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David was a very special man, he was Godís chosen king. He wrote most of the Psalms at this time and God called him, "a man after My own heart."
Like Jesus, David was from Bethlehem. He grew up as a shepherd and was skillful in music and courageous. Samuel the prophet secretly anointed him as king and God openly showed Israel His chosen by his single-handedly slaying of the giant, Goliath of Gath.
1 Sam 17:43-50
"So the Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!" Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. "This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. "Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD'S, and He will give you into our hands."
So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hastened and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him."
But Saul began to hate David more and more. David had served at Saul's court, had been married to his younger daughter, and had gone to battle numerous times at Saul's command, and Saul began to hope that David would die in battle. When Saul openly tried to murder him was when David took to the hills.
For some 20 years David hid in the wilderness from Saul where he gathered an army from the outcasts of Israel.
He took refuge from king Saul with Achish, the king of Gath, a Philistine city. This could have proven to be a big mistake had not the Lord been with him. Achish gave him the city of Ziklag, a city on the outskirts of Philistine territory bordering the Negev desert. Later Saul and three of his sons were killed in battle at Mount Gilboa. The Philistines were confident that they would dominate the country. The Israelites lost the hills of Ephraim and the survivors of Saulís house attempted to maintain their rule from Mahanaim in Transjordan.
The tribes in the south were extremely distressed and appealed to David. He was anointed king of Judah in Hebron. It wasnít long before the tribes in the north came to Hebron and anointed him king over Israel, it was 7 years after Saulís death. David immediately captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites. He brought the Ark of the covenant (gold box containing the 10 commandments and symbolizing the throne of God) to Jerusalem, which he established as the capital (2 Sam 1-5). Jerusalem became the symbol of a unified kingdom. This all took place about 1000 B.C.
When the Philistines realized what had fully happened it was too late, for Israel was a unified kingdom. David defeated them in two successive battles in the Valley of Rephaim near Jerusalem and he drove them from the hill country. The Philistines were reduced to a minor power and were not a danger to Israel anymore.
In the years that followed, David conquered all his surrounding enemies one by one until his kingdom had become all-powerful, with boundaries stretching from Levo-Hamath in the Valley of the Lebanon to the River of Egypt.
Map of David's Kingdom
The Story of the Bible
© Bible History Online (http://www.bible-history.com)
Smithís Bible Dictionary