Lesson 34 – David Becomes King
Why do you
think David served as a unifying figure for the tribes of
2. Who anointed David as king?
introduced as a young boy “keeping the sheep” when Samuel selects him as the
next king (1 Samuel ). The metaphor of shepherd continues in 2
Samuel when David is anointed as king.
What would it mean for David to be shepherd over
Why did the image of shepherd make a good metaphor for a leader?
What metaphors do we use for leaders today?
generations, people looked back on the leadership of David with great
fondness. Paragraph 8 of the “Bible
Background” lists the qualities of leadership that belonged to David:
fine judge of character
sought God’s guidance
respected religious tradition
retained loyalty of other leaders
Which of these leadership qualities do we value in leaders today?
The Lord said to
(David): It is you who shall be shepherd of my people
irrational pursuit of David and his conviction that he is no longer able to
function as king lead him to go against his own firm instructions to all the
people. Saul had forbidden anyone to have anything to do with witches and those
who dealt in any kind of magical practices. But he himself is finally driven by
his obsessions to go to a woman in the town of
great qualities show in this hour of trial. He is finally persuaded to take
some food, and he then goes out to lead the army of
David returned from the battle in the southland he heard the news of the defeat
despite David's sorrow, we know that the deaths of Saul and Jonathan worked out
to David's advantage. Clearly, there was no one who could deny that David was
the best person on the scene to succeed Saul. But if David had had a hand in Saul's
death, the tribes in the north and the tribe of
it was, David moved to the capital town of
time had now come for David to make some bold move to unite the people of
It was a brilliant move, for now David had a headquarters that did not belong to the territory claimed by Saul's tribe, Benjamin, or by David's tribe, Judah. It was easily defended from all sides except the north, and with its dependable water supply it could withstand siege for a long time.
was an immensely gifted individual. He was a loyal friend, a great warrior, a
fine judge of character—at least in his early days—and an imaginative
administrator and leader. The storytellers stressed the fact that God was with
David, seeing to his needs, guarding him in times of danger, making things
come out right for David. And David for his part turned to God for guidance.
His respect for the religious traditions was great, and he knew how to keep the
loyalty of the priests. It was not until David had grown older and his family
began to be torn apart by jealousies and intrigues and actual crimes that David
found himself at odds with some of the priests. But
in his early years, this gifted shepherd from
1 Samuel 28:1 - 2 Samuel 5:25
1 In those
days the Philistines gathered their forces for war, to fight against
2 David said to Achish, "Very well, then you shall know what your servant can do." Achish said to David, "Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life."
3 Now Samuel
had died, and all
Philistines assembled, and came and encamped at Shunem.
Saul gathered all
5 When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly.
6 When Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, not by dreams, or by Urim (casting lots), or by prophets.
7 Then Saul said to his servants, "Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, so that I may go to her and inquire of her." His servants said to him, "There is a medium at Endor."
8 So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes and went there, he and two men with him. They came to the woman by night. And he said, "Consult a spirit for me, and bring up for me the one whom I name to you."
9 The woman said to him, "Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the wizards from the land. Why then are you laying a snare for my life to bring about my death?"
10 But Saul swore to her by the LORD, "As the LORD lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing."
11 Then the woman said, "Whom shall I bring up for you?" He answered, "Bring up Samuel for me."
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice; and the woman said to Saul, "Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!"
13 The king said to her, "Have no fear; what do you see?" The woman said to Saul, "I see a divine being coming up out of the ground."
14 He said to her, "What is his appearance?" She said, "An old man is coming up; he is wrapped in a robe." So Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance.
15 Then Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" Saul answered, "I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams; so I have summoned you to tell me what I should do."
16 Samuel said, "Why then do you ask me, since the LORD has turned from you and become your enemy?
17 The LORD has done to you just as he spoke by me; for the LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hand, and given it to your neighbor, David.
18 Because you did not obey the voice of the LORD, and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the LORD has done this thing to you today.
the LORD will give
20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of the words of Samuel; and there was no strength in him, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night.
21 The woman came to Saul, and when she saw that he was terrified, she said to him, "Your servant has listened to you; I have taken my life in my hand, and have listened to what you have said to me.
22 Now therefore, you also listen to your servant; let me set a morsel of bread before you. Eat, that you may have strength when you go on your way."
23 He refused, and said, "I will not eat." But his servants, together with the woman, urged him; and he listened to their words. So he got up from the ground and sat on the bed.
24 Now the woman had a fatted calf in the house. She quickly slaughtered it, and she took flour, kneaded it, and baked unleavened cakes.
25 She put them before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they rose and went away that night.
1 Now the Philistines gathered all their forces at Aphek, while the Israelites were encamped by the fountain that is in Jezreel.
2 As the lords of the Philistines were passing on by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were passing on in the rear with Achish,
commanders of the Philistines said, "What are these Hebrews doing
here?" Achish said to the commanders of the
Philistines, "Is this not David, the servant of King Saul of
4 But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him; and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, "Send the man back, so that he may return to the place that you have assigned to him; he shall not go down with us to battle, or else he may become an adversary to us in the battle. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of the men here?
5 Is this not David, of whom they sing to one another in dances, 'Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands'?"
6 Then Achish called David and said to him, "As the LORD lives, you have been honest, and to me it seems right that you should march out and in with me in the campaign; for I have found nothing wrong in you from the day of your coming to me until today. Nevertheless the lords do not approve of you.
7 So go back now; and go peaceably; do nothing to displease the lords of the Philistines."
8 David said to Achish, "But what have I done? What have you found in your servant from the day I entered your service until now, that I should not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?"
9 Achish replied to David, "I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God; nevertheless, the commanders of the Philistines have said, 'He shall not go up with us to the battle.'
10 Now then rise early in the morning, you and the servants of your lord who came with you, and go to the place that I appointed for you. As for the evil report, do not take it to heart, for you have done well before me. Start early in the morning, and leave as soon as you have light."
11 So David set out with his men early in the morning, to return to the land of the Philistines. But the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
1 Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negeb and on Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag, burned it down,
2 and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great; they killed none of them, but carried them off, and went their way.
3 When David and his men came to the city, they found it burned down, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive.
4 Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept, until they had no more strength to weep.
5 David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.
6 David was in great danger; for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in spirit for their sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.
7 David said to the priest Abiathar son of Ahimelech, "Bring me the ephod." So Abiathar brought the ephod to David.
8 David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them?" He answered him, "Pursue; for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue."
9 So David set out, he and the six hundred men who were with him. They came to the Wadi Besor, where those stayed who were left behind.
10 But David went on with the pursuit, he and four hundred men; two hundred stayed behind, too exhausted to cross the Wadi Besor.
11 In the open country they found an Egyptian, and brought him to David. They gave him bread and he ate, they gave him water to drink;
12 they also gave him a piece of fig cake and two clusters of raisins. When he had eaten, his spirit revived; for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights.
13 Then David
said to him, "To whom do you belong? Where are you from?" He said,
"I am a young man of
14 We had
made a raid on the Negeb of the Cherethites
and on that which belongs to
15 David said to him, "Will you take me down to this raiding party?" He said, "Swear to me by God that you will not kill me, or hand me over to my master, and I will take you down to them."
16 When he
had taken him down, they were spread out all over the ground, eating and
drinking and dancing, because of the great amount of spoil they had taken from
the land of the Philistines and from the
17 David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not one of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled.
18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken; and David rescued his two wives.
19 Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken; David brought back everything.
20 David also captured all the flocks and herds, which were driven ahead of the other cattle; people said, "This is David's spoil."
21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow David, and who had been left at the brook Besor. They went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. When David drew near to the people he saluted them.
22 Then all the corrupt and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David said, "Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except that each man may take his wife and children, and leave."
23 But David said, "You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the LORD has given us; he has preserved us and handed over to us the raiding party that attacked us.
24 Who would listen to you in this matter? For the share of the one who goes down into the battle shall be the same as the share of the one who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike."
25 From that
day forward he made it a statute and an ordinance for
26 When David
came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his
friends, the elders of
27 it was for
28 in Aroer, in Siphmoth, in Eshtemoa,
29 in Racal, in the towns of the Jerahmeelites, in the towns of the Kenites,
30 in Hormah, in Bor-ashan, in Athach,
1 Now the
Philistines fought against
2 The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.
3 The battle pressed hard upon Saul; the archers found him, and he was badly wounded by them.
4 Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, so that these uncircumcised may not come and thrust me through, and make sport of me." But his armor-bearer was unwilling; for he was terrified. So Saul took his own sword and fell upon it.
5 When his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him.
6 So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died together on the same day.
7 When the
8 The next
day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three
sons fallen on
9 They cut off his head, stripped off his armor, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to carry the good news to the houses of their idols and to the people.
10 They put
his armor in the
11 But when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul,
12 all the valiant men set out, traveled all night long, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan. They came to Jabesh and burned them there.
13 Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
1 After the death of Saul, when David had returned from defeating the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag.
2 On the third day, a man came from Saul's camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground and did obeisance.
3 David said
to him, "Where have you come from?" He said to him, "I have
escaped from the camp of
4 David said to him, "How did things go? Tell me!" He answered, "The army fled from the battle, but also many of the army fell and died; and Saul and his son Jonathan also died."
5 Then David asked the young man who was reporting to him, "How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan died?"
6 The young
man reporting to him said, "I happened to be on
7 When he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. I answered, 'Here sir.'
8 And he said to me, 'Who are you?' I answered him, 'I am an Amalekite.'
9 He said to me, 'Come, stand over me and kill me; for convulsions have seized me, and yet my life still lingers.'
10 So I stood over him, and killed him, for I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord."
11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them; and all the men who were with him did the same.
mourned and wept, and fasted until evening for Saul and for his son Jonathan,
and for the army of the LORD and for the house of
13 David said to the young man who had reported to him, "Where do you come from?" He answered, "I am the son of a resident alien, an Amalekite."
14 David said to him, "Were you not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?"
15 Then David called one of the young men and said, "Come here and strike him down." So he struck him down and he died.
16 David said to him, "Your blood be on your head; for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, 'I have killed the Lord's anointed.'"
17 David intoned this lamentation over Saul and his son Jonathan.
ordered that The Song of the Bow be taught to the people of
19 Your glory, O Israel, lies slain upon your high places! How the mighty have fallen!
20 Tell it
21 You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor bounteous fields! For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul, anointed with oil no more.
22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, nor the sword of Saul return empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely! In life and in death they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.
24 O daughters
25 How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan lies slain upon your high places.
26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
27 How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished!
1 After this
David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I go up into any of the cities of
2 So David went up there, along with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.
brought up the men who were with him, every one with his household; and they
settled in the towns of
4 Then the
5 David sent messengers to the people of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, "May you be blessed by the LORD, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord, and buried him!
6 Now may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you! And I too will reward you because you have done this thing.
7 Therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant; for Saul
your lord is dead, and the house of
8 But Abner son of Ner, commander of Saul's army, had taken Ishbaal son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim.
9 He made him
10 Ishbaal, Saul's son, was forty years old when he began to
11 The time
that David was king in
12 Abner son of Ner, and the
servants of Ishbaal son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to
13 Joab son of Zeruiah, and the
servants of David, went out and met them at the pool of
14 Abner said to Joab, "Let the young men come forward and have a contest before us." Joab said, "Let them come forward."
15 So they came forward and were counted as they passed by, twelve for Benjamin and Ishbaal son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.
grasped his opponent by the head, and thrust his sword in his opponent's side;
so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim,
which is at
17 The battle
was very fierce that day; and Abner and the men of
18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Now Asahel was as swift of foot as a wild gazelle.
19 Asahel pursued Abner, turning neither to the right nor to the left as he followed him.
20 Then Abner looked back and said, "Is it you, Asahel?" He answered, "Yes, it is."
21 Abner said to him, "Turn to your right or to your left, and seize one of the young men, and take his spoil." But Asahel would not turn away from following him.
22 Abner said again to Asahel, "Turn away from following me; why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I show my face to your brother Joab?"
23 But he refused to turn away. So Abner struck him in the stomach with the butt of his spear, so that the spear came out at his back. He fell there, and died where he lay. And all those who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, stood still.
24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner. As the sun was going down they came to the hill of Ammah, which lies before Giah on
the way to the wilderness of
25 The Benjaminites rallied around Abner and formed a single band; they took their stand on the top of a hill.
26 Then Abner called to Joab, "Is the sword to keep devouring forever? Do you not know that the end will be bitter? How long will it be before you order your people to turn from the pursuit of their kinsmen?"
27 Joab said, "As God lives, if you had not spoken, the people would have continued to pursue their kinsmen, not stopping until morning."
28 Joab sounded the trumpet and all the people stopped; they
no longer pursued
29 Abner and his men traveled all that night through the Arabah; they crossed the
30 Joab returned from the pursuit of Abner; and when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing of David's servants nineteen men besides Asahel.
31 But the servants of David had killed of Benjamin three hundred sixty of Abner's men.
32 They took
up Asahel and buried him in the tomb of his father,
which was at
1 There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David; David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.
2 Sons were
born to David at
3 his second, Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; the third, Absalom son of Maacah, daughter of King Talmai of Geshur;
4 the fourth, Adonijah son of Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah son of Abital;
5 and the sixth, Ithream, of David's
wife Eglah. These were born to David in
6 While there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner was making himself strong in the house of Saul.
7 Now Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah daughter of Aiah. And Ishbaal said to Abner, "Why have you gone in to my father's concubine?"
8 The words
of Ishbaal made Abner very
angry; he said, "Am I a dog's head for
9 So may God do to Abner and so may he add to it! For just what the LORD has sworn to David, that will I accomplish for him,
10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and set up
the throne of David over
11 And Ishbaal could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him.
12 Abner sent messengers to David at
13 He said, "Good; I will make a covenant with you. But one thing I require of you: you shall never appear in my presence unless you bring Saul's daughter Michal when you come to see me."
14 Then David sent messengers to Saul's son Ishbaal, saying, "Give me my wife Michal, to whom I became engaged at the price of one hundred foreskins of the Philistines."
15 Ishbaal sent and took her from her husband Paltiel the son of Laish.
16 But her husband went with her, weeping as he walked behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, "Go back home!" So he went back.
17 Abner sent word to the elders of
18 Now then
bring it about; for the LORD has promised David: Through my servant David I
will save my people
19 Abner also spoke directly to the Benjaminites;
then Abner went to tell David at
20 When Abner came with twenty men to David at
21 Abner said to David, "Let me go and rally all
22 Just then
the servants of David arrived with Joab from a raid,
bringing much spoil with them. But Abner was not with
23 When Joab and all the army that was with him came, it was told Joab, "Abner son of Ner came to the king, and he has dismissed him, and he has gone away in peace."
24 Then Joab went to the king and said, "What have you done? Abner came to you; why did you dismiss him, so that he got away?
25 You know that Abner son of Ner came to deceive you, and to learn your comings and goings and to learn all that you are doing."
26 When Joab came out from David's presence, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern of Sirah; but David did not know about it.
27 When Abner returned to
28 Afterward, when David heard of it, he said, "I and my kingdom are forever guiltless before the LORD for the blood of Abner son of Ner.
29 May the guilt fall on the head of Joab, and on all his father's house; and may the house of Joab never be without one who has a discharge, or who is leprous, or who holds a spindle, or who falls by the sword, or who lacks food!"
30 So Joab and his brother Abishai
murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at
31 Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, "Tear your clothes, and put on sackcloth, and mourn over Abner." And King David followed the bier.
buried Abner at
33 The king lamented for Abner, saying, "Should Abner die as a fool dies?
34 Your hands were not bound, your feet were not fettered; as one falls before the wicked you have fallen." And all the people wept over him again.
35 Then all the people came to persuade David to eat something while it was still day; but David swore, saying, "So may God do to me, and more, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun goes down!"
36 All the people took notice of it, and it pleased them; just as everything the king did pleased all the people.
37 So all the
people and all
38 And the
king said to his servants, "Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in
39 Today I am powerless, even though anointed king; these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too violent for me. The LORD pay back the one who does wickedly in accordance with his wickedness!"
1 When Saul's
son Ishbaal heard that Abner
had died at
2 Saul's son had two captains of raiding bands; the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab. They were sons of Rimmon a Benjaminite from Beeroth--for Beeroth is considered to belong to Benjamin.
3 (Now the people of Beeroth had fled to Gittaim and are there as resident aliens to this day).
4 Saul's son Jonathan had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled; and, in her haste to flee, it happened that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.
5 Now the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, and about the heat of the day they came to the house of Ishbaal, while he was taking his noonday rest.
6 They came inside the house as though to take wheat, and they struck him in the stomach; then Rechab and his brother Baanah escaped.
7 Now they had come into the house while he was lying on his couch in his bedchamber; they attacked him, killed him, and beheaded him. Then they took his head and traveled by way of the Arabah all night long.
8 They brought the head of Ishbaal to David at Hebron and said to the king, "Here is the head of Ishbaal, son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; the LORD has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring."
9 David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, "As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life out of every adversity, when the one who told me, 'See, Saul is dead,' thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag--this was the reward I gave him for his news.
11 How much more then, when wicked men have killed a righteous man on his bed in his own house! And now shall I not require his blood at your hand, and destroy you from the earth?"
12 So David
commanded the young men, and they killed them; they cut off their hands and
feet, and hung their bodies beside the pool at
1 Then all
the tribes of
2 For some
time, while Saul was king over us, it was you who led out
3 So all the
4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.
6 The king and his men marched to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, "You will not come in here, even the blind and the lame will turn you back"--thinking, "David cannot come in here."
Nevertheless David took the stronghold of
8 David had said on that day, "Whoever would strike down the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack the lame and the blind, those whom David hates." Therefore it is said, "The blind and the lame shall not come into the house."
occupied the stronghold, and named it the city of
10 And David became greater and greater, for the LORD, the God of hosts, was with him.
11 King Hiram
12 David then
perceived that the LORD had established him king over
14 These are
the names of those who were born to him in
15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia,
16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.
17 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, all the Philistines went up in search of David; but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold.
18 Now the
Philistines had come and spread out in the
19 David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?" The LORD said to David, "Go up; for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand."
20 So David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. He said, "The LORD has burst forth against my enemies before me, like a bursting flood." Therefore that place is called Baal-perazim.
21 The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them away.
22 Once again
the Philistines came up, and were spread out in the
23 When David inquired of the LORD, he said, "You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come upon them opposite the balsam trees.
24 When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then be on the alert; for then the LORD has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines."
25 David did
just as the LORD had commanded him; and he struck down the Philistines from Geba all the way to