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Poole on 2 Samuel 2:1-7: David, King of Judah

Verse 1:[1]  And it came to pass after this, that David (Judg. 1:1; 1 Sam. 23:2, 4, 9; 30:7, 8) 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?  And he said, Unto (1 Sam. 30:31; 2 Sam. 2:11; 5:1, 3; 1 Kings 2:11) Hebron.

[He consulted the Lord]  By Urim.  See 1 Samuel 23:6, 9 (Piscator).

[Shall I go up, etc.?]  He is certain that he is to be king:  but not likewise when, or in what place.  Therefore, he consulted God where and when he was going to lay hold of the auspices of the Kingdom (Martyr).  David already had a right to the Kingdom; yet he was unwilling to take possession without the direction of God (Martyr, similarly Lyra).

[Into one of the cities of Judah]  Because there he was having his fellow tribesmen, relatives, etc. (Martyr).

David inquired of the Lord, by Urim, as 1 Samuel 23:6, 9; 30:7, 8.  Thus David begins at the right end, and lays his foundation in God’s counsel and assistance, which now he seeks.  He asketh not whether he should take the kingdom, for that was appointed and known before; and he would not offend God, nor dishonour his ordinance, with frivolous and unnecessary inquiries; but only where he should enter upon it; whether in Judah, as he supposed, because of his relation to that tribe, and his interest in it; or whether in some other tribe; for he doth not limit God, but resolves exactly to follow his counsels.

[Unto Hebron]  1.  Because there the Patriarchs (to whom the promise of the inhabiting the land of Canaan had been given, and of constituting the kingdom in the tribe of Judah[2] [Martyr]), when living, had dwelt, and, when dead, had been buried.  2.  At that time Hebron was the chief city of Judah; for the Jebusites were still holding Jerusalem, at least the citadel (Menochius, Lapide).

Unto Hebron; which was next to Jerusalem, (part whereof the Jebusites now possessed,) the chief city of that tribe, and a city of the priests, Joshua 21:10, etc., and in the very centre or middle of that tribe, to which the whole tribe might speedily resort, when need required.


Verse 2:[3]  So David went up thither, and his (1 Sam. 30:5) two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal’s wife the Carmelite.


Verse 3:[4]  And (1 Sam. 27:2, 3; 30:1; 1 Chron. 12:1) his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household:  and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.

[And they dwelt in the towns of Hebron, ‎בְּעָרֵ֥י חֶבְרֽוֹן׃In the cities, or towns, of Hebron (Septuagint, Montanus, most interpreters); that is, which were situated in the mountainous region of Hebron.  See Joshua 22:11, 12 (Junius).  Which were pertaining to the town of Hebron (Osiander, similarly the Dutch).  For Hebron was a chief city (Vatablus).  Lest his companions should be a burden to its citizens, he separates them among the neighboring towns (Osiander).  Hebron was twenty-two Roman miles[5] south of Jerusalem (Mariana).

The cities of Hebron:  that is, The cities or towns belonging and subject to Hebron, which was the metropolis, Joshua 21:11, 12; for in Hebron itself there was not space for them all, because it was filled with priests, and with David’s court.


[circa 1055 BC]  Verse 4:[6]  (2 Sam. 2:11; 5:5; 1 Mac. 2:57[7]) And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.  And they told David, saying, That (1 Sam. 31:11, 13) the men of Jabesh-gilead were they that buried Saul.

[And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David, etc.]  This was a pernicious example, unless the known will of God was breaking through all law (Grotius).  This tribe, because it exerted great authority, willed to go before the others.  And, since it had the promise and oracle of God, it did not cause a schism, when it chose David.  Otherwise the right of election was pertaining to the whole people.  Moreover, God willed that David be more often anointed, so that He might make His will the more evident (Martyr).  David was anointed three times; but nothing was taken from the first anointing by the others.  The first was a declaration of the divine will, that David be made King in his time; and He bestowed upon him the right to the kingdom, but not yet the use or exercise of his right.  But by the second and third anointing, because they were done by the consent and authority of the people, his subjects were delivering to him his right in the kingdom (Estius).

They anointed David king over the house of Judah:  this they did upon just grounds, because not only the kingdom was promised to that tribe, Genesis 49:10, but David was designed and anointed by God, whose will both they and all Israel were obliged to observe and obey.  And they piously resolved not to neglect their duty, though they saw the other tribes would.  Yet their prudent caution and modesty is observable, that they make him king of Judah only, and not of all Israel.  And therefore there was need of a third anointing to the kingdom over all Israel, which he had 2 Samuel 5:3.  But as for that first anointing, 1 Samuel 16:13, it was only a designation of the person who should be king, but not an actual inauguration of him to the kingdom.

[And it was reported to David]  Who was asking concerning the body of the dead king, so that he might bury him with honor (Junius).

[That the men of Jabesh-Gilead had buried Saul,אַנְשֵׁי֙ יָבֵ֣ישׁ גִּלְעָ֔ד אֲשֶׁ֥ר קָבְר֖וּ אֶת־שָׁאֽוּל׃The men of Jabesh-Gilead, that they buried Saul (Montanus, Malvenda).  Our version and a great many maintain that it is a trajection, in the place of, that the men of Jabesh-Gilead, etc. (Malvenda).  The men of Jabesh-Gilead are those that (or, were they that [English]) buried Saul (Pagnine, Munster, Junius and Tremellius, English, Dutch).  ‎אֲשֶׁר has not been put in its proper place:  Therefore, they translate it in this way, saying, that the men, etc. (certain interpreters in Vatablus).  Others understand דָּבָר, that is, business, translating it, saying what the citizens of Jabesh-Gilead had done, namely, that they had buried Saul (Vatablus).


Verse 5:[8]  And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said unto them, (Ruth 2:20; 3:10; Ps. 115:15) Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have shewed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him.

[Blessed be ye of the Lord]  Blessed are ye, or be ye (Piscator), by Jehovah, that is, before Jehovah, that is, ye are worthy, to have Jehovah follow you with consummate favor (Vatablus).  To be praised and commended in the Lord (Malvenda).

[Who have performed this mercy]  Therefore, not all αὐτόχειρες (suicides) ἄταφοι (were deprived of burial) among the Hebrews.  And note that the office of burying is attributed to mercy; just as also by Seneca, Philo,[9] etc.  See Concerning the Law of War and Peace[10] 2:19:1 (Grotius).

This kindness; this respect and affection to procure him burial.  For as it is and ever was esteemed an act of inhumanity to deny burial to the dead; so it is an act of mercy and kindness to bury them.


Verse 6:[11]  And now (2 Tim. 1:16, 18) the LORD shew kindness and truth unto you:  and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing.

[Mercy and truth]  Mercy true, or according to truth, that is, the faith or promise of it (Menochius).  These two signify every work of virtue, both free (of which sort is mercy), and due (of which sort is truth), that is, equity, fidelity, and justice (Lapide).

Kindness and truth, that is, true and real kindness; not in words only, but also in actions, as you have now done to your king, the Lord’s anointed.

[But I also will render grace, etc.]  Sulla,[12] Marius,[13] Octavius,[14] etc., proscribed the supporters of their enemies.[15]  But the study of David was to advance virtue.  That virtue of the men of Jabesh was certainly not common.  For they were showing that they both honor the magistrate, and remember benefits conferred (Martyr).  David prudently conciliates them (Sanchez), and commends their deed, on account of which they could have thought that David was angry with them (Martyr).

[‎וְגַ֣ם אָנֹכִ֗י אֶעֱשֶׂ֤ה אִתְּכֶם֙ הַטּוֹבָ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את אֲשֶׁ֥ר עֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם הַדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה׃I will do with you this good, or kindness, because ye have done this thing (Montanus, similarly the Septuagint, Strigelius, Pagnine, Piscator), or with you who have done, etc. (Junius and Tremellius, similarly Jonathan, Tigurinus), or such a goodness, which sort ye have done in this matter (Munster, similarly Castalio).  ‎הַטּוֹבָ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את, this kindness, is referred by some to that which he had desired from God:  what benignity for you I petition from God, the same I render to you:  by others to that which the men of Jabesh had rendered to Saul.  Let the learned consider, whether it might be more simply and clearly referred to the present benefit of the legation, so that it might be translated in this way, and I also do (the future/imperfect in the place of the present) with you this good (namely, that I salute you by my legates, commend you, etc.), because ye have done this thing (Dieu).

I also will requite you this kindness; so far am I from being offended with you for this kindness to my late enemy, that I will requite it.


Verse 7:[16]  Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant (Heb. be ye the sons of valour[17]):  for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.

Be ye valiant; be not afraid lest the Philistines should punish you for this fact, but take good courage, I will defend you.

[Though he be dead (similarly Piscator)]  Hebrew:  כִּי.  Others:  since he is dead (Piscator).  That is to say, if ye have been deprived of Saul, your defender, ye shall have me in readiness, now constituted king of Judah (Junius).  Should the Philistines attack, because ye have carried off the bodies, etc., I promise that I am going to come for your relief (Martyr).

For your master Saul is dead, or though your master Saul be dead, and so your hearts may faint within you, as if you were now sheep without a shepherd.

[1] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֣י אַֽחֲרֵי־כֵ֗ן וַיִּשְׁאַל֩ דָּוִ֙ד בַּֽיהוָ֤ה׀ לֵאמֹר֙ הַאֶעֱלֶ֗ה בְּאַחַת֙ עָרֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֔ה וַיֹּ֧אמֶר יְהוָ֛ה אֵלָ֖יו עֲלֵ֑ה וַיֹּ֧אמֶר דָּוִ֛ד אָ֥נָה אֶעֱלֶ֖ה וַיֹּ֥אמֶר חֶבְרֹֽנָה׃

[2] See Genesis 49:8-12.

[3] Hebrew:  ‎וַיַּ֤עַל שָׁם֙ דָּוִ֔ד וְגַ֖ם שְׁתֵּ֣י נָשָׁ֑יו אֲחִי֙נֹעַם֙ הַיִּזְרְעֵלִ֔ית וַאֲבִיגַ֕יִל אֵ֖שֶׁת נָבָ֥ל הַֽכַּרְמְלִֽי׃

[4] Hebrew:  ‎וַאֲנָשָׁ֧יו אֲשֶׁר־עִמּ֛וֹ הֶעֱלָ֥ה דָוִ֖ד אִ֣ישׁ וּבֵית֑וֹ וַיֵּשְׁב֖וּ בְּעָרֵ֥י חֶבְרֽוֹן׃

[5] That is, about 18 standard miles.

[6] Hebrew: ‎וַיָּבֹ֙אוּ֙ אַנְשֵׁ֣י יְהוּדָ֔ה וַיִּמְשְׁחוּ־שָׁ֧ם אֶת־דָּוִ֛ד לְמֶ֖לֶךְ עַל־בֵּ֣ית יְהוּדָ֑ה וַיַּגִּ֤דוּ לְדָוִד֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר אַנְשֵׁי֙ יָבֵ֣ישׁ גִּלְעָ֔ד אֲשֶׁ֥ר קָבְר֖וּ אֶת־שָׁאֽוּל׃ ס

[7] 1 Maccabees 2:57:  “David for being merciful possessed the throne of an everlasting kingdom.”

[8] Hebrew: וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח דָּוִד֙ מַלְאָכִ֔ים אֶל־אַנְשֵׁ֖י יָבֵ֣ישׁ גִּלְעָ֑ד וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵיהֶ֗ם בְּרֻכִ֤ים אַתֶּם֙ לַֽיהוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֙ר עֲשִׂיתֶ֜ם הַחֶ֣סֶד הַזֶּ֗ה עִם־אֲדֹֽנֵיכֶם֙ עִם־שָׁא֔וּל וַֽתִּקְבְּר֖וּ אֹתֽוֹ׃

[9] Philo was a first century Jewish scholar of Alexandria, Egypt.  He is noted for his synthesis of Greek philosophy and Jewish theology.  With respect to exegesis, Philo indulges freely in allegorization.

[10] De Jure Belli ac Pacis.

[11] Hebrew: וְעַתָּ֕ה יַֽעַשׂ־יְהוָ֥ה עִמָּכֶ֖ם חֶ֣סֶד וֶאֱמֶ֑ת וְגַ֣ם אָנֹכִ֗י אֶעֱשֶׂ֤ה אִתְּכֶם֙ הַטּוֹבָ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את אֲשֶׁ֥ר עֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם הַדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה׃

[12] Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (138-78 BC) was a Roman general and statesman, twice holding the office of consul, and reviving the office of dictator.

[13] Gaius Marius (c. 157-86 BC) was a Roman general and statesman, holding the office of consul seven times.

[14] Gnæus Octavius (died 87 BC) was a Roman senator and consul.

[15] Sulla, Marius, and Octavius were involved in the strife leading to the Octavian War (a Roman civil war) in 87 AD.

[16] Hebrew: וְעַתָּ֣ה׀ תֶּחֱזַ֣קְנָה יְדֵיכֶ֗ם וִֽהְיוּ֙ לִבְנֵי־חַ֔יִל כִּי־מֵ֖ת אֲדֹנֵיכֶ֣ם שָׁא֑וּל וְגַם־אֹתִ֗י מָשְׁח֧וּ בֵית־יְהוּדָ֛ה לְמֶ֖לֶךְ עֲלֵיהֶֽם׃ פ

[17] Hebrew:  ‎וִֽהְיוּ֙ לִבְנֵי־חַ֔יִל.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
09 мар.

William Gouge's Domestical Duties: 'It is the duty of children to bring the bodies of their parents deceased, with such decency and honor, as may be answerable to the place and reputation wherein they lived....

And great reason there is for it: for

Reason 1. It is a testimony of great love and good respect to the party deceased. Now who should manifest more love, and greater respect than a child?

Reason 2. It is a kind of blessing promised by God to his saints, to be buried: [1 Kings 14:13; 2 Kings 22:20] as on the other side, it is a curse threatened against obstinate sinners, not to be buried. [Jeremiah 22:19; 1 Kings 21:23-24; Psalm 79:3] In this…


Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
09 мар.

Jonathan Edwards' Types of Messiah: 'David was made king by the act and choice both of God and his people. 1 Chronicles 11:1-3; 12; 2 Samuel 2:4; 5:1; etc. This is agreeable to the prophecies of the Messiah. Hosea 1:11, "Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head."'


Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
09 мар.

Matthew Henry: 'When Saul and Jonathan were dead, though David knew himself anointed to be king, and now saw his way very clear, yet he did not immediately send messengers through all the coasts of Israel to summon all people to come in and swear allegiance to him, upon pain of death, but proceeded leisurely; for he that believeth doth not make haste, but waits God's time for the accomplishment of God's promises. Many had come in to his assistance from several tribes while he continued at Ziklag, as we find (1 Chronicles 12:1-22), and with such a force he might have come in by conquest. But he that will rule with meekness will not rise with violence. Observe here,


Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
09 мар.

Study 2 Samuel with the Illustrious Matthew Poole! 

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