After exile by Saul, David developed a rebel following and proclaimed himself king of Judah at Hebron. He then captured Jerusalem (which his general, Joab, entered by crawling up a drainage shaft), making it his new capital. Next, he conquered the region of Shepelah from the Philistines who, thereafter, were confined to a narrow coastal strip surrounded by David’s dominions. A succession of southern campaigns followed with victories, successively, over the Edomites, Moabites and Ammonites. On his northern borders, David consistently maintained cordial relations with the Phoenician King Hiram of Tyre, a vital ally and trading partner, but remorselessly pursued Hadadezer, the king of Zobah, who had allied against him with Hanun, King of the Ammonites. Hadadezer was defeated first at Berothal, but was finally crushed at the Battle of Helam. Then, astonishingly for such a successful ruler, David was forced into exile at Mahanaim, by the revolt of his son, Absalom.
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