According come biblical heritage (and part say myth), David (c. 1035 - 970 BCE) to be the second king in the old United Kingdom of Israel that helped develop the eternal throne the God. A former shepherd, David to be renowned because that his passion for God, his emotional psalms and also musical abilities, his inspiring courage and expertise in warfare, his an excellent looks and also illicit connection with Bathsheba, and his genealogical connections to Jesus that Nazareth in the new Testament. Born about 1000 BCE, David to be the eighth son (and youngest) that Jesse, indigenous the people of Judah. Favor King Saul and also King Solomon, David reigned because that 40 years in one of the highest and also most prosperous durations in Israel"s history - referred to as by many, “The gold Age” the Israel. Return presented just as fault or sinful as the monarchs who preceded and also followed him, in Judaism and also Christianity, King David is presented in various books of the holy bible (from wherein most details originates on him, currently) as a model king the piety, repentance, and also submission also a forerunner come the Messiah—the Jewish "anointed one" and also champion.

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The classic Story the King David

In the Hebrew scriptures, 1 Samuel 16 introduces reader to a young male who will catch not only the love of the nation of Israel, but also the love of God. The Old testament Prophet Samuel (c. 1200–1050 BCE) is sent out to Jesse the Bethlehem (a usual farmer and also shepherd) to anoint among his sons as the new king - when Israel"s an initial king, Saul (c. 1080–1010 BCE), is tho living however failing in his duties to monitor Samuel"s instructions and rebelling versus the authority/commandments of God. After ~ Jesse parades virtually all his boy by Samuel, every one rejected together king, he finally brings his youngest - David, who “was glowing through health and had a new appearance and also handsome features” (1 Samuel 16:12).

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Although David does no look like a king must look, he has the heart of a lion - a courageous spirit - and even more, a deep, infinite love for God. Samuel, who has been for this reason depressed over King Saul, finds hope and also blessing in the young shepherd indigenous Bethlehem in Judea. After David to be anointed, 1 Samuel 16:13 states, “and from the day on the soul of the Lord came powerfully ~ above David.”

David was more than simply a musician; he had the love of a warrior & a set of shepherding an abilities on the masters" level.

The news for King Saul, however, is no at every positive. If David obtain the blessings of the holy Spirit (the Counselor and 2nd person of the Trinity), “the spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and also an evil soul from the mr tormented him” (v. 16:14). Saul began to experience durations of mental and also emotional suffering, lugged on by one of two people a bipolar disorder or one evil spirit (according to the biblical text). Among his servants remembers that David is fantastic musician and recommends Saul rental him as an armor-bearer (the one who brought a huge shield and also other weapons for the king) and also a musical enjoyment of sorts because that his tortuous episodes. 1 Samuel 16:23 states, “Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would certainly take increase his lyre and play. Then relief would involved Saul; he would certainly feel better, and also the evil heart would leaving him.”

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David & Goliath

David was more than simply a musician; he had actually the love of a warrior and also a set of shepherding skills on the masters" level, particularly when it involved the use of the sling. One day, the Philistines and also the Israelites were at war; however, the two war parties were on either next of a valley, taunting every other. The Philistines, the non-Semitic world of old southern Palestine, had actually a powerful warrior in your midst, despite - Goliath, that (according come the Bible) was almost ten feet (3 m) tall. No surprisingly, none of the Israelite warrior dared to fight him.


David through the Head that Goliath
Caravaggio (Public Domain)

When David hears Goliath"s vile words against Israel and God, he volunteer to fight him. Quite than firmly insist that an older, much more experienced officer (or also himself) go out to safeguard God and Israel versus Goliath, King Saul endorses David"s wishes. After some wardrobe alters (eventually donning his common garb), David selects five river stones because that ammunition and sets out to challenge his huge enemy. Goliath stares down at the small, young man, and chides, “Am ns a dog, that you come in ~ me v sticks?” (v. 17:43). David"s verbal response is as mocking together it is audacious—

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You come versus me v sword and also spear and also javelin, yet I come versus you in the name of the lord Almighty, the God of the militaries of Israel, whom you have defied. This particular day the lord will supply you into my hands, and I"ll strike friend down and cut off your head. This really day ns will give the dead body of the Philistine military to the birds and the wild animals, and also the whole world will recognize that there is a God in Israel.

(vv. 17:45–46)

As Goliath charges towards David, the young male slings a stone, which hits Goliath square in the forehead, knocking him out. David then stands end the giant, grabs the giant"s sword, and kills him. Seeing the youngest the Israel so conveniently dispatch their strongest warrior sent out terror v the entire Philistine army and also they fled. It additionally pleased King Saul who basically embraced him into his family. 1 Samuel 18:2–3 states, “From the day Saul preserved David with him and did not let him return home to his family.”

The Envy that Saul

In consideration of David"s constant success and also amazing an abilities in his service, King Saul advocated David, who ongoing to amaze his men and also all Israel. Unfortunately, Saul had arisen an ego problem, therefore he starts to resent David particularly when that hears human being singing, “Saul has actually slain his thousands, and David his 10s of thousands” (v. 18:7). In bitter envy, Saul do the efforts to death David, whom he now sees together the opponent instead of a faithful servant. Thus, the plan of a marriage in between Saul"s daughter Michal and David is more about Saul"s desire come ensnare or at some point assassinate David 보다 a divine union, ironically.

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Eventually, David goes to his best friend, Jonathan, who is also King Saul"s eldest son, for help. Jonathan tries come downplay David"s fears, but when Jonathan goes come his father to relief him the David is his faithful servant, King Saul lashes the end at Jonathan, calling him,

You child of a perverse and also rebellious mrs! Don"t I understand that you have actually sided through the son of Jesse come your very own shame and also to the dead of the mother who boring you?

(v. 20:30)

It is then that Jonathan ultimately comprehends how insane his dad is with hatred for David. Saul has pertained to hate David much more than he loves God—never a good condition to it is in in, biblically.


David & Saul through Rembrandt
Rembrandt (Public Domain)

To the finish of his life, Saul"s son Prince Jonathan becomes David"s protector, pleading for that exact same devotion native David. 1 Samuel 20:16–17 states, “So Jonathan do a covenant with the home of David, saying, "May the Lord contact David"s enemies to account." and also Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath the end of love because that him, since he love him together he loved himself.”

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The remainder of 1 Samuel offers the details the an recurring cat-and-mouse chase between Saul, who is no hope trying to kill David (and his forces) and David, that is no hope trying no to kill Saul, in spite of the urging the his friends and also countrymen. Instead, David mirrors his noble, compassionate, committed character the God find so impressive. Regardless of Saul"s wickedness, David go not desire to harm Saul, “God"s anointed.” Saul, top top the other hand, has provided in to the darkness that his heart and also soul, even going therefore far regarding kill some clergymans of the Lord.

In fact, David goes the end of his means to protect against Saul and/or repays Saul"s evil through good. One of the much more interesting moments occurs when David sneaks into a cavern where Saul is relieving himself and also cuts turn off a edge of Saul"s robe to present him the if David want to kill him, Saul would currently be dead. As soon as a street away, David cries out,

See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in mine hand! I cut off the edge of your robe however did not kill you. See that over there is naught in mine hand to show that i am guilty the wrongdoing or rebellion. I have actually not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life.

(v. 24:11)

Once King Saul establish what has just happened, the weeps bitterly, lastly self-aware that he has been unrighteous, blood-thirsty, and ungodly, whereas David has actually properly and also mercifully verified himself to be worthy of gift Israel"s following king. Prior to they part, Saul asks David to swear that he will not death off Saul"s children, i beg your pardon David quickly does.

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Saul"s madness tho rages inside him, sadly, and continues to go after David who, in another moment the opportunity, spares Saul"s life. The entirety of Israel mourns, though, in ~ the fatality of Samuel, and also Saul, understanding that sorcery and also witchcraft is forbidden by the Law, goes to Endor come conjure increase Saul. Although Saul begs for help from the soul of Samuel, the dead prophet only replies, “Why execute you consult me, now that the Lord has actually departed from you and also become your enemy?” (v. 28:16). Saul collapses, a broken and self- ruined man who only heaped chaste bloodshed atop his arrogant, disobedient acts.

The publication ends v David enjoying more and an ext success on the battlefield and also in his domestic life, however for Saul and also his family, the tide will certainly turn and run red at your last fight with the Philistines at mountain Gilboa. In one day, the whole royal heat of Saul is shed in battle, with all Saul"s sons dying before him, consisting of the noble and beloved Jonathan. Saul is critically wounded, and pleads for a nearby Israelite soldier to kill him, fear of torture or molestation if the is discovered alive.

The ending of the publication is distressing. 1 Samuel 31:4–6 states,

But his armor-bearer to be terrified and also would not execute it; so, Saul took his very own sword and fell ~ above it. As soon as the armor-bearer witnessed that Saul was dead, he too dropped on his sword and also died v him. So, Saul and also his 3 sons and his armor-bearer and all his men passed away together that same day.

Seeing the defeat of their army, the Israelites fled the region, opened up the lands to Philistine occupation and also exploitation, which was later supported by the Philistine"s use and also smithing that iron.

David, King the Israel

The book of 2 Samuel begins with David hearing the news the his ideal friend and also God"s anointed king have actually been slaughtered by the Philistines. Stunned, David is likewise met through news indigenous an Amalekite (a descendant the Esau, boy of Isaac the Patriarch) that the man eliminated Saul, taking his crown and also armband for David. Expecting a reward, instead the soldier obtain an execution v David asking, “Why weren"t you fear to lift your hand to ruin the Lord"s anointed?” (v. 2 Samuel 1:14). If David to be unwilling come hurt God"s anointed, why would anyone think that he would certainly be alright through King Saul"s assassination?

David thereafter uses a memorial to Saul and Jonathan. Because that Saul, he sings that him being a mighty warrior; because that Jonathan, that sings that him being a faithful brother. One can expect David to it is in jubilant about Saul"s death, however David truly never ever wanted Saul dead. Scholars have long listed that David"s wishes for his enemies was for them one of two people to be removed or to repent. In Saul"s case, he absolutely wished for the latter.


King David
Jastrow (Public Domain)

The kingship that David described in 2 Samuel 2 is simply as exciting and dramatic as his period running far from King Saul. V Samuel"s initial blessing, David becomes the first king the Judah, but immediately launches right into a seven-year polite war through King Saul"s son, Ish-Bosheth, that does not end until Saul"s child is assassinated in his bed by two Benjamites, the last people of Judah and also descendants that Jacob the Patriarch.

Expecting a an excellent reward prefer the abovementioned Amalakite, they lug Ish-Bosheth"s head to David who instantly executes them for their despicable and criminal activity, saying, “Wicked men have killed an innocent male in his very own house and also on his very own bed” (v. 2 Samuel 4:11). He has actually the males killed, cut off their feet and also hands, and hangs their bodies in shameful display. Later, the buries Ish-Bosheth"s head, properly and respectfully in Abner"s tomb (Abner to be Saul"s cousin and commander-in-chief that his army).

With Ish-Bosheth dead, David is available the crown by the elders of Israel, and also 2 Samuel 5:4 records, “David to be thirty year old when he became king, and also he reigned forty years.” He then conquers Jerusalem - Zion - come which he soon also brings the ark of the covenant. David has hopes to construct God"s temple in Jerusalem, but that David"s offspring will be the one come “build a home for mine Name, and I will create the throne the his kingdom forever” (v. 7:13).

The next few chapters detail and discuss the incredible victories for David against the Philistines, the Geshurites, the Gezites, the Jebusites, and also the Amalekites. 2 Samuel additionally shares that his marital problems with Saul"s daughter Michal, that “when she observed King David leaping and also dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart” (v. 6:16). That is because of this not also surprising that King David, among the many virtuous guys in the Bible, forgets his place, his obligations to God and to his subjects, and starts a love affair through Bathsheba, the mam of Uriah the Hittite - among his Mighty Warriors.

David & Bathsheba

While relaxing at the palace, King David happens to check out beautiful Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and future mom of King Solomon (c. 990–931 BCE), shower upon she roof and also the temptation is too tempting because that him. 2 Samuel 11:4 records, “Then David sent out messengers to gain her. She concerned him, and he slept through her (now she was purifying it s her from she monthly uncleanness). Then she went ago home.” unfortunately for the pair, Bathsheba becomes pregnant with David"s child.

The instance is delicate, at best. Although feminists insurance claim that David forced Bathsheba, and traditionalists claim that Bathsheba seduced David, the fact is an ext one of shared culpability except, perhaps, that as king and the model for the law of God, David had actually a higher obligation come protect and also not make use of Bathsheba. The message does no lay the blame on any kind of one human (somewhat prefer the fall in Genesis); however, as negative as things are for the adulterous couple, it is only going to acquire worse.

Rather 보다 the noble & virtuous warrior of the Lord, currently David has come to be as poor if not worse than murderous Saul.

David conspires to hide his sin and so, phone call Uriah house from the battlefield and tries to gain him to sleep with his wife. Uriah, however, is too devoted and as well lawful come squander his time if his guys are dice in battle. His plan foiled to confuse the paternity the the child, David orders general Joab, his nephew through David"s sister Zeruiah, to ar Uriah in the thick of the many dangerous fighting and also then retract everyone but him.

Several things happen because of this. First, bad Uriah it s okay killed. Second, Bathsheba mourns for Uriah - there is nothing said around this being a unified plan. Most likely, it was David"s own attempt to safeguard his reputation. He easily moves Bathsheba right into the palace and also marries her prior to the son is born. Third, any loyalty of Joab to David is gone. Fairly than the noble and also virtuous warrior of the Lord, currently David has end up being as bad if no worse 보다 murderous Saul. David"s to plan soon begin to backfire top top him.

The Prophet Nathan

In his desperation, though, King David forgot that God sees and knows everything. So, God sends the Prophet Nathan, the Prophet Samuel"s successor, to provide a “rhetorical” post of treachery, which renders David burn v anger versus the rich male who steals the bad man"s one tiny lamb. David steps right into the catch the Lord has actually laid for him and also states, “As surely as the lord lives, the male who walk this need to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, due to the fact that he did together a thing and had no pity” (2 Samuel 12:5).

Nathan instantly pronounces referee upon David, crying out, “You room the man!” (v. 12:7). Not only was David an adulterer, he additionally was a murderer and also an ungrateful king that abused his position to please his loins and protect his renown. Therefore, Nathan prophesies the David would endure perpetual aftermath of war within and without his kingdom, and that the would experience public humiliation because he tried come cover increase his horrific sins.

David"s solution is fairly un-Saul-like, though. The humbly replies, “I have sinned versus the Lord.” Nathan then educates him the his sins are forgiven, but their kid of sin is going to die. David pleads for his son"s life, and when the boy becomes ill, David fasts, prays, and also deprives himself of sleep, do the efforts to obtain God to change his mind, yet God does no according to the biblical text.

On the seventh day, the kid dies, and David"s response is amazing. Quite than be bitter or hate God, David obtained up and also “he went into the house of the Lord and also worshipped” (v. 12:20). The passage also records that “David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and also he went to her and also made love come her. She provided birth to a son, and also they called him Solomon” (v. 12:24).


Absalom & Amnon

Without his previous "golden card" of righteousness, the residence of David experiences poor tidings beginning with the rape the David"s daughter, Tamar, by she half-brother, Amnon. Tamar comes end to help her brothers (Amnon) that pretends to it is in sick, and when she gets close, the grabs her and molests her. Uneven Shechem, the villain in the publication of Genesis (chapter 33:19; 34) that felt a ethical obligation come marry Jacob"s daughter Diana after he raped her, Amnon despises Tamar even more, which crushes and humiliates her.

Strangely, Tamar"s older brother Absalom comforts her and says, “Be quiet now, mine sister ... Do not take this point to heart” (2 Samuel 13:20), however he never speaks to Amnon around the event. Amnon probably thought he had gotten away with the rape that his half-sister because his father David to be mad however did nothing about the crime.

Two year later, though, Prince Absalom enacts his vengeance. Convincing Amnon come travel through him, he it s okay his half-brother drunk and then has his guys murder Amnon, a prince, in revenge for raping his sister. He flees come Gershur and also stays through his mother, Michal"s family members there, and also returns 3 years later with one more plan to steal David"s throne. He also manages to enlist the king"s counselor, Ahithophel (the grandfather of Bathsheba), and works the Israelite crowd.

As Absalom"s conspiracy and also its support grows, David flees indigenous the pressures of Absalom, no wanting to death his son. Eventually, though, David"s pressures clash through Absalom"s forces, and also as he flees, “Absalom"s hair got caught in the tree” (v. 18:9). Left dangling, Joab slays Absalom and buries his body in a deep pit in the wilderness.

As v the death of King Saul, David is ravaged by the news, yet somewhat confused regarding why Absalom to be so treacherous and murderous toward David and also his men. Hearing that David is mournful past consolation, Joab marches right into David"s house and also shames him because that humiliating and alienating his men by his good lament because that a wicked son. The book concludes with an ext descriptions of the incessant war David was promised by the Prophet Nathan. However, the last two chapters sell a poetical homage come God and also to his men.

The last Years

David"s early zeal because that God and for honest integrity led the means for his early fame and also fortune, although gift a man of warfare and blood (according to the scriptures), God made decision that David to be not perfect to it is in the one to develop God"s temple (that would be placed in the hand of his son, Solomon). Moreover, David"s illicit affair and subsequent devious plot (leading come the assassination of Uriah the Hittite and also its covering up) complicated the rest of his regime - together with the rape the Tamar, the murder of Amnon, and the attempted coup that Absalom, amongst other controversies.


By the end of David"s life, he had actually lost touch with Israelite culture and at some point lost political control of it, together well. This brought about an check coup through his son, Adonijah (whose mother was Haggith, David"s fifth wife), that proclaimed self to it is in king through the aid of general Joab and also Abiathar the Priest; however, the bulk of Israel"s institutional agents walk not support Adonijah"s claim. The Hebrew scriptures state the the Prophet Nathan went first to Bathsheba to alert she to Adonijah"s usurpation of the throne, who then checked out her husband, King David, to break the troubling news to him. Eventually, the Prophet Nathan joined the two, and also King David officially do Solomon his succession apparent. David said, “Assuredly Solomon your son shall it is in king ~ me, and he chandelier sit on mine throne in mine place” (1 emperors 1).

King David passed away from herbal causes about 970 BCE, was hidden in Jerusalem, and, as said in the Hebrew and also Greek scriptures, facilitated the establishment of the kingdom that Israel with his piety and also lineage. Prior to his death, David provided his last admonition to his son, Solomon, saying,

Keep the fee of the Lord your God: come walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is created in the law of Moses, the you may prosper in all the you do and wherever girlfriend turn... For you are a wise man.

(1 queens 2)

The Epigraphical & Archeological proof For King David

As v his successor, King Solomon, tiny evidence has been uncovered to prove the historic existence of King David; however, recently discovered direct and indirect evidence provides better substantiation for David"s life and kingship (although little to ago up the Biblical assertions and details events during his reign). In 1993 CE, Avraham Biran found the Tel Dan inscription on a damaged stele in northern Israel. The inscription commemorates the win of an Aramean king end its southern neighbors, and also specifically references both the “king the Israel,” and the “king of the residence of David.” This is possibly the earliest, direct, historical evidence for the Davidic empire in Israel return the Mesha Stele, uncovered by Bedouins in the 1800s CE who lived by the Jordan and also Arnon rivers, also mentions "the house of David," composed in Moabite around a century ~ the an alleged reign of King David.

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As for indirect evidence, under excavations command by Yosef Garfinkel in 2012 CE, a Canaanite inscription of "Eshba"al Ben Beda," King David"s enemy (and King Saul"s kid who reigned for two years) additionally known as "Ish-Bosheth" in plenty of biblical translations (2 Samuel 3, 4) was uncovered inside pottery shards from an old jug date to the 10th century BCE. Additionally, survey data compiled through Avi Ofer in 1994 CE that indicate a doubling of 11th-Century BCE Judean populace (particularly in north Israel), and potential Jebusite fortresses that were discovered in excavations directed by Yigal Shiloh (1978-1985 CE) - both of i m sorry are debated in the Old testament - loan credence come the notion that David and also the Kingdom the Israel were part of the region"s historical and cultural existence.

Adapted from God in the Details: A Biblical inspection of the Hebrew and also Greek Scriptures (Kendall-Hunt, 2017).