King David is one of the most colorful characters in the Hebrew Bible. Not only is he mentioned more than any other person, but he also wrote the longest book in the canon: the book of Psalms, which contains 150 chapters. He is mentioned 148 in the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament).
Who was King David?
King David rose as a charismatic figure after the period of Judges, during the time of King Saul.
King David, the good and the bad
One of the interesting things about David is that he is described both as mighty and as sinful. He meets King Saul and helps cure his migraines by playing music. He defeats Goliath at the Ella Valley. He becomes a great King who unifies the tribes of Israel. On the other hand, the Bible states He had “too much blood on his hands”. That is the reason God does not permit him to build the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. He purchases the land and his son, Solomon, will later build the temple for God.
Why is King David so central?
In Judaism, the Messiah must be a descendant of King David. The New Testament begins with the lineage of man. It draws a clear line between Adam, the first man, Abraham, Moses, and King David, ending with Joseph the father of Jesus. It is not a coincidence that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the birth town of King David. In Christianity, Jesus is the Messiah who is also a descendant of King David.
Did King David even exist?
There has been an ongoing debate as to the mere existence of the historical King David. It is very difficult to prove the existence of a man who lived over 3000 years ago. In fact, until the early 90s, there wasn’t even a shred of evidence for the existence of King David. In the year 1993, the tell Dan stele was discovered in Israel on the Lebanese border. This is an inscription in the Aramaic language. After deciphering this inscription the researchers were amazed to find the name of King David mentioned. This is a victory stele that described the defeat of the king of the House of David by the neighboring Empire. For the first time in history, there was proof of the existence of King David. This inscription was written by an enemy of King David in a foreign language. Therefore, this is considered a strong piece of evidence. The inscription is presented in Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
What would a tour focusing on King David include?
This is the battle site where King David fought Goliath. Ask your Israeli tour guide to take you to a viewpoint where you can see the locations where the Philistine Army and the Israelite Army Gathered. This would include a short uphill walk, worth every effort put into it!
While touring the land of Israel be sure to check out a new archaeological dig near the Ella Valley. This is a Jewish village that existed during the time of King David. The oldest Hebrew inscription ever found Was discovered on site. This could very well be a town mentioned in the Bible in the scene of the battle between the Philistines and the Israelites. While visiting, you will walk up a hill to arrive at the single-layered town. The archaeologists discovered olive pits that date back to the year BC 1000. Carbon dating was used to determine this fact. Also, no non-kosher animal bones were found on site.
An Archaeological dig on the Lebanese border. The dan stream is one of the sources of the River Jordan and flows through the site. At the gates of the city, the Tel Dan Stele was found. There is also an altar from the time of Jeroboam the second.
City of David
The city of David is one of the most impressive sites in Israel. It contains many findings found over the past 150 years. An ancient path dating back to thousand years ago from the time of King Herod was found, leading from the city of David to the Temple Mount.
Can these sites be toured in one day?
Unfortunately, no. They are in different geographical locations in Israel and require more than one day. Consult us or your Israeli tour guide to get the most out of your trip. Here are some ideas for day tours from Jerusalem.