By Margaret P. Foerster

Categories: Old Testament Kings

  • David was the second king of Israel and the most famous.
  • He had at least six brothers and two sisters.
  • He was introduced to the royal court of King Saul as a harpist.
  • After defeating Goliath and being so successful in tribal wars, David was given military command.
  • He married one of Saul's daughters, Michal.
  • David was best friends with Saul's son, Jonathan, whom Saul wanted to succeed him as king.
  • Jonathan put aside personal ambition to help his friend David.
  • David's rise to fame was extraordinary. He became so successful that King Saul was jealous and attempted to kill him.
  • David had to flee from Saul: he became a fugitive or outlaw.
  • David had opportunities to kill King Saul, but he refused to kill God's anointed.
  • After Saul's and Jonathan's deaths, David was crowned king by the tribe of Judah. The northern tribes crowned a son of Saul.
  • Seven years later, David became king of the united tribes.
  • He established Jerusalem as Israel's capital and religious center.
  • David, a deeply religious man, brought the Ark to Jerusalem.
  • After David became king, he took Jonathan's crippled son, Mephibosheth, into his inner circle of friends.
  • David set up an effective central government and appointed administrators to be responsible for tribal areas.
  • David was a brilliant military strategist and warrior. He was a powerful ruler in the early tenth century.
  • David was a poet as well as a musician. Many of the Psalms are attributed to David.
  • David publicly confessed his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and his arrangement that her husband, Uriah, be killed in battle (see Psalm 51).
  • David's last years were spent making preparations to build a temple, which his son Solomon would later construct.


Alter, Robert and Frank Kermode. The Literary Guide to the Bible. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press. 1987.

Brueggeman, Walter. "1 & 2 Samuel." Interpretation. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1990.

Evans, Mary. "1 and 2 Samuel." New International Biblical Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2000.

Mills, Watson and Richard Wilson. Mercer Commentary on the Bible. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1995

Newsom, Carol and Sharon Ringe. The Women's Bible Commentary. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1992.

Payne, David. "I & II Samuel." The Daily Study Bible Series. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1982.

Peterson, Eugene. "First and Second Samuel." The Westminster Bible Companion. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1999.

Robinson, Gnana. "1 & 2 Samuel, Let Us Be Like the Nations." The International Theological Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B Eerdmans, 1993.

Sanford, John. King Saul, The Tragic Hero. New York: Paulist Press. 1985.

Bible Characters