The Threefold Anointing

II Samuel 5

Alan Lewis
Elon, North Carolina
August 2021

We want to talk about something that you will almost never hear preached in church.  Have you ever heard of the three anointings?  Most Christians have not but, in the church, we often hear people talk about “the anointing.”  We often heard people called “an anointed speaker or “an anointed worship leader.”

You may hear talk, not only about anointing, but also about different types of anointing. There is a musical anointing. There is prophetic anointing. There is evangelistic anointing. There is a teaching anointing.

What does it all mean? Is it even biblical?  Can we be anointed today?  In I & II Samuel we see that anointing IS biblical.  It is a biblical term.  David is a biblical example of someone who was anointed by God.

II Samuel 5:3 says, “When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they ANOINTED David king over Israel. (NIV).

David was anointed, not once, not twice but three times.  Some of us have never been anointed once.  He was officially anointed to ministry three times.

David was NOT an anointed worship leader.  He was NOT an anointed preacher.  He was an anointed POLITICIAN.  That sounds like an oxymoron today.  We often associate politics with corruption.  Most politicians these days are scoundrels by definition but David was an anointed king.

What does it mean to be anointed?  Can we be anointed today?  Why was David anointed three times?  Wasn’t the first anointing good enough?  Why did he have to be anointed three times?

First, we have to get the context.  II Samuel is a book about the reign of King David, Israel’s greatest king.  In II Samuel 5.  David becomes king over the country.  He fights his first battle.  It was a battle against the Philistines.  He only went to war only because he was attacked.

After David became king, he was attacked by the Philistines.  They declared war on David.  They killed the last king of Israel and now come after David after he becomes king of the whole nation.  What did he do?  He hid.  He used guerilla warfare tactics.  He went out to his stronghold (II Samuel 5:17) when he was running from Saul.

God gave the Philistines into David’s hands, not once but twice.  The Israelites not only defeated them; they stole the Philistine gods (II Samuel 5:21) but they did not worship them.  I Chronicles 14:12 says that they burned them with fire.  David accomplished more in two bloody battles that Saul did in forty years against the Philistines.

David expands his power.  He becomes king over the whole country.  He gets crowned as king.  There is a coronation ceremony.  He not only gets a crown.  He gets a castle to live in.  A king needs a palace, so a foreign king gives him the wood and carpenters (II Samuel 5:11).

In this chapter, David expands his POWER.  He expands his TERRITORY.  He expands his FAMILY.  He takes more wives and more concubines. He got more children (sons and daughters).  After he left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him. 14 These are the names of the children born to him there: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet. (II Samuel 5:13 NIV).

The chapter mentions eleven kids (II Samuel 5:14-15) and he had some children before this.  Some of these kids came later.  The first four were children of Bathsheba.  We know that from I Chronicles 3:5. He has not married her yet.  David wasn’t perfect.  He was not supposed to have all of those wives, but God still blessed him.  We do not have to be perfect for God to bless us as well.  Otherwise, nobody would be blessed.

Lastly, David gets a new capital.  The old capital was Hebron.  David chose Jerusalem as his new capital.  It was called the city of David (II Samuel 5:7, 9). This was the place where Solomon built the temple.  It was where the whole sacrificial system was.  It was where Jesus was killed, just outside the city.

It was a brilliant political move on David’s part.  Jerusalem was in the middle of the country but none of the tribes had conquered it yet.  We think of Jerusalem today as a Jewish city, but it was not always a Jewish city.  David made it a Jewish city three thousand years ago.  It used to be a Canaanite city.  The Jebusites lived there.

David chose a city that was in the center of the country.  It did not belong to any particular tribe, like Washington D.C., which is not part of any state.  It did not show favoritism to any particular tribe.

It did not favor the north or the south. It was the perfect location to unify the country and it was strategically significant. It was built on a steep hill with valleys on the east and the west.

David had one minor problem.  He had to conquer it first.  That wasn’t easy.  No one had done that yet.  The city was a fortress.  It was a city on a hill.  Tall walls protected this city.  It was virtually unconquerable.

David faced Goliath before.  He was an impossible enemy.  He was tall.  He was strong.  He was intimidating and he was confident.  He was undefeated.  He seemed unbeatable.  He mocked David.  He laughed at him.  Now David faces Goliath number two.

The Jebusites also mocked David.  They said that the blind and lame could keep David out.  They told David, “There’s no way you’re getting in.”  When people tell you that you can’t do something, it should only motivate you to prove them wrong.  That is exactly what David did.

How did David conquer the city?  He used military strategy.  He does not use brute force.  He outsmarted them.  He thought outside the box. There was one way to get into the city.  It was through the water shaft (II Samuel 5:8). Archeologists have discovered this water shaft.  It was discovered by British archeologists in the 1800s.  Today, it is called Warren’s Shaft.  That was the one weakness of the city.

Here was a city that had never been  conquered, just like Goliath had never been beaten in battle.  The city was on a hill.  It had tall walls, so David had to get creative.  Max Lucado says that then everyone else saw walls, David saw tunnels.  He came up with a creative way to solve the problem.[1]  He says, “If the wall is too tall, try a tunnel.”[2]

David also promised a reward to anyone who go in.  We know that from I Chronicles.  He said whoever did it would become his commander-in-chief (I Chronicles 11:6), so Joab did it (I Chronicles 11:6).

There is a good animation of how David conquered the city.  It was done by the Megalim Institute in Jerusalem and is very good.  You can watch it at

The key verse in the chapter is II Samuel 5:10. David “became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him” (NIV).  He was not only prosperous.  He was not only blessed.  He was powerful.  He was very powerful.

As Saul lost power.  He lost battles and his sons were dying, David got power politically.  He got more wives.  He had more children.  He formed political alliances (Phoenicians).  He defeated enemies (Philistines).

The Philistines attacked him twice, and both times, they were defeated.  Anyone who opposed David, lost.  Saul lost. Ishbosheth lost. Abner lost.  The Philistines lost.

Why did this happen?  Why did David grow in power?  There were two reasons.

One, God was with him.  He was with him even when he was not in power.  He was also with him when he was on the run from Saul and had to live in caves.  God was with him and He protected David. Jesus is with us today.  He said that he will be with us always.  He will never leave or forsake us.

Two, He was anointed.  He was God’s man.  What does it mean to be anointed?  Why did he have to be anointed three times?

Characteristics of Anointing

To be genuinely anointed, five things have to take place.  You have to have all five of these qualities to be biblically anointed.

1) To be anointed means that you are called by God to do a particular job or ministry.

2) To be anointed means that you are empowered by God to do a particular ministry.

3) To be anointed means that you are recognized by your spiritual leaders to do it.

4) To be anointed means that you are recognized by other people

5) To be anointed means that you are publicly consecrated and set apart to God for service or ministry.

All five of these qualities are found in I & II Samuel.  We will see all of these qualities in David.  David was anointed by a prophet of God.  After he was anointed, he was filled with the Spirit.

He was supernaturally empowered by God.  He was recognized by the rest of the country.  People from all twelve tribes of the country recognized his anointing.

Today, we want to look at the three anointings of David.  They were done at different times.  They were done in different places.  They were done for different purposes.

He was anointed the first time when he was fifteen.  He was anointed the second time when he was thirty.  He was anointed the third time when he was thirty-seven.  The first anointing was in Bethlehem.  The last two were in Hebron.  The first anointing was secret.  The last two were public.

Why was he anointed three times?   What were David’s three anointings?  What did each one mean? David was anointed in stages.  His anointing was progressive.  Each anointing gave David more authority for ministry.

The First Anointing

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” 12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” (I Samuel 16:8-13 NIV)

What did this anointing mean?  What was the significance of the first anointing?  Note four things here.

1) The first anointing was a SECRET anointing

It is found in I Samuel 16.  It took place in Bethlehem.  It was done David’s own house.  David was just a boy or teenager.  He was probably about fifteen years old.  The witnesses were David’s immediate family.  No one else saw it.

2) The first anointing was a PROPHETIC anointing

It was done by a real prophet, not like some fake prophets in some churches today.  David had one of the most famous men in the country unexpectedly show up at his house in Bethlehem.

This anointing was prophetic.  This anointing came from God.  David did not come up with the idea to be king.  The thought probably never entered his head.  God gave him this idea through his prophet.

Samuel only anoints the one God told him to anoint.  In fact, the person Samuel wanted to anoint and thought he should anoint was not the one he anointed.  He only anointed the one God said to anoint.  In Psalm 23:5, David says to God, “You anoint my head with oil.”

3) The first anointing was a CALL anointing

This was when David got his lifelong calling.  The first anointing was David’s call to ministry. After David was anointed by Samuel, he knew what his mission in life would be.  He now knew what God’s will for his life was.  He knew what God was going to do through him.  He now had some dreams for the future.

This was the first stage of David’s anointing, receiving his call by God.  He was filled with the Spirit.  David now knew his mission, but he did not become king yet and start ruling.  That did not happen overnight.  It didn’t happen for years.  Even though Samuel anointed him, he was not king yet.  In fact, he was too young to be king yet.

It took some time.  We saw that last week.  David was anointed to be king at the age of fifteen but did not become king until he was thirty-seven.  He had to wait over twenty years to be king over the whole country.  David had to wait to be used by God.  He had to be prepared to be used by God.

4) This was David’s PROMISE anointing

This anointing was promised to take place.  It was destined to take place.  David may not have realized it at the time, but he was destined to be king.  No one could stop him.  He had a prophetic word.  He had an infallible word from God.  Persecution could NOT stop it.  Trials could NOT stop it.

Threats to his life could NOT stop it.  Saul could not stop him with his three thousand troops.  Abner could not stop him with his troops.  They could delay him from being king, but that delay was actually part of God’s plan, because he was not even ready to be king yet.  He needed more time to grow and develop.

What is the application for us?  God calls everyone to do something. We may have never had a greasy prophet pour some oil over our head but we all have received a special call from God to do something that is unique to us.  We may have had someone in our life with a lot of spiritual discernment who has spoken words of truth into our life.

We may have received a call to do something unexpectedly.  Has God ever put a desire in your heart to do something special?  It may be a call no one else knows about.  This first anointing was in secret.  Very few knew about it.

The Second Anointing

David also took the men who were with him, each with his family, and they settled in Hebron and its towns. 4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah. (II Samuel 2:3-4 NIV)

1) The second anointing was a PUBLIC anointing

It is found in II Samuel 2.  For the first time, David is anointed publicly in Hebron.  It was done fifteen years later.  David was now thirty years old (II Samuel 5:4).

2) The second anointing was a POLITICAL anointing

After the first anointing, David did not hold office.  Now he is in office, ruling over one tribe as king.  People called him king.

3) The second anointing was a CONFIRMATION anointing

This anointing was done, not just by one person but by more people.  The anointing is growing.  It is getting bigger.  This time it is done by the men of Judah.  They actually went where David was to anoint him.

Not only did David have the call of God on his life but other people outside of his family (inner circle) began to recognize this call.  One whole tribe of Israel recognized it.  The whole Tribe of Judah recognized that he would be king and anointed him in public.  The big area in which he lived (his state) anointed him.

One of the tribes for the first time anoints David as king.  He is still not king over the whole country or even a majority of the country, but God is beginning to work on his behalf.  The promise is beginning to be fulfilled.  This is the anointing of partial fulfillment.

That leads to both encouragement and discouragement.  It is encouraging because David is king.  God does not just give David his calling and dream for the future. He begins to work.  There is partial fulfilment of the promise

It is discouraging because David was only king of one out of twelve tribes.  That could also have David to question whether the promise would be ultimately fulfilled.

David received a death of the vision.  He was excited and shocked when he was first anointed.  He thought it would take place.  Then, he began to wonder what was going on and whether it would really come to pass.  Saul was trying to kill him.

He had to live in a cave. He received death threats.  It looked like the prophecy was never going to come to pass. What did he do?  Once again, he waited.  He waited seven and a half more years.

The question for us is this: Have you ever received a special call by God, and it looked like it was beginning to be fulfilled?  Have you not only had a call to do something, but people begin to recognize that you are called to do something, people outside your own family?  Have you ever experienced a delay in your call?  Perhaps a long delay?  How do you respond when the dream does not take place right away and you have to wait, like David did?

The Third Anointing

All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’”

3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. (II Samuel 5:1-3 NIV)

David has a third anointing.  The first was when he was fifteen.  The second one was when he was thirty.  The third one was when he was thirty-seven (II Samuel 5:4-5)

It was David’s greatest anointing. He was anointed to take on his promised destiny.  The anointing once again gets bigger.

1) The third anointing is the OFFICIAL anointing

It was an official anointing for David to be king over the whole nation.  David now is not just anointed by his family or by his tribe but by the whole nation.

God’s promise is being finally fulfilled.  The country is united.  It is no longer divided, not politically and not geographically.  No more civil war.  No more fighting.  No more Jews dying. Three things happened at this anointing.

The nation RECOGNIZED David as king.  They were forced to.  Abner was dead.  Ishbosheth was dead.  Saul was dead.  The only one of his descendants left was a cripple.

The nation HONORED David as king.  They did this publicly.  David did not come to them.  They came to David to do this (II Samuel 5:1).  Note the three reasons in the text they did this.

They also CELEBRATED David as king.  It was a big celebration.  It involved a three-day feast.  Three hundred thousand people showed up.  We know that from I Chronicles 12:23.

All these were fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks. They came to Hebron fully determined to make David king over all Israel. All the rest of the Israelites were also of one mind to make David king. 39 The men spent three days there with David, eating and drinking, for their families had supplied provisions for them. 40 Also, their neighbors from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali came bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules and oxen. There were plentiful supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisin cakes, wine, olive oil, cattle and sheep, for there was joy in Israel. (I Chronicles 12:38-40)

2) This third anointing was a DESTINY anointing

David steps into his full destiny as king over Israel.  He begins doing what God has called him to do. He begins doing what he was born to do.  God did not just call David to be king over one tribe but to be king over a whole nation.

It was no longer just a dream.  It was no longer just beginning to happen.  It was completely fulfilled, and this anointing was permanent.  He does not need to be anointed again.  He did not need a fourth anointing.

Have we ever gotten to this point in our life?  At this stage, we do not just have a call, we do not just have a dream to do something, we have not just started to do the job, we have done all of it and have the confirmation from others and the power of the Holy Spirit working on the inside.  That is the third anointing.

[1] Max Lucado, Facing Your Giants, p. 107.

[2] Max Lucado, Facing Your Giants, p. 108.

One Response to The Threefold Anointing

  1. Laban Mulehi says:

    I have been indeed blessed and even now more knowledgeable in understanding three Anointing of David. Blessings

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