Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 5

David’s soldiers defeat the Jebusites in the battle for Jerusalem

2 Samuel 5:7-8

The Jebusites were fierce enemies of Israel. However, they had control over Jerusalem, and therefore also of the main route between the north and south of Israel.

Their town was on the south-east side of what we today call the ‘old city’ of Jerusalem. Its defences were extremely strong and impressive, like a castle. There are deep valleys on every side except the north. So the Jebusites laughed at David’s plan to take control of Jerusalem. People did not even need to see or to walk in order to defend their town, they said.

David used that insult against them. The defenders of Jerusalem were as weak as people who could neither see nor walk, he said. These people, the Jebusites, spoke in a proud manner and they behaved in a cruel manner. David hated people who did such things.

However, only the bravest and strongest soldiers could attack such a strong place. It was Joab, the leader of David’s men who led the attack. That was how Joab became the chief commander of the whole of Israel’s army (1 Chronicles 11:6). David’s words probably mean that Joab had to enter Jerusalem through its underground passages.

People long remembered the insult that the Jebusites had spoken, and David’s reply to it. Of course, David was, in reality speaking about wicked, nasty and cruel people, not about people who cannot see or walk. David gave Mephibosheth, who could not walk, a place of great honour in his palace (2 Samuel chapter 9). So, the familiar expression by which people remembered this incident, had a special meaning. It meant that it is wrong to be friendly with nasty, wicked people (see Psalm 101). One has to deal firmly with such people.

Next part: David's home in the city of David (2 Samuel 5:9-12)


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