David Takes the Throne of Israel (2 Samuel 1–5)

When David received news of the death of Saul and his son Jonathan — David';s close friend — he was genuinely grieved: “David and his men tore their clothes in sorrow when they heard the news. They mourned and wept and fasted all day for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the Lord';s army and the nation of Israel, because they had died by the sword that day” (2 Samuel 1:11–12).

It was a short time later that David prayed and asked God for direction, which he received. God told him to go to Hebron, where he was anointed king of Judah at the age of thirty (2 Samuel 2:1–4). David';s ascension to the throne was disputed, however, and that touched off a civil war in Israel. Once that war ended, David was anointed king over all twelve tribes of Israel (2 Samuel 5:1–12).

What was the Ark of the Covenant?

The Ark of the Covenant was the gold-covered receptacle used to carry the two stone tablets that contained the Ten Commandments, which were seen as the testimony of God';s covenant with the Hebrew people. You can find descriptions of the ark in Numbers 7, 10, 19, and 20.

From that time on, the kingdom of Israel, under the leadership of King David, went through a time of incredible expansion. David and his men captured the city of Jerusalem and made it Israel';s new seat of government (2 Samuel 5:6–14), defeated the Philistines (5:17–25), and brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem.

Second Samuel 7 records God';s promise to David, spoken through the prophet Nathan. That promise was that although David himself would one day die, his kingdom would, through his descendants, last forever (2 Samuel 7:1–17). After receiving that promise, David prayed a long and beautiful prayer of thanksgiving and praise (2 Samuel 7:18–29).

That was followed by a series of military victories that expanded and strengthened the kingdom of Israel (2 Samuel 8). God had promised David great blessings as Israel';s king, and that promise certainly came to pass. However, there came a time when David';s own indiscretions and sin could have sunk his monarchy.

Study Questions

Why do you think David would mourn at the death of Saul, a man who was his sworn enemy?

What was the tone of David';s response to receiving God';s promise of blessing?

  1. Home
  2. Bible Study
  3. First and Second Samuel: The Life and Times of David
  4. David Takes the Throne of Israel (2 Samuel 1–5)
Visit other About.com sites: