Project Genesis

Jewish History

The Great Rabbis

King David

Can you give me some information about the King David’s personality? What was his greatness?

King David is best known for his humility, sensitivity, Torah scholarship, and faith in G-d. When the prophet Samuel came to anoint him as the next king of Israel, David was in the fields, tending his father’s sheep. Following in the footsteps of the patriarchs, David chose to become a shepherd so he could be in the quiet of nature to concentrate on his relationship with G-d. David displayed tremendous sensitivity in his work. He made sure to take his flock far out so they wouldn’t eat other farmer’s grass and he helped the smaller sheep find the softest grass despite the pushing of the stronger sheep. During these quiet personal times, as well as during very trying and dangerous times later on in his life, David composed Psalms which poetically illustrated his faith in G-d.

Interestingly, Samuel was surprised when David was introduced to him after being summoned from the fields. David had a reddish complexion, and Samuel was immediately reminded of the red Esau and grew concerned. However, Samuel noticed David’s kind eyes, and saw into his soul. He realized that David would not kill at will like Esau, but would rather lead battles for the sake of G-d.

We see David’s strong faith in G-d when he battled against the giant Goliath. He volunteered to fight, even without armor, due to his tremendous faith that G-d would give him the strength to save the Jewish people from Goliath. David was humble: the battle wasn’t about him, but about the sanctification of G-d’s name that would result.

David was also a kind friend, as he shared a strong bond with Jonathan, son of Saul. They promised each other that they would always care for each other’s children in the future. What was so remarkable about this friendship is that it thrived despite the fact that Jonathan’s father viewed David as a threat to the throne and even attempted to kill David more than once.

Once David was officially appointed king, we know that every decision he made was under the guidance of G-d and the Torah. He was a humble ruler that understood that G-d is the ultimate King.

R’ Fleksher

1 Follow-up »

  1. What are the names of all of King David’s children and who are their mother?

    I’ll give you some of them. David had 18 wives and very many children. His son Shlomo, from Bathsheva, followed David as King of Israel. You will see a number of others, along with their mothers, in 2 Shmuel (Samuel) 3:2-5.

    Comment by ATR — September 25, 2007 @ 4:45 pm

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