King David brings the Ark to Jerusalem

  "After David had constructed buildings for himself in the City of David, he prepared a place for The Ark of God and pitched a tent for it. Then David said, "No one but the Levites may carry The Ark of God, because The Lord chose them to carry The Ark of The Lord and to minister before Him forever." David assembled all Israel in Jerusalem to bring up The Ark of The Lord to the place he had prepared for it. He called together the descendants of Aaron and the Levites." (1 Chronicles 15:1-4)  

"Now King David was told, "The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of The Ark of God." So David went down and brought up The Ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing.... They brought The Ark of The Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before The Lord." (2 Samuel 6:12,17) And it is an occasion of great happiness. In ecstasy David dances wildly at this celebration. For this he is condemned by his wife Michal, the daughter of Saul, who had stuck with him through thick and thin and who even saved his life when King Saul wanted to kill him. But now Michal attacks David, ridiculing his behavior 2 Samuel 6:16-23 "How glorious was the king of Israel today, who was exposed today in the eyes of the maidservants of his servants, as one of the boors would be exposed!"

David responds in astonishment: "Before the Lord I will make merry. And I shall behave even more humbly than this, and I shall be lowly in my eyes; and of the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them shall I will be held in honor." And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

Although David brings up the Ark of the Covenant to Mount Moriah, he is not allowed by God to build the Temple. A number of reasons are given. One is that the Temple is a house of God and a house of peace and David has blood on his hands from subduing the enemies of Israel. However, he is promised that his son will build it.


Restless one night, David is pacing the roof of his palace from where he has a view of the homes and gardens in the city below. And there he spies a beautiful woman bathing. She is the wife of one of his generals, Uriah, the Hittite, who is away at war. David sends for Bathsheba and spends the night with her. When she becomes pregnant, he commands that Uriah be placed on the front lines, where he dies in battle. David then marries Bathsheba At this point, the prophet Nathan pays a call on the king. (See 2 Samuel 12.) He says that he has come to inform the king of a great injustice in the land. A rich man with many sheep, stole the one beloved sheep of a poor man, and had it slaughtered for a feast. Furious at what he hears, King David, declares, "As God lives, the one who has done this deserves death." Responds the prophet, "You are that man!"

David is humbled. "I have sinned before God," he says. David's greatness shines in the humility of his admission and the repentance that follows. This is part of the reason that the ultimate redeemer of the Jewish people and the world will descend from David's line -- he will be "Messiah ben David."

Shortly thereafter, Bathsheba gives birth, but the child becomes deathly ill as the prophet Nathan had predicted. David goes into a period of prayer and fasting, but the child dies nevertheless. David realizes that this happened in response to his actions. He also knows that God has forgiven him. Before long Bathsheba is pregnant again. And this time, she bears a healthy child -- who is named Solomon, and who will be gifted by God with unusual wisdom.

Since the Jewish people first entered the Land of Israel until the time of King David, Jebus or Jerusalem has been a city-state inhabited by Canaanite tribe called Jebusites (the Arab village of Silwan is located there now). Jebus has one weakness -- its only source of water is a spring outside the city walls. The spring is accessed from inside the city by a long shaft carved into rock.

Warren's Shaft

The Book of Samuel and the Book of Chronicles describe how David's general, Joab, climbs up a tzinor (literally "pipe") enters the city and conquers it. Archaeologists speculate that this might refer to "the Warren Shaft" -- a vertical tunnel running up from Gihon Spring -- which is a tourist attraction in "David's City," outside the walls of modern Jerusalem. "The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there. The Jebusites said to David, "You will not get in here; even the blind and the lame can ward you off." They thought, "David cannot get in here." Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, the City of David. (2 Samuel 5:6-7)

The first thing that David does after he occupied the city is make it his capital. As first established, the City of David consisted of David's palace, which overlooked the tent that David had set up to house The Ark Of The Covenant.

"David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the supporting terraces inward. And he became more and more powerful, because The Lord God Almighty was with him. Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David. And David knew that The Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel." (2 Samuel 5:9-12)

"David commanded to gather together the aliens who were in the land of Israel, and he set stonecutters to prepare dressed stones for building the house of God. David also provided great stores of iron for nails for the doors of the gates and for clamps, as well as bronze in quantities beyond weighing, and cedar timbers without number - for the Sidonians and Tyrians brought great quantities of cedar to David. For David said, "Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the LORD must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands; I will therefore make preparation for it." So David provided materials in great quantity before his death.

Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build a house for the LORD, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon, "My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the LORD my God. But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood before me upon the earth. Behold, a son shall be born to you; he shall be a man of peace. I will give him peace from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for my name. He shall be my son, and I will be his father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel for ever.' Now, my son, the LORD be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the LORD your God, as he has spoken concerning you. Only, may the LORD grant you discretion and understanding, that when he gives you charge over Israel you may keep the law of the LORD your God. Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the LORD commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong, and of good courage. Fear not; be not dismayed. With great pains I have provided for the house of the LORD a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond weighing, for there is so much of it; timber and stone too I have provided. To these you must add. You have an abundance of workmen: stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and all kinds of craftsmen without number, skilled in working gold, silver, bronze, and iron. Arise and be doing! The LORD be with you!"

David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying, "Is not the LORD your God with you? And has he not given you peace on every side? For he has delivered the inhabitants of the land into my hand - and the land is subdued before the LORD and his people. Now set your mind and heart to seek the LORD your God. Arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy vessels of God may be brought into a house built for the name of the LORD."

  "Then David rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David. He had reigned forty years over Israel - seven years in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established." (1 Kings 2:10-12) Bethlehem is also called the "city of David" (Luke 2:4, 11), because it was David's birthplace and early home (1 Sam. 17:12).

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