King David

David was a warrior soldier; singer and poet believed to have written the Book of Psalm or at least edited it. He was the second king of Israel and an ancestor of Jesus.

He lived between (1040- 970 BCE) and reign over Judah (1010-1002 BCE), United Kingdom of Israel (1002- 970 BCE).

Information about King David can be found in the books of 1 kings and 1 Chronicles of the Bible.

David was the eighth and youngest son of Jesse from the tribe of Judah. He was a descendant of Ruth the Moabite.

David was anointed king as a young shepherd boy in Bethlehem by Prophet Samuel when King Saul fell out of good terms with God.

Saul later employed David to play music to him whenever he was in a bad mood. This made Saul to like David as he was with him most of the time.

The love Saul had for David soon turned into jealousy and hatred when David became a favorite of the people after he defeated a giant Philistine called Goliath who had been a great threat to the people of Israel.

Saul’s son, Jonathan who happens to be the best friend of David was ordered by his father to kill David, but he hid his friend.

David married Michal, Saul’s second daughter for an exchange of foreskins of 100 Philistine to Saul who had promised to give him his first daughter but later declined.

Saul again tried to kill David, this time using his daughter Michal, who helped David run away to Prophet Samuel at Ramah.

While fleeing from Saul, David gained support of 600 men who joined him in fighting battles against the enemies of Israel.

Saul and Jonathan were killed on Mt. Gilboa in a fight with the Philistines when David was out fighting the Amalekites.

The people of Judea who were grateful to David for saving them from desert raiders while he was in Ziklag, appointed him king at the age of 30.

After becoming the king of Israel, David built himself a palace in the city of David in Jerusalem. But God disallowed him from building his temple where the Holy Ark will be kept after been passed from city to city, to Jerusalem which had always been his dream as he had always set aside the necessary physical materials, commanding the Levites and others in their duties for the Temple.

He handed the plan for the Temple to Solomon as God has promised him that his son Solomon would build him the temple.

At old age, David stopped fighting war. His eldest son, Adonijah declared himself king, but David because of his promise to his dear wife, Bathsheba to make her son Solomon king, publicly anointed Solomon.

David then began fighting wars against Israel’s neighbors on the east bank of the Jordan. He defeated the Moabites, the Edomites, the Ammonites and the Arameans. These wars began as defensive wars, but ended with the establishment of a Davidic empire that extended over both sides of the Jordan River, as far as the Mediterranean Sea. David enforced justice in his empire and established civil and military administrations in Jerusalem, modeled after those of the Canaanites and Egyptians. He divided the country into twelve districts, each with its own civil, military and religious institutions. He also established Jerusalem as the secular and religious center of the country. Each district paid taxes to Jerusalem and the people began to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem each year on the holidays of Passover.


Jewish Virtual Library
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