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Sunday, April 27 2014

2 Samuel 8: King David's Empire

"The LORD preserved David whithersoever he went"

Israel's greatest time of wealth, military power and peace occurred during the reign of King Solomon (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Solomon). It was not however due to Solomon - who inherited, and then squandered it. Israel's empire was created by Solomon's father King David (see Israel In History and Prophecy: King David) after the Israelite civil war (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Civil War).

The powerful Philistines (see the fact Finder question below) were subjugated by Israel for the first, and only time, by King David.

"8:1 And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took Methegammah out of the hand of the Philistines." (2 Samuel 8:1 KJV)

David then expanded the existing Israelite territory on the east of the Jordan River (see Numbers 32: The Israel Of East Jordan) by a victory over his Moabite cousins (Ruth was a Moabite; see Ruth 1: Elimelech and Naomi and Ruth 4: The Marriage Of Boaz and Ruth).

"8:2 And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts." (2 Samuel 8:2 KJV)

The Israel Empire

David then continued the war deep into what is today Iraq (the birthplace of Abraham; see A Biography Of Abraham: The Genealogy Of Abram and A Biography Of Abraham: From Ur To Canaan; see also The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq) and Syria (the birthplace of most of the Israelite patriarchs, including Judah who grew up speaking Syrian; see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria and The Syrian Tongue Of Jesus).

"8:3 David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates.

8:4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots." (2 Samuel 8:3-4 KJV)

Along with the military victories came great wealth - that Solomon would merely inherit (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Glory Of Solomon).

"8:5 And when the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Hadadezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men. 8:6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

8:7 And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. 8:8 And from Betah, and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, king David took exceeding much brass." (2 Samuel 8:5-8 KJV)

Further wealth was accumulated by nations paying "tribute" (see also Custom and Tribute) to their Emperor, King David.

"8:9 When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had smitten all the host of Hadadezer, 8:10 Then Toi sent Joram his son unto king David, to salute him, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer, and smitten him: for Hadadezer had wars with Toi. And Joram brought with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass:

8:11 Which also king David did dedicate unto the LORD, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all nations which he subdued; 8:12 Of Syria, and of Moab, and of the children of Ammon, and of the Philistines, and of Amalek, and of the spoil of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah." (2 Samuel 8:9-12 KJV)

Just as the Egyptians had done before him (and as the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans would do after him; see also The Prophet Daniel: Nebuchadnezzar's Image), David established a network of military garrisons throughout the lands that he had "liberated." Israel was no different than any other nation, ancient or modern, when it came to becoming an imperial empire at any time that the opportunity presented itself. "Liberators" very-often become the very same sort of tyrants that they claim to reject.

"8:13 And David gat him a name when he returned from smiting of the Syrians in the valley of salt, being eighteen thousand men.

8:14 And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David's servants. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went." (2 Samuel 8:13-14 KJV)

In order to keep the empire running, King David established a governmental regime to serve the king. It was the means by which Solomon would gain control over every Israelite citizen - until they rebelled and the cycle began again (see Rehoboam's Answer).

"8:15 And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people. 8:16 And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; 8:17 And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Seraiah was the scribe; 8:18 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over both the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David's sons were chief rulers." (2 Samuel 8:15-18 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why does the word "Philistine" sound so much like "Palestine?" How did the land of Canaan become known as "Palestine"?
See 1 Samuel 29: Where Is Palestine?

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This Day In History, April 27

33 BC: Lucius Marcius Philippus, step-brother to the future emperor Augustus (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars), celebrated a triumph for his victories while serving as governor in one of the provinces of Hispania (the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula i.e. Spain and Portugal).

629: Shahrbaraz was crowned the king of the Sasanian Empire - the last Persian (Persia is known today as Iran) empire before the invention and rise of Islam.

1296: English forces under Edward I battled a Scottish army under the Earl of Athol at the Battle of Dunbar.

1509: Pope Julius II excommunicated the Italian state of Venice.

Beethoven 1521: Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed at age 41 by natives in the Philippines while on his pioneering round-the-world voyage.

1565: The first Spanish settlement in the Philippines was established.

1773: The English Parliament passed the Tea Act.

1810: Ludwig van Beethoven composed Fur Elise.

1813: During the War of 1812 (1812-1814), U.S. invasion forces pillaged the capital of Upper Canada during the Battle of York (present day Toronto, Ontario). The U.S. looting and burning of the Parliament Building in Toronto was later repaid by Royal Marines burning the White House in Washington, forcing U.S. President James Madison and his regime to flee the city. James Madison started the war with the publicly-stated intention to conquer Canada and subject its people to imperial rule from Washington (ironically, the U.S. very quickly adopted the imperialistic behaviour that it claimed to have been founded against).

1865: The Sultanana, a steam-powered riverboat, caught fire and burned after one of its boilers exploded. At least 1,238 of the 2,031 passengers, mostly former Union POWs, were killed.

1840: The foundation stone for new Palace of Westminster in London was laid.

1909: A group known as the "Young Turks" deposed Sultan Abdul Hamid 3 days after a liberation army had taken Constantinople.

1937: The first major aerial bombing of a civilian population took place when German warplanes, supporting General Francisco Franco's fascist forces during the Spanish Civil War, attacked the Basque town of Guernica in northern Spain, killing 1,000 of its 7,000 people.

1940: Nazi Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler gave the order to establish a concentration camp at an abandoned army barracks at Oswiecim, Poland. It became the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

1941: German troops raised the Swastika over the Acropolis in Athens.

1950: Britain officially recognized the state of Israel (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate, A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).

1969: French voters, in a referendum on the proposed issues of regional devolution and reform of the upper house of the French Parliament, voted against Charles de Gaulle's further plans for the country; de Gaulle promptly resigned and the de Gaulle era ended.

1974: Over ten thousand protesters marched in Washington, D.C. demanding the impeachment of U.S. President Richard Nixon.

1975: Saigon was encircled by North Vietnamese troops.

1978: Afghanistan's armed forces seized power, establishing a government based on Islamic principles. President Daoud was killed and new President Nur Mohammed Taraki proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Invasions by the USSR in 1979 and the USA in 2001 followed.

1987: The U.S. barred Austrian Chancellor Kurt Waldheim diplomatic entry into the U.S. because of his alleged Nazi involvement during the Second World War. Many other Nazis were allowed into the U.S. immediately after the war however, including Wernher von Braun who was the head of Adolf Hitler's liquid-fuel rocket program that was used to bomb Britain (in which thousands of British civilians were killed). Wernher von Braun, who later admitted that he had been more than just a scientist (he was a member of both Hitler's political Nazi party and Hitler's war-criminal SS, the "schutzstaffel") worked on the development of NASA rockets (despite the opposition of those who knew the truth about "the NASA Nazi," including many Jews and Jewish holocaust survivors) and U.S. nuclear missiles.

1989: Protesting students took over Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The protests were later crushed (literally) by Chinese tanks and troops.

2005: The European superjumbo airliner Airbus A380 made its first flight, in France.


Copyright © Wayne Blank