This article was last updated on the 19th February, 2015 by Patrick Carpen.
Category: Bible Personalities
David in the bible refers mostly to the son of Jesse, and the father of King Solomon. He lived about 1000 years before the birth of our Savior, the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, and he ruled God’s people for 40 years.
David became king at the age of 30 and ruled until his death at the age of 70. His son, Solomon, took his place on the throne after his death.
David’s character is a bit of a controversial one among theologians, yet it is up to God to pass judgement and no earthly scholar.
On one occasion, David directly violated God’s law by ordering the execution of two men who held on to the mercy horns: a symbolic object located in God’s temple. God had given the command not to kill anyone who held on to it.
On another occasion David brought great tribulations in his own life and the life of everyone around him when he entered into a relationship with another man’s wife – Bathsheba. Finding himself in trouble after the woman became pregnant, he called Bathsheba’s husband away from the battlefield (Israel was then at war with a neighboring territory) and ordered him to “go sleep with his wife”.
But the man refused saying he is loyal to his comrades at war and cannot leave them. Feeling frustrated, David handed the man a letter to take back to the chief commander. The letter read “put this man in the hottest part of the battle, where he is most likely to be killed”.
The loyal fighter was killed and Bathsheba later became David’s wife.
This act angered God to the extent that He said to David “I will raise up trouble for you in your own house”.
Soon after, David’s beloved son, Absalom, formed an army and launched an attack against David with the intent of killing him and taking over the kingdom. Absalom abducted some of David’s wife and “went in onto them” for all Israel to see.
Finally, David’s army won the battle and he pleaded with his soldiers not to kill his beloved Absalom. The officers disobeyed this direct order and killed Absalom when he got his hair stuck in a tree.
David them lamented “my beloved Absalom, I would prefer to have died in your place.”
On top of that, David’s new born baby for Bathsheba died at birth, as part of God’s punishment for David’s sins. Bathsheba conceived a second son for David, and he was called “Solomon”. The bible relates that “God loved the child” and he inherited the throne after the death of David.
Interestingly, Solomon writes “do not go in unto a man’s wife, for by means of a whorish woman, a man is brought to a piece of bread”; and “a whore is a deep ditch and a strange woman is a narrow pit, and whoever is abhorred by the Lord will fall there”. and also “whoever goes in unto another’s man’s wife hath no understanding”.
The story of David and Bathsheba illustrates how God loves righteousness and how he abhors evil. As David himself wrote “there is no unrighteousness in God” and “praise the Lord who executives judgement and justice for all those who are oppressed”.
Even though David was God’s beloved, even he could not escape the “karma” of his deeds.
David pleaded to God for mercy, and repented of his sins.
David fought many wars, and God subdued every enemy under him, and God “put the fear of David into the heart of every nation”.
At the end of these wars, David was about 35 years old, and there reigned a long period of peace and prosperity among God’s people. When David’s son Solomon took the throne, he enjoyed a lifetime of peaceful rule of God’s people.
David had promised to build a temple for God; but God objected, saying that David’s hands were too full of blood, and appointed his son Solomon to build the temple instead.