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David, c. 1000 B.C.

King of Israel

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

David and Goliath by Osmar Schindler.jpg

King David is one of the most important figures in Jewish history. Born around 907 B.C., he reigns as king of Israel for 40 years, dying at age 70 around 837 B.C. He established Jerusalem as Israel's capital over 3,000 years ago.

There is so much that can be said about him. Some people like to focus on the warrior aspect—the chivalrous warrior fighting for God—but when his persona and accomplishments are considered as a whole, it is his spiritual greatness that shines most of all.

When David was just a shepherd boy, he was called to play music for King Saul in order to cure his melancholy. David also gained fame as a youth when he killed the Philistine Goliath with his slingshot. Saul made David his armor-bearer and son-in-law, and Saul's son Jonathan became David's loyal friend.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:105

David was victorious in battle because he trusted in God for the victory, not himself. He defended Israel with strength and might even though he was the smallest of his seven brothers and slender in frame. He became so loved by the Jewish people that King Saul became jealous of him and went after him to kill him. He even ordered the slaughter of 85 priests who had given David shelter.

The statue of David by Michelangelo

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