David Gets News of Saul’s Death & Hebron

Finger Pointing UpDavid should be a happy man now, due to the victory over the Philistines, getting his wives back, Saul is dead, and now he’ll be king?

1. Mount Gilboa
Mount Gilboa is a mountain range overlooking the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel.

The formation extends from southeast to northwest, bordering the highlands of the West Bank and the Beit She’an valley.

The Green Line between Israel and the West Bank runs south and west of the ridge.

Every year, Irus Ha-Gilboa, a purple iris, blooms on the mountain.

Two nature reserves have been declared on the Gilboa ridge;

The Irus Ha-Gilboa nature reserve in 1970, covering 7,280 dunams and the eastern Gilboa reserve in 2005, covering 18,290 dunams.

David Gets News of Saul’s Death

When David returned from slaughtering the Amalekites a man escaped from Saul’s camp and went to David and told him of Saul and Jonathan’s deaths.  Yet, he lied on how Saul actually died.

“And David said…How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead? 

And the young man…said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. 

And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here am I. 

2. The Battle at Mount Gilboa
The Battle at Mount Gilboa
The Battle of Mount Gilboa was fought between the Israelites under King Saul and the Philistines in 1013 B.C.[1] and was a Philistine victory. Saul’s son Jonathan was killed and Saul was wounded in that battle and chose to take his own life (by falling on his sword) before the Philistines could get to him
And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite.  He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me.

So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord. 

Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him:

And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.

And David said unto the young man that told him, Whence art thou? And he answered, I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite. 

And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD’S anointed? 

And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died. 

3. The Jezreel Valley
The Jezreel Valley is a large fertile plain and inland valley south of the Lower Galilee region in Israel.

The Samarian highlands and Mount Gilboa border the valley from the south and to the north lies the Israeli cities Afula and Tiberias.

To the west is the Mount Carmel range, and to the east is the Jordan Valley.

The Jezreel Valley takes its name from the ancient city of Jezreel (known in Arabic as Zir’in; ين‎) which was located on a low hill overlooking the southern edge of the valley, though some scholars think that the name of the city originates from the name of the clan which founded it, and whose existence is mentioned in the Merneptah stele.

The word Jezreel comes from the Hebrew, and means “God sows” or “El sows”.

The phrase “valley of Jezreel” was sometimes used to refer to the central part of the valley, around the city of Jezreel, while the southwestern portion was known as the “valley of Megiddo”, after the ancient city of Megiddo, which was located there.

The area has been known as the Plain of Esdraelon (Esdraelon is the Koine Greek rendering of Jezreel).

The valley perhaps once acted as the channel by which the Dead Sea, located southeast of the valley, connected to the Mediterranean Sea. About two million years ago, as the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan Rift Valley rose, this connection was lost, and periodic floods from the Mediterranean Sea ceased.

This resulted in the Dead Sea no longer having a connection to the ocean, and over time, due to greater evaporation than precipitation plus surface water inflow, it has become heavily saline.

Biblical cities in the Jezreel Valley include Jezreel, Megiddo, Beit She’an Shimron and Afula. Archaeological excavations have indicated near continuous settlement from the Ghassulian culture of the Chalcolithic Age (c. 4500–3300 B.C) to the Ayyubid periods of the 11–13th centuries.

The biblical city of Ophrah, is identified in the Book of Judges as the home of Gideon.

The valley formed an easier route through the Levant than crossing the mountains on either side, and so saw a large amount of traffic, and was the site of many historic battles; the earliest battle for which, the Battle of Megiddo, has a surviving detailed account to prove that it was fought in the valley.

Due to the surrounding terrain, Egyptian chariots were only able to travel from Egypt as far as the Jezreel valley and the valley north of Lake Huleh.

The valley was the scene of a victory by the Israelites, led by Gideon, against the Midianites, the Amalekiltes, and the Children of the East, but was later the location at which the Israelites, led by King Saul, were defeated by the Philistines.

And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD’S anointed” (2 Sam 1:4-16).

David lamented over the deaths and he ordered that the children of Judah be taught how to use the bow   (2 Sam 1:18).

David again called on God,

.”..Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron(2 Sam 2:1).

4. Northern Jezreel Valley and Mount Carmel
Northern Jezreel Valley and Mount Carmel, seen from Haifa.
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 272,181.

Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including Daliyat al-Karmel, the Krayot, Nesher, Tirat Carmel, and some Kibbuzim.

Together these areas form a contiguous urban area home to nearly 600,000 residents which makes up the inner core of the Haifa metropolitan area.

It is also home to the Bahá’í World Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, the history of settlement at the site spans more than 3,000 years.

The earliest known settlement in the vicinity was Tell Abu Hawam, a small port city established in the Late Bronze Age (14th century B.C.).

In the 3rd century CE, Haifa was known as a dye-making center.

Over the centuries, the city has changed hands: It has been conquered and ruled by the Phoenicians, Persians,

Hasmoneans, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans, British, and the Israelis.

Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948; the city has been governed by the Haifa Municipality.

Today, the city is a major seaport located on Israel’s Mediterranean coastline in the Bay of Haifa covering 63.7 square km (24.6 sq mi).

It is located about 90 km (56 mi) north of Tel Aviv and is the major regional center of northern Israel.

So David got his wives and all his men and their families and went to Hebron to live.  And the men of Judah anointed him king over Judah.  He also showed kindness of the men of Jabesh-gilead for taking Saul and Jonathan off the wall and burying them.

“But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s host, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;

And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. 

Ish-bosheth Saul’s son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 

And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months” (2 Sam 2:8-11).

Abner then went to Gibean and Joab, Zeruih’s son and a servant of David, went out and met him by the pool.  And Abner told Joab to let the men get up and play before them and Joab said okay. 

Then they went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Saul’s son Ish-bosheth and 12 of David’s servants.  And they stabbed them in the side, so the place was named Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon.

There was a sore battle that day, and Abner was beaten.  Zeuriah’s three sons were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel.  Asahel chased after Abner, and when Abner saw he was being chased he asked,

“Art thou Asahel? And he answered, I am” (2 Sam 2:20).

Abner told him to stop following him and to go to one of the young men, but Asahel wouldn’t.  Abner then told him that if he didn’t leave he would kill him, but Abishai wouldn’t, so Abner stabbed him under the fifth rib so the spear went all the way through him, and he fell down and died.

Joab, Abishai’s brother, also pursued Abner and the sun went down as they came to the hill of Ammah, that was before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.  Then the children of Benjamin groped together and stood on the top of a hill.

“Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour forever?  Knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end?  How long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren? 

And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother. 

So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more.

And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim. 

And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David’s servants nineteen men and Asahel. 

But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner’s men, so that three hundred and threescore men died. 

And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulcher of his father, which was in Beth-lehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day” (2 Sam 2:26-32).


5. The city of Hebron
The city of Hebron, under curfew.
March 8, 2005 in Hebron (Al Khalil in Arabic) — The main road to Hebron that Palestinians have taken for years is blocked, so another we have to take an alternate route.

We cross the Israeli military checkpoint that blocks the southern entrance to Bethlehem.

We pass a Palestinian refugee camp, and clusters of Israeli settlements collectively known as the Gush Etzion block, south of Bethlehem.

We see how new Israeli settlements start out as illegal outposts of a few rows of mobile homes, and over time turn into Southwest-style villa townhouses that would fit right in, if we were in Southern California.

Then there are Israeli military bases taking up even more West Bank land to guard the settlements.

We arrive at one of the first, and one of the most ideologically right wing settlements in the West Bank, Kiryat Arba.

We pass the checkpoint, and are allowed inside, past the electric fence, into the heart of this settlement of 6,500 people.

It is the largest in the central Hebron area, but there are now 5 other Jewish enclaves within the Old City with an additional 400-500 Jewish Settlers: Tel Rumeida, Beit Hadassa, Beit Romano, Abraham Avion, and the Gutnic Center. They are supported by between 1,500 to 2,000 Israeli soldiers.

In central Hebron, conflicts with the native Palestinian population of 130,000 include land confiscation and historic house demolitions, which are taking place to create a corridor linking up the 5 Jewish enclaves and the larger settlement of Kiryat Arba.

This will create a settler complex that includes the Ibrahim Mosque (Tomb of Abraham), one of the holiest sites to Muslims and Jews, as well as Christians

Hebron (meaning” confed­eracy”) is situated on a hill about 19 miles (30 km) south-southwest of Jerusalem.

Numers13:22 states that the city was built seven years before the Egyp­tian city of Zoan (“Tanis” in Greek), around 1735 B.C., but this must have been a rebuild­ing since excavations have uncovered occu­pation levels dating back a millennium and a half earlier.

Formerly, Hebron was called Kiriath Arba (Gen 23:2).  Some have suggested that this means “town of four,” indicating a league of four towns in the vicinity.

But Josh 14:15 and 15:3 state that it was named after Arba, an ancestor of the Anakim.Abraham lived at Hebron near “the great trees of Mamre”(Gen 13:18) and built an altar Yahweh there.  Mamre was a small site less than 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Hebron, named after Mamre the Amorite.

Abraham was visited there by the Lord and two angels, who repeated the promise of a son.

At Hebron Abraham al­so purchased the cave of Machpelah as a family burial site.

During the conquest Joshua defeated the ruler of Hebron and the city was given to Caleb on account of his bravery. It was later set apart as a city of refuge and a Levitical town.

6. Kiryat Arba
Kiryat Arba or Qiryat Arba (Hebrew: קִרְיַת־אַרְבַּע‬), lit. “Town of the Four,” is an urban Israeli settlement on the outskirts of Hebron, in the Judean Mountains region of the West Bank. Founded in 1968, in 2017 it had a population of 7,339.
The international community considers Israeli settlements illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this. According to a classified 1970 document “The method for establishing Kiryat Arba” released in 2016, the establishment of Kiryat Arba used a system of annexing land to a military base for the purpose of civilian settlement,[3] the first time this happened in the West Bank according to Shlomo Gazit.
Kiryat Arba is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Genesis 23) as the place where Abraham buried Sarah. The Book of Joshua chapter 14 verse 15 says (Darby Bible): “Now the name of Hebron before was Kirjath-Arba; the great man among the Anakim…” There are various explanations for the name, not mutually exclusive. According to the Biblical commentator Rashi, Kiryat Arba (“Town of Arba”) means either the town (kirya) of Arba, the giant who had three sons, or the town of the four giants: Anak (the son of Arba) and his three sons – Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai – who are described as being the sons of a “giant” in Numbers 13:22: “On the way through the Negev, they (Joshua and Caleb) came to Hebron where [they saw] Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmi, descendants of the Giant (ha-anak)…” Some say that Anak (“Giant”, see Anak) is a proper name (Targum Jonathan and the Septuagint), and that he, Anak, may have been the father of the three others mentioned in the Book of Numbers as living in Hebron, previously known as “Kiryat Arba.”
Alternatively, the name may refer to the four couples buried in the Machpela Cave: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah, and according to the Zohar, Adam and Eve.
During the judges period Samson car­ried the gates of Gaza toward Hebron. David and his mercen­aries curried the favor of the Hebron inhab­itants after defeating the Amalekites and after Saul’s death David ruled Judah from this location before be­coming king over all of Israel.

Absalom began his conspiracy at Hebron, his birthplace, and during the reign of Rehoboam the city was among the many that were fortified in preparation for possible attack.

Excavations have uncovered a portion of a Middle Bronze Age wall about 30 feet (9.1 m) wide and a large domicile from the Iron I period.

Hellenistic period kilns and pottery were discovered there, as well as Byzantine period burial places.


Herod the Great built an enclosure of large ashlar masonry around the burial cave of the pa­triarchs (the Haram in Arabic).

A Byzantine church and a mosque were later successively built above the Haram, which remains a sacred site for Muslims.

Two ancient oaks are tradi­tionally revered as the “great trees of Mamre,” but the Hebrew most likely refers to terebinth.




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