The Kingdom of David in Jerusalem (I): The Conquest of Jerusalem

  • Rav Yitzchak Levy
The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash

Jerusalem in the Bible
Yeshivat Har Etzion


THe Kingdom of David in Jerusalem (I)

THe conquest of Jerusalem

rav Yitzchak Levi

 

 

            Last year, we saw that conquering Jerusalem was the first thing that David did after being crowned as king in Hebron over all of Israel.[1] As background to the topic, we discussed at length the various reasons for David's choosing this city for his capital, the most important of which was his desire to unify all the tribes, especially Yehuda and Binyamin. We also noted that the conquest of Jerusalem completed Israel's conquest of the central mountain massif, Yevus being the last heathen city remaining in the region (see note 2).

 

            In this shiur we shall deal with the details of the conquest of Jerusalem. The conquest is described in the books of Shemuel and Divrei Ha-yamim, and we shall discuss here the differences between the two depictions and try to see how they complement each other. We shall divide up our study according to the main topics described in the chapters dealing with the issue.

 

A.        GENERAL COMPARISON BETWEEN THE DESCRIPTIONS FOUND IN SHEMUEL AND DIVREI HA-YAMIM

 

And the king and his men went to Jerusalem to the Yevusi, the inhabitants of the land. And they spoke to David, saying, You shall not come in here, unless you remove the blind and the lame: thinking, David will not come in here. Nevertheless David took the stronghold [metzuda] of Zion: that is the City of David. And David said on that day, Whoever smites the Yevusi, and gets up to the aqueduct [tzinor], and smites the lame and the blind (that are hated of David's soul) – therefore, the saying, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. So David dwelt in the stronghold and called it the City of David. And David built round about from the Milo and inward. And David went on, and grew great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him. (II Shemuel 5:6-10)

 

And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Yevus; where the Yevusi were, the inhabitants of the land. And the inhabitants of Yevus said to David, You shall not come here. Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion, which is the City of David. And David said, Whoever smites the Yevusi first shall be chief and captain. So Yoav the son of Tzeruya went first up, and became the chief. And David dwelt in the stronghold; therefore they called it the City of David. And he built the city round about, even from the Milo round about; and Yoav repaired the rest of the city. So David grew greater and greater; for the Lord of hosts was with him. (I Divrei Ha-yamim 11:4-9)

 

            Scripture allows for the possibility that there were two stages to the conquest: first the capture of the stronghold of Zion (the metzad or metzuda) by David, and afterwards the smiting of the Yevusi, the aqueduct, the blind and the lame by Yoav.

 

            Each source emphasizes certain points, but we can see how the two complement each other. The common elements include:

 

-        The refusal on the part of the Yevusi, the inhabitants of the city, to allow David to enter.

-        The conquest of the stronghold of Zion and turning it into the City of David.

-        The promise of a prize to whomever smites the Yevusi.

-        The renewed building of the city.

 

And the differences:

 

-        In Shemuel, "The king and his men," whereas in Divrei Ha-yamim, "David and all Israel."

-        The aqueduct, the blind and the lame are mentioned only in Shemuel.

-        Yoav's role in the conquest of the city and not killing the local population is mentioned only in Divrei Ha-yamim.

 

B.        WHO ARE THE CONQUERORS?

 

As mentioned above, Shemuel speaks about "the king and his men," whereas in Divrei Ha-yamim "all of Israel" came to the city.

 

The Radak reconciles the matter as follows:

 

"And the king and his men went." And in Divrei Ha-yamim it says: "And David and all Israel went," because all Israel were now his men. Since he reigned over all of Israel, he went to Jerusalem to capture the stronghold of Zion, because they had a tradition that Zion would be the beginning of the kingdom of Israel, and it would only be captured by someone who was king over all of Israel. And until that day there was no sustained kingdom in Israel, for Shaul's kingdom was not sustained. (Radak, II Shemuel 5:6)[2]

 

            According to this explanation, Jerusalem was captured by all of Israel, for once David became king over them, they were all called his men (as opposed to the plain sense of the words in Shemuel, that we are dealing exclusively with David's men).

 

            It might perhaps be argued that the two descriptions taken together give expression to two sides of the conquest of Jerusalem, and especially to David's transition from being king over his men – the men of Yehudato being king over all of Israel.[3]

 

C.        THE BLIND AND THE LAME

 

The Yevusi are not interested in David's arrival, and their response to him gives rise to one of the most complicated exegetical questions in the book of Shemuel:

 

They spoke to David, saying, You shall not come in here, unless you remove the blind and the lame: thinking, David will not come in here.

 

            Later David himself mentions the blind and the lame:

 

And David said on that day, Whoever smites the Yevusi, and gets up to the aqueduct, and smites the lame and the blind (that are hated of David's soul) – therefore, the saying, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.

 

            This is an excellent example of how Shemuel and Divrei Ha-yamim complement each other. In Shemuel, only the condition is mentioned, whereas that which is made conditional upon it is explicitly stated only in Divrei Ha-yamim: "And David said, Whoever smites the Yevusi first shall be chief and captain." A combination of the two sources provides us with the complete picture of Scripture, as follows:  "Whoever smites the Yevusi first, and gets up to the aqueduct, and smites the lame and the blind (that are hated of David's soul) shall be chief and captain. So Yoav the son of Tzeruya went first up, and became the chief."

 

            In any event, these verses raise difficult questions: Who are the blind and the lame? Why are they "the hated of David's soul"? What is the meaning of, "Therefore, the saying, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house"?

 

            Later we shall present several understandings of the matter, but already now we can say that with all the resolutions that have been offered, the unknown is still far greater than the known. As a rule, there is room to distinguish between explanations following the plain sense of the text and homiletic explanations offered by Chazal.

 

            Rashi explains: "'The blind and the lame' – these are their idols."

 

            The Radak cites the position of the Ibn Ezra, that the metzsuda was so strong that the Yevusi taunted David saying that even the blind and the lame could defend it: "Even if it is [only] the blind and the lame that turn to fight against you, they will prevent you from entering, for the metzuda is exceedingly strong, and we do not fear fighting you."[4]

 

            Josephus offered a similar explanation:

 

However, the inhabitants of the city, the Yevusi, who descended from the Canaanites, closed the gates before him, and stationed on the wall people with defective eyes and legs and other deformities, in order to mock the king, saying that people with deformities would prevent him from entering the city. They did this because of their trust in the strength of their walls.[5]

 

            The Radak explained the other expressions in the verses as follows:

 

"That are hated of David's soul" – Because they humiliated him with them, saying that they would prevent him from capturing the stronghold… "Therefore, the saying" – Because from that day on no blind or lame person would enter that house, namely the stronghold of Zion, to shame those blind and lame people, and as a memorial for [future] generations how David had captured it.

 

            Amos Chakham explains: "We will all fight you to the last man; even if only the blind and the lame will remain in the city, they too will rise up to fight against David" (cited in the Da'at Mikra commentary to Shemuel). Another explanation is cited in the Da'at Mikra commentary: "You will not be able to defeat us, unless you can cure the lame and the blind. Just as that is impossible, so too will it be impossible for you to enter the city."

 

            Yigal Yadin (Sukenik) argues [6] that the Yevusi's stratagem with the blind was meant to cast guilt upon David and his army. He relies on a Hittite document that describes a ceremony in which the Hittite army swears allegiance to its king. There it is stated that anyone who thinks badly of the king, will himself become blind or lame. The Yevusi, who understood that they would not be able to stand up against David, brought the blind and the lame up on the wall, and threatened David with a staged ceremony featuring an oath at the end of which the punishment of blindness and lameness was promised to anyone who touches the blind or the lame or any of the Yevusi. The Yevusi thought that the oath and the magic might prevent David from going up to the stronghold, and the courageous step that David asked of his warriors was to go up first and smite the Yevusi, the blind, and the lame.

 

            Prof. Benzion Dinur [7] suggests that the reference is to the blind and the lame in David's army. According to this, the verse means as follows: "If you remove the blind and the lame from your army, you will be able to come here, for you can not get here if those who are coming are blind and do not see the road, or lame and unable to walk on it." According to Dinur, the reference is to the circumstances described in verse 8: In order to reach the metzuda, one must see the aqueduct and proceed through a winding tunnel that leads to it.[8] According to this explanation, verse 8 means as follows: "Therefore, the saying" – of the Yevusi – "The blind and the lame shall not come into the house," i.e., into the stronghold.

 

Like Dinur, Targum Yonatan's translation of the words "the blind and the lame" (v. 6) – "chata'aya ve-chayavaya" (sinners and those liable) – also assumes that the blind and the lame are in David's camp. According to the Targum, the Yevusi are saying to David that in order to enter Jerusalem, he must first repair and remove the weak links in the Jewish  people.[9] A similar idea is found in a Midrash cited by the Radak, though there the deficiencies noted by the Yevusi are in the patriarchs:

 

They further said that there were two idols at the top of the tower called tzinor; one was blind like Yitzchak and one was lame like Yaakov, and in their mouths the oath that Avraham swore to Avimelekh.[10]

 

            The Yevusi, in mockery of David and his army, turn his attention to the fact that Jerusalem expresses perfect reality even in the physical realm. Thus, the conquest of the city is conditional upon bodily and inner perfection and removal of defects and deficiencies, for only the perfect can capture the perfect.

 

            The primary thrust of the explanations offered by many Rishonim is based on a Midrash in Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer (chap. 36), which speaks of Avraham's oath to the Yevusi:[11]

 

And [Avraham] ran to fetch a calf, and the calf ran away from him and went in to the Makhpela cave, and he went in after it. There he found Adam and Chava lying on their biers sleeping, with candles burning around them, and a sweet smell above them. He therefore desired the Makhpela cave as a burial plot. He told the Yevusi that he wished to buy the Makhpela cave at a good price, for gold, and with a perpetual deed, as a burial plot. Were they Yevusi? Surely they were Hittites? Rather, on account of the name of the city, Yevus, they are called Yevusi. The people did not accept [the deal]. [Avraham] began to kneel and bow down before them, as it is stated: "And Avraham bowed himself down before the people of the land" (Bereishit 23:12). They said to him: We know that the Holy One, blessed be He, will eventually give you and your descendants all of these lands. Swear to us that Israel will not take possession of the city of Yevus without the consent of the Yevusi. Afterwards he purchased the Makhpela cave for gold and with an eternal deed for everlasting possession.

What did the Yevusi people do? They fashioned copper idols and set them up in the city square, and wrote Avraham's oath on them. When Israel came to the land, they wanted to enter the Yevusi city, but they could not enter because of the covenant established by Avraham's oath. As it is stated: "As for the Yevusi, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, [the children of Yehuda could not drive them out]" (Yehoshua 15:63). When David became king and wanted to enter the city, they did not allow him. As it is stated: "They spoke to David, saying, You shall not come in here" (II Shemuel 5:6). But surely Israel was like the sand at the sea! Rather, because of the covenant of Avraham's oath… And afterwards [David] acquired the Yevusi city for Israel with an eternal deed as an everlasting possession.

 

            According to the Midrash, the blind and the lame appear to David in the form of copper idols that the Yevusi had set up in the city square. On them was written Avraham's oath that Israel would not take possession of the city of Yevus without the consent of the Yevusi. Here the Midrash exposes Avraham's weakness in his relationship to Eretz Yisrael in general[12] and to Jerusalem in particular,[13] a weakness that allowed him to enter into a covenant with the Yevusi, the overcoming of which is a condition for the conquest of Jerusalem.

 

            Prof. Shemuel Vargon[14] proposes an entirely different understanding of the matter. Which house were the blind and the lame forbidden to enter? We already saw that some maintain that we are dealing with the metzuda of Zion. The problem with this understanding is that nowhere does Scripture refer to that stronghold as a "house." Others explain that the reference is to the Temple, but this too is difficult, for the blind and the lame are not forbidden entry into the Temple.[15] Thus, Vargon argues that it is the house of David that they are forbidden to enter. This also fits in to the context of the verses. According to this explanation, David recoiled from the blind and the lame and from people with deformities in general. The Yevusi use of the blind and the lame – whatever the precise meaning of what they did - caused David embarrassment and annoyance, and even intensified this basic weakness. David's aversion to the deformed becomes manifest in the story of David and Mefiboshet: bringing Mefiboshet to David's house and inviting him to be a regular visitor at his table was a special act of lovingkindness performed by David, relating to Mefiboshet as one of the king's sons. According to this understanding, we also have David's overcoming of his weakness. During Avshalom's rebellion, however, David failed with Mefiboshet, saying to Tziba, "Behold, all that belongs to Mefiboshet is yours" (II Shemuel 16:4). According to this proposal, the matter of the blind and the lame is mentioned in connection with the conquest of Jerusalem, in order to emphasize the special trial that David underwent in connection with the lame Mefiboshet, son of Yehonatan.

 

D.        THE TZINOR

 

            There are many proposed identifications of the tzinor; we shall limit ourselves to a few of them:

 

            The Septuagint translates the term as pigyon, dagger. Sukenik[16] is also of the opinion that it is a weapon, sort of a three-pronged pitchfork, based on Onkelos's translation of the word mazleg (see, for example, Onkelos's translation of u-mizlegotav (Shemot 27:3) as ve-tzinoritei).

 

            According to Tur-Sinai,[17] Yevus is the god of the city, the god of storms and tempests, and the tzinor – thunder, lightning, and a tremendous stream of water – is his weapon. According to him, the beginning of verse 8, "And David said on that day," is a later addition, and the words, "Whoever smites the Yevusi, and gets up to the aqueduct," are the words of the Yevusi, meaning: "Whoever comes to smite the Yevusi city, will be smitten by the god of the city, Yevus, and he will strike him with blindness by way of the tzinor."

 

            Another suggestion: The tzinor is the bolt with which the city gate is closed.

 

            Rashi explains that the tzinor is "the top of the tower, for it was there that their idols were placed." We have already seen that the Radak also maintains that we are dealing with "the top of the tower."

 

            According to Vincent (who excavated the City of David with Parker), tzinor refers to the water project known as Warren's Shaft, which allowed for water to be drawn from inside the city by way of an aqueduct that brought water from the spring to the bottom of the shaft. According to this opinion, Yoav succeeded in climbing up the shaft, surprising the enemy at the top, and penetrating thereby into the city.

 

            Excavations that have been carried out over the last five years at the Gichon spring have uncovered a huge tower from the patriarchal period (Middle Bronze Age II) that protects the spring, and also a tunnel leading from the city to the pool adjacent to the spring, which is also protected by fortifications. This project allowed the inhabitants of the city, during a period of siege, to go down, draw water from the pool and return to the city. Perhaps, then, the tzinor should be identified with this water project in its entirety, especially based on the sole scriptural mention of the word tzinor in connection with water: "Deep calls to deep at the noise of Your cataracts [tzinorekha]: all Your waves and Your billows are gone over me" (Tehillim 42:8). If this is correct, Yoav's courageous achievement was to expose the tower protecting the spring, penetrate through it and the tunnel into the city, and thus surprise the Yevusi and conquer the city from within.

 

E.         "THE STRONGHOLD OF ZION: THAT IS THE CITY OF DAVID"

Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion: that is the City of David… So David dwelt in the stronghold and called it the City of David. (II Shemuel 5:7-9)

 

Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion, which is the City of David… And David dwelt in the stronghold; therefore they called it the City of David. (I Divrei Ha-yamim 11:5-7)

 

            The City of David is called here "the stronghold of Zion" – the first time that the word Zion is mentioned in Scripture. Are we dealing here only with a stronghold (metzuda or metzad), or perhaps the entire city is called "Metzudat Zion"?[18] It is difficult to reach a conclusive answer to this question.

 

            What we want to emphasize is the change in the place-name immediately after the conquest from "Metzudat Zion" to "Ir David" – the City of David, and in a slightly wider sense – the city of the kingdom of the House of David. We have already mentioned that the conquest belonged to all of Israel, and therefore it is difficult to assume that the king related to the city as his personal property. It is more reasonable to assume that the name comes to say that he sees the city as the city of the kingdom of the House of David for all generations. One of the interesting proofs for this assertion is the designation of a place within the city as the royal burial site for the kings of the House of David, where indeed the kings of the Davidic House were buried from David until Chizkiyahu. This place has been identified at the southern side of the city (based on Nechemya 3:16: "As far as a point opposite the tombs of the House of David"). Setting aside royal burial grounds in the small area of the City of David was apparently meant to give expression to the eternal connection between the kingdom of the House of David and the City of David.[19]

 

F.         THE ORDER OF THE TOPICS AND THE CHAPTERS AND ITS MEANING

 

1.    the order of the topics in shemuel and divrei ha-yamim

 

The order of the topics in II Shemuel is as follows:

 

5:1-3

Installing David as king over all of Israel

  4-5

Chronological introduction to the kingdom of David

  6-8

The conquest of Jerusalem

  9-12

Turning Jerusalem into the capital city, building of Jerusalem and the house of David

  13-16

The expansion of David's family in Jerusalem

  17-25

The battles against the Philistines in Emek Refaim

6:1

Enlargement of David's army

  2-23

Bringing up the Ark from Kiryat Ye'arim to Jerusalem

 

In I Divrei Ha-yamim 11-16, the order of the events is different:

 

11:1-3

Installing David as king over all of Israel

   4-9

The conquest of Jerusalem

   10-47

List of David's warriors

12:1-23

Those who joined up with David after he became king

   24-41

The army that comes to David in Hebron and the description of the coronation ceremony

13

The first attempt to bring up the Ark to Jerusalem

14:1-2

The building of the house of David

   3-7

David's wives and children in Jerusalem

   8-16

The battles waged against the Philistines

   17

David's renown

15:1

David makes houses for himself

   2-29

The second attempt to bring up the Ark: from the house of Oved-Edom to the city of David

16:1-7

Bringing the Ark into the city and placing attendants before it

 

2.    THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE INTERNAL ORDER IN SHEMUEL

 

The idea that connects all the various elements found in the chapter is that David has become the king over all of Israel. By virtue of his kingship, David conquers Jerusalem and turns it into the capital of the Kingdom of Israel. He builds his house and the city of Jerusalem with the cooperation of Chiram, King of Tyre (cooperation that will continue in the days of Shelomo with respect to the building of the Temple). When he finishes building his house, it is stated: "And David perceived that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for His people Israel's sake" (II Shemuel 5:12). Scripture proceeds by describing the expansion of David's family in Jerusalem, including the birth of Shelomo.

 

Following the establishment of David's kingdom in Jerusalem and the expansion of his family, Scripture describes the military victory over the Philistines, the enlargement of the army, and the bringing up of the Ark from Kiryat Ye'arim to Jerusalem. The fact that the Philistines arrive in Jerusalem immediately after David establishes himself in the city testifies to certain connections between the Yevusi and the Philistines. In any event, this teaches that the Philistines viewed David's arrival in Jerusalem as a significant change. David lived first in Tziklag, in the shadow of Akhish king of Gat; then he ruled as king in Hebron over the Tribe of Yehuda; and, apparently, he did not threaten the Philistines in any significant manner. His arrival in Jerusalem and installment as king over all of Israel was another matter; a major force was now settled on the central mountain massif, uniting the northern and southern tribes, and against this the Philistines went out to war.

 

It is important to remember that King David was the first to defeat the Philistines in the battle at Emek ha-Ela, as Avner said: "Now then do it: for the Lord has spoken concerning David, saying, It shall be in the hand of My servant David to save My people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies" (II Shemuel 3:18). The bringing of Goliath's head to Jerusalem (I Shemuel 17:54) symbolized that David's victory over Goliath and the Philistines opened the road to Jerusalem.

 

Thus, the Philistines' arrival in Jerusalem after David established himself in his royal city is not by chance. They come to fight and struggle over sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael. David's two triumphs awarded him victory over them, and by virtue of that victory David could bring up the Ark from Kiryat Ye'arim to Jerusalem.

 

3.    THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE INTERNAL ORDER IN DIVREI HA-YAMIM

 

There are several points to be emphasized:

 

-           The conquest of Jerusalem appears immediately after David's being installed as king over all of Israel (without the interruption of the count of his years as king, as in Shemuel).

-           The purpose of the list of warriors is to point to the wide support for David, for they are those "who held fast to him in his kingdom, together with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the Lord concerning Israel" (I Divrei Ha-yamim 11:10)

-           This is followed by a list of those who joined David, including the army, and a more detailed description of the coronation, performed out of the unity of all the tribes of Israel and with the establishment of a covenant. We have here a general description followed by a more detailed account that completes the depiction of the coronation.

-           Immediately following the description of the coronation, there is a description of the first stage of bringing up the Ark to Jerusalem. Thus Scripture emphasizes David's immediate desire, as soon as he is installed as king over all of Israel, to turn his capital city into a place that is bound to the Temple through the bringing up of the Ark.

-           A description of the building of the king's house, the expansion of his family, and the battles with the Philistines are brought in the intermediate chapters, between the beginning of the bringing up of the Ark from Kiryat Ye'arim to the house of Oved-Edom of Gat and the completion of the bringing up of the Ark from the house of Oved-Edom to Jerusalem.[20]

 

Summary

 

            In this shiur we have tried to understand the various meanings latent in the conquest of Jerusalem: the struggle against the Yevusi and the Philistines who come to the city at the time of its conquest, on the one hand, and David's internal struggle with the spiritual weaknesses that prevented him, according to Chazal, from conquering the city, on the other.

 

            In the next shiur, we will deal with the bringing up of the Ark from Kiryat Ye'arim.

 

FOOTNOTES:

 

[1] Some scholars have argued that David already conquered Jerusalem when he was installed as king over the Tribe of Yehuda in Hebron, and already then he established Jerusalem as a capital and built royal buildings. It seems to us, however, that Scripture intentionally emphasizes that the conquest of Jerusalem came in the wake of David's becoming king over all of Israel.

M.D. Cassuto argued that it is not by chance that the Yevusi are mentioned last in many verses that list the seven Canaanite nations (e.g., Bereishit 15:21; Shemot 3:8,17; 13:5; 23:23; 33:2; 34:11). This fits in well with the fact that the conquest of the mountain massif was completed with the conquest of Jerusalem, the city of the Yevusi, by David (M.D. Cassuto, "Yerushalayim be-Sifrei ha-Torah," Eretz Yisrael III (5714), 15-17.

 

[2] In the shiurim delivered last year, we dealt with the spiritual significance of this explanation – that kingship is a condition for the conquest of the city.

 

[3] It has been suggested that a careful reading of the Yevusi's response, "They spoke to David, saying, You shall not come in here," implies that David and his men had first approached the Yevusi with an offering of peace, that is to say, they had proposed that the Yevusi accept David's sovereignty, as is commanded by the Torah (Devarim 20:10-11). According to this, the very turning to the Yevusi stemmed from David's new kingship.

 

[4] According to the simple reading of the text, this is the most understandable and reasonable position. We already noted last year that the recent excavations above the Gichon spring prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Yevusi had constructed massive fortifications: a wall, towers, and a water project.

 

[5] Antiquities of the Jews, VII, 3, 1.

 

[6] Yigal Sukenik (Yadin), "Ha-Ivrim ve-ha-Pischim ve-Kibbush Yerushalayim al Yedei David," Fourth World Conference of Jewish Studies, Summer, 1947.

 

[7] Benzion Dinur, "Ha-Sippur al Kibbusha shel Yerushalayim be-Yemei David u-Mashma'uto ha-Historit," in Be-Mikra U-bedorotav, Jerusalem, 1977, pp. 110-129.

 

[8] This explanation is based on the understanding that the word "tzinor" refers to an underground water project intended to supply water to the city during a period of siege, to which we shall relate below. It is also clear that this explanation assumes that the Yevusi were fully confident in their fortifications.

 

[9] Proof that blindness and lameness are expressions of weakness may be brought from Iyyov 29:15: "I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame."

 

[10] The Midrash (Bereishit Rabba 45:19) attributes Yitzchak's blindness to the tears of the ministering angels at the time of the Akeida. Concerning Avraham's oath to Avimelekh, see below, note 12.

 

[11] We cited this source in one of last year's shiurim to explain Hebron's precedence over Jerusalem, and the refraining from conquering the city until the days of David on account of Avraham's oath. There we dealt with other aspects of this amazing Midrash, especially Avraham's connection to Adam, who was buried in the Makhpela cave, and his desire to continue that practice.

 

[12] A weakness that was manifest in his oath to Avimelekh. See last year's shiur no. 22, second section, and appendix.

 

[13] Rav Yigal Ariel, Oz Melekh, Iyyunim be-Sefer Shemuel, p. 158, sees a continuation of this weakness in the very leaving of Aravna the Yevusi on Mount Moriah, in keeping with Chazal's criticism: "If you haven't taken possession of [the area] next to your palace, how then do you go to conquer Aram Naharayyim and Aram Tzova?" (Sifrei, Devarim, 51). This hold on Mount Moriah continued, according to the Yerushalmi (Pesachim 9:1), until the days of Chizkiyahu: "Ornan the Yevusi's skull was found under the altar." This is not the forum to discuss the matter at greater length. 

 

[14] S. Vargon, "Motiv ha-Ivrim ve-ha-Pischim be-Sefer Shemuel," in: Hagut be-Mikra, V (from Iyyunim be-Chug le-Tanakh le-Zekher Yishai Ron, z"l).

 

[15] Those with deformities are barred only from the altar (Vayikra 21:17,21).

 

[16] E. L. Sukenik, "The Account of David's Capture of Jerusalem," GPOS XIII (1928), 14-16.

 

[17] N. H. Tur-Sinai, "Ve-Yiga ba-Tzinor," Leshonenu XIII (5704-5705), 98-105.

 

[18] The two stages in the conquest alluded to in Scripture might represent two topographical stages: conquest of the city and conquest of the metzuda. In ancient times, it was common to construct, in addition to the fortifications of the city itself, a central stronghold (acropolis, in Greek): a stronghold for the king and his officers, to which they could retreat should the city be captured. Remains of the foundations of such a stronghold, dating to the Yevusi period, have been found in section G in the City of David, and it is very likely that this is the foundation of the metzuda captured by David. It is difficult, however, to reconcile this with the biblical text, for the capture of the metzuda took place in the first stage of the conquest.

 

[19] The tombs of the House of David raise many questions: Who is buried where; how can they be reconciled with Chazal's position that graves must be removed from the city at least fifty cubits (Bava Batra 2:9); identification of the place known as "David's tomb"; and others. We cannot discuss these issues here at length; they require a separate shiur.

 

[20] Since this issue is critical for understanding the bringing up of the Ark to Jerusalem, we shall deal with it in the next shiur, in which we shall discuss the bringing up of the Ark to Jerusalem.

 

(Translated by David Strauss)