David becomes King of Judah and Israel

2 Sam 1:1-16    News of the battle at Mt Gilboa is brought to David at Ziklag (see 1 on Map 56). David mourns the deaths of Saul and Jonathan.


Map of David And Absalom

Map 56    David and Absalom


2 Sam 2:1-7    David (who belonged to the tribe of Judah) is anointed king of the southern kingdom of Judah at Hebron (see 2 on Map 56). 


Tomb of the Patriarchs, Hebron (Antoine Teveneaux)

Tomb of the Patriarchs at Hebron   (Antoine Taveneaux)


It is likely that the newly appointed king becomes known as ‘David’ at this time. (Hebrew, ‘Dwd’ meaning ‘beloved’ of Yahweh, was probably a 'coronation name'.) He is able to establish a strong kingdom independent of Egypt and its ally, the Philistines, as Egypt is militarily weak, probably under the heretic Amarnan pharoah Akhenaten.

2 Sam 2:8-11    Ishbosheth, Saul's son, is declared king of the northern kingdom of Israel at Mahanaim by Abner, Saul’s commander (see 3 on Map 56). David, however, also has a direct claim to the throne of Israel as he is Saul’s son-in-law.

2 Sam 2:12-17    War breaks out between the House of Saul and the House of David. An armed contest between twelve of David’s men and twelve of Ishbosheth’s men is arranged at Helkath Hazzurim (‘field of swords’) beside the Pool of Gibeon (see 4 on Map 56 and the feature on Gibeon). David’s men defeat the Israelites.

2 Sam 2:18-32    Abner, the commander of Israel’s army, is pursued to the Hill of Ammah, near Gibeon. He escapes across the Jordan and flees north to Mahanaim.


Jabbok River near Mahanaim (Dr Meierhofer)

The River Jabbok near Mahanaim   (Dr Meierhofer)


2 Sam 3:1-39    The war between Judah and Israel continues for seven years. Eventually, Abner goes over to David’s side, but is killed by Joab, one of David’s commanders, at Hebron.

2 Sam 4:1-12    Ishbosheth is murdered by two of his own men. His head is taken to David at Hebron.

2 Sam 5:1-5    David is anointed King of Israel at Hebron.

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