Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 19
When David first became king of the whole of Israel, people from every tribe (family group) in Israel came to support him (1 Chronicles 12:23-40). They all joined in the processions and ceremonies. They all, together, appointed him to be their king.
When David returned to rule again after Absalom’s revolution, he did not ask all the tribes to gather. He knew that people in all the tribes wanted him to return. So it seemed enough to him if the people from only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin brought him back to Jerusalem.
David probably wanted these tribes, particularly, to invite him back for political reasons. He came from Judah; and King Saul had belonged to Benjamin. Nobody from any other tribe had ever even tried to become king over Israel. So, Judah and Benjamin seemed the most important tribes. In addition, Jerusalem, the capital city, was on the border between Judah and Benjamin.
So, all the men from Judah gathered by the river Jordan to bring David back across the river. A group of 1000 men from Benjamin (19:16-17) came. Some men from the other tribes also came but they were only part of Israel’s army (19:40).
King David came from his temporary home in Mahanaim to the east side of the river. While he was still on the east side of the river, he had the conversations in 2 Samuel 19:18-38. Then he crossed the river and he went back to Jerusalem with the men from Judah.
However, this arrangement upset the members of the other tribes. They complained about how Judah’s men had behaved (19:41-43).
Next part: Shimei expresses publicly his support for David (2 Samuel 19:16-20)
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© 2023, Keith Simons.