‘And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons’, 2 Sam. 5. 11
The move of David’s headquarters from Hebron to Jerusalem may have been strategic but there is also the prophetic significance that Zion occupies in relation to the Messiah and His kingdom. As a city, Jerusalem bridges the two royal tribes of Benjamin (Saul) and Judah (David) and the move to this city was a way of uniting the nation. Equally, as the Jebusites had made it a seemingly impregnable fortress, David would also have a formidable base. The news of David’s victory at Jerusalem and his taking of the fortress of Zion brought him recognition, for ‘Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David’, v. 11. This might be seen as an attempt by Hiram to establish a peace accord with the new king of Israel; we are told that the reason for this seeming generosity was that ‘the Lord had established him [David] king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel’s sake’, v. 12. The cedar tree has a significant place in the Old Testament. It is renowned for its height, Isa. 37. 24, its thick boughs, which form ‘a shadowing shroud’, Ezek. 31. 3, and its glory, Isa. 35. 2. It is described as ‘the glory of Lebanon’, 60. 13, surpassing the other trees of that land, and this meant that its wood was highly prized. Thus, it is appropriate that David’s house should contain the materials befitting his status and conquests as king of Israel. It may also be symbolic, as Hiram transfers that which indicated the glory of Lebanon to Israel and their king. But Hiram was also being prepared for a work that would be brought to fruition later - the building of another house, Solomon’s Temple. The wood from the cedar, close grained and full of resin to preserve it from rot and worm, would be used extensively in this building of surpassing glory.