David – Iconic King of Israel
Prophecies foretell the Messiah would come from the House of David. Who was this iconic king of Israel and why would the Messiah need to be born in David’s lineage?
Red-headed David, the youngest of 8 boys, drew the short straw in the family and was assigned to be the shepherd of his father’s sheep. Alone in the wilderness, he became an expert with a slingshot and single-handedly killed lions and bears who threatened the flock.
Summoned one day by his father, Jesse, to come back home in Bethlehem, much to David’s surprise the prophet Samuel was there waiting. Shockingly, the prophet anointed David as God’s choice to be the next King of Israel. David’s legendary fame would begin at that moment and grow soon thereafter…
Three of David’s brothers were fighting in Israel’s army supported by their father who routinely sent David to them with supplies. During one visit to the battle front, David was astonished to see Israel’s army afraid of a giant Philistine ace warrior named Goliath who challenged and taunted Israel’s army daily.
Asking King Saul’s permission to battle Goliath, the shepherd boy was ridiculed by his older brothers and Saul tried to talk David out of it; however, the King relented. David defiantly announced to Goliath he will kill him in the name of the Lord and cut off his head. And David did just that – with a slingshot and a single stone he killed Goliath, then used Goliath’s own sword to cut off his head. That very day David was placed in the service of King Saul.
David’s fame eventually made Saul jealous and he tried to hunt down and kill him. Failing to seek and obey God’s guidance would cost Saul his own life and that of his sons in battle. After Saul’s death, David became king, but he had no throne. The fortified city of Jebus seemed the perfect place.
As a skilled formidable warrior serving in King Saul’s army, David had become well-known to his enemies. Equipped with this savvy and fame, he gathered people of Israel, formed an army and advanced toward Jebus.
Hurling insults at David’s approaching army, the Jebusites taunted shouting “the blind and the lame” could fight off Israel and in mockery arrogance positioned lame and blind people on the city walls. Taking great offense, David offered his the commanding general position to whomever led the army to victory over Jebus. Joab won the challenge and became the commanding general.
More good news came from God through the prophet Nathan saying David’s future son would be the one to fulfill promises God made to Moses to build the House of God and to Jacob that the scepter would never leave his family:
2 Sam 7:12-13 “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” 
Basking in the glory of his kingdom, David decided to take a census contrary to God’s past instructions because it demonstrated a lack of faith. General Joab pressed the King not to do it, but David persisted.
Punishment delivered by “an angel of the Lord” for David’s sin was heavy upon the nation and the King pleaded with God to punish only himself and his family because Israel was innocent. The prophet Gad delivered God’s response instructing David to build an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah on Mount Moriah and offer an atonement sacrifice for the people of Israel.
David purchased the threshing floor, the oxen and materials, then built the altar himself. To his astonishment, God sent fire down from heaven to consume the sacrifice. Moved deeply, David declared: “This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of burnt offerings for Israel.”
The promised permanent place for God’s Name to dwell, the Temple, was to be built on Mount Moriah, the place where a 1000 years earlier Abraham took his only son, Isaac, to be sacrificed then spared at the last moment with a substitute sacrificial ram.
Lord Acton’s quote “absolute power corrupts absolutely” applied even to David. From his palace rooftop, David watched his neighbor’s wife taking a bath. Her name, ironically, was Bath-Sheba. The King dispatched his men to bring her to his palace where David seduced her and she became pregnant.
Bath-Sheba’s husband, Uriah, was one of the King’s top military officers away fighting a war – how would Bath-Sheba explain away her pregnancy? David devised a cover-up plan.
Uriah was summoned from the battlefield at the behest of David under the pretense of earning a well-deserved leave from duty. The true reason was to give Bath-Sheba an opportunity to have marital relations with her husband to legitimize her pregnancy. The plan backfired when the loyal Uriah did not think it would be fair to his troops back on the battlefield if he were at home enjoying the pleasures of his wife.
David’s back-up scheme was much more sinister. The King sent Uriah to the front lines of the war in hopes he would die in battle. Indeed, Uriah was killed in action. A royally planned and executed murder plot seemed foolproof – except to God. The prophet Nathan exposed David’s sin bringing judgment upon David and Bath-Sheba when their ill-conceived baby died.
In spite of his deplorable sins of adultery and murder, God still honored His promise to David. Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Zechariah over the following centuries would prophesy that the Messiah would come from the House of David; prophecies confirmed by renowned Jewish Sages Rashi and Maimonides.
David also wrote many of the Psalms, some deemed to be prophetic. First words of Psalms 22, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” were cried out by Jesus shortly before he died on the cross. The 22nd Psalm written by David depicts the dramatic image of a man dying in agony and humiliation remarkably consistent in specific detail with the circumstances of the Roman crucifixion of Jesus a millennium later.
As a mortal, Jesus would have no control over being born a 1000 years later into the royal lineage of David nor in his same hometown of Bethlehem, especially exceptional considering that up until the last moment , Jesus was expected to be born in Nazareth, a week’s long journey away. From King David to Jesus, what are the odds of improbability all these events occurred simply by chance?
Updated October 1, 2021
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 2 Samuel 11, 16.
 I Samuel 17.
 I Sam. 16; Chronicles 2, 10.
 I Samuel 18.
 I Samuel 19.
 2 Samuel 2, 5. 1 Chronicles 10, 11.
 1Chronicles 11.
 I Chronicles 11; 2 Samuel 5. Josephus. Josephus, Flavius. Antiquities of the Jews. Book VII, Chapter III.1. <http://books.google.com/books?id=e0dAAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false>
 2 Samuel 5. I Chronicles 11. Josephus. Antiquity. Book VII, Chapter III.1.
 I Chronicles 17:1. Josephus. Antiquity. Book VII, Chapter III.1-2. Net.bible.org. Hebrew text. “Jebus <2982>” <https://net.bible.org> Lexicon-Concordance Online Bible. Hebrew “Jebuw <2982>” (Brown-Driver-Briggs). <http://lexiconcordance.com> Dolphin, Lambert. “Mount Moriah, Site of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.” TempleMount.org. 1996. <http://www.templemount.org/moriah2.html> “Zion.” Fausset Bible Dictionary. 1878. http://classic.studylight.org/dic/fbd>
 Genesis 49; 2 Samuel 5; 1 Chronicles 11, 17; Chronicles 5; 1Kings 2; Judges 1; Psalms 76. Josephus. Antiquities. Book VII, Chapter III.2.
 NASB. I Chronicles 17.
 Exodus 30.
 I Chronicles 21; 2 Samuel 24.
 I Chronicles 21; 2 Chronicles 3; 2 Samuel 24.
 NKJV. I Chronicles 21-22. 2 Samuel 24. “Araunah.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com> “The Site – The Temple Mount.” Bible-History.com. n.d. <http://www.bible-history.com/jewishtemple/JEWISH_TEMPLEThe_Site.htm> Josephus. Antiquities. Book VII, Chapter III.
 I Chronicles 22; 2 Chronicles 3.
 2 Samuel 11. “Lord Acton writes to Bishop Creighton…” Online Library of Liberty. 2017. <http://oll.libertyfund.org/quote/214>
 2 Samuel 12.
 Isaiah 9; Jeremiah 23; 33; Zechariah 12. The Compete Jewish Bible – with Rashi Commentary. Rashi commentaries: Gensis 49:10; Numbers 24:17; Zechariah 12:12; Micah 5:2. Maimonides. Mishneh Torah. “The Law Concerning Moshiach.” Chapter 11. <http://www.kesser.org/moshiach/rambam.html#SIE>
 The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi’s Commentary. Rashi commentaries on Micah 5:2 and Psalms 118:22. “Salvation.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011.