David’s Kingdom Consolidated and Challenged

2 Samuel 5


1-5 | David made king of all Israel: 7½ years over Judah, 33 years over all Israel
6-10 | David makes Jerusalem the new capital
11-12 | Hiram, king of Tyre, provides workers and material for David’s building projects
13-16 | David takes more wives and concubines and his family increases
17-21 | Philistines come out to war with David and Israel
22-25 | Philistines challenge David a second time


After the death of Ish-bosheth, the men of Israel come to David seeking to anoint him king over the rest of the tribes as well as Judah.  David also moves his capital to Jerusalem.  According to the IVP Bible Background Commentary1, Jerusalem had a number of things going for it that made it a prime location for a capital city.

  1. It is located at a crossroads for two major roads.
    1. east-west road between Jericho and the coastal highway.
    2. north-south road between Beersheba and Beth Shan.
  2. It is also located along the border between Judah and Benjamin.
  3. Mount Zion has valleys on the east and west sides making it defensible.
  4. Water supply from the Gihon spring
  5. 800 years prior a 10 foot thick wall was built around the city

It makes sense then for David to move from Hebron to Jerusalem for strategic purposes. This would also be popular with the people of Benjamin it was still occupied by Jebusites even though it was on the border of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Of course there are also other more spiritual reasons for this move as well.

Melchizedek was the king of Salem whom Abraham greeted and gave a tenth of the spoils from the victory over the armies that took Lot and other captive.  Also the Israelites could not completely drive out the Jebusites who inhabited the city so the Jebusites had lived among the people of Benjamin since the time of the its capture under Joshua.  David captured the city and set about fortifying the city and building himself a palace.

Jerusalem from this point on plays an even more significant role in the lives of the Jewish people.  Solomon built the first temple there and there are numerous psalms written about the city and its inhabitants.

  • Jerusalem – Psalms 51:18; 68:29; 79:1,3; 102:21; 116:19; 122:2,3,6; 125:2; 128:5; 135:21; 137:5,6,7; 147:2,12;
  • Zion – Psalms 2:6; 9:11,14; 14:7; 20:2; 48:2,11,12; 50:2; 51:18; 53:6; 65:1; 69:35; 74:2; 76:2; 78:68; 84:5,7; 87:2,5; 97:8; 99:2; 102:13,16,21; 110:2; 125:1; 126:1; 128:5; 129:5; 132:13; 133:3; 134:3; 135:21; 137:1,3; 146:10; 147:12; 149:2;

Psalm 122 is probably the most significant psalm about Jerusalem.  In it the reader is urged to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, not for the sake of the inhabitants but “for the sake of the house of the LORD our God”.  While the temple has been destroyed and its services are no longer in effect because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, this command is still worth following, for we know that the city is usually in turmoil to some degree because of the various people groups living there which are opposed to each other.

Lord God, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem that its inhabitants might seek peaceful resolution to disputes.  Most importantly we pray that all its inhabitants might come to know the true Messiah/Christ, Your Son Jesus, because He is the true source of peace that can truly satisfy.  May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

1 – Walton, John H. et al. IVP Bible Background Commentary. InterVarsity Press; e-Sword, 2000.

2 Samuel 5 - David's Kingdom Consolidated and Challenged
2 Samuel 5 - David's Kingdom Consolidated and Challenged
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