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King David
King of all Israel and Judah
Reign over Judah c.1010 - 1003 BC; over Judah and Israel c.1003 - 970 BC.
Born c 1040 BC
Birthplace Bethlehem
Died c.970 BC
Place of death Jerusalem
Predecessor Saul
Successor Solomon

Michal, Ahinoam, Abigail, Maachah, Haggith, Abital, Eglah and

Royal House House of David
Father Jesse
Mother not named in the Bible; identified by the Talmud as Nitzevet daughter of Adael.

David Hebrew: דָּוִד, Modern David Tiberian dɔwið, "beloved"; Arabic: دَاوُۥدَ‎, Dāwud; Greek: Δαυιδ; Latin, David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Bible. He is depicted as a righteous king, although not without fault, as well as an acclaimed warrior, musician and poet, traditionally credited for composing many of the psalms contained in the Book of Psalms.

His life may be dated to c.1040–970 BC, his reign over Judah c.1010–1003 BC, and his reign over the united Kingdom of Israel c.1003–970 BC. The Books of Samuel are the primary source of information on his life and reign, continuing with his descendants in the Books of Kings. Few archaeological references have been preserved, but the Tel Dan stele records the existence in the mid-9th century of a Judean royal dynasty called the "House of David", and there are other references in the historical record to David's offspring.

David's life is particularly important to Jewish and Christian culture. As Dawud, he is also an iconic holy warrior in the Qur'an.

Biblical narrative

David is chosen

Samuel anoints David, Dura Europos, Syria, Date: 3rd c. CE

God withdraws his favor from Saul, king of Israel. "Saul's final sin was his refusal to carry out the ban against the Amalekites..."[1] Saul has previously sinned during the battle of Michmash where he leads Israel against the Philistines.[1] The prophet Samuel had driven the Philistines from Israel but at Michmash the Philistines threaten again. In these passages Saul is presented as a type of anti-Gideon.[2] Saul stops Ahijah in the middle of his consultation, "an unparralelled act in Scripture"[3]..."[S]aul silenced the Lord; and in response the Lord became silent."[4]

Later, when Saul seeks Yahweh, He does not answer, and Saul goes to a medium (1 Sam. 28)."[5]

The prophet Samuel seeks a new king for his people from the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem. Seven of Jesse's sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel says "The LORD has not chosen these." He then asks "Are these all the sons you have?" and Jesse answers, "There is still the youngest but he is tending the sheep." David is brought to Samuel, and "the LORD said, 'Rise and anoint him; he is the one.'"[6]

God sends an evil spirit to torment Saul and his attendants suggest he send for David. Saul does so and makes David one of his armor-bearers and "whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him."

David and Goliath

David hoists the severed head of Goliath by Gustave Doré

The Israelites are facing the Philistines in the Valley of Elah. David is bringing food to his older brothers who are with King Saul. David's father Jesse has given David instructions similar to those given by Jacob to Joseph calling for David to look into the welfare of his brothers. (See Genesis 37:12-17 compare 1 Sam. 17:17-19).[7]

David hears the Gittite giant Goliath challenging the Israelites to send their own champion to decide the outcome in single combat. Goliath is dressed in scale armor, the Hebrew word literally meaning "scales".[7](1 Sam. 17:5) Typologically this harkens back to the scales of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden.[8] Goliath has been taunting the Israelites for forty days, which is analogous to Israel's wilderness experience during the Exodus of forty years prior to Joshua's conquest and deliverance, (see Numbers 14:33-34) making David a type of new Joshua who would deliver the Israelites. As in Numbers 13:25-33, during the time of the Conquest, the Israelites are afraid of a giant or giants in the land.[9] Likewise Goliath is described as a "giant" whose hometown is Gath,[9] a city where the Anakim giants, who were conquered by Joshua years earlier, had relocated, making Goliath a possible descendant.[9]

So David goes to Saul and tells Saul he is prepared to face Goliath because he has killed a bear and a lion (1 Sam. 17:37). David insists that he can defeat Goliath. "Goliath had committed blasphemy, a capital crime, and David was going out to stone him to death."[10]

Saul allows him to make the attempt. Saul attempts to dress David in his own armor but David will not take it. Instead David chooses a staff and a sling to confront Goliath. The sling is significant because Saul is of the tribe of Benjamin, and should be a good slinger, presumably capable of defeating Goliath with a sling (an earlier work called the Book of Judges, indicates that warriors in Saul's tribe, the Benjamites, were known as excellent slingers (Judges 20:16)[11]). David, however, is not a Benjamite but he chooses to fight Goliath using a weapon that the King's own tribe is indicated to have been proficient in, after the king has delayed action for forty days.(see Judges 20:15-16)[12]

David is victorious, striking Goliath's head with a stone from his sling. "Goliath was dressed like a serpent with his scale armor, and he died like a serpent, with a head wound, just as the Philistine god Dagon had his head crushed. As the Psalm says, all those who worship idols will be like them (Ps. 155:1-8)".[13] An earlier passage, 1 Samuel 5.2–7, relates how the ark of Yahweh was captured by the Philistines and taken to Dagon's temple in Ashdod. The following morning they found the image of Dagon lying prostrate before the ark. They set the image upright, but again on the morning of the following day they found it prostrate before the ark.

The Philistines flee in terror and the Israelites win a great victory. David cuts off the giant's head and takes it to Jerusalem, perhaps as a warning to the Jebusites who still rule there.[13]

Saul asks who the young hero is; and David replies, "I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem." 1 Samuel 17:58 Significantly perhaps, Saul is often seen holding a spear, Goliath's weapon of choice, throughout the rest of First Samuel.[14]

King Saul and David

Saul Tries to Kill David by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld.

Saul makes David a commander over his armies and offers him his daughter Michal in marriage.[15]

David is successful in many battles, and the women say, "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." His popularity awakes Saul's fears — "What more can he have but the kingdom?" — and by various stratagems the jealous king seeks his death. But the plots all prove futile, and only endear David the more to the people, and especially to Saul's son Jonathan, who loves David (1 Samuel 18:1, 2 Samuel 1:25-26).[16]

The covenant David and Jonathan form eventually leads to David offering the "kindness of God"[17][18] to Jonathan's son Mephibosheth, a cripple, by seating him at David's own table instead of eradicating Saul's line.[18][19] Warned by Jonathan, David flees into the wilderness.

In the wilderness David gathers a band of followers and becomes the champion of the oppressed while evading the pursuit of Saul. He accepts Ziklag as a chief from the Philistine king Achish of Gath, but continues secretly to champion the Israelites. Achish then marches against Saul, but David is excused from the war on the accusation of the Philistine nobles that his loyalty to their cause cannot be trusted.

David in the wilderness

Gustave Doré, 1865, Michal helps young David escape.
"So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped". Samuel 1, chapter 19, 12

While David is hiding for his life, Saul gives Michal as a wife to Palti, son of Laish, and David takes several other wives, including Abigail. 1 Samuel 25 Later when David became king of Judah and Ish-bosheth Michal's brother (and Saul's son) ruled the northern tribes of Israel, David demanded her return to him, in return for peace between them. This Ish-bosheth did, despite the public protests of Palti.[20]

Much later, after Michal was back with David, she criticized David because he danced, partially unclothed, as he brought the Ark of the Covenant to the newly-captured Jerusalem in a religious procession.[21] Michal died without having had children with David, which the Book of Samuel[22] suggested was a punishment for her criticism. She did, however, have five sons from her previous marriage whom David later handed over to the Gibeonites to be killed to avenge their grandfather, King Saul's attack on that tribe.[23]

David's reign as king

Panorama of the Harod Valley below, part of the Jezreel- see Mount Gilboa

Saul and Jonathan are killed during a battle with the Philistines at Mount Gilboa. David mourns their death, then goes up to Hebron, where he is anointed king over Judah; in the north, Saul's son Ish-Bosheth attempts to rule the tribes of Israel. War ensues between Ish-Bosheth and David, until Ish-Bosheth is assassinated. The assassins bring forward the head of Ish-Bosheth to David hoping for reward, but David executes them for their crime against the Lord's anointed. Yet with the death of the son of Saul, the elders of Israel come to Hebron, and David, 30 years old, is anointed King over Israel and Judah.[24]

David conquers Jebus, the Jebusite fortress now called Jerusalem, and makes it his capital and "Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built David a house." David brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, intending to build a temple. God, speaking to the prophet Nathan, forbids it, saying the temple must wait for a future generation. But God makes a covenant with David, promising that he will establish the house of David eternally: "Your throne shall be established forever."

"Throughout David's reign, the ark remained in ['the tent which David had pitched for it'] and David organized the Levites to worship there. Meanwhile, the Mosaic tabernacle (without the ark) continued to operated in Gibeon, some seven miles northwest of the capital....Eventually, the ark was reunited with the rest of the tabernacle furniture in the temple of Solomon.".[25]

David's conquests

The Mesha stele as photographed circa 1891. The stele describes King Mesha's wars against the Israelites.

David begins his conquest with the Philistines to his west. He takes "Metheg Amma" from the Philistines, which probably means "bridle of the mother" or "mother city" and by controlling the bridle, controls the nation.[26] This may have been Gath.[27][28] He subdues the Moabites to the east, then turns north to fight Hadadezer of Zobah, establishing a garrison at Damascus;[29] finally conquering the Edomites to his south.[30][31][32] This conquest figuratively extends his conquest to the four corners of the earth and extends his lands to those promised to Abraham in the Book of Genesis[31][32]

The Moabites pay tribute to David; David takes gold shields from Hadadezer[33] and bronze from his cities. Another local ruler, Toi of Hamath, hears about David's conquest of Hadadezer and sends tribute to David for delivering his nation from Hadadezer.[26] The bronze taken from the conquest was used in the building of Solomon's Temple (built by David's son), particularly in casting the sea of Bronze, which sat on the back of twelve bulls, which represented the sea of nations born by the twelve tribes of Israel.[34]

David's adultery with Bathsheba, and Uriah the Hittite

Folio 67v - David Entrusts a Letter to Uriah the Musée Condé, Chantilly.

Later in David's reign, David commits adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, while her husband is away at war with the Ammonites where the Israelite army is besieging the Ammonite fortress of Rabbah. David's adultery breaks a clear commandment of the Torah, Judaism's founding legal and ethical text, "giving 'occasion to the enemies of Yahweh to blaspheme'[35] ...(throwing) Israel into political turmoil far more extreme than anything that happened during the reign of Saul."[36]

Bathsheba was "a daughter of "Eliam", one of David's "thirty" (2 Sam. 23:34; cf 1 Chr. 3:5). Eliam's father, Bathsheba's grandfather, was Ahitophel, one of David's chief advisors. Ahitophel was from Giloh (Josh. 15:51;cf 2 Sam. 15:12), a city of Judah, and thus Bathsheba was from David's own tribe and the granddaughter of one of David's closest advisors (2 Sam.15:12)."[37][38] Ahitophel eventually sides with David's son Absalom during the son's failed rebellion against David,[39] which would have made Absalom king, rather than Ahithophel's great-grandson (by David and Bathsheba) Solomon. Absalom's rebellion fails. Absalom is killed by David's general Joab and his men, and Ahithophel commits suicide by hanging himself (2 Sam. 17:23).

After David's adultery, Bathsheba becomes pregnant and David sends for Uriah, who is with the Israelite army at the siege of Rabbah, so that he may lie with his wife and conceal the identity of the child's father. Uriah refuses to do so while his companions are in the field of battle and David sends him back to Joab, the commander, with a message instructing him to abandon Uriah on the battlefield, "that he may be struck down, and die." While the text is unclear, it appears that Joab disobeys David placing Uriah "at the place where he knew there were valiant men..."(2 Samuel 11:16) where "men of the city went out and fought against Joab, and some of the people among David's servants fell; and Uriah the Hittite also died." (2 Samuel 11:20-21) Joab's message to David is compelling in this respect because Joab warns the messenger about what he should say if David becomes angry about Joab approaching Rabbah's walls too closely, indicating he had made an assault on the walls, rather than simply abandoning Uriah in a retreat. If Joab had simply obeyed the Kings command, there would be no reason for him to become angry, but it appears Joab disobeyed and anticipated David's anger telling his messenger to say to David, if he became angry, that "[t]he men of the city went out and fought against Joab, and some of the people among David's servants fell; and Uriah the Hittite also died." (2 Samuel 11:19-21).

David then marries Bathsheba and she bears his child, "but the thing that David had done displeased the Lord."[40] The prophet Nathan confronts David, saying: "Why have you despised the word of God, to do what is evil in his sight? You have smitten Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife." For both the adultery and the murder, Nathan declares that God would curse the King with a troubled reign, full of violent civil unrest and intrigue. Furthermore, while David himself would not die, his child born from Bathsheba would as punishment.

David repents, in contrast to Saul, David's predecessor who also sinned and who had the kingdom torn from him. Yet God "struck the [David's] child ... and it became sick ... [And] on the seventh day the child died." David, however, remains king, despite it nearly being torn from him.

After the death of his son by Bathsheba, David leaves his lamentations, dresses himself, and eats. His servants ask why he lamented when the baby was alive, but ends his mourning when the child dies. David replies: "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, who knows whether Yahweh will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me."[41] "David's sin with Bathsheba was an abuse of his authority as king, and the events of these chapters confirm that his adultery, private though it may have been, had enormous public consequences. Because of his sin, David lost the kingdom for a time...In the end David's kingdom was revived, but not without considerable loss of life, authority, prestige, and vitality. David also suffered grievous personal consequences from his sin."[42]

David's son Absalom rebels

The Death of Absalom by Gustave Doré

David's son Absalom rebels against his father, and they come to battle in the Wood of Ephraim. Absalom is caught by his head[43](see 2 Samuel 14:26) in the branches of an oak and David's general Joab stabs him with three spears; then ten of Joab's armor-bearers assault Absalom and kill him as he hangs there. Samuel 18:14-15 This Joab commits even after being reminded of David's command to him, Abishai and Ittai, "[f]or my [King David's] sake protect the young man Absalom." (2 Samuel 18:12). So 'When the news of the victory is brought to David he does not rejoice, but is instead shaken with grief: "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!"[44]

The old age of David

Traditional tomb of David.[45]

When David has become old and bedridden Adonijah, his eldest surviving son and natural heir, declares himself king. Bathsheba, David's favourite wife, and Nathan the prophet, fearing that they will be killed by Adonijah, go to David and procure his agreement that Solomon, Bathsheba's son, should sit on the throne. And so the plans of Adonijah collapse, and Solomon becomes king.[46] It is to Solomon that David gives his final instructions, including his promise that the line of Solomon and David will inherit the throne of Judah forever, and his request that Solomon kill his oldest enemies on his behalf. David dies and is buried in the City of David, having ruled forty years over Israel, seven in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem.[47]

David the musician

In various biblical passages, David is referred to as “the favorite of the songs of Israel,”[48] the one who soothed Saul with music,[49] and the founder of Temple singing.[50][51] A Psalms scroll from the Dead Sea Scrolls (11QPsa) attributes 3600 tehilim (songs of praise) plus other compositions to David.[52] Seventy-three of the 150 Psalms in the Bible are attributed to David.[53] The supreme kingship of Yahweh is the most pervasive theological concept in the book of Psalms,[54][55] and many psalms attributed to David are directed to Yahweh by name,[56] whether in praise or petition, suggesting a relationship.[57] According to the Midrash Tehillim, King David was prompted to the Psalms by the Holy Spirit that rested upon him.[58]

In addition to ascribing authorship to David, several Psalms are identified with specific events in David's life.[59] Psalm 34 is attributed to David on the occasion of his escape from the Abimelech (king) Achish by pretending to be insane.[60] According to the narrative in 1 Samuel 21, instead of killing the man who had exacted so many casualties from him, Abimelech allows David to depart, exclaiming, “Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?"[61] Psalm 34 is one of seven acrostic Psalms in the original Hebrew; most English translations do not retain the acrostic form.[62] The first part of Psalm 34 is directed toward Yahweh in complete and humble gratitude (David does not even mention his own royal status); the second part confidently directs others to Yahweh.[63]

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them … Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Psalm 34:6-7,11 (ESV)

In contrast, Psalm 18 is not related to a specific incident but rather to God's faithful deliverance from “all of his enemies and from the hand of Saul.”[64][65] The text of this Psalm was thought to date to the 10th century B.C. even before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls[66] and is very similar to that of 2 Samuel 22.[67] In this Psalm, David recalls being in deadly situations: “The cords of death entangled me, the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.”[68] He cries out to God for help, and God rescues David.

I love you, Yahweh, my strength (my Saviour, you have saved me from violence). Yahweh is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer is my God. I take refuge in him, my rock, my shield, my saving strength, my stronghold, my place of refuge. I call to Yahweh who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my foes.

Psalm 18:1b-3 (NJB)

The Scottish theologian Samuel Rutherford (1600–1661) notes that crying out to God is mentioned in many Psalms attributed to David.[69] He comments, “Fervour is a heavenly ingredient in prayer. An arrow drawn with full strength hath a speedier issue.”[70] The Midrash Tehillim teaches from Psalm 4 “that the mere mechanical application to the Throne of Mercy is not efficacious is plainly seen from the words of King David, who says God is nigh to all that call upon Him, and … he adds the important words, 'to those who call upon Him in truth.'”[71]

According to Psalm 40, David's cries to God were heartfelt though not necessarily impatient; the poignant combination of a cry for help with a confident expression of faith echo today in the song “40” by the rock group U2 and that encapsulates David's experience with his God:

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

Psalm 40:1-3 (NIV)

Qur'an narrative

As Dawud, David is also an iconic holy warrior in the Qur'an, in the Surat al-Baqara.[72] See below David in Islam. in the Qur'an narrative around David, the person of Saul is there called Talut and Goliath as Jalut. Muslim translators usually write Saul, David and Goliath in their English translations for the Arabic names Talut, Dawud and Jalut in the text of the Qur'an.

Religions and David

David in Judaism

David's reign represents the formation of a coherent Jewish kingdom centered in Jerusalem and the institution of an eternal royal dynasty; the failure of this "eternal" Davidic dynasty after some four centuries led to the later elaboration of the concept of the Messiah, at first a human descendant of David who would occupy the throne of a restored kingdom, later an apocalyptic figure who would usher in the end of time.

In modern Judaism David's descent from a convert (Ruth) is taken as proof of the importance of converts within Judaism. David is also viewed as a tragic figure; his acquisition of Bathsheba, and the loss of his son are viewed as his central tragedies.

Many legends have grown around the figure of David. According to one Rabbinic tradition, David was raised as the son of his father Jesse and spent his early years herding his father's sheep in the wilderness while his brothers were in school. Only at his anointing by Samuel - when the oil from Samuel's flask turned to diamonds and pearls - was his true identity as Jesse's son revealed. David's adultery with Bathsheba was only an opportunity to demonstrate the power of repentance, and some Talmudic authors stated that it was not adultery at all, quoting a Jewish practice of divorce on the eve of battle. Furthermore, according to David's apologists, the death of Uriah was not to be considered murder, on the basis that Uriah had committed a capital offence by refusing to obey a direct command from the King.[73]

According to midrashim,[74] Adam gave up 70 years of his life for the life of David. Also, according to the Talmud Yerushalmi, David was born and died on the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (Feast of Weeks). His piety was said to be so great that his prayers could bring down things from Heaven.

David in Christianity

David and King Saul, by Rembrandt. David plays the lyre (depicted here as a harp) to the king "tormented by an evil spirit"

Originally an earthly king ruling by divine appointment ("the anointed one", as the title Messiah had it), the "son of David" became in the last two pre-Christian centuries the apocalyptic and heavenly who would deliver Israel and usher in a new kingdom. This was the background to the concept of Messiahship in early Christianity, which interpreted the career of Jesus "by means of the titles and functions assigned to David in the mysticism of the Zion cult, in which he served as priest-king and in which he was the mediator between God and man."[75] The early Church believed that "the life of David [foreshadowed] the life of Christ; Bethlehem is the birthplace of both; the shepherd life of David points out Christ, the Good Shepherd; the five stones chosen to slay Goliath are typical of the five wounds; the betrayal by his trusted counsellor, Achitophel, and the passage over the Cedron remind us of Christ's Sacred Passion. Many of the Davidic Psalms, as we learn from the New Testament, are clearly typical of the future Messias."[76]

In the Middle Ages, "Charlemagne thought of himself, and was viewed by his court scholars, as a 'new David'. [This was] not in itself a new idea, but [one whose] content and significance were greatly enlarged by him."[77] The linking of David to earthly kingship was reflected in later Medieval cathedral windows all over Europe through the device of the Tree of Jesse its branches demonstrating how divine kingship descended from Jesse, through his son David, to Jesus.

Western Rite churches (Roman Catholic, Lutheran) celebrate his feast day on 29 December, Eastern-rite on 19 December.[78] The Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church celebrate the feast day of the "Holy Righteous Prophet and King David" on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers (two Sundays before the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Lord), when he is commemorated together with other ancestors of Jesus. He is also commemorated on the Sunday after the Nativity, together with Joseph and James, the Brother of the Lord.

The Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cites David as one directed by God to practise polygamy, but who sinned in committing adultery with Bathsheba and having Uriah killed.[79] This clarifies the LDS doctrine that polygamy is only allowed as directed by the Lord, otherwise it is a grievous sin.[80]

David in Islam

Main article Islamic view of David
The factual accuracy of this article is disputed.
See further information on its talk page.

In the Qur'an and in the Islamic tradition, David (Arabic داود, Dāwūd) is one of the prophets of Islam, to whom the Zabur (Psalms) were revealed by God. The Islamic tradition includes many elements from the Jewish history of David, such as his battle with the giant Goliath, but rejects the Biblical portrayal of David as an adulterer and murderer - the rejection is based on the goodness of the Prophets of God in Islam (fallible, but to an extent of minor and basic human error) and on the concept of ismah, or the infallibility of the prophets (according to Shia Islam). According to some, but not all Islamic traditions David was not from Judah but from Levi and Aron.[81]

David also appears in various Hadith (oral traditions derived from those who knew the Prophet Muhammad). In Sahih al-Bukhari and in Abd-Allah ibn Amr he is named as the person whose way of fasting and praying is the most perfect: "God's Apostle (Muhammad) said to me, "The most beloved fasting to God was the fasting of (the Prophet) David who used to fast on alternate days. And the most beloved prayer to God was the prayer of David who used to sleep for (the first) half of the night and pray for 1/3 of it and (again) sleep for a sixth of it." David was also given the most beautiful voice of all mankind, just as Joseph was given the most beautiful appearance. In one hadith, Abu Hurairah narrates that Muhammad said, "The reciting of the Zabur (i.e. Psalms) was made easy for David. He used to order that his riding animals be saddled, and would finish reciting the Zabur before they were saddled." Other hadith relate that David's reading of psalms was so entrancing that fish would leave the sea to listen when he recited, and that it was he who began the building of the Holy Temple, completed by his son Solomon, and which later became the site of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Historicity of David

See The Bible and history and dating the Bible for a more complete description of the general issues surrounding the Bible as a historical source.

Archaeological evidence

The Tel Dan Stele

An inscription found at Tel Dan dated c.850-835 BC contains the phrase 'House of David' (ביתדוד). "If the reading of בית דוד [House of David] on the Tel Dan stele is correct, ... then we have solid evidence that a 9th-century BC Aramean king considered the founder of the Judean dynasty to be somebody named דוד" [David].[82] The Mesha Stele from Moab, dating from approximately the same period, may also contain the name David, although the reading is uncertain. Kenneth Kitchen has proposed that an inscription of c. 945 BC by the Egyptian Pharaoh Shoshenq I mentions "the highlands of David," but this has not been widely accepted.[83]

The interpretation of the archeological evidence on the extent and nature of Judah and Jerusalem in the 10th century BC is a matter of fierce debate. Israel Finkelstein and Ze'ev Herzog of Tel Aviv University do not believe the archeological record supports the view that Israel at that time was a major state, but rather was a small tribal kingdom, although both Finkelstein and Silberman do accept that David and Solomon were real kings of Judah about the 10th century BC.[84] They claim that surveys of surface finds aimed at tracing settlement patterns and population changes have shown that between the 16th and 8th centuries BC, a period which includes the biblical kingdoms of David and Solomon, the entire population of the hill country of Judah was no more than about 5,000 persons, most of them wandering pastoralists, with the entire urbanised area consisting of about twenty small villages.[85]

According to Ze'ev Herzog "the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom".[86] On the other is William Dever, in his What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?, holds that the archaeological and anthropological evidence supports the broad biblical account of a Judean state in the 10th century BC.[87]

The Bronze and Iron Age remains of the City of David[88] were investigated extensively in the 1970s and 1980s under the direction of Yigael Shiloh of Hebrew University, but failed to discover significant evidence of occupation during the 10th century BC[89] In 2005 Eilat Mazar found a Large Stone Structure which she claimed was David's Palace,.[90][91] The oldest pottery from the site is dated to the 12th-11th centuries BC, leading Amihai Mazar to speculate that it represents a pre-Davidic Jebusite fortress, while at the other end of the chronological range there is the 7th-century bulla found in the structure. Elsewhere in the territory of biblical Judah and Israel, no royal inscriptions exist from the 10th century BC, nor evidence of a royal bureaucracy (the equivalents of the LMLK seal[92] attached to oil jars associated with the Judean royal bureaucracy of the late 8th century BC).

Biblical Hebrew has been found in what we believe to be a Hebrew fortress dating to the time of King David in the 10th century BCE. Prof. Galil's deciphering of the ancient writing testifies to its being Hebrew, based on the use of verbs particular to the Hebrew language, and content specific to Hebrew culture and not adopted by any other cultures in the region. The text is very similar to biblical text found in the bible.[93]

The biblical account

Russian icon of St. David, the Prophet and King, 18th century (Iconostasis of Kizhi monastery, Karelia, Russia).

The biblical evidence for David comes from the book of Samuel (two books in the Christian tradition), and the book of Chronicles (also two books in the Christian tradition). (Although almost half of the Psalms are headed "A Psalm of David", the headings are later additions, and no psalm can be attributed to David with certainty).[94] Chronicles, however, merely retells Samuel from a different theological vantage point, and contains little if any information not available there, and the biblical evidence for David is therefore dependent almost exclusively on the material contained in the chapters from 1 Samuel 16 to 1 Kings 2.

The question of David's historicity therefore becomes the question of the date, textual integrity, authorship and reliability of 1st and 2nd Samuel. Since Martin Noth put forward his analysis of the Deuteronomistic History biblical scholars have accepted that these two books form part of a continuous history of Israel, compiled no earlier than the late 7th century BC, but incorporating earlier works and fragments. Samuel's account of David "seems to have undergone two separate acts of editorial slanting. The original writers show a strong bias against Saul, and in favour of David and Solomon. Many years later, the Deuteronomists edited the material in a manner that conveyed their religious message, inserting reports and anecdotes that strengthened their monotheistic doctrine. Some of the materials in Samuel I and II , notably the lists of officers, officials, and districts are believed to be very early, possibly even dating to the time of David or Solomon. These documents were probably in the hands of the Deuteronomists when they started to compile the material three centuries later."[95]

Beyond this, the full range of possible interpretations is available, from the "maximalist" position of the late John Bright, whose "History of Israel", dating largely from the 1950s, takes Samuel at face value, to the recent "minimalist" scholars such Thomas L. Thompson, who measures Samuel against the archaeological evidence and concludes that "an independent history of Judea during the Iron I and Iron II periods [i.e., the period of David] has little room for historicizing readings of the stories of I-II Samuel and I Kings."[96] Within this gamut some interesting studies of David have been written. Baruch Halpern has pictured David as a lifelong vassal of Achish, the Philistine king of Gath;[97] Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman have identified as the oldest and most reliable section of Samuel those chapters which describe David as the charismatic leader of a band of outlaws who captures Jerusalem and makes it his capital.[98] Steven McKenzie, Associate Professor of the Hebrew Bible at Rhodes College and author of King David: A Biography, states the belief that David actually came from a wealthy family, was "ambitious and ruthless" and a tyrant who murdered his opponents, including his own sons.[94]

David's legacy

The oldest complete Tree of Jesse window is in Chartres Cathedral, 1145.


According to Ruth 4:18-22, David is the tenth generation descendant from Judah, the fourth son of the patriarch Jacob (Israel). The genealogical line runs as follows: JudahPharezHezronRamAmminadabNahshonSalmonBoaz (the husband of Ruth) → ObedJesse → David.[99]

The New Testament traces the genealogy of Jesus back to David and Abraham, with three blocks of fourteen "generations" each being similarly schematic. In the ancient world each letter of the alphabet had a numerical value, the value for the name "David" being fourteen: the fourteen "generations" thus underscored Christ's Davidic descent and his identity as the expected Messiah.

David's family

David was born in Bethlehem, in the territory of the Tribe of Judah. His father was named Jesse. His mother is not named in the Bible, but the Talmud identifies her as Nitzevet daughter of Adael.[100] David had seven brothers and was the youngest of them all. He had eight wives: Michal, the second daughter of King Saul; Ahinoam the Jezreelite; Abigail the Carmelite, previously wife of Nabal;[101] Maachah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; Haggith; Abital; Eglah; and Bathsheba, previously the wife of Uriah the Hittite.

The Book of Chronicles lists David's sons by various wives and concubines. In Hebron he had six sons 1 Chronicles 3:1-3: Amnon, by Ahinoam; Daniel, by Abigail; Absalom, by Maachah; Adonijah, by Haggith; Shephatiah, by Abital; and Ithream, by Eglah. By Bathsheba, his sons were: Shammua; Shobab; Nathan; and Solomon. His sons born in Jerusalem by other wives included: Ibhar; Elishua; Eliphelet; Nogah; Nepheg; Japhia; Elishama; and Eliada. 2 Samuel 5:14-16 According to 2 Chronicles 11:18, Jerimoth, who is not mentioned in any of the genealogies, is mentioned as another of David's sons. According to 2 Samuel 9:11, David adopted Johnathan's son Mephibosheth as his own.

David also had at least one daughter, Tamar by Maachah, who was raped by Amnon, her half-brother. Her rape leads to Amnon's death. 2 Samuel 13:1-29 Absalom, Amnon's half-brother and Tamar's full-brother, waits two years, then avenges his sister by sending his servants to kill Amnon at a feast to which he had invited all the king's sons. 2 Samuel 13

Descendants of David

The following are some of the more notable persons who have claimed descent from the Biblical David, or had it claimed on their behalf:

  • Jesus of Nazareth c. 4 BC - AD 30
  • Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon of Spain/haRaMbaM apx. 1135-1204)
  • Judah Loew, Yehuda Loew ben Bezalel (c. 1525, Prague; 22 August 1609 Prague), also known as "The Maharal of Prague".
  • The Abravanel family
  • The Baal Shem Tov, and through him every Hassidic Rebbe descended from him
  • Eliezer Silver
  • Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, whose family is descended from Judah Loew.
  • Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia
  • The Royal House of Georgia

Representation in art and literature

David, Michelangelo, 1500-1504.


Famous sculptures of David include (in chronological order) those by:

  • Donatello (c. 1430 - 1440), David (Donatello)
  • Andrea del Verrocchio (1476), David (Verrocchio)
  • Michelangelo (1504), David (Michaelangelo)
  • Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1624), David (Bernini)
  • Antonin Mercié (1873)


  • Dryden's long poem Absalom and Achitophel is an allegory that uses the story of the rebellion of Absalom against King David as the basis for his satire of the contemporary political situation, including events such as the Monmouth Rebellion (1685), the Popish Plot (1678) and the Exclusion Crisis.
  • Elmer Davis's novel Giant Killer (1928, The John Day company) retells and embellishes the Biblical story of David, casting David as primarily a poet who managed always to find others to do the "dirty work" of heroism and kingship. In the novel, Elhanan in fact killed Goliath but David claimed the credit; and Joab, David's cousin and general, took it upon himself to make many of the difficult decisions of war and statecraft when David vacillated or wrote poetry instead.
  • Gladys Schmitt wrote a novel titled "David the King" (1946, Doubleday Books) which proceeds as a richly embellished biography of David's entire life. The book took a risk, especially for its time, in portraying David's relationship with Jonathan as overtly homoerotic, but was ultimately panned by critics as a bland rendition of the title character.
  • In Thomas Burnett Swann's Biblical fantasy novel How are the Mighty Fallen (1974, DAW) David and Jonathan are explicitly stated to be lovers. Moreover, Jonathan is a member of a winged semi-human race (possibly nephilim), one of several such races co-existing with humanity but often persecuted by it.
  • Joseph Heller, the author of Catch-22, also wrote a novel based on David, God Knows (1984, Simon & Schuster). Told from the perspective of an aging David, the humanity—rather than the heroism—of various biblical characters are emphasized. The portrayal of David as a man of flaws such as greed, lust, selfishness, and his alienation from God, the falling apart of his family is a distinctly 20th century interpretation of the events told in the Bible.
  • Jill Eileen Smith's "The Wives of King David" (2009, Revell) is a Christian series that depicts the biblical David's life through the eyes of his famous wives: Michal, Abigail and Bathsheba. The first fiction is set against the 'backdrop of opulent palace life, raging war, and desert escapes as Princess Michal deals with love, loss, and personal transformation as one of the wives of David.'
  • Day of War by Cliff Graham (2009, Tate) is a novel about the early years of King David's Warriors. It is being made into a major motion picture franchise from director David L. Cunningham and producer Grant Curtis.[102]
  • Juan Bosch, Dominican political leader and writer, wrote "David: Biography of a King" (1966, Hawthorn, NY) a realistic approach to David's life and political career.
  • Allan Massie wrote "King David" (1996, Sceptre), a novel about David's career which portrays the king's relationship to Jonathan and others as openly homosexual.
  • Madeleine L'Engle's novel Certain Women (1993, HarperOne) explores family, the Christian faith, and the nature of God through the story of King David's family and an analogous modern family's saga.[103]
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used the story of David and Bathsheba as the main structure for the Sherlock Holmes story the Crooked Man. The betrayal of the Crooked Man is paralleled with David's betrayal of Uriah the Hittite, carried out in order to win Bathsheba.
  • Stefan Heym's "The King David Report" (1998, Northwestern University Press) is a fiction depicting the writings of the Bible historian, Ethan, upon King Solomon's orders, of a true and authoritative report on the life of David, Son of Jesse.
  • Timothy S. Wilkinson has written "Prophet of Israel" and "Judge of Israel," the first two volumes of "The Eternal Throne Chronicles," a series of historical novels based on David's life and the events leading up to it. (2009, Lulu Inc.)


  • Gregory Peck, played King David in the 1951 film David and Bathsheba, directed by Henry King. Susan Hayward played Bathsheba and Raymond Massey played the prophet Nathan.
  • Finlay Currie, played an aged King David in the 1959 film Solomon and Sheba, directed by King Vidor. Yul Brynner played Solomon and Gina Lollobrigida played the Queen of Sheba.
  • Richard Gere portrayed King David in the 1985 film King David directed by Bruce Beresford.
  • Nathaniel Parker portrayed King David in the 1997 film "David", with Leonard Nimoy as Samuel and Jonathan Pryce as Saul.


  • Josquin des Pres's Absalon fili mi is a polyphonic lamentation from David's perspective on the death of his son.
  • Arthur Honegger's oratorio, Le Roi David ('King David'), with a libretto by Rene Morax, was composed in 1921 and instantly became a staple of the choral repertoire; it is still widely performed.
  • Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah" has references to David ("there was a secret chord that David played and it pleased the Lord", "The baffled king composing Hallelujah") and Bathsheba ("you saw her bathing on the roof") in its opening verses.
  • "Mad About You", a song on Sting's 1991 album The Soul Cages explores David's obsession with Bathsheba from David's perspective.
  • Dead by the Pixies is a retelling of David's adultery and repentance.
  • Herbert Howells (1892–1983) composed an artsong for voice and piano called "King David".
  • Eric Whitacre wrote a song, "When David Heard," based on 2 Samuel, chronicling the death of David's son, Absalom and David's grief over losing his son.
  • mewithoutYou has a song from their album It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All a Dream! It's Alright, entitled "The Angel of Death Came to David's Room," which tells the story of David struggle with the Angel of Death when his (David's) time of death has arrived. It is based on on folk tradition of King David and some Hebrew Bible.

Musical theatre

  • King David, a modern oratorio, with a book and lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Alan Menken.


  • In 2009, NBC introduced the series Kings, which was explicitly designed as a modern retelling of the David story.
  • In the PBS television series Wishbone the episode "Little Big Dog" recounts the story of David, his favor with Saul, and his triumphant battle over Goliath.


For a considerable period, starting in the 15th century and continuing until the 19th, French playing card manufacturers assigned to each of the court cards names taken from history or mythology.[104][105] In this context, the King of Spades was often known as "David".

See also

Gloriole.svg Saints portal


  1. 1.0 1.1 Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me, p.81.
  2. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me, p. 82
  3. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me, p. 85
  4. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me, p. 85
  5. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me, p84-85
  6. Search for a Bible passage in over 35 languages and 50 versions
  7. 7.0 7.1 Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me: An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel, p. 98, Canon Press (July 1, 2003), 307 pages, ISBN 978-1885767998
  8. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me: An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel, p.98, Canon Press (July 1, 2003), 307 pages, ISBN 978-1885767998
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me: An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel, p. 97-98, Canon Press (July 1, 2003), 307 pages, ISBN 978-1885767998
  10. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me: An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel, p. 98, Canon Press (July 1, 2003), 307 pages, ISBN 978-1885767998 referencing Robert D. Bergen, 1,2 Samuel: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (New American Commentary: Broadman and Holman, 1996) p. 195.
  11. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me: An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel, p. 99, Canon Press (July 1, 2003), 307 pages, ISBN 978-1885767998
  12. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me: An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel, Canon Press (July 1, 2003), 307 pages, ISBN 978-1885767998
  13. 13.0 13.1 Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me: An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel, p.100, Canon Press (July 1, 2003), 307 pages, ISBN 978-1885767998
  14. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me: An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel, p.99, Canon Press (July 1, 2003), 307 pages, ISBN 978-1885767998
  15. 1 Samuel 18:17-19
  16. 2&src=Samuel 1 Samuel 18:1, 2
  17. 2 Samuel 9
  18. 18.0 18.1 Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me, p 208-09, Canon Press, (2003).
  19. See David and Jonathan. There is debate amongst some scholars on whether this relationship might have been platonic, romantic or sexual. Boswell, John. Same-sex Unions in Premodern Europe. New York: Vintage, 1994; Martti Nissinen, Homoeroticism in the Biblical World, Minneapolis, 1998; When Heroes Love:. The Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David (New York & Chichester, Columbia University Press, 2005); Homosexuality and Liminality in the Gilgamesh and Samuel (Amsterdam, Hakkert, 2007); Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice. Texts and Hermeneutics (Nashville, Abingdon Press, 2001); Markus Zehnder, "Observations on the Relationship Between David and Jonathan and the Debate on Homosexuality", Westminster Theological Journal 69 (2007) Nevertheless, the Biblical narrative depicts their relationship favourably.
  20. 2 Samuel 3:13-16
  21. 2 Samuel 6:14-22
  22. 2 Samuel 6:23
  23. 2 Samuel 21:1-9
  24. 2 Samuel 5
  25. Peter J. Leithart,From Silence to Song, p. 13, Canon Press, (2003)
  26. 26.0 26.1 Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me, p. 206, Canon Press, (2003)
  27. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me, p. 205 (footnote 3) see 1 Chronicles 18:1, Canon Press, (2003)
  28. 1 Chronicles 18:1
  29. 2 Samuel 8:6
  31. 31.0 31.1 Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me, p. 205, Canon Press, (2003)
  32. 32.0 32.1 Genesis 15:18
  33. 2 Samuel 8:7
  34. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me, p. 207, Canon Press, (2003)
  35. 2 Samuel 12:14
  36. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me, p. 203, Canon Press, (2003) ("Adultery is adultery, murder is murder...")
  37. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me, An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel, p.217, Canon Press (2003)
  38. The Haggadah states that Ahithophel, who was the grandfather of Bath-sheba (Sanh. 69b), was misled by his knowledge of astrology into believing himself destined to become king of Israel. He therefore induced Absalom to commit an unpardonable crime (II Sam. xvi. 21)..." Read more:
  39. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me, An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel, p.243, Canon Press (2003)
  40. 2 Samuel 11
  41. 2 Samuel 12
  42. Peter J. Leithart, A Son to Me, An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel, p.228, Canon Press (2003)
  43. Bible
  44. 2 Samuel 18:33, King James Version
  45. In the early 16th century this Crusader cenotaph in the lower room of the Cenacle, the site venerated at least since the fourth century by Christians as the location of the Last Supper and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, became misidentified as David's tomb.J. Murphy-O'Connor, Oxford Archaeological Guides: The Holy Land, 105-06. In 1968 the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs awarded the complex to the Diaspora Yeshiva.[1]
  46. 1 Kings 1
  47. 1 Kings 2
  48. 2 Samuel 23:1
  49. 1 Samuel 16:17-23
  50. 2 Chronicles 23:18
  51. Nehemiah 12:24,36, 45-46
  52. Introduction to Psalms (pp. 1280, 1281), The Jewish Study Bible, Tanakh Translation. Berlin, Adele; Brettler, Marc Zvi; Fishbane, Michael, eds. Jewish Publication Society, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195297512
  53. "David" and "Psalms, Book of," New Bible Dictionary, second edition,1982. Douglas, J.D. (organizing editor), Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale Press. ISBN 0842346678
  54. Introduction to Psalms (p. 1013), NIV Study Bible,1995. Barker, Kenneth (editor); Burdick, Donald; Stek, John; Wessel, Walter; Youngblood, Ronald, eds. Zondervan. Grand Rapids, MI, USA ISBN 0310927099
  55. "Psalms, Book of," New Bible Dictionary, second edition,1982. Douglas, J.D. (organizing editor), Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale Press. ISBN 0842346678
  56. "Psalms, Book of", New Bible Dictionary, second edition,1982. Douglas, J.D. (organizing editor), Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale Press. ISBN 0842346678
  57. Introduction to Psalms (p. 1284), The Jewish Study Bible, Tanakh Translation, 2004. Berlin, Adele; Brettler, Marc Zvi; Fishbane, Michael, eds. Jewish Publication Society, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195297512
  58. Midrash Psalms 24 read online
  59. Psalms 3, 7, 18, 34, 51, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 60, 63 and 142, Commentary on II Samuel 22, The Anchor Bible, Vol. 9. II Samuel. P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., 1984. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0385068085
  60. Psalm 34, Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament. Kohlenberger, J.R, 1987. Grand Rapids, Michigan:Zondervan Publishing House ISBN 031040200X
  61. 1 Samuel 21:15 (NIV)
  62. Explanatory Notes on Psalm 34, ‘’Treasury of David’’ (1885), Charles H. Spurgeon, Hendrickson Publishers, 1988. ISBN 0917006259 read online
  63. Commentary on Psalm 34, The Jewish Study Bible, Tanakh Translation. Berlin, Adele; Brettler, Marc Zvi; Fishbane, Michael, eds. Jewish Publication Society, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195297512
  64. Commentary on II Samuel 22, The Anchor Bible, Vol. 9: II Samuel. P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., 1984. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0385068085
  65. Commentary on Psalm 18: The Anchor Bible, Vol. 16. Psalms I. Mitchell Dahood, 1995. New York:Doubleday. ISBN 0385522509
  66. Feinberg, Charles Lee, Th.D., Ph.D., 1947. The Date of the Psalms. Bibliotheca Sacra 104: 426-40 Dallas Theological Seminary Department of Semitics and Old Testament, p. 429 read online
  67. 2 Samuel 22 and Psalm 18, Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament. Kohlenberger, J.R, 1987. Grand Rapids, Michigan:Zondervan Publishing House ISBN 031040200X
  68. Psalm 18:4 (NIV)
  69. For example, “At noon, will I pray, and cry aloud” Ps 55:17. “In my distress I cried to the LORD” Ps 18:6. “Unto thee have I cried, O LORD” Ps 88:13. “Out of the depths have I cried” Ps 130:1. “Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock” Ps 28:1.
  70. quoted in Explanatory Notes on Psalm 34, ‘’Treasury of David’’ (1885), Charles H. Spurgeon, Hendrickson Publishers, 1988. ISBN 0917006259 read online
  71. Midrash Psalms 4, emphasis is in the source. read online
  72. "The Story of Talut - Saul, Gideon, David and Goliath"
  73. Jewish Encyclopedia, "David"
  74. Zohar Bereishis 91b
  75. "David" article from Encyclopedia Britannica Online
  76. John Corbett (1911) King David The Catholic Encyclopedia (New York: Robert Appleton Company)
  77. Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity,
  78. Saint of the Day for December 29 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Washington, D.C.
  79. Doctrine and Covenants 132:1, 38-39 (see highlighted portions).
  80. Book of Mormon, Jacob 2:28-30.
  81. Behar al Anvar V:13 P:440, Tafseer Al-Qomi V:1 P:82, The story of Prophets of Jazayeri Page 331
  82. Picking Abraham and Choosing David, Christopher Heard, Associate Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. See also Israeli journalist Daniel Gavron's King David and Jerusalem - Myth and Reality for a useful overview.
  83. See The Tel Dan Inscription: A Reappraisal and a New Interpretation [Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2003], pp. 193-194. On the Shoshenq inscription, see K. A. Kitchen, "A Possible Mention of David in the Late Tenth Century BC, and Deity *Dod as Dead as the Dodo?" Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 76 (1997): 29–44, especially 39–41.
  84. David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition pp20
  85. On settlement patterns in ancient Judah, see A. Ofer, "'All the Hill Country of Judah': From a Settlement Fringe to a Prosperous Monarchy," in I. Finkelstein and N. Na'aman, eds., From Nomadism to Monarchy (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1994), pp. 92-121; "The Judean Hills in the Biblical Period," Qadmoniot 115 (1998), 40-52 (Hebrew); "The Monarchic Period in the Judaean Highland," in A. Mazar, ed., Studies in the Archaeology of the Iron Age in Israel and Jordan (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), pp. 14-37.
  86. - Deconstructing the walls of Jericho
  87. Dever, What Did the Biblical Writers Know...?
  88. The original urban core of Jerusalem, identified with the reigns of David and Solomon.
  89. See David Ussishkin, "Solomon's Jerusalem: The Text and the Facts on the Ground," in: A.G. Vaughn and A.E. Killebrew (eds.), Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology: The First Temple Period, (Society of Biblical Literature, Symposium Series, No. 18), Atlanta, 2003, pp. 103-115. See also Cahill, J., David's Jerusalem, Fiction or Reality? The Archaeological Evidence Proves It, and Steiner, M., David's Jerusalem, Fiction or Reality? It's Not There: Archaeology Proves a Negative, both in Biblical Archaeology Review 24/4, 1998 (the two scholars argue opposite sides of the case for a Jerusalem in keeping with the biblical portrayal).
  90. Rossner, Rena (January 26, 2006). "The once and future city". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved November 15, 2009. "In August 2005, corroborating her conclusions with biblical verses, Mazar announced that she had found King David's palace." 
  91. See Eilat Mazar, "Did I find David's Temple?" in Biblical Archeology Review, Jan/Feb 2006
  92. LMLK:"Belonging to the king", or "for the king".
  94. 94.0 94.1 Steven McKenzie, Associate Professor Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee.
  95. "King David and Jerusalem: Myth and Reality", Israel Review of Arts and Letters, 2003, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  96. "A View from Copenhagen", Thomas L. Thompson, Professor of Old Testament, Copenhagen University.
  97. Baruch Halpern, "David's Secret Demons", 2001.Review of Baruch Halpern's "David's Secret Demons".
  98. Finkelstein and Silberman, "David and Solomon", 2006. See review "Archaeology" magazine.
  99. This genealogy is only available from post-exilic biblical sources included in the later books of Chronicles and Ruth. Without these sources, all that would be known of David's ancestry was that he was the son of Jesse. The "tenth generation" formula is part of a larger pattern of tens within the Pentateuch/Deuteronomistic history: there are twenty generations of patriarchs (two sets of ten) from Adam to Abraham before David, and twenty kings of Judah after him, with the three Patriarchs Abraham-Isaac-Jacob between. The schematic character of the genealogy, and the fact that it runs from the Creation (Adam) to the destruction of Jerusalem, suggests that it was an exilic or post-exilic invention.
  100. Talmud Tractate Bava Batra 91a
  101. |1|Samuel|25
  102. Film development press release
  103. Madeleine L'Engle, Certain Women, ISBN 9780374120252
  104. "The Four King Truth" at the Urban Legends Reference Pages
  105. "Courts on playing cards", by David Madore, with illustrations of the Anglo-American and French court cards


  • Kirsch, Jonathan (2000) King David: the real life of the man who ruled Israel. Ballantine. ISBN 0-345-43275-4.
  • See also the entry "David" in Easton's Bible Dictionary.
  • Dever, William G. (2001) What did the Bible writers know and when did they know it? William B. Eerdmans Publ. Co., Cambridge UK.

Further reading

  • For a more complete summary of all the episodes in the Saul/David story in Samuel (but excluding Chronicles), see synopsis

External links

David of the United Kingdom of Israel & Judah
Cadet branch of the Tribe of Judah
Regnal titles
New title
Rebellion from Israel under Ish-bosheth
King of Judah
1010 BC–1003 BC
Succeeded by
Preceded by
King of the united
Israel and Judah

1003 BC–970 BC
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at David. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.