David Captures Rabbah

It is observable that God has often called men to places of dignity and honor when they have busy and honest employment of their vocation. Saul was seeking his father’s donkeys and David his father’s sheep when called to the Kingdom. God called the 4 apostles from their fishing … More


It states that all of this happened in the spring when the harvest was ended and the armies could live off the land.  The kings waited until the weather was good and then their armies went off to war.  However, it says that David stayed home in Jerusalem.  As we learn from 2 Samuel 11:12 this was a big mistake because it was during this time of inactivity that he sinned with Bathsheba.

The author of Chronicles record of Israel’s conquests begins and ends with references to wars against the Philistines. Israel had no more persistent foe than the Philistines. The author of  2 Samuel also recounted the series of Philistine wars but treats these with more detail.  Rabbah (v. l) was the capital of the Ammorites and is the site of modern Amman in Jordan.

This chapter includes three instances that parallel 2 Samuel 18-22. The first was the battle of Gezer which took place about 20 miles northwest of Jerusalem. It was here that Sibbecai slew Sippai, a Philistine giant. The second was when Elhanan, son of Jair, slew Lahmi, who was Goliath’s brother. The third was when a Philistine giant met death at the hands of David’s nephew Jonathan (2 Samuel 2l:20-2l). It seems that these giants were descendants of Rapha who was the father of a race of giants known as Rephaites. These giants coexisted with the early Philistines and perhaps even intermarried with them.


Look for the spring times in my life when the doors of opportunity open up. At these times God wants me to respond, take the initiative and move into action according to His will.  If I don’t move into action at these times I will be very prone to give way to temptation just as David did.

I Chronicles 20:1-8 (English Standard Version)

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, Joab led out the army and ravaged the country of the Ammonites and came and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. And Joab struck down Rabbah and overthrew it. And David took the crown of their king from his head. He found that it weighed a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone. And it was placed on David's head. And he brought out the spoil of the city, a very great amount. And he brought out the people who were in it and set them to labor with saws and iron picks and axes. And thus David did to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem. And after this there arose war with the Philistines at Gezer. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Sippai, who was one of the descendants of the giants, and the Philistines were subdued. And there was again war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair struck down Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants. And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David's brother, struck him down. These were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

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