Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 2

God sends David to Hebron

2 Samuel 2:1

When Saul was trying to kill David, it became much too dangerous for David to remain in Israel. In the end, David and the men with him, found a safe place to live in Ziklag. Ziklag was in Philistia, near the border with Judah, which was the southern part of Israel. Its ruler was the king of Gath, who was one of Saul’s enemies.

However, God had promised that David would be the king of Israel (1 Samuel 16:1-13). Even Saul believed that David would be king (1 Samuel 24:20). So, after Saul’s death, David prayed about whether he should return to Israel. David did not consider it right to allow his ambitions to direct his life. Instead, he only desired to do what God wanted him to do.

David probably wanted to return to Bethlehem in Judah, where his family had lived. However, God directed him to Hebron, about 15 miles (25 kilometres) south of Bethlehem. David would become the king of Judah, with Hebron as his capital city. For more than 7 years he would rule there, until he gained authority over the whole of Israel.

God directed David in these matters by means of replies to his (David’s) questions. David probably received those replies from Israel’s chief priest. The Urim and Thummim were sacred objects that the chief priest carried (1 Samuel 22:21 to 23:6). Their name means ‘perfect lights’ (see Psalm 43:3); they may have been some kind of precious stones. Exodus 28:30 refers to them. It was the task of the chief priest who carried these objects to guide Israel’s people in difficult decisions (Nehemiah 7:65). We can see that God directed David very clearly at this time.

Next part: Hebron, David's first capital city (2 Samuel 2:2-3)


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