Life-Study of 1 & 2 Samuel, by Witness Lee

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According to 5:1-5 David gained the heart of the people and was crowned by all the other tribes.

A. In Hebron

David was crowned by the other tribes in Hebron (vv. 1-3). They came to him there and said, "Here we are; we are your bone and your flesh. Even previously, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And Jehovah said to you, You shall shepherd My people Israel, and you shall be ruler over Israel" (vv. 1b-2). When all the elders of Israel came to King David at Hebron, he made a covenant with them before Jehovah, and they anointed him king over Israel (v. 3).

B. At the Age of Thirty-seven

Verses 4 and 5 tell us that David was thirty-seven years old when he began to reign.

C. Reigning over All Israel
and Judah for Thirty-three Years

David reigned for forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah for seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years (vv. 4b-5).


David was established by God as king with his kingdom exalted for the sake of God’s people Israel (vv. 6-25). Here we see that David’s kingdom was established by God. Saul, on the contrary, had tried to exalt himself with his monarchy, but he did not succeed. With David, God did everything to establish and exalt him and his kingdom for the sake of God’s people. From this we need to learn that if we do anything for ourselves, God will not exalt us, but if we live our lives for God’s kingdom and God’s people, God will exalt us for His people’s sake. Therefore, we should not seek any kind of self-exaltation. If we do, we will suffer and be put down (Matt. 23:12). Saul tried his best to exalt himself, but in just one day Saul and three of his sons were terminated. On the same day that God was putting down Saul, He was exalting David (1 Sam. 30—31).

The history concerning David, particularly the record in 1 Samuel 18:1 through 2 Samuel 5:25, reveals that our God is sovereign. It may seem that He is silent and that He is hiding Himself, but He is everywhere and with everyone. I believe, for example, that God motivated all the lords of the Philistines to complain about David, making it necessary for Achish to send David away (1 Sam. 29:1-11). This rescued David from the dilemma of having to fight with the Philistines against Israel. From this we can see that God was doing everything behind the scenes, directing everyone to accomplish His purpose for the carrying out of His economy. Everything, everyone, and every situation were in the hand of the God in whom David trusted. David did nothing, but God did everything behind the scenes. As a result, Saul was put down, and David was exalted. After the death of Saul, "there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David; but David became continually stronger, and the house of Saul became continually weaker" (2 Sam. 3:1). Throughout the books of 1 and 2 Samuel we can see that God was moving and acting all the time in every way for Himself, His kingdom, His people, and the accomplishing of His economy. Without anyone seeing or knowing, God takes care of everything according to His will to accomplish His economy (Eph. 1:11).

(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Samuel, Chapter 21, by Witness Lee)