>When David became the king of the Southern tribes, before he became the king of the United Monarchy, David reigned from Hebron, where he was proclaimed king of Judah. This is how 2 Samuel 5:4-5 describes the chronology of David’s kingship:
“David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.”
Although we know that David reigned from Hebron, we do not know when he began to reign. At least we didn’t, but now we know.
Recently, MK Yaakov Katz, head of the National Union Party in Israel, speaking from the Knesset plenum, told the Knesset about his visit to the ancient Biblical city of Hebron. Mr. Katz said:
“I met there with many representatives of the Arab media, from Al Jazeera and others, and I told them that we respect the prophet Muhammed and the millions of practitioners of Islam, but still and all, the fact is that King Herod built the Machpelah Tomb building atop the burial sites of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs hundreds of years before Islam was even founded. Not only that, but King David was King of Israel in this city of Hevron some 700 years before Herod!”
At this point in Mr. Katz’s speech, Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin corrected Mr. Katz’s chronology. He said: “It was exactly 922 years earlier, not 700.”
So, now we know when David became king of Judah at Hebron.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary