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Then all the tribes that made up the people of Israel came to David at Hebron.

Leaders of Israel: We are all related: we are flesh of your flesh, bone of your bones. When Saul was king, you always led the army of Israel out and then brought it back safely. The Eternal said to you, “You will be the shepherd of My people Israel, the ruler over all of them.”

All the leaders of Israel came before the king there at Hebron. So King David made a covenant with the leaders there before the Eternal, and they anointed David king over all Israel. David was 30 years old when he first became king, and he was king for 40 years; he reigned in Hebron over Judah alone for 7½ years, and then he reigned over the united kingdom of Judah and Israel for 33 years.

At one point, David and his army marched to Jerusalem to fight the Jebusites who lived there. The Jebusites felt secure behind their walls and were sure David could not enter into the city. They jeered, “Even the blind and the lame could defend this city against you.” Despite the taunts, David and his army managed to capture the fortress of Zion, which became the city of David.[a]

David (to his army): If you want to strike down the Jebusites—these blind and lame defenders whom I hate—then go through the water tunnel.

(From this exchange came the saying, “The blind and the lame cannot enter the house.”)

Once David captured the fortress, he stayed there and named it the city of David. He built it up all around, carefully terracing the hillside from the Millo[b] inward. 10 And David continued to grow in power and reputation because the Eternal God, Commander of heavenly armies, was with him.

11 King Hiram of Tyre sent diplomats to David with cedars and carpenters and masons to build David a palace.

12 David realized then that the Eternal One had established him as king over Israel and that He was increasing David’s kingdom in power and majesty for the sake of His people Israel.

13-14 After the move from Hebron to Jerusalem, David married more women from Jerusalem, took more concubines, and fathered more sons and daughters: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

17 When David’s former allies, the Philistines, discovered that David, whom they still considered a vassal of Gath, was now king over a united Israel, they sent an army to battle him; but David heard they were coming and withdrew into the fortress.

18 The Philistines spread their forces in the valley of Rephaim southwest of Jerusalem.

David (to the Lord): 19 Should I go to war against the Philistines? Will You make me victorious over them?

Eternal One: Yes, go. I will certainly give you victory.

20 So David battled the Philistines at Baal-perazim and defeated them.

David: The Eternal has broken through my enemies in front of me like water bursting through a dam.

That is why the place was named Baal-perazim, meaning “the Lord who bursts through.”

21 The Philistines abandoned their idols on the field, and David and his forces carried them away.

22 Yet again the Philistines came up and prepared for battle in the valley of Rephaim. 23 David asked the Eternal One what he should do.

Eternal One: Do not directly face their forces. Circle around behind them, and array yourselves for battle in front of the balsam trees. 24 When you hear the sound of a mighty army marching, reverberating in the tops of the balsam trees, come quickly and fight, for the Eternal has gone ahead of you into battle to destroy the army of the Philistines.

25 David did just as the Eternal One commanded and won a great victory. He struck down the fleeing Philistines from Geba all the way to Gezer, just before the coastal plain.


  1. 5:7 The city of David is below what would be the temple mount, about seven miles from Bethlehem and adjacent to Jerusalem.
  2. 5:9 The meaning is uncertain. Because the word literally means “filling,” it could have been a terrace or a landfill, or it may be a part of the fortress or a wall.

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