1100 - 1000 BCE

King Saul and King David

David and Goliath from the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo

Timeline of King David of Israel

King David Enters History

The Tel Dan Stele contains the first extra-biblical reference to the Davidic Dynasty. It is a fragment of a victory stele erected by Hazael, king of Aram.

"...I slew seventy kings...I killed Jehoram son of Ahab king of Israel, and I killed Ahaziahu son of Jehoram king of the House of David..."

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Israel Museum / Israel Antiquities Authority, Photo by Ardon Bar-Hama

Bethlehem Seal Impression

1 Samuel 17:58
"Whose son are you, young man?" Saul asked him. David said, "I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem." 

A bulla (clay imprint of a stone seal) containing the name of the city of Bethlehem, Israel Antiquities Authority 

Israel Museum / Israel Antiquities Authority

David and Goliath, c. 1025 BCE

1 Samuel 17:50
“David triumphed over Goliath with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.” 

City of David Megalim Institute, Courtesy of George Blumenthal and the Gol Family

Khirbet Qeiyafa: An Israelite Fortress in the Elah Valley 

In the Valley of 
David and Goliath

Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem
Photography and Virtual Tour by Ardon Bar-Hama

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King Saul at the Valley of Elah

1 Samuel 13:1, 17:2
Saul was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty two years over Israel. …

Saul and the men of Israel massed and encamped in the valley of Elah. They drew up their line of battle against the Philistines.

Tel Qeiyafa Inscription
Early Hebrew writing:   “The men and the chiefs/officers have established a king..." (Most likely Saul.) 

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Israel Antiquities Authority

“Shaaraim” Meaning “Two Gates”

1 Samuel 17:52

Then the men of Israel and Judah charged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath and to the gates of Ekron. And the bodies of the Philistines were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron.

Two city gates were found at Khirbet Qeiyafa in the Valley of Elah. 

Bar Ilan University, Found at the Philistine City of Gath in 2005 

“Goliath” Inscribed on Philistine Pottery, 950 BCE

1 Samuel 17:4
A champion of the Philistine forces stepped forward; his name was Goliath of Gath, and he was six cubits and a span tall.

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David and Goliath 
by Rembrandt

1 Samuel 17:49
David put his hand into the bag; he took out a stone and slung it. It struck the Philistine in the forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.

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Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

David Presents the Head of Goliath to King Saul
by Rembrandt

1 Samuel 17:57
c. 1025 BCE
So when David returned from killing the Philistine, still holding his head in his hand, Abner took him and brought him before Saul. 

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Kunstmuseum, Basel 

Saul and David
by Rembrandt

1 Samuel 18:10-11
The next day an evil spirit of God gripped Saul and he began to rave in his house, while David was playing [the lyre], as he did daily. Saul had a spear in his hand, and Saul threw the spear, thinking to pin David to the wall. But David eluded him twice.

The Hague Museum, Netherlands  

King Saul Attempts to Assassinate David, 
c. 1020 BCE

1 Samuel 19:11
Saul sent messengers to David’s home to keep watch on him and to kill him in the morning. But David’s wife, Michal, told him, “Unless you run for your life tonight, you will be killed tomorrow.” 

City of David Megalim Institute , Courtesy of George Blumenthal and the Gol Family

David Captures the Jebusite (Canaanite) Fortress of Zion in Jerusalem

2 Samuel 5:7
And David conquered the (Jebusite) stronghold of Zion; which is now the City of David.

City of David Megalim Institute, Courtesy of George Blumenthal and the Gol Family

Jebusite Water Shaft Discovered in the City of David in 1867

2 Samuel 5:8
On that day David had said, "Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water shaft to reach those lame and blind, who are David’s enemies.” 

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The City of David Archives

The Millo

2 Samuel 5:9
David occupied the stronghold and renamed it the City of David; David also fortified the surrounding area, from the Millo inward.

City of David Excavations

King David’s Jerusalem
The City of David
1004 BCE

City of David Archives

King David’s Palace

2 Samuel 5:11
Now Hiram king of Tyre sent envoys to David, along with cedar logs, carpenters, and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David.

City of David Megalim Institute, Courtesy of George Blumenthal and the Gol Family

Column Capital from the City of David

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Israel Antiquities Authority

King David's Palace

Shalom Kveller, City of David

Israel Museum / Israel Antiquities Authority

Bronze Cymbals, 11th Century BCE

2 Samuel 6:5
Meanwhile, David and all the House of Israel danced before the LORD to [the sound of] all kinds of cypress wood [instruments], with lyres, harps, timbrels, sistrums, and cymbals.

King David and Bathsheba

2 Samuel 11:2-5
Late one afternoon, David rose from his couch and strolled on the roof of the royal palace; and from the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful…

A messenger reported, “She is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite.”

Then David sent messengers to get her, and when she came to him, he slept with her… And the woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.” 

Drawing by Balage Balogh

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 

Nathan Admonishing David by Rembrandt, Metropolitan Museum, New York

David Receiving the News of Uriah’s Death
by Rembrandt

2 Samuel 11:14-17
In the morning, David wrote a letter to Joab, which he sent with Uriah. He wrote in the letter as follows: "Place Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest; then fall back so that he may be killed."

The men of the city sallied out and attacked Joab… Uriah the Hittite was among those who died.


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David and Purchases the Top of Mount Moriah

2 Samuel 24:18, 25
Gad came to David the same day and said to him, "Go and set up an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite."

...And David built there an altar to the LORD and sacrificed burnt offerings and offerings of well-being.

Leen Ritmeyer

King David Is Forbidden to Build 

the First Israelite Temple to God

  1 Chronicles 17:3-4   

But that night the word of God came to Nathan, saying,  “Go and tell My servant David that this is what the LORD says: ‘You are not the one to build Me a house in which to dwell.’”

King David  by Rembrandt, Private  Collection, Wikimedia Commons