The Bible History of King David

Bible History Summary of King David. King David (circa 1040 BC – 970 BC) was the 2nd and most important king of Israel. His life is told in the books of 1st Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1st Kings, and 1st Chronicles. He was the youngest son of Jesse, anointed by Samuel, and appointed King Saul’s musician and armor bearer. As a boy he kills Goliath. He succeeds Saul as king and Jerusalem becomes the center of government and worship. David loves the Lord, but his personal life is checkered with adultery, murder, disobedience, and grief. Solomon, the son of Bathsheba, succeeds David as king. David lineage is identified with the Messiah in the Old Testament. Many of the prayers and songs in the book of Psalms are associated with David. See below for scriptures and Bible history of King David.

The Times of Kings Saul, David, and Solomon

Samuel Anoints David. God sends Samuel to see Jesse. There Samuel anoints David , the youngest son. Scripture: 1st Samuel 16:1-13, Psalm 78

David Soothes King Saul with His Harp. King Saul is troubled by an evil spirit. David is recommended to play an harp to soothe King Saul. Scripture: 1st Samuel 16:14-23.

David Kills Goliath. After hearing David, King Saul appoints him to fight Goliath. David fights and defeats Goliath Scripture: 1st Samuel 17:1-57.

King Saul In a Rage Throws a Spear at David. King Saul was enrage that the people thought more of David’s battlefield accomplishments than King Saul’s accomplishments. While David plays the harp for King Saul, he throws a spear at David Scripture: 1st Samuel 18:1-11.

David’s Marriage to Michal. With a dowry of a hundred Philistine foreskins, David married Michal, Saul’s daughter. Michal loved David, but later rebuked him for dancing uncovered before the Lord. She was childless. Scripture: 1st Samuel 18:20-28, 19:9-17, 2nd Samuel 6:20-23, Psalm 59.

David’s Friendship with Jonathan. The souls of David and Jonathan, Saul’s son, were knitted together. They made a covenant of kindness to their linage. Jonathan protected David from Saul. David mourns Jonathan’s death in battle. Scripture: 1st Samuel 18:1-14, 20:1-42; 23:14-18, 2nd Samuel 1:1-27, Psalm 54; 63.


David Meets and Marries Abigail. Abigail’s husband, Nabal, offends David. Abigail makes amends to David for her husband. Her husband soon dies and David takes Abigail as his wife. Scripture: 1st Samuel 25:1-44.

David Becomes King of Judah. In Hebron the men of Judah came and anointed David King. Scripture: 2nd Samuel 2:1-7.

David Becomes King of Israel. All the tribes of Israel came to Hebron and anointed David King. Scripture: 2nd Samuel 5:1-5; 1st Chronicles 11:1-3.

David Captures Jerusalem. David and his men took the stronghold of Zion. He dwelt in the fort and called it the city of David. Scripture: 2nd Samuel 5:6-12; 1st Chronicles 11:4-9; 14:1-2.

David Brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. David went to the house of Abinadab in Gibeah to retrieve the ark and put it on a cart. After many months, David dancing before the ark brings the ark of the Lord into Jerusalem. Scripture: 2nd Samuel 6:1-19; 1st Chronicles 13:1-14; 15:1-16.

David Sins In Order to Take Bathsheba as His Wife. David commit adultery with Bathsheba. David then arranges for Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, to be killed in battle. Nathan rebukes David for his actions and David acknowledge his sins. Bathsheba became David’s wife and she bare a son, Solomon. Scripture: 2nd Samuel 11:1-12:25; Psalm 51.

Absalom Rebels Against His Father David. Absalom began to judge the people and he stole the hearts of the men of Israel. Absalom then conspires and rebels against his father. Scripture: 2nd Samuel 15:1-12; Psalm 3.

Absalom Dies and David Mourns. David puts down the rebellion with his army. David did not want Absalom to die, but he is killed by Joab. David is told of his son’s death and mourns . Scripture: 2nd Samuel 18:7 – 19:8.

David Counts the People. David orders Joab to count the people. God is not pleased. After nine months, the count was found to be 800,000 men of Israel and 500,000 men of Judah. Pestilence came to the people and David acknowledged his sins. Scripture: 2nd Samuel 24:1-25.

David Dies After Giving Instructions to His Son Solomon. As David was dying, he instructed Solomon. He told Solomon to show himself a man and keep the charge of the Lord that he may prosper. David dies and is buried in Jerusalem. Scripture: 1st Kings 2:1-12.

More on the Life History of King David: American Bible Society, Key Events in David’s Life