From Eternity Past


Chapter 70—The Prosperous Reign of David

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

Twenty miles from Hebron a place was selected as the future metropolis 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 held a central position in the country and was protected by hills. On the border between Benjamin and Judah, it was close to Ephraim and easy of access to the other tribes. EP 510.1

To secure this location the Hebrews must dispossess a remnant of the Canaanites who held a fortified position on the mountains of Zion and Moriah. This stronghold was called Jebus and its inhabitants, Jebusites. For centuries, Jebus had been looked upon as impregnable. But it was besieged and taken under the command of Joab, who, as reward, was made commander-in-chief of the armies of Israel. Jebus became the national capital, and its heathen name was changed to Jerusalem. EP 510.2

Hiram, king of Tyre, now lent his aid to David in erecting a palace at Jerusalem. Ambassadors were sent from Tyre, accompanied by architects and workmen and costly material. EP 510.3

The increasing strength of Israel in its union under David excited the hostility of the Philistines, and they again invaded the country, taking up their position but a short distance from Jerusalem. David with his men of war retired to the stronghold of Zion. “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.” EP 510.4

David advanced at once, defeated them, and took from them the gods which they had brought to ensure victory. Exasperated by their defeat, the Philistines gathered a larger force and returned to the conflict. Again David sought the Lord and the great I AM took the direction of the armies of Israel. EP 511.1

God instructed David: “Thou shalt not go up; but ... come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And ... when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, ... then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shalt the Lord go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.” If David, like Saul, had chosen his own way, success would not have attended him. But he did as the Lord commanded, and he “smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gezer. And 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. EP 511.2