II Sam. 5:6-25; 23:8-39; I Chron. 11:4-12:40; 14:1-17
Jerusalem is a very ancient Canaanite city. It was probably called Salem during the lifetime of Abraham. Because of its geographical location, at the time the Israelites entered the Promised Land, it was not taken by them. The city continued to be inhabited by the Jebusites until David became king of all Israel. It was located in rough terrain and well-fortified by secure walls.
David had previously maintained his capitol at Hebron, approximately thirty miles to the southwest of Jerusalem. Saul’s capitol had been at Gibeah, less than ten miles to the north.
In one of his first acts as king of Israel, David invaded the city of the Jebusites and “took the stronghold of Zion” and renamed it the “City of David.” He then moved the capitol from Gibeah to Jerusalem.
Friendships with other rulers and increases within his own family added to the security of King David. Among those friendships was Hiram, king of Tyre who would be a longtime ally of the Israelites.
With David established as king over Israel, the Philistines began to prepare for another attack on God’s people. He depended upon God for His help to overcome his enemies. In answer to David’s inquiry, God assured him to go up and that He would deliver the Philistines into his hand. “And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines…”
David had many brave and mighty men in his army. They were heroes who had performed great feats of battle during the time that he had been running from Saul. Because of their loyalty, they were given prominent places of rank among the other warriors who fought for him. His chief commander was Joab. There were thirty-seven of the chief leaders. The total number of fighting men in Israel was approximately three hundred forty thousand.