2 Samuel 5:18
The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) Rephaim.—Translated in Joshua 15:8, the valley of the giants. It was a fruitful valley, stretching some three miles S. and S.W. from Jerusalem, and only separated from the valley of Hinnom by a narrow ridge. It gave ample room for a large encampment, and its situation is an additional proof that the capture of Jerusalem had already been made, since the Philistines came here “to seek David.” They had, however, encamped in the same place at earlier times also (see 2Samuel 23:13).

5:17-25 The Philistines considered not that David had the presence of God with him, which Saul had forfeited and lost. The kingdom of the Messiah, as soon as it was set up in the world, was thus attacked by the powers of darkness. The heathen raged, and the kings of the earth set themselves to oppose it; but all in vain, Ps 2:1, &c. The destruction will turn, as this did, upon Satan's own kingdom. David owns dependence on God for victory; and refers himself to the good pleasure of God, Wilt thou do it? The assurance God has given us of victory over our spiritual enemies, should encourage us in our spiritual conflicts. David waited till God moved; he stirred then, but not till then. He was trained up in dependence on God and his providence. God performed his promise, and David failed not to improve his advantages. When the kingdom of the Messiah was to be set up, the apostles, who were to beat down the devil's kingdom, must not attempt any thing till they received the promise of the Spirit; who came with a sound from heaven, as of a rushing, mighty wind, Ac 2:2.The hold - Not the same place which is so named in 2 Samuel 5:7, 2 Samuel 5:9, but probably the cave (or hold) of Adullam 2 Samuel 23:13. The invasion most probably took place before David had completed his buildings in the city of David; and is probably referred to in 2 Samuel 23:8-17. 18. valley of Rephaim—that is, "of giants," a broad and fertile plain, which descends gradually from the central mountains towards the northwest. It was the route by which they marched against Jerusalem. The "hold" to which David went down "was some fortified place where he might oppose the progress of the invaders," and where he signally defeated them. Or, of the giants; which lay westward from Jerusalem, and so was the ready way to Jerusalem, which it seems they designed to take. The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. Or "of the giants", as Joshua 15:8; which lay to the west of Jerusalem; of which; see Gill on Joshua 15:8; the Philistines spreading themselves in it, shows that they were very numerous. The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. The Philistines also came] But the Philistines came. Taking a different route, perhaps by the Wady-es-Surâr and Beth-shemesh (see note on 1 Samuel 6:9), so as to avoid David and his army, they came up and occupied “the valley of Rephaim,” an open plain or upland valley, stretching in a S.W. direction from the neighbourhood of Jerusalem towards Bethlehem. Cp. Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16 (E. V. the valley of the giants). It was famous for its fertile corn-fields (Isaiah 17:5). The name preserves a trace of the ancient gigantic race of the Rephaim, to which Og the king of Bashan belonged (Deuteronomy 3:11. Cp. Genesis 14:5; Joshua 17:15).Verse 18. - The valley of Rephaim. This fruitful valley (Isaiah 17:5) is about three miles in length, and two in breadth. Occupying it in vast numbers, the Philistines sent out bodies of men to plunder the whole country, while a sufficient force watched Jerusalem, intending to take it by famine. The Rephaim were an aboriginal race, first mentioned in Genesis 14:5, and evidently in early times very widely spread in Palestine. The idea that they were giants has no more to be said in its favour than that they were ghosts - the meaning of the word in Isaiah 26:14, 19. No sensible philologist will endeavour to explain the names of these primitive races and of their towns by Hebrew roots, though there has been too much of this craze in past times. The Rephaim seem. however, to have been physically a well-developed people, and several races of Canaan of great stature are described in Deuteronomy 2:11 as having belonged to them, as did Og, who was a man of extraordinary dimensions (Deuteronomy 3:11). "And David perceived (sc., from the success of his enterprises) that Jehovah had firmly established him king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for His people Israel's sake," i.e., because He had chosen Israel as His people, and had promised to make it great and glorious.

To the building of David's palace, there is appended in 2 Samuel 5:13-15 the account of the increase of his house by the multiplication of his wives and concubines, and of the sons who were born to him at Jerusalem (as in 1 Chronicles 14:3.). Taking many wives was indeed prohibited in the law of the king in Deuteronomy 17:17; but as a large harem was considered from time immemorial as part of the court of an oriental monarch, David suffered himself to be seduced by that custom to disregard this prohibition, and suffered many a heartburn afterwards in consequence, not to mention his fearful fall in consequence of his passion for Bathsheba. The concubines are mentioned before the wives, probably because David had taken many of them to Jerusalem, and earlier than the wives. In the Chronicles the concubines and omitted, though not "intentionally," as they are mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:9; but as being of no essential importance in relation to the list of sons which follows, because no difference was made between those born of concubines and those born of wives. "Out of Jerusalem," i.e., away from Jerusalem: not that the wives were all born in Jerusalem, as the words which follow, "after he was come from Hebron," clearly show. In the Chronicles, therefore, it is explained as meaning "in Jerusalem." The sons are mentioned again both in 1 Chronicles 14:5-7 and in the genealogy in 1 Chronicles 3:5-8. Shammua is called Shimea in 1 Chronicles 3:5, according to a different pronunciation. Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon were sons of Bathsheba according to 1 Chronicles 3:5.

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