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2 Samuel 5 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

The Israelites Make David King

All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron. They said to David, “Look, we are one family[a]! Even when Saul was our king, you were the one who led us into battle. And you were the one who brought Israel back home from war. The Lord himself said to you, ‘You will be the shepherd of my people, the Israelites. You will be the ruler over Israel.’”

So all the leaders of Israel came to meet with King David at Hebron. He made an agreement with them in Hebron in front of the Lord, and they anointed David to be the king of Israel.

David was 30 years old when he began to rule. He was king for 40 years. In Hebron he ruled over Judah for 7 years and 6 months, and in Jerusalem he ruled over all Israel and Judah for 33 years.

David Captures Jerusalem

The king and his men went to fight against the Jebusites living in Jerusalem. The Jebusites said to David, “You cannot come into our city.[b] Even our blind and crippled people can stop you.” (They said this because they thought that David would not be able to enter into their city. But David did take the fort of Zion. This fort became the City of David.)

That day David said to his men, “Whenever you strike at the Jebusites, aim for the throat and kill them.”[c] David said this because he hates to have people left who are crippled and blind. That is why people now say, “The lame and blind are not allowed in the temple.[d]

David lived in the fort and called it “The City of David.” David built up the city from the Millo[e] inward.[f] 10 He became stronger and stronger because the Lord All-Powerful was with him.

11 King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David. He also sent cedar trees, carpenters, and stonemasons. They built a house for David. 12 Then David knew that the Lord had really made him king of Israel and had made him ruler over his kingdom for the good of his people, Israel.

13 David moved from Hebron to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, he got more slave women and wives. So David had more children who were born in Jerusalem. 14 David’s sons who were born in Jerusalem are Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

David Fights Against the Philistines

17 When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had anointed David to be the king of Israel, all the Philistines went up to kill him. David heard about this and went down into the fort at Jerusalem. 18 The Philistines came and camped in Rephaim Valley.

19 David asked the Lord, saying, “Should I go up to fight against the Philistines? Will you help me defeat them?”

The Lord answered, “Yes, I certainly will help you defeat the Philistines.”

20 Then David went to Baal Perazim and defeated the Philistines in that place. He said, “The Lord broke through my enemies like water breaking through a dam.” That is why David named that place “Baal Perazim.”[g] 21 The Philistines left the statues of their gods behind at Baal Perazim. David and his men took them away.

22 Again the Philistines came up and camped in Rephaim Valley.

23 David prayed to the Lord again and got this answer: “Don’t go up the valley. Go around them to the other side of their army. Attack them from the other side of the balsam trees. 24 When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, you must act quickly because that is the sign that the Lord has gone out in front of you to defeat the Philistines.[h]

25 David did what the Lord commanded him to do, and he defeated the Philistines. He chased them from Geba to Gezer, killing them all along the way.


  1. 2 Samuel 5:1 one family Literally, “your flesh and blood.”
  2. 2 Samuel 5:6 You cannot come … city The city of Jerusalem was built on a hill. It had high walls around it, making it hard to capture.
  3. 2 Samuel 5:8 Whenever … kill them Or “Whoever wants to attack the Jebusites must go through the shaft.” This might refer to a tunnel or shaft leading up into the city through Gihon Spring, which was outside the city walls.
  4. 2 Samuel 5:8 temple Or “the king’s palace.”
  5. 2 Samuel 5:9 Millo This is probably the stone foundation walls that were built on the steep slopes on the east side of the City of David.
  6. 2 Samuel 5:9 inward Or “toward the Temple.”
  7. 2 Samuel 5:20 Baal Perazim This name means “the Lord breaks through.”
  8. 2 Samuel 5:24 Or “From the top of the balsam trees you will be able to hear them marching into battle. Then you must act quickly, because at that time the Lord will go ahead of you and defeat the Philistines for you.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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