The second and greatest of the kings of Israel; the youngest of the eight sons of Jesse the Bethlehemite; he belonged to the tribe of Judah. The details of his life are gathered from 1Sa 16:3
I will set your borders from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the river [Euphrates]; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand and you shall drive them out before you. You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. read more. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.
Then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you shall dispossess nations greater and mightier than you. Every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness to Lebanon, and from the River, the river Euphrates, to the western sea [the Mediterranean] your territory shall be. read more. There shall no man be able to stand before you; the Lord your God shall lay the fear and the dread of you upon all the land that you shall tread, as He has said to you.
Then Eli said, Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him. Hannah said, Let your handmaid find grace in your sight. So [she] went her way and ate, her countenance no longer sad. read more. The family rose early the next morning, worshiped before the Lord, and returned to their home in Ramah. Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. Hannah became pregnant and in due time bore a son and named him Samuel [heard of God], Because, she said, I have asked him of the Lord. And Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow. But Hannah did not go, for she said to her husband, I will not go until the child is weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord and remain there as long as he lives. Elkanah her husband said to her, Do what seems best to you. Wait until you have weaned him; only may the Lord establish His word. So Hannah remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. When she had weaned him, she took him with her, with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin bottle of wine [to pour over the burnt offering for a sweet odor], and brought Samuel to the Lord's house in Shiloh. The child was growing. Then they slew the bull, and brought the child to Eli. Hannah said, Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted my petition made to Him.
Kish had a son named Saul, a choice young man and handsome; among all the Israelites there was not a man more handsome than he. He was a head taller than any of the people.
The Lord said to Samuel, How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided for Myself a king among his sons. Samuel said, How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take a heifer with you and say, I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. read more. And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.
And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you. And Samuel did what the Lord said, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming and said, Have you come peaceably? read more. And he said, Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice. And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and called them to the sacrifice. When they had come, he looked on Eliab [the eldest son] and said, Surely the Lord's anointed is before Him. But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. But Samuel said, Neither has the Lord chosen this one. Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. Samuel said, Nor has the Lord chosen him. Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, The Lord has not chosen any of these. Then [he] said to Jesse, Are all your sons here? [Jesse] said, There is yet the youngest; he is tending the sheep. Samuel said to Jesse, Send for him; for we will not sit down to eat until he is here. Jesse sent and brought him. David had a healthy reddish complexion and beautiful eyes, and was fine-looking. The Lord said [to Samuel], Arise, anoint him; this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented and troubled him. Saul's servants said to him, Behold, an evil spirit from God torments you. Let our lord now command your servants here before you to find a man who plays skillfully on the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well. Saul told his servants, Find me a man who plays well and bring him to me. One of the young men said, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who plays skillfully, a valiant man, a man of war, prudent in speech and eloquent, an attractive person; and the Lord is with him. So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, Send me David your son, who is with the sheep. And Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a kid and sent them by David his son to Saul. And David came to Saul and served him. Saul became very fond of him, and he became his armor-bearer. Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David remain in my service, for he pleases me. And when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, David took a lyre and played it; so Saul was refreshed and became well, and the evil spirit left him.
David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah named Jesse, who had eight sons. [Jesse] in the days of Saul was old, advanced in years. [His] three eldest sons had followed Saul into battle. Their names were Eliab the firstborn; next, Abinadab; and third, Shammah. read more. David was the youngest. The three eldest followed Saul, But David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem. The Philistine came out morning and evening, presenting himself for forty days. And Jesse said to David his son, Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain and these ten loaves and carry them quickly to your brothers at the camp. Also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See how your brothers fare and bring some token from them. Now Saul and the brothers and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. So David rose up early next morning, left the sheep with a keeper, took the provisions, and went, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the encampment as the host going forth to the battleground shouted the battle cry. And Israel and the Philistines put the battle in array, army against army. David left his packages in the care of the baggage keeper and ran into the ranks and came and greeted his brothers. As they talked, behold, Goliath, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, came forth from the Philistine ranks and spoke the same words as before, and David heard him. And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, terrified. And the Israelites said, Have you seen this man who has come out? Surely he has come out to defy Israel; and the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, and will give him his daughter and make his father's house free [from taxes and service] in Israel. And David said to the men standing by him, What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God? And the [men] told him, Thus shall it be done for the man who kills him. Now Eliab his eldest brother heard what he said to the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David and he said, Why did you come here? With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and evilness of heart; for you came down that you might see the battle. And David said, What have I done now? Was it not a harmless question? And David turned away from Eliab to another and he asked the same question, and again the men gave him the same answer. When David's words were heard, they were repeated to Saul, and he sent for him.
And David said to Saul, Your servant kept his father's sheep. And when there came a lion or again a bear and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and smote it and delivered the lamb out of its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard and smote it and killed it.
When Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As your soul lives, O king, I cannot tell. And the king said, Inquire whose son the stripling is. read more. When David returned from killing Goliath the Philistine, Abner brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. And Saul said to him, Whose son are you, young man? And David answered, I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.
The next day an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved [madly] in his house, while David played [the lyre] with his hand, as at other times; and there was a javelin in Saul's hand. And Saul cast the javelin, for he thought, I will pin David to the wall. And David evaded him twice.
Saul said, Say this to David, The king wants no dowry but a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to avenge himself of the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the Philistines' hands. When his servants told David these words, it pleased [him] well to become the king's son-in-law. Before the days expired,
Now Saul told Jonathan his son and all his servants that they must kill David. But Jonathan, Saul's son, delighted much in David, and he told David, Saul my father is seeking to kill you. Now therefore, take heed to yourself in the morning, and stay in a secret place and hide yourself. read more. And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are; and I will converse with my father about you and if I learn anything, I will tell you. And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, Let not the king sin against his servant David, for he has not sinned against you, and his deeds have been of good service to you. For he took his life in his hands and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great deliverance for all Israel; you saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood and kill David without a cause? Saul heeded Jonathan and swore, As the Lord lives, David shall not be slain. So Jonathan called David and told him all these things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as in times past.
Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, Does not David hide himself with us in strongholds in the wood [at Horesh], on the hill of Hachilah, which is south of Jeshimon?
When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, Behold, David is in the Wilderness of En-gedi.
The Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, Does not David hide himself on the hill of Hachilah, east of Jeshimon?
And behold, as your life was precious today in my sight, so let my life be precious in the sight of the Lord, and let Him deliver me out of all tribulation. Then Saul said to David, May you be blessed, my son David; you will both do mightily and surely prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.
The time David dwelt in the Philistines' country was a year and four months.
David said to Achish, But what have I done? And what have you found in your servant as long as I have been with you to this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?
When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to the elders of Judah, his friends, saying, Here is a gift for you of the spoil of the enemies of the Lord: For those in Bethel, Ramoth of the Negeb, Jattir, read more. Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, Racal, the cities of the Jerahmeelites, the cities of the Kenites, Hormah, Bor-ashan, Athach, Hebron, and for those in all the places David and his men had habitually haunted.
How have the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan lies slain upon your high places. I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me. Your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. read more. How have the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!
And the men of Judah came and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. They told David, The men of Jabesh-gilead buried Saul.
There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.
Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the City of David.
Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, carpenters, and masons; and they built David a house.
When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they all went up to find [him], but [he] heard of it and went down to the stronghold. The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. read more. David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand? And the Lord said to David, Go up, for I will surely deliver [them] into your hand. And David came to Baal-perazim, and he smote them there, and said, The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like the bursting out of great waters. So he called the name of that place Baal-perazim [Lord of breaking through]. There the Philistines left their images, and David and his men took them away. The Philistines came up again and spread themselves out in the Valley of Rephaim. When David inquired of the Lord, He said, You shall not go up, but go around behind them and come upon them over opposite the mulberry (or balsam) trees. And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then bestir yourselves, for then has the Lord gone out before you to smite the army of the Philistines. And David did as the Lord had commanded him, and smote the Philistines from Geba to Gezer.
Again David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, 30,000.
The king said to Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within curtains.
And as from the time that I appointed judges over My people Israel; and I will cause you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord declares to you that He will make for you a house:
Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and said, Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far? Then as if this were a little thing in Your eyes, O Lord God, You have spoken also of Your servant's house in the far distant future. And this is the law for man, O Lord God! read more. What more can David say to You? For You know Your servant, O Lord God. Because of Your promise and as Your own heart dictates, You have done all these astounding things to make Your servant know and understand. Therefore You are great, O Lord God; for none is like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all [You have made] our ears to hear. What [other] one nation on earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be a people for Himself and to make for Himself a name? You have done great and terrible things for Yourself and for Your land, before Your people, whom You redeemed and delivered for Yourself from Egypt, from the nations and their gods. And You have established for Yourself Your people Israel to be Your people forever, and You, Lord, became their God. Now, O Lord God, confirm forever the word You have given as to Your servant and his house; and do as You have said, And Your name [and presence] shall be magnified forever, saying, The Lord of hosts is God over Israel; and the house of Your servant David will be made firm before You. For You, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, have revealed this to Your servant: I will build you a house. So Your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to You. And now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant. Therefore now let it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You; for You, O Lord God, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let [his] house be blessed forever.
He defeated Moab, and measured them with a line, making them lie down on the ground; two lines he measured to be put to death, and one full line to keep alive. And the Moabites became servants to David, bringing tribute. David also defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to restore his power at the river [Euphrates]. read more. David took from him 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers; and David hamstrung all the chariot horses, except he reserved enough of them for 100 chariots. And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David slew 22,000 of them. David put garrisons in Syrian Damascus, and the Syrians became [his] servants and brought tribute. The Lord preserved and gave victory to David wherever he went. And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. And from Betah and Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David exacted an immense amount of bronze. When Toi king of Hamath heard about David's defeat of all the forces of Hadadezer, [He] sent Joram his son to King David to salute and congratulate him about his battle and defeat of Hadadezer. For Hadadezer had had wars with Toi. Joram brought vessels of silver, gold, and bronze. These King David dedicated to the Lord, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations he subdued: From Syria, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah. David won renown. When he returned he slew 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. He put garrisons throughout all Edom, and all the Edomites became his servants. And the Lord preserved and gave victory to [him] wherever he went.
Later, the king of the Ammonites died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead.
In the spring, when kings go forth to battle, David sent Joab with his servants and all Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites [country] and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, when from there he saw a woman bathing; and she was very lovely to behold.
He sent [a message] by the hand of Nathan the prophet, and [Nathan] called the boy's [special] name Jedidiah [beloved of the Lord], because the Lord [loved the child]. Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and took the royal city. read more. And Joab sent messengers to David and said, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters. Now therefore assemble the rest of the men, encamp against the city, and take it, lest I take the city, and it be called after my name. So David gathered all the men, went to Rabbah, fought against it, and took it. And he took the crown of their king [of Malcham] from his head; the weight of it was a talent of gold, and in it were precious stones; and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth exceedingly much spoil from the city. And he brought forth the people who were there, and put them to [work with] saws and iron threshing sledges and axes, and made them labor at the brickkiln. And he did this to all the Ammonite cities. Then [he] and all the men returned to Jerusalem.
After this, Absalom got a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And [he] rose up early and stood beside the gateway; and when any man who had a controversy came to the king for judgment, Absalom called to him, Of what city are you? And he would say, Your servant is of such and such a tribe of Israel. read more. Absalom would say to him, Your claims are good and right, but there is no man appointed as the king's agent to hear you. Absalom added, Oh, that I were judge in the land! Then every man with any suit or cause might come to me and I would do him justice! And whenever a man came near to do obeisance to him, he would put out his hand, take hold of him, and kiss him. Thus Absalom did to all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
But when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey, went home to his city, put his household in order, and hanged himself and died, and was buried in the tomb of his father.
But he said, Let me run anyhow. So Joab said to him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain and outran the Cushite. Now David was sitting between the two gates; and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate by the wall, and when he looked, he saw a man running alone. read more. The watchman called out and told the king. The king said, If he is alone, he has news to tell. And he came on and drew near. Then the watchman saw another man running, and the watchman called to the gatekeeper, Behold, another man running alone. The king said, He also brings news. The watchman said, I think the man in front runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok. The king said, He is a good man and comes with good tidings. And Ahimaaz called and said to the king, All is well! And he fell down to the ground on his face before the king and said, Blessed be the Lord your God, Who has shut up the men who lifted up their hands against my lord the king. The king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king's servant and me, your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I do not know what it was. The king told him, Turn aside; stand here. And he turned aside and stood still. And behold, the Cushite (Ethiopian) came, and he said, News, my lord the king! For the Lord has delivered you this day from all who rose up against you. The king said to the Cushite, Is the young man Absalom safe? The Cushite replied, May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise against you to do evil be like that young man is. And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would to God I had died for you, O Absalom, my son, my son!
The Philistines had war again with Israel. And David went down and his servants with him and fought against the Philistines, and David became faint. Ishbi-benob, who was of the sons of the giants, the weight of whose spear was 300 shekels of bronze, was girded with a new sword, and thought to kill David. read more. But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David's aid, and smote and killed the Philistine. Then David's men charged him, You shall no more go out with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel. After this, there was again war with the Philistines at Gob (Gezer). Then Sibbecai the Hushathite slew Saph (Sippai), who was a descendant of the giant. There was again war at Gob with the Philistines, and Elhanan son of Jaare-oregim, a Bethlehemite, slew Goliath the Gittite, whose spear shaft was like a weaver's beam. And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; he also was a descendant of the giants. And when he defied Israel, Jonathan son of Shimei, brother of David, slew him. These four were descended from the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hands of David and his servants.
David reigned over Israel forty years -- "seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.
And anoint Jehu son of Nimshi to be king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah to be prophet in your place.
With accounts of all his reign and his might, and the times through which he and Israel passed, as did all the kingdoms of the countries.