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David

David

David, the second king of the Israelites (reigned ca. 1010-ca. 970 B.C.), was regarded as a model king and founded a permanent dynasty.

David was born in Bethlehem, the youngest son of Jesse of the tribe of Judah. The prophet Samuel, after revoking Saul's designation as king, secretly anointed David as Saul's successor. David attained great popularity by killing the Philistine giant Goliath in combat (1 Samuel 17:49), although another biblical source attributes this feat to one named Elhanan (2 Samuel 21:19). A skilled harpist, David was brought to the royal court to divert Saul with music and alleviate the depression that Saul had succumbed to under the strain of his responsibilities. At court David won the undying friendship of the crown prince, Jonathan, whose sister Michal he married.

After Saul's jealousy had forced David to flee for his life, he had two opportunities to slay the King but magnanimously spared him. Saul eventually met his end at Gilboa, together with three of his sons, including Jonathan. After a period of mourning, David proceeded to Hebron, where he was chosen king by the elders of Judah. Saul's general Abner, however, proclaimed Ishbaal (Ishbosheth), a surviving son of the dead king, as the sovereign. In the civil war that ensued, Ishbaal and Abner were slain. Their deaths removed the last obstacles from David's path to the throne, and about 1010 B.C. he was crowned king of all the Israelites.

After numerous battles David liberated Israel from the yoke of the Philistines and ushered in a golden era for his people. He captured Jerusalem and made it his capital because of its strategic military position and its location outside the boundaries of any tribe. He placed the Ark of the Covenant in a tent near his residence, thereby making Jerusalem the religious, as well as the national, center of all of Israel and preparing the way for his son and successor, Solomon, to erect the Holy Temple there.

David expanded his kingdom to Phoenicia in the west, the Arabian Desert in the east, the Orontes River in the north, and Etzion Geber (Elath) in the south. But internal political troubles overtook David. His son Absalom led a rebellion which was finally suppressed when Joab, David's general, killed him, although the King had ordered that he be spared. David also had to quash an uprising of Saul's tribe, the Benjaminites.

The Bible idealizes David as a warrior, statesman, loyal friend, and gifted poet, yet it does not fail to mention his faults and moral lapses. At one time David callously plotted the death in battle of one of his officers, Uriah the Hittite, so that he could marry Uriah's beautiful wife, Bathsheba. For this he was denounced by the prophet Nathan, and, recognizing that he had committed a great moral wrong, the King fasted and prayed in repentance.

Jewish tradition ascribes to David the authorship of the Book of Psalms and refers to him as the "sweet singer of Israel." The Messiah, too, was to come forth from "the stock of Jesse" (Isaiah 9:5, 11:10), and indeed the New Testament speaks of Jesus as a descendant of the House of David (Matthew 1:16). David's tomb, traditionally assumed to be on Mt. Zion, has become a venerated place of pilgrimage.

Further Reading

The Bible portrays the life and achievements of David in 1 Samuel 16 through 2 Samuel 5, 2 Samuel 19-20, 1 Kings 1-2, and 1 Chronicles 10-29. The chapter on King David in Harry Meyer Orlinsky, Ancient Israel (1954), is recommended. See also Martin North, The History of Israel (1953; 2d ed. 1960); John Bright, A History of Israel (1959); and Mortimer J. Cohen, "David the King," in Simon Noveck, ed., Great Jewish Personalities in Ancient and Medieval Times (1959). □

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David (in the Bible)

David, d. c.970 BC, king of ancient Israel (c.1010–970 BC), successor of Saul. The Book of First Samuel introduces him as the youngest of eight sons who is anointed king by Samuel to replace Saul, who had been deemed a failure. The Goliath story underscores his divine election and leads to Saul's obsession with killing him. On the death of Saul and Jonathan in battle, David assumes the throne in Second Samuel. The assassination of a rival king, Ishbosheth, in the north allows David to be crowned king of a united kingdom.

With the capture of Jerusalem, David moves his capital there and plans the construction of a temple. Through prophetic mediation, however, God declares David's successor as the future builder, who will build a "house." God promises to establish the kingdom of his son as an everlasting kingdom. From this promise derives the later hope of a royal Messiah ( "anointed one" ) as an agent of God's establishment of an eschatological kingdom.

Second Samuel charts an era of decline beginning with David's adultery with Bath-sheba and the murder of her husband. Anarchy prevails among his children, leading to the revolt and usurpation of the throne by his son Absalom. David's son by Bath-sheba, Solomon, is nominated king and successor by David, though this was challenged by another son Adonijah. Nevertheless, David remains the model for subsequent monarchs of Israel.

David's musical skill became proverbial, and many psalms were attributed to him. Most of the narrative that recounts David's decline is omitted in the Book of Chronicles. The New Testament confesses Jesus as the "Christ" (Messiah) descended from David, and David is also attested in the Qur'an. Archaelogical excavations have failed, however, to find evidence that would confirm the existence of a powerful and unified Davidic kingdom.

See R. Alter, The David Story (1999); S. L. McKenzie, King David (2000)

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David

David

Judaism

Second king of Israel. David was the youngest son of Jesse, grew up in Bethlehem and was said to be descended from Ruth. He defeated the Philistines, the Moabites, the Arameans, the Ammonites, and the Edomites, and he made his capital in Jerusalem. With the support of the religious establishment, the belief was fostered that God had chosen David and his descendants to rule over the Israelites forever (2 Samuel 7. 16), and he is traditionally believed to have written many of the Psalms. In the aggadah David is generally exalted as the great poet and scholar king. The unique status of the Davidic line of kingship is particularly emphasized. See also MESSIAH.

Islam

Dāwūd or Daʿūd, is one of the line of prophets, and listed as such in the Qurʾān (6. 84). He is given the zabūr, a book—representing the Psalms—which is mentioned elsewhere in the Qurʾān as one of the former scriptures.

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David

David male forename.
King David (d. c.962 bc), king of Judah and Israel. In the biblical account he was the youngest son of Jesse, who killed the Philistine Goliath and, on Saul's death, became king, making Jerusalem his capital; he was the father of Absalom and (by his marriage with Bathsheba), Solomon. He is traditionally regarded as the author of the Psalms, though this has been disputed.

It was a traditional Jewish belief that the Messiah would be descended from David, and in Matthew 9:27 two blind men seeking healing from Jesus address him as ‘Son of David’.
St David (6th century), Welsh monk, who since the 12th century has been regarded as the patron saint of Wales. Little is known of his life, but it is generally accepted that he transferred the centre of Welsh ecclesiastical administration from Caerleon to Mynyw (now St David's); he also established a number of monasteries and churches. His feast day is 1 March.

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David

David. Opera in 5 acts and 12 scenes by Milhaud to lib. by Lunel, commissioned by Koussevitzky Foundation to mark 3,000th anniv. of Jerusalem. Comp. 1952. Prod. Jerusalem, concert version, 1954, Milan, stage, 1955, Hollywood Bowl 1956.

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David

David •avid • unenvied • David •livid, vivid •ivied • Ovid • bovid •beloved, Dyfed •fervid, perfervid •languid • equid •illiquid, liquid •frenzied • palsied

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