Bible Stories for the Young

King David

First at Hebron, Then on to Zion


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King David : First at Hebron, Then on to Zion

Well, as the story continues, Saul and Jonathan were both killed in battle on the same day. When David heard the news he cried and cried for Jonathan. How he loved him! Jonathan had played his part with all his heart, and now it was David’s turn to step into the place of king that God had prepared for him.

David turned his heart to His Shepherd and asked, “God Almighty, should I go to one of the cities of Judah? Where should I go?”

“Yes, go to one of the cities of Judah, to Hebron,” God answered. (Hebron was the land Caleb fought those giants for. And before that, Hebron was a place where Abraham traveled and where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Leah were all buried. Hebron means “the place of fellowship — of friendship binding.” I like that.)

So David, all his warrior men, and all the other people with them traveled to Hebron like God commanded.

Do you remember how this family started way back with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob? Then Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. Then Israel’s twelve sons (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph and Benjamin) each had lots of children who became the twelve tribes of Israel.

Well, David was of the tribe of Judah. And now that Saul was gone, all the people who were also from the tribe of Judah came to Hebron. They said to David, “It’s been long enough. It’s your turn to be king now. God said.” So they made David their king.

But one of the leaders of Saul’s army decided to declare one of Saul’s sons as the next king. And all the tribes except Judah just went along with the idea. There was some fighting about it for awhile. So David was king there in Hebron over the tribe of Judah — but not over ALL the Family. He was just king over a small part of the kingdom.

After a couple years though, Saul’s son was killed by some of his own soldiers and the fighting ended. Then later all the tribes came to David in Hebron. They said, “David, even when Saul was king, you were really our leader. God wants you to be a Shepherd for His people. Please be our king.” So David made a covenant promise with them to be their king.

At this same time there was a city high up on a hillside called Jebus. The enemies who lived there laughed at David, “Ha-ha-ha-ha, you can’t get in here! Even if we were all blind and couldn’t walk, we’d be able to keep you out. Our city is a fortress so strong that you can’t get in! Humph.”

But David’s men did get in. They snuck in through the water tunnel and captured the fortress.

David moved into the city and began to build up the fortress and the land all around it. People began to call it “the city of David.” From this city David ruled as King of all of Israel. David’s power steadily grew stronger and stronger because the Lord of Heaven’s Army was with him. Do you know what this city became known as? Not Jebus… but Jerusalem… Zion!

As the kingdom became stronger and stronger, and more enemies were defeated, some men even came from another country with a bunch of logs and workers and said, “David, we want to build you a big, beautiful palace to live in!” It was during this time that David realized that God had made David to be a very strong king for the good of all His people.

You’ll hear about Zion a lot more from here on out — the “shadow” city of Zion on earth and the real and Heavenly City of Zion, too.