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What is “The city of David”?

25-12-2015 - Posted by Andre Piet

image22 The expression “the city of David” can be found dozens of times in the Hebrew Bible and is consistently used for the city Jerusalem. Since king David conquered and fortified the city Jebus in which he also started to live (2Sam.5:7), he himself gave it this name (2Sam.5:9). It is the city where he lays buried as king (1Kings.2:10; Acts.2:29) as well as the many other kings of his dynasty. Remarkably, the few times the expression “the city of David” is used in the New Testament, it doesn’t refer to Jerusalem but to Bethlehem (Luc.2:4,11).  Wouldn’t this have to do with the two fases in which Davids life as well as the life of “The Son of David” can be divided? Bethlehem is the city where David was born (1Sam.17:12) and where also the great Son of David would be born, according to the prophet Micha (5:1; Joh.7:42). In Bethlehem we meet David for the first time as a shepherd (1Sam.16:11). That is to say, as the good shepherd who gave his life for the flock (1Sam.14:34-36).  Exactly this qualified him for his future task. Subsequently, David was the anointed (mashiach in Hebrew) for a long time but nevertheless also the rejected king of Israel. The man who led a hidden life ‘under the radar’. It all finds its parallel with “the Son of David” who was born in Bethlehem, who proved to be a good shepherd by giving his life for the sheep (John.10:11). Who is appointed as Christ (=anointed; Acts.2:36) but who is at present the hidden and rejected king of Israel. Jerusalem as “the city of David” came into the picture when David conquered this city as king and settled there. Also here we can say: like father, like son. Because in the near future, the words of the angel to Mary shall be fulfilled when God will give, to her son, the throne of his father David to be king over the house of Jacob (Luc.1:32,33). Only then will Jerusalem, “the city of the great king” (Math.5:35) again and even more deservedly become “the city of David”! 1_blog_13 HB

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