Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 30

How David began to rule as king

1 Samuel 30:20

This was the day when David began to rule as king. On this day, his men led him in a great procession like a king. Also on this day, David made his first law (30:25).

The battle against the robbers had made David as wealthy as a king. By an ancient rule of war, the winner of a battle took everything from the enemy that he had defeated. That vast group of robbers had taken many animals and other valuable things from Israel and Philistia. When David defeated them, those things were his prize.

Long before, God chose David to be Israelís next king (16:1). Samuel carried out the special ceremony, called the anointing, in order to appoint David king (16:13). However, David always refused to fight against King Saul, who had also received an anointing (10:1; 24:6; 26:9-10). David remained loyal to Saul while Saul was still alive.

Now Saul had died (1 Samuel chapter 31), although David did not know yet (2 Samuel chapter 1). Saulís last battle was probably on the day when Davidís men left Philistiaís camp (29:11; 28:19).

David did not choose the day when he began to rule. No part of Israel had yet chosen him to rule over them (see 2 Samuel 2:1-4). It was Davidís men who chose to organise that first procession. David probably permitted it because his men needed to express their happiness at the rescue of their wives and children. Perhaps he did not even consider it a royal procession.

However, the decision to make a law was clearly the behaviour of a king. Again, David did not choose to make that law to show royal authority. The law was necessary in order to deal with some greedy people among his men. So, David used his authority as their leader and he made a rule about the matter.

Next part: Greedy and selfish attitudes among Davidís men (1 Samuel 30:21-22)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.