And the Lord preserved David wherever he went.
David’s military victories: 8:1-14. David has taken most of the territory the Philistines possessed along Israel’s coasts. Now, in a series of wars which are not described in any detail, his armies defeat other surrounding nations. David’s normal practice seems to be to make these states subject to Israel. He demands annual payment of tribute, but does not occupy the countries.
–> This seems to be an important decision David made to separate Israel and Israelites from the surrounding countries he had conquered so that he may preserve Israel and protect it from adopting pagan practices. It also appears that David is fighting Goliath all over again — against the nations much bigger, better equipped and powerful than his own.
However, David does push the borders of Israel out, to encompass more of the land promised to Israel than has ever been previously occupied. Not even Joshua came so near to full possession of the Promised Land.
6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; and the Syrians became David’s servants, and brought tribute. The Lord preserved David wherever he went. 7 And David took the shields of gold that had belonged to the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. 8 Also from Betah and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took a large amount of bronze.
9 When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had defeated all the army of Hadadezer, 10 then Toi sent Joram his son to King David, to greet him and bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him (for Hadadezer had been at war with Toi); and Joram brought with him articles of silver, articles of gold, and articles of bronze. 11 King David also dedicated these to the Lord, along with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations which he had subdued— 12 from Syria, from Moab, from the people of Ammon, from the Philistines, from Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah. 13 And David made himself a name when he returned from killing eighteen thousand Syrians in the Valley of Salt. 14 He also put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David’s servants. And the Lord preserved David wherever he went.
David’s civil government: 8:15-18. David organizes a powerful military machine, and reorganizes Israel’s worship. He also establishes a central governmental system for the collection of taxes, storage of supplies, and supervision of agriculture. Little is known of the various administrators’ duties, although the offices are identified here and in 1 Chronicles 27:16-31. It is a monumental task to impose this kind of structure on a people unused to any kind of government control, and all in a single generation. The fact that David is able to design and build such a system is a testimony to many gifts of this warrior, worshipper, and unmatched administrator.
–> and a poet and a musician.