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David ( Hebrew: , David, Dawid; Dawid; Arabic: ? Dawud; Syriac: Dawid; Ancient Greek: ; Greek: ; Strongs: Daveed) was, according to the books of Samuel, the second king of the United Kingdom of Israel, and according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus. His life is conventionally dated to c. 1040–970 BCE, his reign over Judah c. 1010–970 BCE. Modern archaeologists reject the idea that David ruled over a united monarchy, suggesting instead that he ruled only as a chieftain over the southern kingdom of Judah, much smaller than the northern kingdom of Israel at that time. They note that Israel and Judah were still polytheistic in the time of David and Solomon, and posit that much later seventh century redactors sought to portray a past golden age of a united, monotheistic monarchy in order to serve contemporary needs. The lack of evidence for Davids military campaigns and the relative underdevelopment of Jerusalem, the capital of Judah, compared to the highly developed and urbanized Samaria, capital of Israel, further reinforce this view.
Map of David
The Books of Samuel, 1 Kings, and 1 Chronicles are the only Old Testament sources of information on David, although the Tel Dan Stele (dated c. 850–835 BCE) contains the phrase ??? ??? (Beit David), read as "House of David", which many scholars confirm to be a likely plausible match to the existence in the mid-9th century BCE of a Judean royal dynasty called the House of David.
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Depicted as an acclaimed courageous warrior, and a poet and musician credited for composing much of the psalms contained in the Book of Psalms, King David is widely viewed as a righteous and effective king in battle and civil justice. He is described as a man after Gods own heart in the books of I Samuel and Acts.
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David is an important figure to members of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic faiths. Biblical tradition maintains the Messiahs direct descent from the line of David. In Islam, David is considered a prophet.