2 Samuel 5

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Read 2 Samuel 5

David Becomes King Over Israel

1 All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’”

When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.

David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.

David Conquers Jerusalem

The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there. The Jebusites said to David, “You will not get in here; even the blind and the lame can ward you off.” They thought, “David cannot get in here.” Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David.

On that day David had said, “Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water shaft to reach those ‘lame and blind’ who are David’s enemies.” That is why they say, “The ‘blind and lame’ will not enter the palace.”

David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the terraces inward. 10 And he became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him.

11 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent envoys to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David. 12 Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.

13 After he left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him. 14 These are the names of the children born to him there: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet.

David Defeats the Philistines

17 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold. 18 Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 19 so David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?”

The Lord answered him, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.”

20 So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, “As waters break out, the Lord has broken out against my enemies before me.” So that place was called Baal Perazim. 21 The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.

22 Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 23 so David inquired of the Lord, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. 24 As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” 25 So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.

Go Deeper

David and Saul both rose to power as kings because they had been anointed by God. However, David’s reign as king looks different than Saul’s. Saul’s reign is marked by self-destructive disobedience, impatience, and pride. David’s leadership demonstrates his obedience to God and confidence in God’s purpose for him as king.

When the Jebusites taunt David and his army because of the strength of the walls surrounding Jerusalem, David’s confidence and reliance on God is put on display. It is through David’s obedience and God’s might that the Israelites are able to conquer Jerusalem. In verse 12, we are told that David knows God has established his kingship for a purpose. He knows he is put in this position to be an instrument for God’s kingdom.

It can be easy to see the positions we hold or opportunities in front of us as ways to get what we desire. That could be a desire for influence, comfort, respect, or admiration. Maybe we’re a little more like Saul than we would like to admit. David’s rise to kingship gives us another example of how to approach leadership with humility.

Before David ever becomes King of Israel, his life is marked by an obedience to the Lord and desire to follow His will (1 Samuel 23:2, 11; 30:8; 2 Samuel 2:1). David has experienced God’s faithfulness before. He knows that his Father is quick to answer when he takes a moment to step away and seek His will instead of acting out of pride, fear, or self-reliance. When David is surrounded by the Philistine army, he draws away to ask God what he should do. God shows that He is faithful to answer David’s prayer and keep His word. Again, in verse 23, David is surrounded. He inquires of the Lord, and again God responds faithfully. David’s life is marked by patience, obedience, trust, and an understanding of God’s purpose for him. 

Ephesians 2:10 reminds us that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” While we likely won’t become kings or queens during our time on earth, God has placed each of us in a specific position to glorify Him through that role. May we draw near to God, listen to His voice, and respond in obedience, so that He may be glorified through us.


  1. What positions do you hold (employee, parent, spouse, roommate, supervisor, volunteer, etc.) and how can you glorify God in those roles?
  2. Is there a decision or situation you are facing that you need to bring before God in prayer? Take a moment to do that now.
  3. Where is God calling you to be faithful and obedient? How can you take steps toward obedience today?

A Quote

“Does it make sense to pray for guidance about the future if we are not obeying in the thing that lies before us today? How many momentous events in Scripture depended on one person’s seemingly small act of obedience! Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and, depend upon it, you will be shown what to do next.” – Elisabeth Elliot

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1 thought on “2 Samuel 5”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    David is now king over Israel. He has been anointed 3 times, first with Samuel privately, then publicly with the tribe of Judah, and finally with the northern tribes at Hebron. God has appointed him to shepherd and rule over his people. David acknowledged his position came from the Lord God Almighty who was with him (v10), who established and exalted his kingdom (v12), who answered when he inquired (v19), and who broke out against his enemies (v20). I’m intrigued by v24 that God caused the “sound of marching in the tops of balsam trees” as part of his plan to direct David in battle. God’s angelic soldiers must have rustled the leaves as they moved in front of David. Wow! I’m reminded that seeking and following the Lord will always be worth it. His plan is far greater than we could ever imagine.

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