Saturday, June 25, 2011

2 Samuel 5 & Psalm 2

For Sunday School, I have been working through 2 Samuel. I believe that it is important in studying the Old Testament to read it in light of redemptive history. So much of what happens to David in 2 Samuel is not just for David but serves a larger purpose in redemptive history. It teaches us about the importance of David's house or how the king of Israel serves God's kingdom either positively or in the cause of the Old Testament with failures. This failures point to the need to the inbreaking of the kingdom needed in Jesus.

This morning in studying 2 Samuel 5, I found some interesting parallels to Psalm 2 in the movement of the narrative. 

I believe it is significant that 2 Samuel 5 is one of the few places that Jerusalem is referred to as Zion. David “took the stronghold of Zion.” In the later prophets, ‘Zion’ becomes the idealized Jerusalem. God’s plan for the climax of redemptive history is always to have the Davidic King ruling in Zion.

Here are the narrative points that I think parallel Psalm 2:

2 Samuel 5 & Psalm 2

In 2 Samuel, David is the annointed King is installed over all Israel. He then establishes Himself in Zion. God has exalted His king for His people.

2 Sameul 5:10 David became greater and greater, for the LORD God of hosts was with him.  12 And David realized that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel. 
The installed King then inquires of the Lord and goes out to subdue the nations--they are put under his feet. It is possible that 2 Samuel 5:17ff is not in chronological order given that David "goes down to his stronghold" (you cannot easily 'go down to Zion' unless camped above it; the strong hold may be the one referred to in 1 Samuel; and 5:17 may refer to events right after the anointing before Jerusalem is taken). I'm not totally sure on where the narrative is chronological or thematic. But the order of the narrative is striking to the order of the establishment of the throne of the King in Psalm 2.

The Davidic king bears the image of God (establishing justice and righteousness) and subdues God’s rebelling creation. David is exalted over the kingdom on behalf of God--as God's vice-regent but for the sake of the people. The king reigns for the purpose of crush God's enemies his feet on behalf of God. Thus, the king exercises the power of God in total dependence upon God.

Notice that in Psalm 2:1-3 and 2 Samuel 5:6-8 we have plotting of the nations and even taunting of the king the Lord has chosen to install. In the end, because the Lord has established his king in Zion, he can inquire of the Lord and receive the nations has an inheritance. The nations rebelling against God are subdued by the hand of the king. 2 Samuel 5 climaxes with the Philistines subdued--the YHWH's king has accomplished His purposes:


2 Samuel 5:24 “It shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you shall act promptly, for then the LORD will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines.” 25 Then David did so, just as the LORD had commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer. 
This is thematically similar to Psalm 2:8-9--
 8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,  And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. 9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,  You shall shatter them like earthenware.’ ” 

Even more, it is the same order of 2 Samuel 5 and Psalm 2 established in the installment of the true Son, Jesus Christ. The king is established, raised up, and exalted. It is for the sake of his people on God's behalf--God's kingdom. The whole creation is brought under the reign and rule of the king. This are brought back to order. "Nations" either flow to the king through the gospel (the nations become his inheritance in a new way) or they are crush in the end as they continue to rebel (see Revelation 19 and the use of the rod of iron).

This pattern and the viceregency of the king is echoed in the Psalms. It is no surprise though that we find it in 2 Samuel 5, is the pattern of the gospel itself and the advancement plan for the kingdom of God.


(For a use of the kingdom themes, David themes and the relationship between the Davidic narratives, Psalm 8 and the New Testament I would recommend Doug Green's essay: "Psalm 8: What Is Israel's King that You Remember Him?")

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