Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 8

David defeats the Philistines

2 Samuel 8:1

Chapter 8 is an account of the principal wars that Israel fought during David's rule. These wars were extremely important. Until this time, all the countries that surrounded Israel had been powerful and fierce enemies of Israel. Therefore, Israel had always been a weak and poor nation. The defeat of these enemies brought peace to Israel. That made it possible for the country to achieve great progress in art, science (1 Kings 4:29-34), construction and wealth during Solomon's rule.

The Philistines were the people from Philistia, on the west side of Israel. Before David became king, they were Israel's worst enemy. During his whole rule, King Saul had to fight constantly against them (1 Samuel 14:52).

Metheg Ammah, over which David gained control, is usually called Gath in the Bible (1 Chronicles 18:1). It was one of the five principal cities in Philistia, and it had its own king. David had lived in its territory for more than a year (1 Samuel chapter 27). During that time, 600 of Gath's best soldiers became loyal to David (15:18-22). Even Gath's king approved of David (1 Samuel 29:3).

However. the Philistines continued to attack Israel even after David became king (5:17-25). So, David had to defeat them in war. It was a great success when he gained control over Gath. It seems that his success there brought an end to the war. Afterwards, the army of Philistia no longer continued to attack Israel.

Next part: David defeats Moab (2 Samuel 8:2)


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