The Kingdoms of David and Solomon

“And the L-RD preserved David whither-so-ever he went. And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people.”

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Map of the Kingdoms of David and Solomon
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Map of the Kingdoms of David and Solomon

After King Saul’s death, David was proclaimed king of Judah at Hebron, and after the murder of Saul’s son Ishbosheth, David was crowned king by the tribes of Israel. David extended his kingdom north, south, east, and west. His son Solomon brought the Kingdom of Israel to its greatest extent and even became a world power comparable to Assyria and Egypt. (Also compare with the 1949 map of Israel.)

David conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites and made it his capital and center of worship. He expanded his kingdom by victories over the Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites, and suppressed many rebellions.  Solomon made treaties with Egypt, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and the Hittite nation.

1 Kings 1:37 – As the LORD hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David.

2 Samuel 8:11-15 “Which also king David did dedicate unto the LORD, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all nations which he subdued; Of Syria, and of Moab, and of the children of Ammon, and of the Philistines, and of Amalek, and of the spoil of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah. And David gat [him] a name when he returned from smiting of the Syrians in the valley of salt, [being] eighteen thousand [men]. And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David’s servants. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went. And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people.”

2 Samuel 5:7-10 “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.”

King David’s Political Situation in the Bible Encyclopedia – ISBE

David
3. Political Situation:

There is no doubt that the expansion of the boundaries of Israel at this period almost to their ideal limits (Dt 11:24, etc.) was largely due to the fact that the two great empires of Egypt and Assyria were at the moment passing through a period of weakness and decay. The Assyrian monarchy was in a decadent state from about the year 1050 BC, and the 22nd Dynasty–to which Shishak belonged (1 Ki 14:25)–had not yet arisen. David, therefore, had a free hand when his time came and found no more formidable opposition than that of the petty states bordering upon Palestine. Against the combined forces of all the Israelite tribes these had never been able to effect much.
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2. Conquests Abroad:
King of all the Israelite tribes, David found his hands free to expel the foreigners who had invaded the sacred territory. His first step was to move his headquarters from the Southern Hebron, which he had been compelled at first to make his capital, to the more central Jerusalem. The fort here, which was still held by the aboriginal Jebusites, was stormed by Joab, David’s nephew, who also superintended the rebuilding for David. He was in consequence appointed commander-in-chief (1 Ch 11:6,8), a post which he held as long as David lived. The materials and the skilled workmen for the erection of the palace were supplied by Hiram of Tyre (2 Sam 5:11). David now turned his attention to the surrounding tribes and peoples. The most formidable enemy, the Philistines, were worsted in several campaigns, and their power crippled (2 Sam 5:17 ff; 8:1). In one of these David so nearly came by his death, that his people would not afterward permit him to take part in the fighting (2 Sam 21:16,17). One of the first countries against which David turned his arms was the land of Moab, which he treated with a severity which would suggest that the Moabite king had ill-treated David’s father and mother, who had taken refuge with him (2 Sam 8:2). Yet his conduct toward the sons of Ammon was even more cruel (2 Sam 12:31), and for less cause (10:1 ff). The king of Zobah (Chalkis) was defeated (2 Sam 8:3), and Israelite garrisons were placed in Syria of Damascus (2 Sam 8:6) and Edom (2 Sam 8:14). The sons of Ammon formed a league with the Syrian kingdoms to the North and East of Palestine (2 Sam 10:6,16), but these also had no success. All these people became tributary to the kingdom of Israel under David (2 Sam 10:18,19) except the sons of Ammon who were practically exterminated for the time being (2 Sam 12:31). Thus, Israel became one of the “great powers” of the world during the reign of David and his immediate successor.
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David in Smith’s Bible Dictionary

David
3. David’s reign.–
1. As king of Judah at Hebron, 7 1/2 years. 2Sa 2:1 … 5:5 Here David was first formally anointed king. 2Sa 2:4 To Judah his dominion was nominally confined. Gradually his power increased, and during the two years which followed the elevation of Ish-bosheth a series of skirmishes took place between the two kingdoms. Then rapidly followed the successive murders of Abner and of Ish-bosheth. 2Sa 3:30; 4:5 The throne, so long waiting for him, was now vacant, and the united voice of the whole people at once called him to occupy it. For the third time David was anointed king, and a festival of three days celebrated the joyful event. 1Ch 12:39 One of David’s first acts after becoming king was to secure Jerusalem, which he seized from the Jebusites and fixed the royal residence there. Fortifications were added by the king and by Joab, and it was known by the special name of the “city of David.” 2Sa 5:9; 1Ch 11:7 The ark was now removed from its obscurity at Kirjath-jearim with marked solemnity, and conveyed to Jerusalem. The erection of the new capital at Jerusalem introduces us to a new era in David’s life and in the history of the monarchy. He became a king on the scale of the great Oriental sovereigns of Egypt and Persia, with a regular administration and organization of court and camp; and he also founded an imperial dominion which for the first time realize the prophetic description of the bounds of the chosen people. Ge 15:18-21 During the succeeding ten years the nations bordering on his kingdom caused David more or less trouble, but during this time he reduced to a state of permanent subjection the Philistines on the west, 2Sa 8:1 the Moabites on the east, 2Sa 8:2 by the exploits of Benaiah, 2Sa 23:20 the Syrians on the northeast as far as the Euphrates, 2Sa 8:3 the Edomites, 2Sa 8:14 on the south; and finally the Ammonites, who had broken their ancient alliance, and made one grand resistance to the advance of his empire. 
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David in the Bible Encyclopedia – ISBE

David
2. Conquests Abroad:
King of all the Israelite tribes, David found his hands free to expel the foreigners who had invaded the sacred territory. His first step was to move his headquarters from the Southern Hebron, which he had been compelled at first to make his capital, to the more central Jerusalem. The fort here, which was still held by the aboriginal Jebusites, was stormed by Joab, David’s nephew, who also superintended the rebuilding for David. He was in consequence appointed commander-in-chief (1 Ch 11:6,8), a post which he held as long as David lived. The materials and the skilled workmen for the erection of the palace were supplied by Hiram of Tyre (2 Sam 5:11). David now turned his attention to the surrounding tribes and peoples. The most formidable enemy, the Philistines, were worsted in several campaigns, and their power crippled (2 Sam 5:17 ff; 8:1). In one of these David so nearly came by his death, that his people would not afterward permit him to take part in the fighting (2 Sam 21:16,17). One of the first countries against which David turned his arms was the land of Moab, which he treated with a severity which would suggest that the Moabite king had ill-treated David’s father and mother, who had taken refuge with him (2 Sam 8:2). Yet his conduct toward the sons of Ammon was even more cruel (2 Sam 12:31), and for less cause (10:1 ff). The king of Zobah (Chalkis) was defeated (2 Sam 8:3), and Israelite garrisons were placed in Syria of Damascus (2 Sam 8:6) and Edom (2 Sam 8:14). The sons of Ammon formed a league with the Syrian kingdoms to the North and East of Palestine (2 Sam 10:6,16), but these also had no success. All these people became tributary to the kingdom of Israel under David (2 Sam 10:18,19) except the sons of Ammon who were practically exterminated for the time being (2 Sam 12:31). Thus, Israel became one of the “great powers” of the world during the reign of David and his immediate successor.
Full Article

Solomon in the Bible Encyclopedia – ISBE

II. Reign of Solomon.
1. His Vision:

It was apparently at the very beginning of his reign that Solomon made his famous choice of a “hearing heart,” i.e. an obedient heart, in preference to riches or long life. The vision took place at Gibeon (2 Ch 1:7, but in 1 Ki 3:4 f the ancient versions read “upon the altar that was in Gibeon. And the Lord appeared,” etc.). The life of Solomon was a curious commentary on his early resolution. One of the first acts of his reign was apparently, in the style of the true oriental monarch, to build himself a new palace, that of his father being inadequate for his requirements. In regard to politics, however, the events of Solomon’s reign may be regarded as an endorsement of his choice. Under him alone was the kingdom of Israel a great world-power, fit almost to rank beside Assyria and Egypt. Never again were the bounds of Israel so wide; never again were north and south united in one great nation. There is no doubt that the credit of this result is due to the wisdom of Solomon. Full Article