Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 15

David at the ‘house of the distance’

2 Samuel 15:17

On the east side of Jerusalem, a stream called the Kidron flows through a deep valley. In this valley, David waited for the people who still supported him to gather.

Of course, David could not be sure that anyone would still want to support him. They would have to leave their homes in Jerusalem at once - and they could not expect ever to return. David was not still the popular king that he once had been. He had made some serious mistakes, and some of his former friends were now his chief enemies. However, David was still the king whom God had chosen to rule Israel. That, in the end, was the only real reason why anyone would want to support him at this time. If they loved God, then they would care about David.

The place where they arranged to meet is called, in the Hebrew language, the ‘house of the distance’. That may mean the most distant house that people still considered to be part of Jerusalem. It was outside the city walls of Jerusalem, probably deep in the valley, by the stream. However, David had not yet crossed the stream (15:23).

Long ago, there had been great public processions as Israel’s people expressed their love for David, as their new king (1 Chronicles 12:23-40). David probably did not expect to see any such expressions of love on this occasion - but it happened. As his soldiers reached the place, they formed themselves into their army groups. Then they arranged themselves as a military procession, and they marched past him. David asked some of them questions. Their replies showed that their love for David caused them to decide to risk their lives with him (15:19-21).

Next part: Kerethites, Pelethites and Gittites (2 Samuel 15:18)


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