David is described in the Hebrew Bible as king of the United Monarchy of Israel and Judah. In the Books of Samuel, David is a young shepherd who gains fame first as a musician and later by killing the giant Goliath, champion of the Philistines. He becomes a favorite of King Saul and a close friend of Saul's son Jonathan.
The biblical King David of Israel was known for his diverse skills as both a warrior and a writer of psalms. In his 40 years as ruler, between approximately 1010 and 970 B.C.E., he united the people of Israel, led them to victory in battle, conquered land and paved the way for his son, Solomon, to build the Holy Temple.
Israel circa 1,000 B.C. The adult life of David, who would eventually become King of Israel, is presented. The blessing of the Prophets, as the voice of God, is required before the King can take any major action.
- Bruce Beresford
- Richard Gere, Edward Woodward, Alice Krige
- David was from the tribe of Judah. The 12 tribes of Israel descended from Jacob’s 12 sons, and with the exception of Levi, each tribe controlled a specific territory within the nation of Israel.
- David was Ruth and Boaz’s great grandson. The Book of Ruth is a story of love and redemption. It uses the relationships between a man named Boaz, a woman named Ruth, and her mother-in-law, Naomi, to paint a picture of God’s compassion for Israel.
- David was the youngest of seven sons (or he had seven brothers) After he finished the work of creation, God rested on the seventh day and made it holy (Genesis 2:3).
- David was from Bethlehem. Today, most people associate the little town of Bethlehem with the birth of Jesus. But centuries before Jesus, another savior came from this unassuming town.
Dec 12, 2018 · King David was a great military conqueror, but he could not conquer himself. He allowed one night of lust with Bathsheba, and it had disastrous consequences in his life. Although King David fathered Solomon, one of Israel's greatest kings, he was also the father of Absalom, whose rebellion brought bloodshed and grief.
Oct 18, 2017 · According to biblical tradition (and some say myth), David (c. 1035 - 970 BCE) was the second king in the ancient United Kingdom of Israel who helped establish the eternal throne of God.
David, (flourished c. 1000 bce), second king of ancient Israel. He founded the Judaean dynasty and united all the tribes of Israel under a single monarch. His son Solomon expanded the empire that David built. David is an important figure in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
- David’s Early Life. David was born in Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, in the year 2854 (907 BCE), during the era of the prophets. He was the youngest of seven sons, and only 10 generations removed from Judah, one of Jacob's 12 sons.
- David and Saul. King Saul and David’s first encounter occurred when an evil spirit gripped King Saul. His advisors suggested he bring in a skilled musician who would play for the king to ease his mind.
- David and Goliath. At this time, King Saul was battling the Philistines, longtime enemies of Israel. In the valley of Elah, the two armies were poised for battle, with nothing but a hill separating them.
- True Friendship. “A love that is not dependent on anything will never perish . . . an example of this is the love between David and Jonathan.” 9 When David overcame Goliath in battle and was brought to King Saul’s palace to be rewarded, he met Jonathan, the son of King Saul, for the first time.
- Tel Dan Stele – “House of David”
- Moabite Stone/Mesha Inscription – “House of David”
- Battle Relief of Pharoah Shishak – “Highlands of David”
- King David’s Palace
- David’s Government – Judahite Cities
- Davidic Kings
Any discussion of the archaeology related to King David must begin with the Tel Dan Stele. In 1993 archaeologists excavating at Tel Dan, the site of the ancient city of Dan in northern Israel, discovered a broken stone, approximately 32 cm high by 22 cm wide, with an Aramaic inscription on it. The next year, two more fragments of the stele were unearthed. The stele fragment made an instant impact, as it bore the inscription, “bytdwd” (Beit David, or House of David). The stele records the victory of the King of Aram (likely Hazael, although his name is not given) over the King of Israel, and his ally, the king of the “House of David.” It dates to the ninth century B.C., about 200 years after David’s rule. While critics have attempted to suggest alternative readings, the majority of scholars now accept that the Tel Dan Stele is a clear reference to King David. Archaeologist, Yosef Garfinkel explains the importance of the inscription: “‘House of David’ means ‘dynasty of David’. So now...
In 1994, epigrapher Andre Lemaire proposed that the famous Moabite Stone also contained the phrase, “House of David.” The Moabite Stone contains an inscription by Mesha, King of Moab, who boasts about his successful rebellion from the King of Israel, an event described in 2 Kings 3. The stone was intentionally broken by locals in Jordan, where it was discovered, but not before squeezes of the inscription were taken. The inscription in question is difficult to read because of a break in the stone, and a crucial letter is missing in Line 31. Lemaire concluded, “My own examination of the stone and the squeeze, which is now being restored and cleaned of accumulated dust, confirms that t follows the b. I would now, for the first time, reconstruct the missing letter as a d (d). The result: bt[d]wd (dw[d]tb), the ‘House of [D]avid!’”4 In 2019, Israel Finkelstein, Nadav Na’aman, and Thomas Römer published a paper in the Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University analyzei...
Egyptologist, Kenneth Kitchen, has identified a third possible reference to David in Egypt. Pharaoh Shoshenq I (also Sheshonk, called Shishak in the Bible), invaded Palestine in 926/5 BC. When he returned to Egypt, he commissioned a scene to be inscribed on the walls of the Temple of Amun in Karnak detailing his success. One of the places he claims to have conquered is h(y)dbt dwt – the “Heights or Highlands of Davit.” Kitchen has found a sixth-century AD Ethiopic inscription with a clear reference to King David (from one of his Psalms) in which his name is spelled Davit. He further argues that the toponyms in the Shishak list are arranged geographically, and the “Heights of Davit” (name rings 105 and 106) occur in a row which includes sites in southern Judah and the Negev, the same general area in which David was a fugitive when he was on the run from Saul. Kitchen claims that, while not certain, there is a “high degree of possibility” that Shishak claimed to have conquered an area...
In 2005, Israeli archaeologist, Dr. Eilat Mazar, announced that she had unearthed the remains of David’s palace. Mazar had noticed that the Bible described David going down, or descending, from his residence to the fortress (2 Sam. 5:17). She reasoned that David would have built his palace north of this fortress and outside the northern city wall, given that he was planning to expand the city. Her excavations in this area unearthed what she called the Large Stone Structure, a massive building complex which she describes as “the product of inspiration, imagination and considerable economic investment.”8Mazar was digging near where Kathleen Kenyon had earlier discovered a stone decoration that would have adorned the top of a pillar, called a proto-Aeolic capital, one of the most beautiful and intricate ones ever discovered in Israel. On the basis of the pottery found beneath the Large Stone Structure, she dated the first phase of its construction to the beginning of the Iron Age IIa,...
If a united monarchy existed in the 10th century BC, as described in the Bible, one might expect to find evidence of a common political administration throughout the kingdom. Some archaeologists claim to have found such evidence of a complex society in the archaeological remains at several sites. From 2007-2013, Yosef Garfinkel (Hebrew University) and Saar Ganor (Israel Antiquities Authority) conducted excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, a fortress dating to the time of King David. It is located 30 km southwest of Jerusalem, on the summit of a hill that is strategically located within the kingdom of Judah and on the road from Philistia to Jerusalem. The excavators have identified it as biblical Shaarayim (1 Sam. 17:52) because of its two gates, and claim that there is clear evidence of urban planning, such as the casemate city wall with houses that were built into the wall. A lack of pig bones, an ostracon identified as one of the earliest Hebrew inscriptions ever discovered, and cultic...
After King David’s reign, 20 monarchs from his family line reigned in succession after him, beginning with Solomon over the United Monarchy, and then as kings of the southern Kingdom of Judah. Numerous archaeological discoveries relating to these Davidic kings have been unearthed. Many scholars point to the nearly identical gates at Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer as evidence of Solomon’s building activity.13 Inscriptions on seal impressions attest to several kings, including Uzziah, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, while others, such as Manasseh and Jehoiachin are mentioned by name in Assyrian and Babylonian writings.14These finds independently corroborate specific details in Scripture and are consistent with the biblical description of a Davidic line of kings who reigned in Israel and Judah for generations.
The clear “House of David” inscription from Tel Dan establishes that David was a historical figure who was over a dynasty and is affirmed by two further inscriptions which may refer to him. This direct evidence is supported by the other finds in Jerusalem and other cities within the kingdom of Judah, which also point to the existence of a complex united monarchy in the 10thcentury BC, as described in the Bible. Other inscriptions affirm specific kings in the Davidic line. Prior to 1993, there was very little archaeological evidence to support the historicity of King David. Since that time, numerous discoveries have confirmed his existence and indicate he ruled over a significant kingdom. In light of these discoveries it seems reasonable to stop comparing King David to King Arthur. Title Photo of the Tel Dan Stele: יעל י / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 Endnotes: 1 Philip R. Davies, “‘House of David’ Built on Sand: The Sins of the Biblical Maximizers,” BAR 20:04, July/August, 1994,...
King David’s eighth wife is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, and the widow of Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11:3). 2 Samuel 11:1-2 tells us that one evening King David was walking on the roof of his house and saw Bathsheba bathing.