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2 Samuel 5:4-25

Context
5:4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign and he reigned for forty years. 5:5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah for seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem 1  he reigned for thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.

David Occupies Jerusalem

5:6 Then the king and his men advanced to Jerusalem 2  against the Jebusites who lived in the land. The Jebusites 3  said to David, “You cannot invade this place! Even the blind and the lame will turn you back, saying, ‘David cannot invade this place!’”

5:7 But David captured the fortress of Zion (that is, the city of David). 5:8 David said on that day, “Whoever attacks the Jebusites must approach the ‘lame’ and the ‘blind’ who are David’s enemies 4  by going through the water tunnel.” 5  For this reason it is said, “The blind and the lame cannot enter the palace.” 6 

5:9 So David lived in the fortress and called it the City of David. David built all around it, from the terrace inwards. 5:10 David’s power grew steadily, for the Lord God 7  who commands armies 8  was with him. 9 

5:11 King Hiram of Tyre 10  sent messengers to David, along with cedar logs, carpenters, and stonemasons. They built a palace 11  for David. 5:12 David realized that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and that he had elevated his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel. 5:13 David married more concubines and wives from Jerusalem after he arrived from Hebron. Even more sons and daughters were born to David. 5:14 These are the names of children born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 5:15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 5:16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

Conflict with the Philistines

5:17 When the Philistines heard that David had been designated 12  king over Israel, they all 13  went up to search for David. When David heard about it, he went down to the fortress. 5:18 Now the Philistines had arrived and spread out in the valley of Rephaim. 5:19 So David asked the Lord, “Should I march up against the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The Lord said to David, “March up, for I will indeed 14  hand the Philistines over to you.”

5:20 So David marched against Baal Perazim and defeated them there. Then he said, “The Lord has burst out against my enemies like water bursts out.” So he called the name of that place Baal Perazim. 15  5:21 The Philistines 16  abandoned their idols 17  there, and David and his men picked them up.

5:22 The Philistines again came up and spread out in the valley of Rephaim. 5:23 So David asked the Lord what he should do. 18  This time 19  the Lord 20  said to him, “Don’t march straight up. Instead, circle around behind them and come against them opposite the trees. 21  5:24 When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the trees, act decisively. For at that moment the Lord is going before you to strike down the army 22  of the Philistines.” 5:25 David did just as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines from Gibeon all the way to Gezer. 23 

1 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

3 tn The Hebrew text has “he” rather than “the Jebusites.” The referent has been specified in the translation for clarity. In the Syriac Peshitta and some mss of the Targum the verb is plural rather than singular.

4 tc There is some confusion among the witnesses concerning this word. The Kethib is the Qal perfect 3cp שָׂנְאוּ (sanÿu, “they hated”), referring to the Jebusites’ attitude toward David. The Qere is the Qal passive participle construct plural שְׂנֻאֵי (sÿnue, “hated”), referring to David’s attitude toward the Jebusites. 4QSama has the Qal perfect 3rd person feminine singular שָׂנְאָה (sanÿah, “hated”), the subject of which would be “the soul of David.” The difference is minor and the translation adopted above works for either the Kethib or the Qere.

5 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term has been debated. For a survey of various views, see P. K. McCarter, II Samuel (AB), 139-40.

sn If a water tunnel is in view here, it is probably the so-called Warren’s Shaft that extends up from Hezekiah’s tunnel. It would have provided a means for surprise attack against the occupants of the city of David. The LXX seems not to understand the reference here, translating “by the water shaft” as “with a small knife.”

6 tn Heb “the house.” TEV takes this as a reference to the temple (“the Lord’s house”).

7 tc 4QSama and the LXX lack the word “God,” probably due to harmonization with the more common biblical phrase “the Lord of hosts.”

8 tn Traditionally, “the Lord God of hosts” (KJV, NASB); NIV, NLT “the Lord God Almighty”; CEV “the Lord (+ God NCV) All-Powerful.”

9 tn The translation assumes that the disjunctive clause is circumstantial-causal, giving the reason for David’s success.

10 map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

11 tn Heb “a house.”

12 tn Heb “anointed.”

13 tn Heb “all the Philistines.”

14 tn The infinitive absolute lends emphasis to the following verb.

15 tn The name means “Lord of the outbursts.”

16 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the Philistines) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

17 tc For “idols” the LXX and Vulgate have “gods.”

18 tn The words “what to do” are not in the Hebrew text.

19 tn The words “this time” are not in the Hebrew text.

20 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

21 tn Some translate as “balsam trees” (cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV, NJB, NLT); cf. KJV, NKJV, ASV “mulberry trees”; NAB “mastic trees”; NEB, REB “aspens.” The exact identification of the type of tree or plant is uncertain.

22 tn Heb “camp” (so NAB).

23 tn Heb “from Gibeon until you enter Gezer.”



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