|2nd King of Israel|
|In Power||Judah c. 1010–1002 BC; Judah and Israel c. 1002–970 BC|
|Born||c. 1040 BC
|Died||c. 970 BC
|Royal Dynasty||House of David|
According to the Gospels of Mathew and Luke and the Hebrew Bible, David was the 2nd king of Israel. He was a righteous king, a poet, musician and an acclaimed warrior. King David (c. 1040-970 B.C.), is also famous for composing the psalms contained in the Bible book of Psalms.
David’s reign over Judah is dated at c. 1010 to 1002 B.C., while that over Israel is c. 1002 to 970 B.C. David was the youngest son of Jesse and spent most of his early years as a shepherd. He was born in the land of Judah, in Bethlehem.
God’S Rejection of King Saul
God appeared to prophet Samuel and ordered him to go to Bethlehem and specifically to Jesse’s house. There, God would show Samuel the future King of Israel. After that, Samuel was to anoint the chosen king. Samuel went to Bethlehem and informed Jesse about his mission. Jesse never thought that David would be considered to become a king and therefore told his other 7 sons to pass before Samuel. However, Samuel informed him that God did not choose any of them.
He therefore asked Jesse whether he had any other son. Jesse told him that the youngest was a small boy who was tending sheep. Samuel ordered for David to be brought before him. When David came, God spoke to Samuel and told him to anoint David as the future King of Israel.
After the anointing, an evil spirit from God started to torment King Saul. One of his attendants suggested that a good musician be brought to the king and play music. David was a renowned musician and was therefore summoned to the King’s court to play music. Thenceforth, whenever the evil spirit started to torment Saul, David would play the harp and the king would feel better.
David and Goliath
Israelites were at war with the Philistine in the valley of Elah. Jesse would send David from time to time to take food to his older brothers at the battle. One day David heard one of the Philistines, Goliath, demanding the Israelites to send one of their soldiers to fight him. David told Saul that he was willing to fight Goliath. David’s brothers were against this but David was not afraid of Goliath. Saul allowed David to fight Goliath.
David took a sling and a stone and moved towards the battle field where Goliath was waiting for his opponent. Goliath was amazed to see David, since he was still a small boy. Using his sling, David struck David with a stone in the forehead, killing him instantly. He then took Goliath’s sword and beheaded him. This signified the Israelites’ victory, forcing the Philistines to flee in fear.
After winning this battle, King Saul decided to retain David permanently in his troops. He also offered his youngest daughter (Micah) to become the wife of David. This made David his son-in-law. From that time henceforth David and Saul’s son, Jonathan, became great friends. The king would send David on military expeditions from time to time and was successful all the time.
This made David very popular among Israelites and people loved him very much. The king did not like the popularity that David was getting and decided to kill him. David was warned by Jonathan about the king’s plan, and he fled into the wilderness where he formed a group of followers who would fight for the oppressed. King Achish of Philistine at the time gave David the town of Ziklag. However, David continued to support Israelites secretly.
The King of Israel
After sometime, King Achish went to battle against the Israelites led by King Saul. The Philistines did not trust David’s loyalty to them and they decided to excuse David from the war. The battle took place at Mount Gilboa, where the Philistines managed to kill Saul and his son Jonathan.
David mourned the death of his friend Jonathan and then moved to Hebron where he was anointed as the king of Judah. Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth became the king of Israel in the north and continued to fight David. Ish-Bosheth was killed in one of the battles, and the elders of Israel went to Hebron where they anointed David as the King over Judah and Israel. David was 30 years old when he was anointed as the King of Israel.
His Second Wife
David continued to win many battles, including the one where he conquered the Jebusite fortress and made it his capital. One day, David committed adultery with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. Bathsheba became pregnant and David became very worried. David sent Uriah to a battle and instructed his army to abandon Uriah in the battlefield. Uriah died at the battle and later on David married Bathsheba.
God sent prophet Nathan to David to tell him that He was not happy with what he had done to Uriah and that there would be consequences for those actions. After Bathsheba had given birth, the child became very ill and died on the seventh day. Contrary to the expectation of many, David rejoiced and feasted after the death of the child. Absalom, son of David, rebelled against his father and went to battle at Ephraim. Unfortunately, he was killed by one of David’s generals. David did not rejoice for the victory, rather, he was shaken with grief. To David, he would have preferred to die instead of Absalom.
King David reigned over Israel until when he was old and bedridden. After getting bedridden, his eldest surviving son, Adonijah, declared himself as the king. Although Adonijah was David’s natural heir, Bathsheba and prophet Nathan feared that he would kill them; and they begged David to declare Solomon as his successor. Solomon was the son of Bathsheba. Their plans succeeded and Solomon was anointed as the king of Israel. Before his death, David called Solomon and requested him to kill his oldest enemies. David also made Solomon to swear that the line of David and Solomon would become heir to the throne of Judah forever. David died in 970 B.C., after ruling over Israel for 40 years.
King David is not only mentioned in the Bible but also in the Qur’an. Islam regards David as one of the major prophet that was sent by Allah to guide Israel. In the Bible, David is credited as the author of the Book of Psalms, which is regarded as book of divine wisdom.