Chapter 54. David’s Philistine Wars

The Philistines mobilized their forces to seek and destroy David and his army when they learned that David had united Israel under his leadership. The Philistines understood how fearsome a foe David the giant slayer was from his exploits as Achish’s mercenary, and the indignation David levied on the Philistines in the foreskin affair. The Philistine blood oath to destroy Israel once more boiled, which begat a series of obsessive, suicidal Philistine battles to destroy Israel at all costs.

The war began with the battle at Baalperazim. The Seranim amassed their forces augmented with their “spoiler” regiments throughout the Valley of the Giants/Rephaim south and west of Jerusalem. David prayed to God for guidance. God instructed David to engage the Philistine hordes; that God would deliver the locust army into David’s hands. David’s army planted a punishing blow against the Philistines that day. “David smote them there, and said, The Lord hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters”. Therefore, he called the name of that place Baalperazim. Baalperazim means “the Lord breaks,” figuratively “outburst of God’s wrath,” or perhaps “Baal(s) were broken” because David had destroyed the Philistine idols throughout the Valley of Giants.  Shortly thereafter the Philistines regrouped for war once more in the Valley of Giants. This time God went before Israel to confound the Philistines and prepare them for slaughter. Then Israel emerged from the mulberry trees they had hidden among to wait for God to deliver the discomfited army. The Valley of the Rephaim battles were examples of God’s wrath against the giants and hybrids, and a foreshadowing for the Armageddon battle that will be waged at the base of Mount Hermon.

David then established a new home for the ark of the covenant in the city of David, Jerusalem, which he had previously conquered for Israel and this purpose. Jerusalem, the city from “old time,” with its capture became central for prophetic events of the monarchy, a requisite sign and marker for the end times, and for the fig tree generation Jesus spoke to. One ponders if the ark of the covenant will be reestablished in Jerusalem after Armageddon when Jesus establishes His millennium-centered reign in Jerusalem.

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