Lectionary Year B
July 6, 2003
2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10

Step V: Distillation

A. Summary of Salient Features

(JFC) This pericope establishes David's promise, prestige and power, according to Brueggemann. Its "theological 'center of gravity' . . .", is God's calling David to be His "shepherd of my people Israel". King David and his anointing, the tribes of Israel and the elders with whom he makes a covenant are also primary factors in this passage. The rest of this lection reports biographical data in King David's life, which seem, relatively, at least, minor points in this text.

B. Smoother Translation

(JFC) 1 And came all the tribes of Israel to David at Hebron and said, "We are your bone and your body." 2 Even formerly heretofore in past times during Saul's (being) the king over us you (emphatic) were the one to go forward and exit and in and out to come to pass Israel and God said to you, "You shall shepherd my people Israel and you shall be (the) leader/ruler over Israel." 3 And came all the elders of Israel to the king at Hebron and he cut with them King David a covenant in Hebron before Yahweh. And they anointed David King over Israel. 4 And David was thirty years old when he became king and he reigned forty years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months and to Jerusalem he reigned thirty three years over all Israel and Judah. 9 And David lived in the stronghold and he called it a city of David and he built in a circuit from a rampart/mound/Millo to a house. 10 And David was going to grow in popularity and he was with Yahweh the God of hosts besides.

C. Hermeneutical Bridge

(JFC) This pericope records a proverbial "watershed" in Ancient Israel's history. David's anointing and covenant making with the Elders might be less than the pinnacle of his life, although, it might be its high mark. It is at least close to the summit of his years reported in Scripture. It certainly seems like a watershed, "a critical point that makes a division or change of course . . ," The American Heritage Dictionary. Another example describes watershed as "The Rocky Mts. and the Andes form a watershed between west-ward flowing and eastern-flowing streams", The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia.

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