II Samuel – Chapter 5

David Goes 'Round the Mulberry Bush

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Representatives of all the Tribes came to David in Hebron and announced their allegiance to him. They sealed a pact with David and anointed him king over all Israel. David was 30 years old at this time and had ruled over Judah for seven and a half years. The kingdom now united, it was time to consolidate Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, you may recall, straddled the border of Judah and Benjamin. Judah had conquered their half, but Benjamin’s was still occupied by Jebusites. The Jebusites taunted David saying that he could not enter until he first removed the blind and the lame, so well was the city defended. Of course, David conquered the citadel and called it “City of David.” G-d was with David and his greatness increased.

Hiram, king of Tzor (Tyre, in what is now Lebanon), sent cedar, stone, and workmen to build a palace for David. David realized that G-d had established his reign. He took more wives and had many children with them.

The Philistines weren’t too happy about David and they gathered against him. With G-d’s okay, David went up to confront the Philistines and defeated them. He destroyed the idols that the Philistines left behind. The Philistines re-grouped. This time, G-d told David not to confront them directly, but to go behind them, opposite some mulberry trees. He was to attack when the tops of the mulberry trees sounded as if troops were advancing. This David did, handily defeating the enemy.

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