1. Education

King David


The penance of King David or David before Prophet Nathan, by Francesco di Stefano called Pesellino (1422-ca 1457), tempera on panel, 1442-1445
DEA / G. DAGLI ORTI/ De Agostini Picture Library/ Getty Images
Definition: King David (r. perhaps 1000-970 B.C.) is a Biblical figure remembered for his youthful victory against the Philistine giant Goliath whom he felled with a slingshot and for writing the 23rd Psalm. From the tribe of Judah and a family that had included judges, King David was the son of the scholar Jesse, but he grew up as a shepherd. King David was one of the kings of the Israelites during the period known as the United Monarchy. King David ruled first Judah and then Israel, following the death of Saul. King David established his capital in Jerusalem.

Before Saul died and King David took the throne, David loved Saul's son Jonathan. The feeling was mutual, but whether the love was fraternal or sexual is up to interpretation. Jonathan and his father died in the battle against the Philistines. Before Saul died and while there was rivalry between Saul and David, David married Saul's daughter Michal.

After causing the death of Bathsheba's husband, Uriah, King David married her. Their son Solomon (perhaps 968-928) was the last king of the United Monarchy.

Biblical sources on King David: Books of Samuel, 1st Kings, Psalms, and Chronicles.

Main source: David M. Gunn "David" The Oxford Guide to People and Places of the Bible. Ed. Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan. Oxford University Press, 2001.

Legend of the Jews: David

Jesus is referred to as the son of King David, in the New Testament.

Go to Other Ancient / Classical History Glossary pages beginning with the letter

a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | wxyz

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.