David

This chapter is based on 2 Samuel 5:6-25; 6; 7; 9; 10.

A place was selected twenty miles from Hebron as the future capital of the kingdom. It had been called Salem. Eight hundred years before, it had been the home of Melchizedek, priest of the most high God. It was almost in the center of the country and was protected by hills. On the border between Benjamin and Judah, it was close to Ephraim and easily reached by the other tribes. BOE 355.1

To secure this location the Hebrews must drive out a remnant of the Canaanites who held a fortified position on the mountains of Zion and Moriah. This stronghold was called Jebus, and those who lived there, Jebusites. For centuries no one thought Jebus could be conquered. But it was surrounded and taken under the command of Joab, and as reward he was made commander-in-chief of the armies of Israel. Jebus became the national capital, and its heathen name was changed to Jerusalem. BOE 355.2

Hiram, king of Tyre, wanted to make an alliance with David and he helped him to erect a palace at Jerusalem. He sent ambassadors from Tyre, accompanied by architects and workmen and costly material. BOE 355.3

The increasing strength of Israel, united under David, stirred the hostility of the Philistines, and they again invaded the country, taking up their position only a short distance from Jerusalem. David withdrew with his men of war to the stronghold of Zion. “So David inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?’ And the Lord said to David, ‘Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.’” BOE 355.4

David attacked at once, defeated them, and took from them the gods that they had brought to ensure victory. Frustrated because of their defeat, the Philistines gathered a larger army and returned to the conflict. Again David asked the Lord for guidance, and the great I AM took direction of the armies of Israel. BOE 355.5

God instructed David: “You shall not go up; ... come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And ... when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” If David, like Saul, had chosen his own way, he would not have been successful. But he did as the Lord commanded, and he “drove back the army of the Philistines from Gibeon as far as Gezer. Then the fame of David went out into all lands, and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.” (1 Chronicles 14:16, 17). BOE 355.6