After this, David asked the Lord, “Should I move back to one of the towns of Judah?”
“Yes,” the Lord replied. Then David asked, “Which town should I go to?”
“To Hebron,” the Lord answered. David’s two wives were Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel. So David and his wives and his men and their families all moved to Judah, and they settled in the villages near Hebron. Then the men of Judah came to David and anointed him king over the people of Judah. When David heard that the men of Jabesh-gilead had buried Saul, he sent them this message: “May the Lord bless you for being so loyal to your master Saul and giving him a decent burial. May the Lord be loyal to you in return and reward you with his unfailing love! And I, too, will reward you for what you have done. Now that Saul is dead, I ask you to be my strong and loyal subjects like the people of Judah, who have anointed me as their new king.”
(2 Samuel 2:1-7)
God told David to return to Hebron, where he would soon be crowned king of Judah. David made Hebron his capital because (1) it was the largest city in Judah at that time; (2) it was secure against attack; (3) it was located near the center of Judah’s territory, an ideal location for a capital city; (4) many key trade routes converged at Hebron, making it difficult for supply lines to be cut off in wartime.
The men of Judah publicly anointed David as their king. David had been anointed king by Samuel years earlier (1 Samuel 16:13), but that ceremony had taken place in private. This one was like inaugurating a public official who has already been elected to office. The rest of Israel, however, didn’t accept David’s kingship for seven and a half years (2 Samuel 5:4-5).
One of his first acts as king was to send a message thanking the men of Jabesh-Gilead who had risked their lives to bury Saul’s body (1 Samuel 31:11-13). Saul had rescued Jabesh-Gilead from certain defeat when Nahash the Ammonite surrounded the city (1 Samuel 11), so these citizens showed their gratitude through this act.
Before moving ahead with what seems obvious, first bring the matter to God, who alone knows what is best. Then in humility, accept his direction.