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דָּוִד בֶּן יִשַׁי   (שמואל א טז-לא, שמואל ב, מלכים א א-ב, רות ד:יז-כב, תהלים, דברי הימים א ב:טו, יא-כט)
Israel's second king, warrior, politician, psalmist, founder of the dynasty of Judean kings. The story of his career is the most detailed and exciting of all Biblical characters. דוד   is introduced three times in ספר שמואל א Following שאול 's  failure in his battle against עמלק the prophet שמואל   appears in דוד 's  home town of בית לחם   to anoint a successor. God directs him to ישי 's  youngest son, דוד who remains silent and passive in this episode. Shortly after this secret selection, דוד   is fetched by שאול 's  aides to serve the king as court musician (chapter 16). דוד 's  grand entrance onto the Biblical stage however, comes in the next story in which he defeats גלית the פלשתי   giant. During a standoff between the armies of Israel and the Philistines, גלית   challenges Israel to send a man out to engage in single representative combat fighting. None of שאול 's  men are brave enough to accept this mission, but דוד   convinces the king that with God's help he can succeed. גלית   and דוד   exchange taunts and then דוד   fells the giant with a stone from his slingshot. He then decapitates his adversary. The loss of their champion panics the פלשתים   and they are routed by Israel. דוד   emerges with גלית 's  sword and a promise of marriage to the king's daughter as reward for his valour (chapter 17). דוד   is universally adored; he is loved by שאול   (16:21), by יונתן   (18:1), by שאול 's  daughter מיכל   (18:20), and by all the populace (18:16). He is sent on missions by the king and becomes a national celebrity. The people sing of his glory, to the dismay of the king. דוד   accepts a challenge put to him by שאול   to kill 100 פלשתים   in order to marry מיכל and kills 200 instead, returning with their foreskins as proof of his success (chapter 18). דוד   escapes several of שאול 's  attempts on his life, once with the aid of his wife מיכל דוד   runs to שמואל   for refuge and the king follows him there where שאול   is overcome by prophecy (chapter 19). יונתן   proves his loyalty to דוד   by helping him hide in a field where he conveys to him the measure of שאול 's  hatred towards his friend. דוד   knows that he must flee for good (chapter 20). דוד   runs to נֹב   where he is assisted by the כהן   of the town, אחימלך בן אחיטוב The כהן   gives him bread and גלית 's  sword which דוד   has stored in נב דוד   is aware that דאג האדמי a loyal servant to שאול is there but does nothing to stop him from reporting his presence to his master. This slip leads to the massacre of נב 's  people. דוד   then turns to גת a פלשתי   town. However, King אכיש 's  men recognize דוד   as the פלשתי -slayer,  and דוד fearing for his life, feigns madness. This strategy gets him thrown out of the king's presence (chapter 21). דוד   begins to attract rootless men and he soon has a band of 400. He moves his family to מואב   to protect them from שאול but is told by the prophet גד   not to remain in מואב   but to return to יהודה   (chapter 22). דוד   travels to the Israelite town of קעילה   where he saves the people from an attack by the פלשתים שאול   learns of דוד 's  location and sets out after him, a move which דוד   hears about. דוד   calls אביתר   the כהן   to assist him in seeking God's advice and, using the אֵפוֹד asks whether he is safe in קעילה   or whether its citizens will betray him. God warns דוד   to take his 600 men and flee. דוד   is again met by יונתן   who assures him all will be well (chapter 23). דוד   flees to עין גדי   but his location is again revealed to his adversary who tracks him with 3000 soldiers. דוד   is hiding in a cave with his men when שאול   unknowingly enters in order to relieve himself. דוד 's  soldiers urge him to seize the moment and slay the pursuer, thus realizing the promise God has made to deliver the enemy into his hand. דוד   is loath to raise a hand to God's anointed one and instead cuts off a piece of his robe, an act which he later regrets. When שאול   leaves the cave, דוד   follows him, brandishing the cloth he has cut as evidence that he was in fact close enough to the king to take his life, and yet did not. שאול   seems persuaded (for now) that דוד   means him no harm and the two part company (chapter 24). A short story follows which provides a break in the שאול -דוד   narrative. דוד   is insulted by נבל a local chieftain. דוד   plans on slaughtering נבל 's  entire household as revenge, and perhaps to exert his authority over the region. On his march towards this end, he is intercepted by נבל 's  wife אביגיל   who convinces him that such an action will be a stain on his career. דוד   is grateful for the lesson in temperance and backs down. נבל   is soon killed by God and דוד   marries אביגיל   (chapter 25). ספר שמואל   returns us to שאול 's  pursuit of דוד   in an episode which is reminiscent of the pair's previous encounter. שאול   follows דוד   and his men to מדבר זיף The king pitches camp and sleeps in the middle surrounded by his men. Assisted by God who insures that the company remains in a deep sleep, דוד   sneaks down to the camp with his nephew and aide, אבישי בן צרויה The latter is eager to slay the king, but דוד   restrains him, arguing that they dare not strike God's anointed one. Instead, דוד   snatches the king's spear and canteen, and moving off to a safe distance, addresses שאול 's  camp. He first rebukes אבנר שאול 's  general, for not protecting the king. דוד   then once again proclaims his loyalty to שאול arguing that had he really sought the king's life, שאול   would be dead. שאול   yields this point and blesses דוד The two part, never to meet again (chapter 26). Tiring of the cat and mouse game with שאול דוד   takes his 600 men and travels to the פלשתי   town of גת believing that this move will convince שאול   to give up the chase. אכיש   allows his guests to settle in the town of צקלג While based in פלשתי   territory, דוד   spends his time raiding neighbouring non-Israelite towns and getting rich. He allows אכיש   to believe that דוד   is actually attacking Israelite communities, thus convincing אכיש   of דוד 's  loyalty to him and betrayal of his own people (chapter 27). אכיש   prepares for war against Israel and insists that דוד   and his men join his forces. דוד   has to maintain the facade but of course is caught in a dilemma - he can't very well fight Israelites! Luckily for him, אכיש 's  allies, the other פלשתי   princes, force אכיש   to get rid of דוד arguing that perhaps in the pitch of battle, דוד   will switch sides (chapters 28 and 29). Returning to their base at צקלג דוד   and his men find that in their absence עמלק   has attacked their fortress, burned the town and made off with the women and children, including דוד 's  wives אחינעם   and אביגיל An Egyptian servant of an עמלקי   leads דוד   to the עמלק   camp where דוד   thoroughly thrashes the enemy and retrieves his people and property (chapter 30).

The second half of דוד 's  story, at the start of ספר שמואל ב begins with the death of שאול News of שאול 's  and  יונתן 's  deaths reaches דוד   via an עמלקי   who claims that upon שאול 's  own request he killed the king. דוד   and his men are distraught and tear their clothes. דוד   then kills the עמלקי   who has admitted to regicide, and expresses his grief over the warriors in a lamentation (chapter 1 in שמואל ב ). דוד   settles in חברון   where he is anointed king by the men of יהודה   and where he reigns for seven years. Meanwhile, אבנר שאול 's  general and cousin, establishes איש -בשת שאול 's  son, as king over גלעד אשר יזרעאל אפרים   and בנימין Men loyal to איש בשת   and אבנר   meet men loyal to דוד   and his general (and nephew) יואב   in combat in the first battle of a civil war between the two sides: 20 of דוד 's  men die and 360 of איש בשת 's  are killed (chapter 2). During the war, איש בשת   insults אבנר   who defects to דוד 's  camp. דוד   demands that איש בשת   return his wife מיכל   to him, which איש בשת   does. אבנר   then convinces the elders of Israel to accept דוד   as their king. אבנר   comes to חברון   to seal his relationship with דוד   who later sends him away in peace. When יואב   discovers that אבנר   has been accepted by דוד he is incensed and slays אבנר the killer of his brother עשהאל דוד   is appalled at this treachery and curses יואב   and his family for slaying a great warrior of Israel (chapter 3). איש בשת   is assassinated by two of שאול 's  guards, בענה   and רכב The two decapitate the prince and bring his head to דוד expecting him to be pleased. Instead, דוד   kills them for this wretched deed (chapter 4). The elders of Israel come to דוד   in חברון   and accept him as king over the entire nation. דוד   then captures ירושלים   from the יבוסים   and makes it his capital. It is here that the terms ציון   and עיר דוד   are first heard. דוד   rules in the city for 33 years. Early in his kingship he strikes some hard blows against the פלשתים   who come to challenge his position (chapter 5). דוד 's  first major undertaking as king is to bring the ארון אלקים   to the capital, ירושלים from קרית יערים Due to a mishap along the way, the move is delayed for three months, but is eventually carried out with great fanfare. דוד   leads the procession himself and dances and makes merry in front of the people, behaviour which disgusts his wife מיכל She believes that a king should act with dignity. When מיכל   rebukes דוד he responds that he after all, was chosen by God to replace her father and that he will continue to debase himself if it connotes honour for God (chapter 6). דוד   plans on taking the next logical step, which is to build a structure to house the ארון a Temple. נתן הנביא   informs him however, that God disapproves of this project since a man who has killed so much (albeit on behalf of the nation) cannot build a House of God. דוד   is further told that his son will eventually construct a Temple (chapter 7) and the king lays down much of the groundwork for his son's project (דברי הימים א כח :יא -יב ). God promises דוד   an eternal dynasty - 7:16 (chapter 7). In other indications of his interest in the ritual service of God, דוד   directs his attention to ordering the divisions of the לְוִיִּם כֹּהֲנִים   and singers for work in the sanctuary (דברי הימים א כג -כה ), and provides his son שלמה   with plans for the future structure (דברי הימים א כח :יא -יב ). Chapter 8 describes דוד 's  military victories and the formation of his cabinet. In honouring his covenant with יונתן דוד   seeks and finds יונתן 's  son מפיבשת The king promises to grant מפיבשת   his grandfather's land as well as a permanent place at the king's table (chapter 9). דוד 's  righteousness is rebuffed by חנון king of עמון   which leads to war and עמון 's  defeat. דוד   had sent messengers to comfort חנון   over the loss of his father. חנון   is warned by his advisers that the comforters are really spies. The king has the messengers' beards cut as well as their clothes. This leads to a war between Israel and עמון   and ארם which דוד 's  brother-generals יואב   and אבישי   win handily (chapter 10). The tale of דוד   and בת שבע   represents the biggest setback in דוד 's  career. One evening, while his troops are at war, דוד   is strolling on his roof top when he spots a neighbouring beauty bathing on her roof. The king discovers that she is the wife of אוריה החתי   who at that moment is away in Israel's army, at war against עמון He sends for בת שבע   and sleeps with her. בת שבע   soon informs דוד   that she is pregnant, and in a move which seems designed to cover up his paternity, calls אוריה   from battle and orders him to go home to his wife. When אוריה   refuses, דוד   sends him back to the field with a message to יואב   to put אוריה   in the front lines so he will be killed. אוריה   indeed falls in the fighting. דוד   marries בת שבע   and a son is born (chapter 11). God dispatches the prophet נתן   to rebuke דוד   for his behaviour, and this he does by first telling דוד   a parable of a wealthy but selfish man. דוד   admits his sin, but נתן   tells him that he will be punished by seeing his own wives taken by another and by the death of the baby. The baby falls ill and despite דוד 's  praying and fasting, dies. בת שבע   bears the king another son; this is שלמה   whom God names יְדִידְיָה beloved of God (chapter 12). The Gemara's interpretation of the בת שבע   story is more charitable to דוד   than the original text is (שבת נו .) דוד   plays a minor and unwitting role in the unpleasant story of אמנון   and תמר   (chapter 13). After אבשלום   kills אמנון   in revenge for the latter's rape of תמר the prince flees to ארם   where he stays with his maternal grandfather. דוד   pines for his son and his general יואב   devises a ruse to convince דוד   to bring אבשלום   back to ירושלים דוד   eventually reconciles with אבשלום   (chapter 14) who soon betrays his father by amassing supporters in חברון   and declaring himself king. דוד   takes a large company, and departs from ירושלים דוד   tries to discourage אִתַּי הַגִּתִּי   from going with him, but אתי   remains with the other loyalists in their flight from the city. צדוק   the כהן   also joins the procession, leading לויים   carrying the ארון דוד   however instructs the holy men to take the ארון   back to ירושלים   where it is to await the king's possible return: if God wishes דוד   to be reunited with the ארון   in the city, so be it. דוד   sends a confederate, חוּשַׁי הָאַרְכִּי   to ירושלים   to pretend to defect to אבשלום but to really spy on the prince's actions (chapter 15). ציבא a servant of מפיבשת   appears with provisions for the king, claiming that his master has hopes of gaining the throne and restoring שאול 's  family to power. דוד   is then confronted by שִׁמְעִי בֶּן גֵּרָא   a loyalist to שאול who pelts דוד   with stones and curses him. דוד   leaves him be and accepts the abuse. Meanwhile, אבשלום   has arrived in ירושלים and following the advice of אחיתפל has slept with דוד 's  פלגשים   (chapter 16). Thanks to information sent by חושי his inside man, דוד   and his entire company escape across the Jordan River where they are met by several עמונים   who provide them with food and supplies (chapter 17). In preparing for the showdown with אבשלום   and his forces, דוד   commands his generals יואב אבישי and אתי   to deal gently with the prince when they subdue him. In the ensuing battle 20,000 of אבשלום 's  followers are killed. אבשלום trapped in a terebinth tree, is slain by יואב Two messengers reach דוד   with the news that the insurrection has been put down and that אבשלום   has been killed (chapter 18). דוד   is distraught over the death of his son, and in his mourning is rebuked by יואב   for appearing ungrateful for what his loyalists have achieved on his behalf. The people of Israel clamor for the return of their king who is brought back across the Jordan to the capital. During the journey he is met in turn by the elders of יהודה שמעי בן גרא מפיבשת   (who claims ציבא   had slandered him), and בַּרְזִלַּי הַגִּלְעָדִי   (chapter 19). דוד   next faces a challenge from שֶׁבַע בֶּן בִּכְרִי   who leads all but שבט יהודה   away from the king. דוד   dispatches עמשא   and אבישי   to deal with the rebel (chapter 20). A famine strikes the land and God explains to דוד   that the suffering is a punishment for שאול 's  maltreatment of the גבענים   (the details of which are not recorded in שמואל א ). דוד   approaches these people and asks how he can earn their forgiveness. The גבענים   demand that seven of שאול 's  descendants be turned over to them. דוד   agrees to this and hands over two of שאול 's  sons and five of his grandsons. They are promptly hanged. דוד   gives a proper burial to the bones of שאול   and יונתן   and the corpses of the seven. דוד   then leads the people in battle against the פלשתים   and at one point is saved from a פלשתי   giant by אבישי   (chapter 21). Chapter 22 contains a song of thanks that דוד   offers to God for deliverance from his enemies. Chapter 23 of שמואל ב   lists the heroes among דוד 's  forces. The last chapter of the book presents a story whose meaning is unclear. Due to an unnamed transgression, God provokes דוד   to sin by encouraging him to take a census (in the account in דברי הימים א כא שטן   causes the king to fail). יואב   tries to discourage the project, but דוד   insists. The counting takes almost 10 months to complete and yields a sum of 800,000 potential soldiers from Israel and 500,000 men from יהודה   (the numbers are slightly different in דברי הימים א כא :ה ). דוד   recognizes that he has sinned (although the text does not explain why taking a census is wrong) and cries to God. God sends the prophet גָּד   to the king to instruct him to choose from among three possible punishments. דוד   chooses a plague, and after three days of suffering, 70,000 people are dead. דוד   buys a threshing floor from אֲרַוְנָה הַיְבֻסִי   where he establishes an altar. The sacrifices he offers stay the plague (chapter 24).

דוד 's  appearances in מלכים א   are as a passive character: he resolves a squabble surrounding his successor, and advises שלמה   ahead of his kingship. דוד   is old and his servants attempt to warm him by providing him with a companion, אֲבִישַׁג הַשּׁוּנַמִּית דוד 's  son אדניהו   longs to be king. He allies himself with a select group of דוד 's  followers, and claims that he will succeed his father. נתן   the prophet and בת שבע   agree to question the king regarding the future, imploring him to state unequivocally before he dies that שלמה   will be Israel's next king. דוד   assures the two that indeed שלמה   will succeed him. דוד   commands צדוק הכהן נתן הנביא and בניהו בן יהוידע   to take שלמה   down to the גִּחוֹן   spring and anoint him king. This they do, and שלמה   takes his seat upon דוד 's  throne (chapter 1). דוד   speaks to שלמה   before he dies, cautioning him to keep to the ways of the Lord, to follow His statutes and commandments. דוד   also instructs שלמה   to finish some of his unfinished business: שלמה   is to punish יואב   for killing אבנר   and עמשא he must extend kindness to the descendants of ברזלי הגלעדי he should deal wisely with שמעי בן גרא   for the curses he hurled at דוד דוד   dies after a 40-year reign and is buried in עיר דוד   (chapter 2). דוד   is the author of much of ספר תהלים   and his name appears in the introductory verse to many of the chapters in that book.

דוד   is considered a model king and is believed to be the ancestor of Israel's משיח   (see principle number 12 of Maimonides' 13 Principles of Faith, as well as ברכה #15  of שמונה עשרה ). דוד   is sometimes referred to as נְעִים זְמִרוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל the sweet singer of Israel (a phrase from שמואל ב כג :א ) due to his composition of ספר תהלים דוד   and his son שלמה   are given joint credit for writing the third blessing of ברכת המזון בונה ירושלים   (ברכות מח :) The monthly practice of קדוש לבנה   is the source of the famous phrase דוד מלך ישראל חי וקיים   (ראש השנה כה .) The story of דוד   bringing the ארון   to ירושלים   (שמואל ב ו ) is read as the הפטרה   for פרשת שמיני and a song of thanks that דוד   offers in שמואל ב כב   represents the הפטרה   for פרשת האזינו   and for the seventh day of פסח

דוד   is cross referenced in this work with: בעז ישי שאול גלית יונתן אביגיל נבל יואב בת שבע אבשלום מפיבשת שמעי בן גרא עמשא שבע בן בכרי אבישג השונמית אדניה אבנר נבל   and שלמה For a genealogical chart of דוד 's  family see the Encyclopedia Judaica volume 5 page 1342.


father of אֶלְחָנָן

grandfather of תּוֹלָע


דּוֹדַי הָאֲחוֹחִי   (דברי הימים א כז:ד)
This soldier is in charge of a military division of 24,000 soldiers which serves דוד   in the second month of every year.

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