King David, was the second king of the united kingdom of Israel (c. 1005 BC - 965 BC) and successor to
King Saul. His life and rule are recorded in the
Old Testament books of
1 Samuel (from chapter 16 onwards), 2 Samuel,
1 Kings and
2 Kings (to verse 4).
1 Chronicles gives further stories of David, mingled with lists and genealogies.
He is depicted as the most righteous of all the ancient kings of Israel - although not without fault - as well as an acclaimed warrior, musician and poet (he is traditionally credited with the authorship of many of the Psalms). 2
Samuel 7:12-16 states that God was so pleased with David that He promised that the Davidic line would endure forever.
Jews therefore believe that the Jewish
Messiah will be a direct descendant of King David, and Christians trace the lineage of Jesus back to him through both
Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her husband
Joseph. The nature of his reign and even his existence have been questioned and debated, rejected and defended by modern biblical scholars, but the account given in the
Old Testament remains widely accepted by the majority of Jews and Christians, and his story has been of central importance to Western culture.
Early Years (1 Samuel 16)
David was born in
Bethlehem as the youngest of eight sons to
Jesse, a descendant of
Judah. He was assigned to look after the family's flock of sheep. He was anointed as the future king by the prophet
Samuel, after God had overlooked his older brothers. David's first act of service was to play the lyre for King Saul whenever the evil spirit from God tormented him. He quickly
found favor with Saul and was assigned to be his armor-bearer.
Friendship with Jonathan (1 Samuel 18)
David's close personal friendship with Jonathan began shortly after the victory over the Philistines (1 Sam 18:1)
The Bathsheba Affair (2 Samuel 11)
Late one afternoon, David was walking on the roof of the king's house, when he saw
Bathsheba bathing. He was attracted to her and had her brought to him. In order to cover up the affair, David sent Bathsheba's husband
Uriah to the front lines where he was killed.