Verses 1-5 (2 Samuel 5:1-5)

Here is, I. The humble address of all the tribes to David, beseeching him to take upon him the government (for they were now as sheep having no shepherd), and owning him for their king. Though David might by no means approve the murder of Ish-bosheth, yet he might improve the advantages he gained thereby, and accept the applications made to him thereupon. Judah had submitted to David as their king above seven years ago, and their ease and happiness, under his administration, encouraged the rest of the tribes to make their court to him. What numbers came from each tribe, with what zeal and sincerity they came, and how they were entertained for three days at Hebron, when they were all of one heart to make David king, we have a full account, 1 Chron. 12:23-40. Here we have only the heads of their address, containing the grounds they went upon in making David king. 1. Their relation to him was some inducement: ?We are thy bone and thy flesh (2 Sam. 5:1), not only thou art our bone and our flesh, not a stranger, unqualified by the law to be king (Deut. 17:15), but we are thine,? that is, ?we know that thou considerest us as thy bone and thy flesh, and hast as tender a concern for us as a man has for his own body, which Saul and his house had not. We are thy bone and thy flesh, and therefore thou wilt be as glad as we shall be to put an end to this long civil war; and thou wilt take pity on us, protect us, and do thy utmost for our welfare.? Those who take Christ for their king may thus plead with him: ?We are thy bone and thy flesh, thou hast made thyself in all things like unto thy brethren (Heb. 2:17); therefore be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand,? Isa. 3:6. 2. His former good services to the public were a further inducement (2 Sam. 5:2): ?When Saul was king he was but the cypher, thou wast the figure, thou wast he that leddest out Israel to battle, and broughtest them in in triumph; and therefore who so fit now to fill the vacant throne?? He that is faithful in a little deserves to be entrusted with more. Former good offices done for us should be gratefully remembered by us when there is occasion. 3. The divine appointment was the greatest inducement of all: The Lord said, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, that is, thou shalt rule them; for princes are to feed their people as shepherds, in every thing consulting the subjects? benefit, feeding them and not fleecing them. ?And thou shalt be not only a king to govern in peace, but a captain to preside in war, and be exposed to all the toils and perils of the camp.? Since God has said so, now at length, when need drives them to it, they are persuaded to say so too.

II. The public and solemn inauguration of David, 2 Sam. 5:3. A convention of the states was called; all the elders of Israel came to him; the contract was settled, the pacta conventa?covenants, sworn to, and subscribed on both sides. He obliged himself to protect them as their judge in peace and captain in war; and they obliged themselves to obey him. He made a league with them to which God was a witness: it was before the Lord. Hereupon he was, for the third time, anointed king. His advances were gradual, that his faith might be tried and that he might gain experience. And thus his kingdom typified that of the Messiah, which was to come to its height by degrees; for we see not yet all things put under him (Heb. 2:8), but we shall see it, 1 Cor. 15:25.

III. A general account of his reign and age. He was thirty years old when he began to reign, upon the death of Saul, 2 Sam. 5:4. At that age the Levites were at first appointed to begin their administration, Num. 4:3. About that age the Son of David entered upon his public ministry, Luke 3:23. Then men come to their full maturity of strength and judgment. He reigned, in all, forty years and six months, of which seven years and a half in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem, 2 Sam. 5:5. Hebron had been famous, Josh. 14:15. It was a priest?s city. But Jerusalem was to be more so, and to be the holy city. Great kings affected to raise cities of their own, Gen. 10:11; 36:32, 35. David did so, and Jerusalem was the city of David. It is a name famous to the end of the Bible (Rev. 21:1-27), where we read of a new Jerusalem.

- Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary