David’s Accession to Kingship Over Isra’el

Second Samuel 3:6 to 5:25

The story of how David became king of all Isra’el essentially follows the same formula already established in the account of his accession to the kingship of Y’hudah (1:1 to 3:5). Both begin with a warrior trying to gain David’s favor (an unnamed Amalekite in 1:1-13; Sha’ul’s army commander Abner in 3:6-21) and continue with the execution or murder of the warrior (the Amalekite in 1:14-16 and Abner in 3:22-32), followed by a lament voiced by David (over Sha’ul and Y’honatan in 1:17-27 and Abner in 3:33-34).

Near the center of each literary unit is a brief report of the anointing of David as king (over Y’hudah in 2:1-7 and over Isra’el in 5:1-5). David and his men were successful in defending their enemies (over the house of Sha’ul in 2:8 to 3:1 and the Jebusites in 5:6-12), and each unit concludes with a list of sons/children born to David (in Hebron in 3:2-5 and in Yerushalayim in 5:13-16).

The similarities between the two sections point to the careful craftsmanship of a single author, who now sets to tell his readers that just as the house of David has replaced Sha’ul and his house in southern Canaan (Second Samuel 1:1 to 3:5), so too is David’s house about to replace that of Sha’ul in the rest of the Land (Second Samuel 3:6 to 5:16).226


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