David's Coronation in Hebron

David was now the acknowledged king over all Israel. His fine character, his honesty, selflessness, and piety, had won him the hearts of all his people. What a difference there was between the Jewish monarch and the heathen kings of his time!

The people swarmed to Hebron to pay homage to their beloved king and to anoint him publicly. The occasion turned into a great national celebration that lasted for three days. Present also were three thousand warriors who were formerly the body guard of King Ishbosheth and hosts of other warriors as well as scholars, all of whom pledged their allegiance to David.

Capture of Jerusalem

For seven years and six months David had lived and reigned in Hebron. Now that the people were all united under his blessed rule, David decided to move his residence to Jerusalem, where the Holy Temple was destined to be. Jerusalem lay on the border between Judah and Benjamin, and this fact would serve to further cement the friendship between the two sections of the people. Jerusalem was partly held by the Jebusites, for only the people of Judah had succeeded in wresting their share of the city from the heathens. The Jebusites held the citadel. The inhabitants felt so secure, however, at the approach of David and his army, that they contemptuously manned the walls with the blind and the lame. But David had set his heart upon winning the citadel of Zion; he commanded the rocks to be scaled and incited his warriors by promising high military distinction to him who should first enter the stronghold. Joab performed this feat of valor; Jerusalem was taken, and David made it his royal residence. The fortress grew into a large city; it was gradually extended, and its walls were strengthened. The fame of this new capital spread far and wide; it reached Hiram, the king of Tyre, who sent skilled workmen and the wood of his much prized cedar trees for the building of a palace.

Other neighboring peoples, however, began to fear the new united Jewish kingdom and sought to destroy it. Among them were Israel's old enemies, the Philistines, who set out to attack them again. But David marched out to meet their army, defeated it repeatedly, and pursued the fugitives northward as far as Gezer.