Historical Who is Who
1037 - 967 BCE
King of Israel, renowned in Bible and subsequent Jewish, Christian and Muslim tradition – for prowess variously as shepherd, resistance fighter, military leader, political administrator, musician, poet and prophet. Though his historical existence is not in doubt, its details are and independent historical record is slight. For instance, for Orthodox Jews and some traditionally minded Christians, David is regarded as author of the Book of Psalms, whereas other Christians and Jews, and independent biblical scholarship, contest this. The story of David’s contriving the death of the husband of Bathsheba after seeing her bathing is a model of moral enlightenment as he hears the story of another behaving with comparably unscrupulous menace – he makes the moral judgement of himself. That a murderer is subsequently prized as religious hero is material for debate regarding the relation between religion and ethics, as also about the nature and limits of forgiveness.