Did you know that King David was anointed with oil three times to be king?
The first time was by the prophet Samuel in the midst of his family, with Jesse (Yishai) his father, and all of his brothers:
I Samuel 16:13
וַיִּקַּח שְׁמוּאֵל אֶת־קֶרֶן הַשֶּׁמֶן וַיִּמְשַׁח אֹתֹו בְּקֶרֶב אֶחָיו וַתִּצְלַח רוּחַ־יהוה אֶל־דָּוִד מֵהַיֹּום הַהוּא וָמָעְלָה
And Samuel took a horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the spirit of YHVH prospered unto David from that day forward. (All translations from author unless otherwise noted.)
The second time was by the elders of Judah in Hebron, right after the death of King Saul:
II Samuel 2:4
וַיָּבֹאוּ אַנְשֵׁי יְהוּדָה וַיִּמְשְׁחוּ־שָׁם אֶת־דָּוִד לְמֶלֶךְ עַל־בֵּית יְהוּדָה
And the men of Judah (Yehudah) came and anointed David there to be king over the house of Judah.
The third time was by the whole nation of Israel, both Judah and Israel together:
I Chronicles 11:3 (II Samuel 5:3)
וַיָּבֹאוּ כָּל־זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ חֶבְרֹונָה וַיִּכְרֹת לָהֶם דָּוִיד בְּרִית בְּחֶבְרֹון לִפְנֵי יהוה וַיִּמְשְׁחוּ אֶת־דָּוִיד לְמֶלֶךְ עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּדְבַר יהוה בְּיַד־שְׁמוּאֵל
And all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and David cut a covenant with them in Hebron before YHVH, and they anointed David as king over Israel according to the word of YHVH by the hand of Samuel.
Right after this third anointing as king, David and the army went up and conquered Jerusalem.
David reigned for approximately 7 years in Hebron over Judah and then 33 years in Jerusalem over all Judah and Israel together.
There are successions in this series of three expanding anointings. The first succession has to do with the people group involved:
The second has to do with who anointed him:
1. Samuel the prophet
2. Elders of Judah
3. Elders of Judah and Israel
And the third has to do with location:
The second and third anointings were seen as a follow-up and extension of the first anointing by Samuel. It was the same anointing that went through expanding stages in consecutive time periods.
The expansion of the anointing also meant an expansion of the authority. The territory or spheres of his kingship grew larger with each stage.
There were different spiritual battles and challenges with each new anointing. After the first, David killed Goliath; then had to deal with the jealousy of Saul. There was supernatural power of victory and protection upon him. His family was attacked by the Amalekites, and he rescued them at Ziklag.
After the second anointing, David had to fight a long war with the armies that had followed Saul; there was jealousy from the 10 tribes of Israel toward the leadership of the tribe of Judah. In addition, there was violence within the army of Judah as led by Joab. (David said that he was “anointed” but too soft and weak to deal with Joab’s harshness – II Samuel 3:39.)
At the third stage, David was king over all the nation, which brought great glory, prosperity, and the central worship in Jerusalem. However, it also brought different kinds of challenges. There was internal fighting within the royal family; wars with other nations; adultery and corruption.
The same historical process continued in succession after David. His son Solomon reigned over all Israel. He built the Temple and expanded the kingdom to its greatest territorial dominion. Yet there was continued in-fighting, sexual sin, pride and jealousy, political and financial corruption.
In the time of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam the nation split again into Judah in the south around David’s descendants, and Israel in the north with the other ten tribes. The history of Judah and Israel had moments of glory, victory and revival; and also had moments of division, sin and defeat.
Although the prophets called the people to repentance, ultimately Israel was destroyed and exiled in 722 BC by Assyria; then Judah was destroyed and exiled in 586 BC by Babylon. Ezekiel prayed and prophesied that one day the two “branches” of Judah and Israel would be joined together again (Ezekiel 37).
Greater King yet to Come
The prophets also began to describe visions of a greater king yet to come. He would be the son of David, yet at the same time divine. His kingdom would be based on the Israelite kingdom, but would also be heavenly and eternal. These prophecies, heightened by the disasters of exile, cultivated an ever-increasing expectation for the coming Messiah and Messianic kingdom. The very word Messiah (Mashiach) means anointed.
It was this hope for the coming of THE Anointed King that paved the way for the birth of Messiah Yeshua, as described in the gospels. He was David’s son and God’s son: Davidic and Divine.
Yeshua received the same kingly anointing that David received, but in an even greater expansion of authority. His authority extended not only to Judah and Israel, but also to the new believers who would follow Him in every nation of the world. The Ecclesia may be seen as yet another expansion of the kingdom given to David: Family, then Tribe, then Nation, then International Ecclesia.
Yeshua’s authority also combined heaven and earth. He was born on earth and ascended into heaven. He unites earthly Jerusalem with heavenly Jerusalem. One day soon He will return to finalize that unity. His kingly anointing and authority will unify heaven and earth; Israel and the nations.
The anointing that came upon David was essentially the anointing of Messiah Yeshua Himself. All who believe in Him have access at any time to the same anointing through the Holy Spirit and to the same authority through the name of Yeshua.
David was anointed three times. The kingly anointing and authority continued to grow and expand over time in different stages. As followers of Yeshua, let’s walk in that same anointing that is now passed on to us.
This article originally appeared on Revive Israel – Tikkun Global, July 19, 2022, and reposted with permission.