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The most powerful king of Israel, ruling from ca. 1010 to 970 BCE. The story of David is recorded in (1 Samuel 16:13-1 Kings 2:12). He started his career at King Saul’s court as player of the lyre. His courage and leadership in skirmishes with the Philistines earned him great notoriety and caused Saul to feel threatened. The prophet Samuel, disappointed with Saul, anointed David as the new favorite of God. After mounting a civil war against Saul, David ruled Judah from Hebron for seven years and ruled over the whole of Israel for thirty-three years. He made Jerusalem the new capital of his kingdom, bringing to it the ancient Ark. Following his coronation, David triumphed over nearly all the neighboring nations in a series of military campaigns that established Israel as an empire. He had to put down a revolt led by his son Absalom. David would be remembered not only as a powerful leader and soldier, but also as a first-class poet. A poignant dirge in (2Sam 1) and many compositions in the book of Psalms are ascribed to him. The dynasty he established inspired messianic prophecies, and in the NT, his royal line is extended to include Jesus of Nazareth.

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.