Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 2

David’s message to the people in Jabesh Gilead

2 Samuel 2:5-7

King Saul died in a battle against Philistia’s army. The soldiers in that army found Saul’s body and they dealt shamefully with it.

Some 40 years earlier, Saul had rescued the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead from a very cruel enemy (1 Samuel 11:1-11). It was his first great act as king of Israel. The inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead never forgot what Saul had done for them. They were truly grateful to him.

So, after Saul died, some men from there risked their lives to rescue his dead body from the enemy. They buried his bones with proper honour in their own town (1 Samuel 31:8-13).

Saul had been very cruel to David, but David had no bitter feelings towards Saul. Rather, David was truly grateful to them that they had buried Saul with honour. He wanted them to know that he approved of their actions.

Jabesh Gilead was not in Judah, the part of Israel that David ruled as king. So David sent some of his most important officials to Jabesh Gilead with a message to its people. First, David blessed them in God’s name. In other words, David declared God’s kindness to them. He added his own prayer for them; and he promised that he too would show them kindness.

Then, David urged them to continue to be brave. For some years after Saul’s death, Philistia’s army controlled much of Israel. There would be many more battles – but God was already working powerfully in that situation. Already David was ruling over Judah – in time, his government would bring peace to the whole of Israel.

Next part: Abner appoints Ish-Bosheth to be king of Israel (2 Samuel 2:8-11)


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