Life SummaryKing David is an important historical figure. King David was born in the year 907 B.C. and he eventually reigns as the king of Israel for nearly 40 years. He lived to be an old man, passing away at the age of 70, in the year, 837 B.C. David was the king who finally captured Jerusalem, which is still the sacred city. King David is responsible for writing scripture, Psalms for instance. He was not a made-up character, but an actual historical figure who lived and died. King David conquered the Philistine threat by gaining access to Jerusalem. This accomplishment is huge because it gave the Jews a place to call home. King David is credited with purchasing Mount Moriah, which is a holy mountain where Abraham was going to sacrifice Isaac. The story of Bathsheba is one that illuminates David’s faults, for he was a human being, and it also illuminates the ethics of adultery. Bathsheba was not technically married, since the soldiers were all able to divorce freely should they be killed in battel. However, this is David’s own recognition the he sinned.
The biggest and most defining event in King David’s history is that he was the king who gave the Jews Jerusalem. They had been wandering in no man’s land, living at the base of Mt. Sinai, and had no holy land. Once King David had established Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Jews had a holy land. The Jews became a nation in Jerusalem, making a covenant with God. Because of the holiness in the actual land of Jerusalem, other biblical events followed, such as bringing the Ark of Jerusalem. After this, David is so happy that he celebrates in a way that his wife Michal does not approve. Because of her harsh condemnation of David, she is left barren as punishment. David was able to conquer Jerusalem by sending one of his generals, Yoab, through a water pipe. Both the Book of Samuel and the Book of Chronicles describe the way that David successfully invaded Jerusalem.
Rituals, Symbols, or Sacred Texts
David wrote much of Psalms. Therefore, many sacred texts are associated with him. Psalm 23 tells us that the Lord is our shepherd we shall not want…This bit of scripture is possibly the most famously quoted scripture in the Bible, and it is King David who is credited with it. Psalm 27 tells us that the Lord is our light and salvation, so who should anyone fear? This scripture is widely recognized. King David’s dance after the Ark of Jerusalem arrives is an example of how celebrations should be free in order to honor the Lord; Michal is angry because David seems to act without decorum, but David argues that religious celebration is free.
King David is a good example of Jewish ethics, which include being honest and not sinning. When one does sin, there is punishment. There manner that Jewish history is presented in the Bible is truthful. Even the mistakes of famous figures are related, and not omitted: “The Bible takes a hyper-critical position of Jewish leaders. It never whitewashes anyone’s past, and in that it stands alone among the records of ancient peoples which usually describe kings as descendants of gods without faults” (Spiro, 2001). The fact that Jews have a covenant with God protects them from the fallacies of manhood, as long as the covenant is obeyed. Jewish ethics are understanding of man’s faults, because King David, one of the greatest men in Jewish history, was riddled with faults.
- Spiro, K. (2001). David: The king. AISH Jewish Literacy. Retrieved from: http://www.indaweb.com/oil/editorialopinion/aish.network01l.htm