King David of Israel

King David of Israel was the second king of ancient Israel according to the Bible. David was a sort of a “larger than life” figure and was talented as a warrior, leader and a writer/musician/poet.

The biblical book Psalms is said to be written by David. He lived between approximately 1037 – 970 B.C. and ruled for almost 40 years. In the bible we first get to know him when G-d sends the prophet Samuel to find him in order to replace the first king, Saul.

David: Frontal View
David: Frontal View
Michelangelo Giclee Print
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Probably the most famous story connected to David is the fight with Goliath. Per the biblical story the Israelites were facing the Philistines in battle. Goliath was a giant Philistine who challenged the Israelites to send their best warrior to fight him, and the winner would determine the outcome for the entire battle. David, who was bringing food to his older brothers in the battle, heard of the challenge and asked King Saul to fight the giant. David, who was much smaller, took a stone and, using his sling, he killed Goliath and later cut off his head and brought it to King Saul – thus ending the battle with a victory for the Israelites.

David Offers the Head of Goliath to King Saul
David Offers the Head of Goliath to King Saul
Rembrandt van Rijn
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Later on Saul became somewhat crazy and his jealousy toward David’s success even brought him to try to kill David – however David takes the advice of his good friend Jonathan (son of Saul) and escapes in time. After both Saul and Jonathan die in battle, David becomes King of Judah and later on the king of the united kingdom of Israel and Judah. King David establishes himself in Jerusalem and makes the city the capital of his kingdom.

David Anointed King of Judah and Israel
David Anointed King of Judah and Israel
Framed Art Print
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King David of Israel then goes on to conquer most of the bordering states - Aram and Tzoba (present day Syria) and Moav and Edom (present day Jordan) as well as other territories, thus increasing the size of Israel significantly.

King David Playing a Psaltery
King David Playing a Psaltery
Girolamo Da Santa Croce
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King David of Israel was born in Bethlehem to Jesse of the tribe of Judah. During his reign as king he married at least eight women! He is mostly described in the bible as a good king devoted to G-d, however his faults are presented as well – the most famous is sending Uriah (one of his soldiers) to die in battle so he can marry Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba.

Today you can find King David's tomb in Jerusalem.

Click here for info about the Tomb of King David

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