Let us look at the whole chapter commencing verse 1, of 2Samuel 7. The reign of David over all the tribes of Israel had been victory after victory as he had led the people in the putting down of every enemy that had beset them. His reign had now reached that climax when all enemies were put down under his feet. Now, David's desire was to bring the whole of the tribes into one deep and full worship of God, and to this end he sought to build a house for the Lord. Through the prophet Nathan, however, he was told by the Lord that the fulfilment of David's dream was to be realised by another, a special son of David, concerning whom the Lord made great promises. David wished with all his heart to build that house for the Lord, but the Lord said, 'No David, I will build a house for YOU!' and in those wonderful verses we recognise the beautiful description of the Kingdom of God. 2 Sam 7:12-16, "When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever." (NIV)
When Solomon came to the throne it would seem that this ideal kingdom had come as promised, but a greater than Solomon was to inherit this throne. In truth, certain features of this promise were never fulfilled in any sense under Solomon. 2 Sam 7:8-10, "Now then, tell my servant David, 'This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning." (NIV) Clearly this was a promise yet to be fulfilled under the glorious and everlasting Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.
David is overwhelmed by the greatness of this promise. Surely this must be the "seed" of promise to father Abraham, through whom all the families of earth would be blessed! Surely this was the statement of intent given to Adam, the "seed" deliverer! 2 Sam 7:18-19 "Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord GOD; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD?" (KJV)
The Hebrew word translated "manner" in the KJVersion is' torah', from the verb 'yarah', to project, meaning a pointing out or showing forth of something.. hence, a projection, or project. The Torah contains God's instructions for His people, pointing out the them His Will. It has been compared with the thrusting forth of a javelin to reach a given target or mark a spot or course ahead. It can therefore refer to a purpose yet to be realised, a directing of thought towards some future prospect in the mind of God. David could well be saying, in view of what the Lord had told him, "Is this the course for man? is this the charter for mankind?" Equally, in the Hebrew, this could be a statement, "This is the charter for mankind!" for so it is!
In 1Chronicles 17 we have a parallel account of this whole portion, but with slight but interesting variations in the Hebrew text. Our English version reads the last part of verse 17, "..thou hast also spoken of thy servant's house for a great while to come, and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree, O LORD God." (KJV) Here we have a shortened version of the word 'torah', 'tor', translated in our English version, "estate". We have also the addition "of high degree" to the word "man". Young's literal translation is "..and Thou hast seen me as a type of the man who is on high, O Jehovah God!" ["a type" a projection forward, one thing pointing to another.] Another literal translation by J.P.Green uses similar wording.. "And have looked upon me as a type of the man who is on high." The Septuagint uses a Greek word in place of 'tor' meaning 'a vision', or 'glimpse', again bearing similar thought to a 'type' or 'preview'.
In Heb 1:5, the words concerning David's son are directly applied to Jesus, "For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?" (KJV) William Wilson, Robert Young, Luther and others, see here a reference to David as a type of Christ, the epitome of that ideal "man" of Psalm 8, who is to have dominion over all the earth, ie, perfect mankind. The writer to the Hebrews uses that Psalm to speak of the divine purpose for mankind that has not yet been achieved. Heb 2:8, "..But now we see not yet all things put under him." verse 9, "But we see Jesus .." (KJV) In Jesus we have the surety or guarantee of this purpose being realised. In Jesus we have the pattern in righteous obedience and trust for what mankind will become under His reign.
Therefore, by putting together both versions of the phrase ( 2 Samuel 7:19, and 1Chronicles 17:17,) we recognise in David a type of Christ, and in the promises here we find the charter for mankind. To this the Scriptures add a whole series of references to David as a type of One Who was yet to come, One Who would have the key to the house of David (implying ownership and authority to all therein), and under Whose righteous rule would be fulfilled those mercies promised by the Lord to David and made sure by Christ. [Examples; Isaiah 9:7. 22:22. 55:4,5. Jeremiah 30:9. Hosea 3:4,5. Luke 1:32,33.]
David's Three Anointings. Three times was David to be anointed. In truth, each subsequent anointing could be viewed as an extension of the first. The first anointing was by Samuel and represented the appointment of God Himself. Here there was no tribe, no group of men crying out for him to be their king. This was not the response to a popular cry, but something secret at first to the Lord, and to His instrument, the Lord's servant, the prophet Samuel. "I knew Him not.." said the Baptist, John. He had received his instructions from the Lord, and at his hand the Lord witnessed to John His divine choice. "Upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on Him, the same is He." (John 1:33.) In 1 Sam 16:13, we read, "Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.." The expression "in the midst" should translate, we are told, "from among his brethren."
It seems there was an annual feast in Israel at that time, for we read in 1 Sam 16:2, "And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD." The literal Hebrew should read I am come to THE sacrifice.." We are not informed which feast this was, but we do understand that it would be about the Day of Atonement season that Our Lord Himself was anointed with the Spirit of God. This was just three and a half years before the Passover at which He died. In the case of David a period much longer was involved before the next anointing, for David was about 12 to 15 when Samuel came to him, but age 30 years when anointed king of Judah. The pattern is there, though the parallells lie not in the time periods but in the characteristics of each period thus marked by an anointing.
Following each anointing there came a change of situation corresponding with and featuring events and situations subsequent to each stage of the Spirit's outpouring at (1) Jordan, (2) Pentecost, and (3) the ultimate outpouring upon all flesh. We note that David's first anointing was recognised by very few, and was linked with the offering of a sacrifice by a priest. [Both Samuel and the Baptist were of the priestly stock.] David was anointed with the oil of gladness above [ In Hebrews 1: 9, of Jesus, literally 'alongside' ] his fellows. He was thereby appointed of God to be king ( "My King.." Psalm 2.), but he had received no kingdom as yet. During the period that followed David fulfilled the role of a shepherd of the sheep and become their deliverer. Not only did David save the life of sheep. His conquest over bear and lion was followed by that of the Philistine giant, representing the undefeatable power of sin, so long an adversary to king Saul, who represented so aptly the age of attempt of the flesh to boast fulfilment of the Law of God, and whose failure to overcome sin was abysmal.
Upon the anointing of Jesus He was immediately confronted with the Adversary's taunts and boasts, but the Master used the pebbles from the brook with deadly aim.. "It is written..!" In due course He was to render powerless him that has the power of death, by the use of Goliath's own great sword, death itself.
David became the sweet singer of Israel, and in this role, so beautifully accompanied by the strings of the harp, he gave foretaste of those gracious words and that sweet message of redeeming love from the lips of Jesus. "Come unto Me, all ye that are heavy laden, and ye shall find rest for your souls."
For those burdened by the taunts of Goliath, the oppression of sin, and its giant foreboding shadow in their lives, He brings from His Father, like David of old, sustaining food, gifts of bread and wine, an offering of "meat indeed". (1Samuel 17:17.) David reveals a close affinity with Jonathan (1Samuel 18.), representing in John the Baptist all those prophets and worthy ones of old who trusted God and looked for the consolation of Israel, the ancient worthies. As Jonathan was first to recognise and acknowledge in David God's chosen king, Messiah, so John the Baptist echoed those earlier acclamations of Simeon and Anna in the Temple, and all who looked for this great Deliverer throughout that past age. "This is He!" Nor was there any trace of jealousy in the much older Jonathan, who might have felt the kingdom appointment rightly his. "This my joy is fulfilled." "Now", said Simeon, "Lettest Thy servant depart in peace".. And John, "He must increase, I decrease.."
At first David experienced a period of popularity, and a similar phase is shared by Jesus. The common people heard Him gladly . They came in their thousands. But it is not long before this very popularity causes jealousy, which turns to hatred, and the attempts and plotting for his death. The javelins were thrown by those of different spirit to that of David, but they miss their mark. His hour was not yet come. The details of comparisons are sometimes quite fascinating. On one occasion messengers were sent to take David, but instead they became influenced by the spirit of prophesy. (1Samuel 19:20.) We read in John 7:44-47 "And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?"
As the Lord's Anointed, or Christ, David took certain liberties with regard to sacred things, such as eating the shewbread which was lawful for only the priests to eat. As Lord of the Sabbath Jesus also acted in accordance with the spirit of truth rather than the dead letter of the Law. We read also that those who were discontented with their present state, or burdened with great debt they could not pay, gathered themselves to David. "Who think ye loved most?" the Master asked His host. "I suppose the one with most forgiven," came the reluctant reply. Jesus laid great stress on faith, and thus for many who close He defeated the enemy of fleshly-minded doubt, symbolised by Amalek, which enemy was roundly beaten by David.
So in many ways the life of David and that of Jesus from Jordan to Golgotha intertwined as shadow with substance, type with reality. The death of Saul, and with him Jonathan too, represented the end of an era. The Saul of fleshly works, and the Jonathan of the faith that led to recognition of Messiah, both ended together to bring in a new dispensation. "Your house", said Jesus, "is left to you desolate." The tears of David as he laments over the barren end of Saul even with the salt-like influence of Jonathan, blend with the tears of Jesus as He weeps over Jerusalem. Luke 19:41-42 "And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes."
All this time only David had experienced that anointing of the Lord's Spirit. He was king in the eyes of God alone. Yet there was a strange appeal in the scornful cry of Pilate, "Behold your king!" A remarkable development now took place. Those who had gathered to David during his outlaw, rejection experiences, outside of the camp of Israel, continued with him, but now in a new deeper relationship. The anointing of David now embraced them. He became their king, their Head. A fresh expression of the Spirit's outpouring now sealed that bond.
David's second anointing took place at Hebron, and Hebron means fellowship.. How beautiful! It pointed so aptly to a very special sharing of that Spirit poured upon their Head by those who came into His body as prospective members of the kingdom class. These had become translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son. As part of the Anointed, the Christ, or Messiah, they came under that one anointing of Jesus their Head. In the case of David this was represented by a second anointing making him king of Judah. In the case of Jesus and the church, again a second pouring forth of the same Spirit took place, or rather the overflowing of the Spirit of their Head descending to His Body members. The Christ (Anointed), not one but many; not many but one, was in process of forming. David thenceforth represents not one person only, Jesus, but all who come under that one anointing, come into the Anointed, the whole Christ during their present earthly experiences.
After the proclaimed desolation of the kingdom of Saul a brief period only elapsed until Judah came to David at Hebron to acknowledge him as their king. The next period of David's life aptly describes the Christ on earth during the Gospel age. During this whole period He continued to rule over and direct the lives of his people, and this notwithstanding the vicious enmity and attacks of their opponents. 2Samuel 2:12 to 32, describes the state of war that broke out between Judah and Israel (the rest of the tribes). A notable battle ensued, a battle so fierce that the place was called thereafter Helkath-Hazzuren, the field of the sword's edge. Twelve faithful men of David gave their lives in that fight, sword in hand, faithful unto death. In this age the message of the Gospel and ministry of the twelve (including Paul) was strongly resisted and they were denounced as heretics. Thus began a continuous struggle against foe both within and without. It was given to these to make war against the people of the Lord. Throughout this struggle David was with his people, directing the battle as Captain of their salvation, and by Him they gained the victory. Praise God! we can all see the force of this application to this age of the church's struggle with darkness.
Saul, as we have seen, represented the outward show of the flesh falsely claiming to be the people of God. A totally carnal form of religious worship was thus depicted in Israel up to the time of its fall. Now, although Saul was dead, his age being past, nevertheless his "house" remained, and in course of time became represented by the reign of the son of Saul, an appropriate title for the chief antagonist of the church during this age. 1Chronicles 8:33, and 9:39, tell us that his name at first was Esh-Baal, "fire of Baal". Later, because of the nature of his reign and character a more common name was given him by the people, "Ishbosheth," which means, "Man of shame." In fact the name given by the Lord through Paul was "man of sin," and it was under his tyranny that the saints were persecuted.
But the time was drawing near for David, in whom we see the composite Anointed, the Christ, to take over the whole kingdom. [Dan 7:22 "..and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom."] This was the objective of that initial act of anointing, in Our Lord's case at Jordan, but the ensuing experiences were preparatory to that great end in the mind of God. During the present age, as in the case of David king over Judah, experience and proficiency was gained with God-given ability exercised in that very resistance of both the house of Saul, Ishbosheth, Man of sin, and of other enemies of the people of God, those hostile surrounding forces well representing that which is adverse to the kingdom of the Lord (eg. Philistines; sin, Amalek; doubt, etc.).
2 Sam 3:1, reads, "Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker." This is an interesting and encouraging statement. Indeed from outward appearances looking down through this past age one may have felt that the true Christ in the flesh following close the footprints of God's Lamb, that it was the Church rather than the Anti-christ that was overcome by the continual warfare against it. Indeed Rev 13:7, makes such a statement. "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them:" Nevertheless, another side to this outward appearance is given in that same revelation showing who are the true overcomers of the age, even those faithful unto death. What a revelation this will be! The Lord seeth not as man seeth! As each overcomer finished the course the Christ was in process of formation. Tribulation was at work, and under great pressures were the jewels of Christ-like character created. Each saint thus approved of God brought nearer the moment of Satan's final overthrow, his power merely to bruise the heel, theirs to bruise Satan under their feet.
The first crown of Our Lord is, and forever will be, His precious saints of this age, but other crowns await Him as with David of old. Those who had been enemies, who had resisted and despised him, were to be led to a dramatic change of heart. No move was made by David to take the throne when Saul died. He waited, and so soon the people of Judah came to him. In like manner, when Ishbosheth failed, David still waits, but it is not long before the purpose of the Lord is realised. In 2Samuel 5:3, we read of a mediatorial work underway. The elders of Israel are making a remarkable request. They are asking him to become their king too! John 12:32 "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." Why did those who had so long despised and resisted NOW make such a request? The answer is not too difficult. David's great achievements and victories on behalf of his people had become renowned. He had demonstrated the very abilities in a king that they so desperately needed themselves. They had enemies that they knew were too great for them. They needed a Captain of salvation. Only David could lead them to victory!
However, before this further anointing could take place, David had a special work to do. David's first wife, Michal, daughter of Saul, had long ago been taken from him and married to another. She must return to him before the anointing over all the tribes would take place. We are reminded of the language of Hosea describing the defection of Israel, represented there as in marital relationship with the Lord God. Ultimately she returns to Him, and He graciously receives her to Himself. Her covenant bond, once broken by her, is renewed as they weep for the One they have pierced. Jehovah is her husband, but the way of return is through Jesus Who they must come to recognise and Whose arm they will accept to lead them out of their spiritual wilderness. He is the "ARM of Jehovah," on which she will learn to lean. However, Judaism on the one hand, and Gentile worldliness on the other, has a strong hold over the Jewish mind. They will not readily let her go. All attempts to "Christianise" the Jew are regarded as anathema. A "Christian" cannot remain a Jew, they claim, whatever the roots in the race, and the constitution of the State of Israel supports this view. In 2 Sam 3:16, we read, "And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned." The appeals of those influences that have long held the Jewish heart will ultimately be of no avail. They must let go their claims, let her return to her rightful Lord. Even the name of the place he was obliged to give up his calling after her is interesting. Bahurim is from the root Bahhar, "to prove, to choose, to love." What striking illustrations these are, and how touching to our hearts. What a wonderful statement of intent we find in Hosea 2:19-20, towards His unfaithful wife, "And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD."
This is a wonderful time indeed.. the coming of all the tribes to David! They came to HEBRON, the state of fellowship with the Lord. Hebron is a strong word and implies fellowship in the deepest sense of conjunction, confederation, uniting together in a bond, joining as one. Israel's betrothal is thus seen to represent a similar state of union for all mankind with their Lord. All the people come to plead with Him to be their king, and to unite all the tribes, (all the long divided world,) under his headship, dominion and rule. It is now their turn to accept for themselves, to come under, his anointing, recognising his appointment of God and rightful place in their hearts. What we read of David we may repeat, word for word, on even more wonderful scale, of Christ. That anointing of the Lord now becomes their rule, that same Spirit filling their hearts, and by that anointing they now become subject, submissive, willing, translated into the Kingdom of God's Dear Son. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power.." 1 Chr 12:38, "All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king."
What a sight indeed! For as the elders of the tribes (leaders of mankind,) make a covenant with David and anoint him king over every tribe, a great movement is afoot. The people are on the march! From every corner they come, and they come in their hundreds and in their thousands, even from the remotest parts, many bearing gifts of allegiance and homage. "From north and south mankind will meet to bear their homage at His feet." For these there awaits a great feast of welcome. Can you suspect who helps to prepare that feast of fat things? Can you guess who administers those blessings? Yes, the men of Judah, those who already are in full heart harmony and relationship, representing so aptly again the church of Christ. Together they taste the fat and drink the wine. Isa 25:6-9, "And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." 1 Chr 12:39-40, "And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking: for their brethren had prepared for them... for there was joy in Israel." What satisfaction there will be in the heart of that greater David, Jesus and the Church His Body, to welcome all into the family of God. "Come!"
It does not happen all at once. Indeed the reign of this king of righteousness depicted in that of David is a reign of warfare and battles. Great fightings take place in which both David and his subjects are involved. The visible enemies against which they battled have their counterparts in all the enemies of human happiness which must be vanquished before the full kingdom blessings can be realised. Take stock of what must yet be overcome before the world know peace. So much evil, so much selfishness, greed, blind anger, feuds of many generations, materialism with its blinding effect upon the "I wants" of this world. The eternal realities of righteousness and truth seem so far away from human thought. Consider the great forces of evil at work this moment in the human mind. All the enemies of concord and peace with the Creator must be subdued under His feet. These enemies are giants, with gravity-like influence and hold far beyond man's power to escape. Like the Philistines, invincible and ruthless in opposition to any progress towards the kingdom of righteousness, yet to each will be dealt that final blow that will exterminate and will remove from His Kingdom, all things that offend. The Captain of Salvation is able to save to the uttermost those that come to Him. That means a perfect and permanent solution to all human discord and misery, not only dragging the feet out of the miry pit, but also setting them upon the Rock of Ages, writing in the hearts of men the eternal principles of the righteousness of their God, making every vessel "holiness to the Lord." Will men ever cease to wonder at such demonstrations of divine wisdom, and the mighty power of divine love?
One of David's first acts as king of all the tribes was the taking of Jerusalem in order to establish it as the centre and capital of government. The city had been called Jebus, which means "treading down", reminding us of the Saviour's words of Luke 21:24, "and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." This makes us think too of the words of Rev 11:2, "and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months." reminding us of the time of Ishbosheth, Man of Sin, in which the Lord's people were trodden down in preparing them for the part they will play in this Zion world government. There was great wisdom in David's choice of Zion [though it was in fact the Lord Who chose Zion through David]. David's objective was to unite all the tribes together, so a place was chosen close to the boundary of both Judah and the other tribes. North and South meet at Mt Zion. Here we have a striking glimpse of that meeting place between the family of God in heaven (Judah) and His family on earth. Two planes of being are here united in the administration of the kingdom. The full array is described for us in Hebrews 12, from the Lord above to the spirit of just men made perfect below, the ancient worthies. Together these form earth's new government, a truly central government with deep personal experience both with the needs of man and with the ways and grace of the LORD.
The story goes on, but we must leave it there. There is not time to tell it all. How, for example, David dealt with the taunts of scorn that came from the walls of Jebus that arrogantly trusted their undefeatable power to keep David out. There are such walls, and how the Lord will deal with them is a story yet to be told. 2 Sam 5:6-7, "And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither." The doors of world government seem stout against the Lord, and there is a familiar imagery even in the scornful cry, for only by the removal of man's lameness through sin and of his blindness through Satan's deceptions will that authority become effectively known. With what note of triumph may we close in the simple fact of history reported in the next verse. "Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David."