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King David

The Bible Comes to Life

David is described in the Hebrew Bible as the third king of the United Monarchy of Israel and Judah; becoming king after Ish-bosheth. In the Books of Samuel, David is a young shepherd who gains fame first as a musician and later by killing the enemy champion Goliath. He becomes a favorite of King Saul and a close friend of Saul’s son Jonathan. Worried that David is trying to take his throne; Saul turns on David. After Saul and Jonathan are killed in battle at Mt. Gilboa, David is anointed as King.



King David Conquers Jerusalem

Moreover, King David conquers Jerusalem, taking the Ark of the Covenant into the city; and establishing the kingdom founded by Saul. As king, David commits adultery with Bathsheba; leading him to arrange the death of her husband Uriah the Hittite. David’s son Absalom schemes to overthrow David. David flees Jerusalem during Absalom’s rebellion, but after Absalom’s death, he returns to the city to rule Israel. Because David shed much blood, God denies David the opportunity to build the temple. Before his peaceful death, he chooses his son Solomon as his successor. He is honored in prophetic literature as an ideal king and the forefather of a future Messiah, and many psalms are ascribed to him.



Historians of the Ancient Near East agree that King David probably existed around 1000 BCE, but that there is little that can be said about him as a historical figure. It was initially thought that there was no evidence outside of the Bible concerning David; but the Tel Dan Stele, an inscribed stone erected by a king of Damascus in the late 9th/early 8th centuries BCE to commemorate his victory over two enemy kings; contains the phrase in Hebrew: ביתדוד‎, bytdwd; which most scholars translate as “House of David”.



King David In Post-Biblical Texts

King David is richly represented in post-biblical Jewish written and oral tradition and is discussed in the New Testament. Early Christians interpreted the life of Jesus in light of the references to the Messiah and to David; Jesus is described as being descended from David in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. David is discussed in the Quran as a major prophet and figures in Islamic oral and written tradition as well. The biblical character of David has inspired many interpretations in art and literature over the centuries.



When I guide my clients in Jerusalem we visit various sites related to King David. For example, the Tomb of King David where according to tradition he is buried. Also, the City of David is an important site as well. I am referring to the biblical tel of Jerusalem. 

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arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history.

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