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David the Prophet
by Alon Ronk
As far as human heros of the Bible are concerned David is definitely my favorite. We think of David as a king and a great warrior. However, David was also a prophet. Some of his prophecies are profound to say the least. One such example is the prophecy of the crucifixion in Psalm 22. It was written as if it were David who was experiencing it. Yet we know it was the Messiah of whom David wrote. Acts 2:30 says, " Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne". God had revealed the gospel to David.
David was a shepherd who was destined for great things. In 1 Samuel 16:1-3 David is anointed by the prophet Samuel to be king over Israel. " And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. 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. And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee. And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. 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. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah".
In this story Samuel was to anoint the next king of Israel. Saul had been rejected by God as king but was still on the throne during this time. Jesse's firstborn Eliab, came first before Samuel as was customary. Even Samuel himself believed Eliab to be the man. But Samuel had to be corrected. The interesting thing about Eliab is God's response to his appearance before Samuel. In verse 8, God says of Abinadab, "Neither hath the LORD chosen this". In verse 9 God says of Shammah, "Neither hath the LORD chosen this". In verse 10 concerning the rest of Jesse's sons God said, "The LORD hath not chosen these". But look at what God said concerning the firstborn Eliab in verse 7; " I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart". It was not just, the LORD hath not chosen, but I have refused him. He is also the only one of the sons with a commentary. It's as if God said, Don't be fooled by his outside, I know his heart. Interestingly, when David went to take his brothers some food in their war with the Phillistines and overheard Goliath's big mouth, it was Eliab that spoke up. In 1 Sam.17:22-29 we have the story: " And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren. And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them. And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel. And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him. And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?" God already knew this man. I'm reminded of the verse in John 2:23-25, " Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man".
As of that day when Samuel anointed David king of Israel, Saul had a throne but David had a promise from God. David committed his self to the promise and God's faithfulness to fulfill it. It was not easy, there were many trials and obstacles that would test him. There would even be oppurtunities for David to act on his own. For example 1 Sam.24:1-7, " And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi. Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave. And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David aro se, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily. And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt. And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD'S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD. So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way". Satan had even tried to get Jesus to act on His own when Jesus was fasting in the wilderness in Matthew chapter 4. But He was in total submission to the Father and would do nothing on His own.
Upon the death of Saul, Abner, one of Saul's generals, installs a man named Ishbosheth as the next king of Israel 2 Sam.2:8-10. But David became king over Judah and reigned from Hebron
2 Sam.2:4,10-11, which the present day Phillistines claim as their own. It was in Hebron where David grew in power 2 Sam.3:1. But David still had the promise from God that one day he would be king of all Israel and reign from Jerusalem, which the modern day Phillistines also claim as their own.
This brings us to David's coronation as king over all Israel. The event is recorded in 2 Samuel 5:1-16. "Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah. 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. Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David. And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward. And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him. And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house. And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake. And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David. And these be the n ames of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shammua, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, Ibhar also, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia, And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet".
This was the third time that David had been anointed. He was anointed first by Samuel, then he was anointed to be king over Judah 2 Sam.2:4, and the third time as king over all Israel 2 Sam.5:3. David was 30 years old when he began to reign as king of Israel 2 Sam.5:4. It's interesting that Jesus also received three anointings. Luke 4:18, Lk.7:38, and John 12:3. It's also interesting that Jesus was 30 years old when He began His ministry to Israel Lk.3:23. Also, the reigning king tried to kill his successor; Saul tried to murder David, and Herod tried to murder Jesus who he perceived as a threat to his throne, " Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and st ood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Then Herod, when he saw that he was moc ked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men". That, coupled by the fact that Jesus is often called the son of David makes the paralells in their lives most interesting.
The next thing on David's agenda was to capture Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Jerusalem was a Jebusite city that had been promised by God to Abraham and his descendents through Isaac (Genesis 17:19-21) as an inheritance. "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites" - Gen.15:18-21. The Jebusites arrogantly thought that they could defend Jerusalem against David. They were wrong. David and his men took Jerusalem and thus began the history of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel and the Jewish people.
It had been foretold through the prophets, however, that Jerusalem and Israel would become desolate due to unbelief. For example Daniel 9:26 says, "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined". Jesus reiterated this in Matthew 23:37-39, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord". This was in connection with the religious leaders of Israel rejecting Him as the Messiah. Luke 19:41-44 says, " 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. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation".
Therefore, because Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed and the land of Israel became desolate for a period of time, we know that the cutting off of the Messiah must have already occurred.
But it had also been foretold that, "Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock." - Jer 31:10. After Israel returned from it's times of desolation, Messiah, the Prince of peace, would set up a Kingdom. Isaiah wrote, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee." - Is.60:1-2. And again, "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward." - Is.58:8. "Rereward", by the way, means to be gathered, or assembled. When Jesus wept over Jerusalem He said, " O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent un to thee, how often would I have gathered thy childrentogether, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." - Matthew 23:37-38. Once the desolate return and the Prince of peace has set up His kingdom, He will realize His desire when He gathers Israel together again unto Himself. And in that day all Israel will be saved. "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins." - Romans 11:25-27.
This all turns out to be pretty amazing in light of the fact that it seems David had prohesied this whole thing. Remember, David was a prophet. The prophets did not always understand their own prophecies. I'm sure Isaiah wondered how the virgin could conceive but he did not reject it. Sometimes a prophet may not even have known that he was prophesying. David spoke of his own familiar friend which ate of his bread lifting his heel against him in betrayal. Ps 41:9, "Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me". David spoke of Ahithophel, a trusted counsellor, who betrayed David and joined the rebellion of Absalom. But what he may not have realized was, he was also prophesying of the day in which Judas Iscariot would betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, John 13:18. It's interesting, by the way, that both Ahithophel and Judas both hanged themselves. 2 Samuel 17:23 and Matthew 27:5.
But not even the angels understood everything that was going on. "Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into." - 1 Peter 1:10-12. How did David prophesy of Israel's desolation and glorious return? When David was finally crowned king over all Israel, David had 11 sons that were born to him in Jerusalem, the undivided capital of the Jewish people (2 Sam.5:14-16). Their names and their Hebrew meanings are as follows:
Shammuah. He is also called Shimea in 1 Chronicles 3:5. Shimea means, Hear or Hearken. Shammuah is from a Hebrew root word "Shamem" which is translated Desolate 49 times in the KJV 1611.
Shobab. Shobab comes from a Hebrew root word "shuwb", translated Return 391 times, Again 248 times, and Restore 39 times.
Nathan. His name means Giver. The Hebrew root for his name is translated Give1078 times.
Solomon. His name means Peace, from the Hebrew root word, Shalom.
Ibhar. This name derives from a Hebrew root word translated Choose 77 times, Chosen 77 times, and Choice 6 times.
Elishuah. God is Salvation.
Nepheg. Sprout, bud, shoot forth, spring forth.
Japhia. Derived from a Hebrew root word meaning Shine or Enlighten.
Elishama. God has heard.
Eliada. God knows, God acknowledges.
Eliphalet. God delivers.
The names of David's sons in the order in which they appear follow a particular thought. In fact, if you string their Hebrew meanings together in a sentence adding only a few italicized words to make complete sentences we are excited to discover, " HEAR THIS! the DESOLATE RETURN, RESTORED to the GIVER of PEACE. CHOSEN OF GOD, SALVATION SPRINGS FORTH SHINING UPON them. GOD HAS HEARD [them] GOD KNOWS [them], GOD WILL DELIVER [them].
It seems that just the naming of David's 11 sons was a prophecy. The last 3 sons are all Eli's one right after the other. God hears, God knows, and God delivers. This appears to be a representation of the Tri-une God. God has heard reminds us of God the Father who hears and answers prayer; Ps.65:1-2, "Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed. O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come." And John 11:41, " Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me."
God Knows, represents the Spirit of God. 1 Cor.2:10-11, "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."
God Delivers. Reminds us of God the Son who came to deliver us from sin and unto God. Ro.11:26, "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:" And again, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham." - Heb.2:14-16. Also Galatians 1:4, "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father." AMEN.