2 Samuel 2:1
(1) Enquired of the Lord.--At this important juncture of affairs, David's first care is to know the Divine will. His inquiry was, doubtless, made through the high priest Abiathar, as in 1Samuel 23:9-10 (comp. 2Samuel 22:20; 2Samuel 23:1; 2Samuel 23:4). The answer definitely directed him to go up to Hebron.

Hebron is one of the most ancient cities of the world (built "seven years before Zoan in Egypt," Numbers 13:22), long the residence of Abraham (Genesis 13:18), and the place where he and Sarah, Isaac and Jacob, were buried. Its original name was Kirjath-arba (Genesis 23:2; Joshua 14:15, &c). It is situated in a valley among the hills of Southern Judea, at a height of nearly 3,000 feet above the Mediterranean. It is about twenty miles S.S.W. from Jerusalem, somewhat more than this N.E. of Beersheba, and about fifteen miles E.S.E. of the Philistine town of Gath. From Ziklag, where David had been living, it was distant about thirty-eight miles. It has always been famous for its vineyards, and its grapes are still considered the finest in Southern Palestine. The valley in which it is situated is probably the "valley of Eshcol," from which the spies brought the great "cluster of grapes" to Moses in the wilderness (Numbers 13:23). It was a priestly city (Joshua 21:10-11), and the most southerly of the cities of refuge (Joshua 20:7). Here was the home and the throne of David for the next seven and a half years (2Samuel 2:11; 2Samuel 5:5). The larger part of the land, since the recent defeat, was in the power of the Philistines; and Hebron, on account of its situation at the far south, and its strategical strength, as well as its sacred associations, was a peculiarly fitting place for the beginning of David's reign.

Verse 1. - Unto Hebron. As soon as David had assuaged his grief, his thoughts would naturally turn towards his country. Fuller news would reach him every day respecting the movements of the Philistines, who, after so decisive a victory, would quickly overrun all the central districts of Palestine, where the battle had been fought. And very bitter must David's feelings have been. Had he continued in Israel, he and his six hundred men would now have hastened to the rescue, and all the braver warriors of the land would have gathered round them. As it was, he was too entangled with the Philistines, and too much distrusted by the northern tribes, to be of much use. Still, we learn from 1 Chronicles 12, that brave men did continually swell the number of his followers. Detachments of the tribes of Gad and Manasseh, instead of joining Saul at Gilboa, went to David as he withdrew to Ziklag. And while he remained there a considerable body of men from Benjamin and Judah came to him under the command of Amasa, David's nephew. So numerous were they as to alarm David, who went out to meet them, fearing lest they had come to betray him; and glad was he to hear their answer, "Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse." Thus even as it was, his forces daily grew more numerous; for "from day today there came to David to help him, until it was a great host, like the host of God" (1 Chronicles 12:22). But there was no national acknowledgment. With his numbers thus continually increasing, David was encouraged to make some attempt for the deliverance of Israel; but his position was one of serious danger. Great was the risk, but he knew where to go for guidance, and determines, therefore, to put the matter into God's hand. He summons Abiathar with the ephod, and, in the presence of his captains, asks for permission to go up to some city of his own tribe. The answer is favourable, and Hebron is the city selected. It was a place of ancient sanctity, was well situated in the mountains of Judah for defence, and as the Philistines bad not yet invaded that region, but probably would soon try to ravage it, the people would be sure to welcome the presence of one who brought with him a powerful body of trained men.

2:1-7. After the death of Saul, many went to David at Ziklag,And it came to pass after this,.... After David had heard of the death of Saul and Jonathan, and made a lamentation over them, perhaps the next day; since David and his men are only said to mourn, and weep, and fast till even, 2 Samuel 1:10,

that David inquired of the Lord; of the Word of the Lord, as the Targum, by Abiathar the priest, and through the Urim and Thummim, in the ephod he had put on on this occasion:

saying, shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? though the Lord had promised him the kingdom, and he had been anointed by Samuel by his appointment, yet he was not hasty to take it into his hands, but was desirous of acting according to the will of God, and by his direction, and wait his time when and where he should go and take possession of it; he mentions Judah because it was his own tribe, and where he had the most friends:

and the Lord said unto him, go up; from Ziklag into the tribe of Judah, but did not mention any particular place whither he should go; hence another question was put:

and David said, whither shall I go up? To what town or city in the tribe of Judah? whether Jerusalem or any other?

And he said, unto Hebron; a city of the priests, a city of refuge, Joshua 21:13, twenty miles from Jerusalem, or more, which is not directed to, because it was then chiefly in the hands of the Jebusites, and because, as Procopius Gazaeus says, Hebron was now the metropolis of Judah.

2 Samuel 1:27
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