2 Samuel 5:23

23 so David inquired of the LORD, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees.

2 Samuel 5:23 in Other Translations

KJV
23 And when David enquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.
ESV
23 And when David inquired of the LORD, he said, "You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees.
NLT
23 And again David asked the LORD what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” the LORD replied. “Instead, circle around behind and attack them near the poplar trees.
MSG
23 David again prayed to God.
CSB
23 So David inquired of the Lord, and He answered, "Do not make a frontal assault. Circle around behind them and attack them opposite the balsam trees.

2 Samuel 5:23 Meaning and Commentary

2 Samuel 5:23

And when David inquired of the Lord
For though he had success before, and got the victory, he would not engage again with them without having the mind and will of God, on whom he knew victory alone depended:

he said, thou shalt not go up;
that is, directly, and in a straight line:

[but] fetch a compass behind them;
and get to the rear of them, instead of falling upon them in the front:

and come upon them over against the mulberry trees:
which grew in the valley of Rephaim, and near where the Philistines had pitched.

2 Samuel 5:23 In-Context

21 The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.
22 Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim;
23 so David inquired of the LORD, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees.
24 As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the LORD has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.”
25 So David did as the LORD commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.