2 Samuel 4-7 Chapter Study
With the death of Saul at the Battle of Jezreel, Israel split into 2 factions; Judah to the South & the other tribes of Israel to the north.
Ishbosheth, Saul’s son became king of Israel while the tribe of Judah crowned David king.
There was a civil war that lasted for 7 years between the 2 groups.
But when Ishbosheth offended Abner, the leader of Israel military force, Abner defected to David & the decline of Ishbosheth’s power began.
Joab, David’s chief general murdered Abner in revenge for killing his brother in battle.
David was furious about this act of treachery, but knew at that point there was little he could do about it.
In ch. 4, we read of Ishbosheth’s end.
After Saul’s death, Abner had been the real leader of & power in the north.
Ishbosheth was little more than window dressing.
With Abner’s demise, there was a massive leadership vacuum.
2Now Saul’s son had two men who were captains of troops. The name of one was Baanah and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin. (For Beeroth also was part of Benjamin, 3because the Beerothites fled to Gittaim and have been sojourners there until this day.)
Beeroth was one of the towns in the disputed border region between Israel & Philistia in the territory of Benjamin.
Because it was subject to so many battles, the Benjamites had fled from it to live at Gittaim.
The brothers Baanah & Rechab were Beerothites who’d become 2 of Abner’s commanders.
[Their Beerothite names were Miller & Guinness. J]
As members of the tribe of Benjamin, they ought to have been loyal to Ishbosheth, a fellow Benjamite.
V. 4 is a short parenthesis is the story of these brothers.
4Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son who was lame in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel; and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened, as she made haste to flee, that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.
Mephibosheth’s nurse knew the victorious Philistines would immediately move against the now vanquished Saul’s headquarters at Gibeah.
So she gathered up 5 year old son of Jonathan, grandson of Saul, and took off.
But she dropped the poor kid and his legs broke.
They were never set properly, leaving him permanently lame.
5Then the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out and came at about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who was lying on his bed at noon. 6And they came there, all the way into the house, as though to get wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. 7For when they came into the house, he was lying on his bed in his bedroom; then they struck him and killed him, beheaded him and took his head, and were all night escaping through the plain. 8And they brought the head of Ishbosheth to David at Hebron, and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul your enemy, who sought your life; and the Lord has avenged my lord the king this day of Saul and his descendants.”
These guys thought David would reward them for killing Ishbosheth.
After all, Judah & Israel have been at war for years and Ishbosheth was the enemy king.
As in a game of chess – take the king – game’s over!
But these guys have no clue as to David’s outlook on how he’s to come to the throne over the entire nation.
Killing the son of Saul was not the route he’d planned or wanted.
He was willing to wait till the people of Israel willingly welcomed him as their king.
9But David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from all adversity, 10when someone told me, saying, ‘Look, Saul is dead,’ thinking to have brought good news, I arrested him and had him executed in Ziklag—the one who thought I would give him a reward for his news. 11How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous person in his own house on his bed? Therefore, shall I not now require his blood at your hand and remove you from the earth?” 12So David commanded his young men, and they executed them, cut off their hands and feet, and hanged them by the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth and buried it in the tomb of Abner in Hebron.
David executed these guys for their treachery & treason against Ishbosheth.
He didn’t want anyone to think his rise to the throne of Israel had been by some sinister, back-stabbing, assassination conspiracy.
1Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and spoke, saying, “Indeed we are your bone and your flesh. 2Also, in time past, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the Lord said to you, ‘You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over Israel.’” 3Therefore all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord. And they anointed David king over Israel. 4David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 5In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.
While each tribe had its own elders who served as local leaders, they knew none of them had the ability to assume the throne of the entire land – only one man possessed that capability – David.
And they knew IN FACT that God had called him to that role.
David was 30 when he ascended to the throne of Judah at Hebron.
That was the age at which the priests began their service in the temple. [Num. 4:3; 1 Chron. 23:3]
Once the northern tribes aligned under David’s rule, he wisely moved his capital away from Hebron which was deep inside Judah, to a location that was more central.
Right on the border between Judah & the north was a hilly region Joshua & the army of Israel had defeated in the original conquest of the Promised Land, but had been reclaimed by the local Canaanites. [Judges 1:8,21]
The main city that controlled the area was a small but strong fortress called Jebus or Jerusalem.
The Canaanites who’d reclaimed it were known as Jebusites.
Because up to this point Jerusalem wasn’t the possession of any one tribes of Israel & was located in a kind of no-man’s land – yet geographically was in the very center of the nation – it made a prime spot for the new capital.
That it was a fortress that was easily defensible recommended it as well.
But first, it had to be captured, taken from the Jebusites – who weren’t going to just open their doors & welcome David in.
6And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who spoke to David, saying, “You shall not come in here; but the blind and the lame will repel you,” thinking, “David cannot come in here.”
The walls of Jerusalem gave the defenders great confidence in the safety of their homes.
Built at the top of a cliff, they afforded those who stood on the wall such an advantage. Even if they were blind or lame they’d be able to defeat an attacker – or so they thought.
What the Jebusites hadn’t planned for was an attack by less obvious means.
So while they were bragging about their defenses, David was figuring out an alternative way into the city.
7Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion (that is, the City of David). 8Now David said on that day, “Whoever climbs up by way of the water shaft and defeats the Jebusites (the lame and the blind, who are hated by David’s soul), he shall be chief and captain.” Therefore they say, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.”
Scholars are at a loss in interpreting vs. 7&8 because they contain archaic Hebrew they’re unsure the meaning of.
The thought is that some of the words may be loan words from the Jebusites who issued this taunt about the blind & lame.
David knew that a frontal assault on the walls & gate of the city would be suicide, so he devised another strategy for getting in.
Remember that his hometown of Bethlehem was just over 4 miles south of Jerusalem, so he’d heard stories of the city and knew there was no water supply inside the city walls.
[Diagram] The city’s water was drawn from the Gihon Spring which was located on the western side of the Kidron valley that lies on the east of Jerusalem.
The Jebusites had dug a trough along the hillside which channeled the water inside the city walls.
They then covered the spring and trough so no one outside the city knew where it was.
The people then lowered buckets via ropes down a long shaft to the water .
David knew this secret water supply system could provide a secret way into the city.
He gave an incentive to his troops, saying the one who found the shaft would get a promotion.
1 Chronicles 11 tells us once the shaft was discovered, Joab led some men in a raid that captured the city.
[Picture of Warren’s Shaft]
9Then David dwelt in the stronghold, and called it the City of David. And David built all around from the Millo and inward.
Archaeologists aren’t sure what the Millo was but the general consensus is that it’s the system of terraces that line the eastern slope of the hill the City of David was built on.
There’s a deep cut in the ridge the oldest part of the city of David was built on.
So the people had filled it in to enlarge the space to build on.
This meant they had to build several retaining walls, which they then filled with dirt, building it up, layer by layer. [Picture]
10So David went on and became great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him.
Of course – that’s why he became great, because God was with him.
11Then Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters and masons. And they built David a house.
The relationship between David & the king of Tyre up north in Lebanon was fantastic.
Lebanon grew fantastic stands of cedar.
Tyre had master carpenters who were skilled in the latest forms of architecture & construction.
Hiram sent wood and workers to help in the construction of David’s new palace.
This is a key statement – and marks a turning point in the story of David.
What he’d long hoped for is now realized.
His throne is secure, and the nation will rise to it’s potential as a people blessed by God.
While David was far from perfect, the failure that had ruined Saul was not something David had a hard time with; in other words, David wasn’t corrupted by power.
As it says here – he understood his role as king to be a place of service for the people.
Rule wasn’t power to control others – it was position to serve them.
There’s a well-worn axiom that says – “Power corrupts.”
That’s a universal truth, but there is one way to avoid the trap of power’s corruption, and that’s to hold power with a mindset that sees it as a tool to be used in the benefit & blessing of others, not self.
In politics, many live by the credo;
1st Rule: Get Power at all costs
2nd Rule: Increase Power by any means
3rd Rule: Preserve Power from every challenge
If v. 12 reveals David’s glory in the political arena, v. 13 highlights his failure in the domestic sphere.
13And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he had come from Hebron. Also more sons and daughters were born to David. 14Now these are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.
It’s not clear if these additional wives & concubines were women he thought he could have a genuine romantic relationship with, or if he was merely adopting the custom of the time which required a king to have a harem – the larger and more lovely – the greater his supposed grandeur & glory.
At least one of the 11 sons mentioned here was the result of a romantic relationship – Solomon, the son of David & Bathsheba.
Covered 2 Sundays ago.
Will cover this Sunday.
1Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies all around, 2that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.” 3Then Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”
David’s palace is complete and the army of Israel has defeated here numerous enemies on all sides.
New wealth flows into the nation every year as what used to be oppressors now send tribute to David.
The ark of the covenant is with David in the new capital, and it irked him that it was sitting in a tent while he enjoyed the luxury of his new palace.
So in conversation with Nathan one day, he shares his desire to build a permanent home for the ark.
Nathan thinks that’s a great idea & gives Dave a big thumbs up, pronouncing the blessing of God on the venture.
But Nathan spoke presumptuously.
4But it happened that night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, 5“Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Would you build a house for Me to dwell in? 6For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle. 7Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’”’
There’s a hint of surprise in God’s response to David’s offer – “You want to be build ME a house when all I’ve ever known is a tent? No one else has ever been concerned about this before.”
The tabernacle had to be mobile for obvious reasons as they made their way from Egypt to Canaan.
But now that they’re safely settled in the land and secure under David’s reign, maybe it’s time for a change.
8Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel. 9And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth. 10Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, 11since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house. 12“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”’” 17According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
God was blessed by David’s desire to build a permanent temple for the ark, but it will not be for him to do it – his son will.
In v. 10, God says that He will make it clear WHERE that temple is to stand.
We’ll see later how God does that.
Then God goes on to say that while David’s desire has been to build God a permanent house, God will instead build him one.
His throne will not be given to another as Saul’s was.
David’s dynasty will be eternal.
Both David & Nathan understood that this was nothing less than a narrowing of the prophecies about the Messiah who would one day come to redeem the Earth & fallen humanity.
That promise had first been spoken to Adam & Eve just after the Fall.
Then in Gen. 12, it was narrowed to the family of Abraham, then to Isaiah, then to his son Jacob, who narrowed even further to the tribe of Judah.
Now it’s narrowed to the sons of David.
What God says here about David’s son applied equally to both Solomon & Jesus.
Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem.
Jesus made us into a living temple through the cross & resurrection.
As v. 14 says, Solomon fell away from God for a time & suffered for it.
Jesus never committed sin, but the Heb. word “commit” here can also mean to be bowed down by.
Our sin was place on Christ on the cross – He was made sin for us, the we might be made righteous in Him.
18Then King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said: “Who am I, O Lord GOD? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? 19And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O Lord GOD; and You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come. Is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD?
He’s overwhelmed with the goodness of God.
When he first spoke to Nathan of his plan to build a temple for the ark – it just seemed like the right thing to do. God’s response is off the chain!
20Now what more can David say to You? For You, Lord GOD, know Your servant.
Do you ever feel this way? I do – all the time.
“God, You know me! And yet You love me and work tirelessly to bless me.”
If I knew about another person what I know about me – I’d call the tip-line & turn them in!
Certainly the FBI or CIA or IRS or somebody needs to know about the hideous evil that lurks inside!
God sees all of that and still loves & is committed to our good.
21For Your word’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them.
David remembers that in the end, all God’s love & goodness results in His own glory!
22Therefore You are great, O Lord GOD. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 23And who is like Your people, like Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make for Himself a name—and to do for Yourself great and awesome deeds for Your land—before Your people whom You redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, the nations, and their gods? 24For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever; and You, Lord, have become their God. 25“Now, O Lord God, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as You have said. 26So let Your name be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is the God over Israel.’ And let the house of Your servant David be established before You. 27For You, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, have revealed this to Your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore Your servant has found it in his heart to pray this prayer to You.
Note that – David’s prayer was a response to what God had already revealed to him.
That’s what prayer ought always to be – a response to & application of God’s revealed will.
28“And now, O Lord GOD, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant.
What a fantastic thing to meditate on!