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Who Is King David in the Bible?

Learn about the biblical figure King David in this Howcast Bible study video with Reverend Dr. Timothy Coombs.


Hi, I'm Tim Coombs, co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY and a member of the network of biblical storytellers. To learn more about its mission, go to

David is one of the greatest kings of all of Israel. But, he's also a very tragic figure. Perhaps, you know the story of David and Goliath, which is a childhood story of David. But, eventually, David would challenge king Saul, and there's actually a civil war, you might say. Saul is defeated, and David becomes the king. Now, David is very smart. At this time, the people of Israel lived in twelve different tribes, and they didn't always get along with each other. So, David, very smartly, makes Jerusalem the capital, which is in between the Northern tribes and the Southern tribes. David brings the ark of the covenant, that all the ten commandments, into Jerusalem and makes it the holy sight. Now, some of the stories of David that he wanted to build a temple to put the ark in, but God says, ""No, I've lived in a tent for so long in the covenant. But, I'll tell you what, I will make your kingdom an eternal kingdom."" But, then, the tragic stories of David begin. Though he is married, he sees Bathsheba bathing. He falls in love with her, and they consummate their relationship. But, Bathsheba is married to David's best friend and general, Uriah. David has Uriah killed and for his great sin was, which is exposed to David by the prophet Nathan, David is internally sorry. Then, there's this story of his own children. He has a son, Amnon, who rapes his daughter, Tamar. But, David doesn't do anything about this. He has another son, Absalom, who ends up killing Amnon. And, then, runs away and challenges David in the throne. And, David and Absalom do battle with one another until David, eventually, defeats Absalom. And he, over his body, cries, ""Oh Absalom, Absalom."" David would eventually die. He passes on his reign to Solomon. But, he dies a very sad man in the end. Though this is viewed as the Golden Age of the nation inside this largest geographic expanse and a time when everybody was united, it would soon fall apart. That's the story of King David.

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