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Monday, April 21 2014

2 Samuel 2: King David Of Judah

"The men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah"

The first phase of the Israelite civil war (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Civil War) saw David taking refuge in Philistine territory (see 1 Samuel 27: David The Philistine Warrior and 1 Samuel 29: Where Is Palestine?), not out of David's fear of Saul, but of David's fear of harming Saul (see 1 Samuel 21: Why Didn't David Kill Saul?).

With the death of Saul, at the hand of the Philistines (see 1 Samuel 31: Saul's Last Stand and 2 Samuel 1: How The Mighty Have Fallen), David was free to fight to the victory that the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) commanded him to achieve in due time. After the death of Saul, the LORD commanded David to return to the land of Israel - specifically, his own tribal homeland of Judah (see Joshua 15: Judah's Homeland). King David's first royal capital was to be Hebron - the city where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are entombed.

"2:1 And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?

And the LORD said unto him, Go up.

And David said, Whither shall I go up?

Hebron And he said, Unto Hebron.

2:2 So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal's wife the Carmelite. 2:3 And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. 2:4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.

And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were they that buried Saul. 2:5 And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have shewed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him. 2:6 And now the LORD shew kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing. 2:7 Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them." (2 Samuel 2:1-7 KJV)

The house of Saul survived the deaths of Saul and Jonathan, primarily through the military leadership whose positions depended on the continuance of Saul's regime. So, Abner, the commander of Saul's army, appointed a surviving son of Saul as the dubious king of Israel. Saul had been appointed king of Israel by the LORD. David had been appointed king of Israel by the LORD. But Ishbosheth was appointed king of Israel by a man. "But the house of Judah followed David" - who had been appointed king of Israel by the LORD.

"2:8 But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; 2:9 And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.

2:10 Ishbosheth Saul's son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 2:11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months." (2 Samuel 2:8-11 KJV)

The first actual battle saw Abner, the commander of the army of the house of Saul, face Joab, a commander of David's legitimate royal army. The result? "And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David." Losses for Israel were very heavy ("the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, so that three hundred and threescore men died") while David's by-then battle hardened forces (from their experience in Philistine territory) lost only a few ("there lacked of David's servants nineteen men and Asahel").

"2:12 And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 2:13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool.

2:14 And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us.

And Joab said, Let them arise.

Hebron 2:15 Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 2:16 And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow's side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkathhazzurim, which is in Gibeon.

2:17 And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.

2:18 And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe. 2:19 And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner. 2:20 Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asahel?

And he answered, I am.

2:21 And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armour. But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him.

2:22 And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn thee aside from following me: wherefore should I smite thee to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother?

2:23 Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still.

2:24 Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon. 2:25 And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of an hill.

2:26 Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?

2:27 And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother.

2:28 So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more.

2:29 And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim.

2:30 And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David's servants nineteen men and Asahel. 2:31 But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, so that three hundred and threescore men died. 2:32 And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day." (2 Samuel 2:12-32 KJV)

Fact Finder: The Israelite civil war was fought between the forces of King Saul, who was of the tribe of Benjamin (see 1 Samuel 9: Saul Of Benjamin and Samuel The Seer) and King David, who was of the tribe of Judah (see 1 Samuel 16: The Anointing Of David). The tribal territories of Benjamin (see Joshua 18: The Land Of Benjamin) and Judah (see Joshua 15: Judah's Homeland) shared the city of Jerusalem on their tribal borders - Benjamin to the north and Judah to the south of the city. Why then didn't either Saul or David have Jerusalem as their capital during the civil war?
See Why Didn't David And Saul Fight For Jerusalem?

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This Day In History, April 21

753 BC: According to the historian Varro, Romulus and Remus founded the city of Rome on this date.

43 BC: Marcus Antonius was defeated by Octavian (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) near Modena, Italy.

1075: Alexander II, (Anselm of Lucca), pope 1061-1073, died. Although elected pope, the German court (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) nominated another man and Alexander was not recognized by the empire until 1064 (see Emperors and Popes).

Brown and the Red Baron 1509: King Henry VII of England died. His accession to the throne in 1485 ended the Wars of the Roses between the houses of Lancaster and York.

1526: Mongol Emperor Babur annihilated the Indian army of Ibrahim Lodi.

1689: William III and Mary II were crowned joint king and queen of England, Scotland and Ireland.

1782: The city of Rattanakosin, now known as Bangkok, was founded on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke.

1809: Napoleon's army fought the Austrians at the Battle of Landshut in Germany.

1828: Noah Webster published the first U.S. dictionary. Popular myth and propaganda notwithstanding, the actual first English-language dictionary was published in England around 1600, over 200 years before Webster.

1836: Rebel forces under Sam Houston defeated the Mexican army under Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto, which led to the Texas secession from Mexico.

1898: Two months after the sinking of the battleship Maine, the U.S. began a naval blockade of Cuba. It almost immediately captured a Spanish merchant vessel, the Buenaventura. The beginning of the Spanish-US War.

1914: The Ypiranga incident. A German arms shipment to Mexico was intercepted by the U.S. Navy near Veracruz.

1918: Manfred von Richthofen, Germany's top fighter ace in the First World War, was killed in action at age 26. Known as the "Red Baron," he shot down 80 (79 British, 1 Belgian) enemy aircraft. The Red Baron was shot down by a Canadian fighter pilot, Captain Roy Brown, over northern France.

1926: Queen Elizabeth II was born in London.

1934: The so-called "Surgeon's Photograph," one of the most famous supposed photographs of the Loch Ness Monster, was published in the Daily Mail. In 1999, the picture was revealed to be a hoax - a toy submarine outfitted with a sea-serpent head.

1965: Sir Edward Appleton died at age 73. The British physicist was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1947 for his discovery of the Appleton Layer (which the scientific community named after him) of the ionosphere, which is a dependable reflector of radio waves.

1989: Tens of thousands of students and workers poured into Peking's Tiananmen Square in defiance of official warnings against anti-government protests.

1992: The first discoveries of extrasolar planets were announced by astronomers Alexander Wolszczan and Dale Frail.

1997: The cremated ashes of LSD user-loser Timothy Leary (who, hypocritically, was a psychologist who witnessed the horrendous damage that LSD did to people's minds; see also Seed-Bearing Plants: For Food Or For Folly?) and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry were launched into space in the world's first "space funeral."


Copyright © Wayne Blank