David 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?
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.
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.
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).
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).
Hebron (meaning” confederacy”) is situated on a hill about 19 miles (30 km) south-southwest of Jerusalem.
Numers13:22states 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.
ButJosh 14:15and15:3 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.
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.