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Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

David

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From humble beginnings as the youngest son of a Bethlehem shepherd named Jesse, David rose to become Israel’s greatest king. He established a dynasty out of which, according to God’s plan, came the great Messiah, the son of David, who was Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world (1 Samuel 16:1; 1 Samuel 16:11; 2 Samuel 5:3-4; 2 Samuel 5:12; Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:32-33; Luke 2:11).

Early progress

After the failure of Saul as king, God directed Samuel to the young man David, whom Samuel marked out to be Israel’s next king (1 Samuel 13:14; 1 Samuel 15:28; 1 Samuel 16:11-14). Many years passed before David became king, and during those years he steadily matured in mind and body. He became skilled in speech, writing and music, and grew into a brave fighter through having to defend his flocks against wild animals and raiding Philistines (1 Samuel 16:18; 1 Samuel 17:34-36; cf. Psalms 23).

David’s introduction to Saul’s court was as one whose music relaxed the king’s troubled nerves (1 Samuel 16:16). After his victory over the Philistines’ champion fighter, he became Saul’s armour-bearer and full-time court musician (1 Samuel 16:21; 1 Samuel 17:50; 1 Samuel 18:2). At this time a close friendship began to develop between David and Saul’s son Jonathan. It lasted many years, and was ended only by Jonathan’s tragic death in battle (1 Samuel 18:1; see JONATHAN). David’s successes in battle won him promotion, but further successes and growing popularity so stirred up Saul’s jealousy against him that Saul tried to kill him (1 Samuel 18:5-11).

By this time David had no doubt begun the psalm-writing activity for which he is well known. The biblical book of Psalms contains many of the songs and poems he wrote during his long and eventful career. In these writings David gives his personal views of many of the incidents that another writer records in the books of 1 and 2 Samuel (see PSALMS, BOOK OF).

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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'David'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/bbd/d/david.html. 2004.

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