Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 5

David’s anointing as the king of all Israel

2 Samuel 5:3

1 Chronicles 12:23-40 tells us about all the soldiers who gathered at Hebron for the ceremony to appoint David as king. However, it was not the army or its leaders who actually appointed David.

At the same time that the army gathered, so did the elders of Israel. They were the older men who led the family groups, called tribes, in the nation. Israel’s people had great respect for old people; so these older men led the government in each region. They would have also acted as local judges.

Together, David and these leaders made a sacred agreement in front of God. There are special rules for Israel’s king in Deuteronomy 17:14-20. In those rules, the first act of a new king must be to write out his own complete copy of God’s law. Probably, the agreement that David made with the elders was about the relationship between the king, the people, and God’s law.

The most sacred part of the ceremony to appoint the king was called the anointing. On God’s behalf, a priest or a prophet (holy man) poured oil on the head of the new king. The person who received an anointing was called in the Hebrew language, a Messiah. The translation of that word into the Greek language is Christ. There is a description of the anointing of a priest in Psalm 133:2. The meaning of the ceremony was this: as the oil covers the person, so God’s Holy Spirit would come upon him. The new king needed the Holy Spirit to give him power to do his special work for God.

David received such an anointing on two other occasions also - see 1 Samuel 16:1-13 and 2 Samuel 2:4.

Next part: David, the king of Israel (2 Samuel 5:4-5)


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