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2 Samuel 5

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 1 Then all the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron, and spoke, saying, "Behold, we are your bone and your flesh.

 2 And in the past, when Saul was our king over us, you were the one in Israel who led us out to battle and brought us back; and the LORD has said to you, 'You shall feed my people Israel, and you shall be a captain over Israel.'"

 3 So all the elders of Israel came to king David at Hebron, and David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD; and so they anointed David as king over Israel too.

 4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.

 5 In Hebron he had reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and in Jerusalem he then reigned thirty three years over all Israel and Judah.

 6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who spoke to David, saying, "Unless you take away the blind and the lame, you may not come in here;" believing that David would not be able to enter the city.1

 7 Nevertheless David took the stronghold fort of Zion; which is called the city of David.

 8 And David said on that day, "Whoever goes up through the water shaft and destroys the Jebusites with the lame and the blind that are hated of David's soul,2 he shall be chief and captain." Therefore they said, "The blind and the lame shall will not be in the house."

 9 So David dwelled in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built up all around it from the Millo3 and inward.

 10  David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him.

 11 And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, with cedar trees, carpenters, and masons; and they built David a house.

 12  David understood that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.

 13 David took to himself him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he had come from Hebron; and there were even more sons and daughters born to David.

 14 And these are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem; Shammuah, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon,

 15 Ibhar also, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia,

 16 And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet.

 17 But when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines came up to war with David; and David heard of it, and went down to the strong hold.

 18 The Philistines also came and assembled themselves in the valley of Rephaim.

 19 And David inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I go to war with the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hand?" And the LORD said to David, "Go to war for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand."

 20  So David went to Baalperazim, and David defeated them there, and said, "The LORD has broken forth upon my enemies before me, as the breach of waters [comes from a broken dike or dam]." Therefore he called the name of that place Baalperazim.

 21 The Philistines had abandoned their idols, so David and his men burned them.

 22 The Philistines came up yet again, and assembled themselves in the valley of Rephaim.

 23 And when David inquired of the LORD, he said, "You shall not attack them; instead go around to behind them, and approach them over by the mulberry trees.

 24 And let it be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then you shall go quickly for then the LORD will go out ahead of you to destroy the host of the Philistines."

 25 And David did as the LORD had commanded him; and destroyed the Philistines from Geba until you come to Gazer.


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1 Unless you take away the blind and the lame, you cannot come in here. A strange statement, needing explanation.

The Bible describes the Jebusites as dwelling in the mountains, beside Jerusalem. According to the Book of Joshua, Adonizedek led a confederation of Jebusites, and the tribes from the neighboring cities of Jarmut, Lachish, Eglon and Hebron against Joshua, but was soundly defeated, and killed. However, Joshua 15:63 states that Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah. The Book of Judges also portrays the Jebusites as continuing to dwell at Jerusalem, within the territory otherwise occupied by the Tribe of Judah and Tribe of Benjamin.

The Jebusites still had control of Jerusalem at the time of King David, but David wished to take control of the city; understandably the Jebusites contested his attempt to do this, and since Jebus was the strongest fortress in Canaan they gloated that even the blind and lame could defeat David's army; an alternative, equally valid, translation of the Jebusite's statement is that they said David would have to defeat the blind and lame before anyone else. The third explanation for the statement is far more likely: that were two statues named blind and lame, which evidently were thought to have some magical powers, protecting the Jebusites from the Jews.

2 the lame and the blind that are hated of David's soul. We know that David was very kind and loving to Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth, who was lame in both feet, 2 Sam 9. So this is a most peculiar statement, which makes no sense without the further historical information that the blind and the lame were actually two statues of the Jebusites in Jerusalem: one named blind, purported by the Jebsuites to be Isaac; and one named lame, purported by the Jebsuites to be Jacob. This would account for David's hatred of the "blind" and the "lame" because the statutes showed abominable disrespect for two of the venerated patriarchs of Judaism.

The Bible describes the Jebusites as dwelling in the mountains, beside Jerusalem. According to the Book of Joshua, Adonizedek led a confederation of Jebusites, and the tribes from the neighboring cities of Jarmut, Lachish, Eglon and Hebron against Joshua, but was soundly defeated, and killed. However, Joshua 15:63 states that Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah. The Book of Judges also portrays the Jebusites as continuing to dwell at Jerusalem, within the territory otherwise occupied by the Tribe of Judah and Tribe of Benjamin.

The Jebusites still had control of Jerusalem at the time of King David, but David wished to take control of the city; understandably the Jebusites contested his attempt to do this, and since Jebus was the strongest fortress in Canaan they gloated that even the blind and lame could defeat David's army; an alternative, equally valid, translation of the Jebusite's statement is that they said David would have to defeat the blind and lame before anyone else.

According to classical rabbinical literature, the Jebusites derived their name from the city of Jebus, the ancient Jerusalem, which they inhabited. These rabbinical sources also argued that as part of the price of Abraham's purchase of the Cave of Machpelah, which lay in the territory of the Jebusites, the Jebusites made Abraham grant them a covenant that his descendants would not take control of Jebus against the will of the Jebusites, and then the Jebusites engraved the covenant into bronze; the sources state that the presence of the bronze statues are why the Israelites were not able to conquer the city during Joshua's campaign.The classical era rabbis go on to state that King David was prevented from entering the city of Jebus for the same reason, and so he promised the reward of captaincy to anyone who destroyed the bronzes — Joab performing the task and so gaining the prize. The covenant is dismissed by the rabbis as having been invalidated due to the (defensive) war the Jebusites fought against Joshua, but nevertheless David (according to the rabbis) paid the Jebusites the full value of the city, collecting the money from among all the Israelite tribes, so that the city became their common property. In reference to a passage in the Books of Samuel that refers to a saying about the blind and the lame, Rashi quotes a midrash that argues that the Jebusites had two statues in their city, with their mouths containing the words of the covenant between Abraham and the Jebusites; one figure, depicting a blind person, represented Isaac, and the other, depicting a lame person, representing Jacob.

3 built up Jerusalem from the Millo inward. What is the "Millo"? The Millo is thought to have been a rampart built by the Jebusites prior to Jerusalem's being conquered by the Israelites. There is some debate among scholars as to the Millo's specific nature. The most common assumption among archaeologists and historians of ancient Israel is that the Millo is the Stepped Stone Structure. In the Book of Samuel, it is mentioned as boundary of King David's construction while building up the City of David after the capture of Jerusalem from the Jebusites. The New King James Version footnotes Millo as literally, "The Landfill," while the New International Version translates it to "supporting terraces." However, taking into account that the potentially cognate term mulu, from Assyrian, refers to earthworks, it is considered more likely that it was an embankment that flattened the slope between Ophel and the Temple Mount. So, it was some type of stone structure, both supporting and defending the city.

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