Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 12

David’s crown

2 Samuel 12:30

David obtained a very special prize when he finally defeated Ammon’s army at Rabbah. It was the crown, or royal hat, of Ammon’s king. It was pure gold, of a great weight, with precious stones. It was clearly a truly extraordinary and very beautiful object.

Kings have worn, or owned, crowns since ancient times. This one was so heavy that the king probably only wore it rarely, for special occasions.

In that region, people have found some ancient statues (models) that show crowns. Those crowns are in the shape of a helmet, a military hat. King Saul wore a metal helmet to protect his head in battle – but it was of bronze (1 Samuel 17:38). Bronze is a much cheaper metal than gold. 2 Samuel 1:10 refers to the ‘crown’ that Saul wore in battle.

We do not know whether King David had his own crown before this battle. In some countries the custom is for a person to receive a crown when he becomes king. In Israel, the custom was to anoint the king; in other words, to pour oil on his head (2:4; 5:3).

However, there is a reference to David’s crown in Psalm 21:3. There, David mentions a crown of pure gold as one of the many good things that God had given him. David does not claim that he obtained any of those things by his own efforts. Rather, God has generously given him those gifts, even as God will defeat all his (God’s) enemies.

Next part: David deals with the proud and cruel attitudes of Ammon's people (2 Samuel 12:31)


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