David appears in three books of the Bible: Samuel I, Samuel II and First Kings. The books of Samuel show the development of Jewish rule from Judges to Kings. In the first book of Samuel, Samuel is chosen by God as a prophet and Judge. Samuel supports Saul’s rise to king but when God turns from Saul, he anoints David to be the future king of the Jewish people. Samuel II follows David’s reign after the death of Saul. First Kings takes up the story of David in his final years and then follows the reign of his son, Solomon. Below biblical excerpts, from The Jewish Study Bible, Oxford University Press, are paired with lyrics and text from the production by Yehuda Hyman.
So they sent and brought him. He was ruddy-cheeked, bright-eyed, and handsome. And the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him, for this is the one." Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the LORD gripped David from that day on. FIRST SAMUEL 16:12-13
OIL OF MYRRH AND CASSIA
FRAGRANT CANE AND CINNAMON
FRAGRANT CANE AND CINNAMON
LET HIS DESTINY BEGIN.
Whenever the [evil] spirit of God came upon Saul, David would take the lyre and play it, Saul would find relief and feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him. FIRST SAMUEL 16:23
DAVID, I’M NERVOUS I NEED YOU TO COMFORT ME
COME TO MY CHAMBER AND PLAY ME A TUNE
DON’T GO AWAY WHEN YOU SEE I AM SLEEPING BUT
PLAY TILL THE DAWN COMES AND CANCEL THE MOON
Thus David bested the Philistine with a sling and a stone; he struck him down and killed him. David had no sword so David ran up and stood over the Philistine grasped his sword and pulled it from its sheath and with it he dispatched him and cut of his head. FIRST SAMUEL 17:50-51
THE BOY HAD FIVE STONES IN HIS POCKET
ONE BY ONE HE LET THEM FLY
ONE BY ONE THEY FLEW ACROSS
THE DAZZLING BLOODY DESERT SKY
The women sang as they danced, and they chanted:
Saul has slain his thousands;
David, his tens of thousands!
Saul was much distressed and greatly vexed about the matter. For he said, "To David they have given tens of thousands, and to me they have given thousands. All that he lacks is the kingship!" From that day on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. FIRST SAMUEL 18:7-9
“SAUL HAS KILLED A THOUSAND; GLORY TO THE KING
BUT DAVID KILLED A THOUSAND MORE AND PLAYED UPON A STRING.
SAUL HAS KILLED A THOUSAND, WITH A MIGHTY SWORD
BUT DAVID IS A CHAMPION ANOINTED BY THE LORD.”
Jonathan and David made a pact because [Jonathan] loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the cloak and tunic he was wearing and gave them to David, together with his sword, bow, and belt. FIRST SAMUEL 18:3-4
YOU TOOK ME TO EARTH FROM A VERY HIGH SHELF
YOU OPENED THE BOOK THAT I KEPT TO MYSELF.
AND NOW I AM NOTHING AND NOW I AM WHOLE
FOR NOW IS MY SOUL BOUND UP IN YOUR SOUL
Now Michal daughter of Saul had fallen in love with David; and when this was reported to Saul, he was pleased. Saul thought: "I will give her to him, and she can serve as a snare for him, so that the Philistines may kill him." FIRST SAMUEL 18:20-21
MY LOVE IS GROWING MORE AND MORE
UNTIL MY HEART IS GROWING SORE
FOR REACHING, LONGING TO EXPLORE
HIS OUTSIDE AND HIS INNER CORE
THIS GOLDEN BOY THAT I ADORE
I’LL BOW TO HIM UPON THE FLOOR
I’LL PRAY TO HIM AND WHAT IS MORE
I’LL LET HIM OPEN EVERY DRAWER
And David said to Saul, "Why do you listen to the people who say, 'David is out to do you harm?' You can see for yourself now that the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave today. And though I was urged to kill you, I showed you pity; for I said, I will not raise a hand against my lord, since he is the LORD's anointed.' Please sir, take a close look a the corner of you cloak in my hand; for when I cut off the corner of your cloak, I did not kill you. You must see plainly that I have done nothing evil or rebellious, and I have never wronged you. Yet you are bent on taking my life. May the LORD judge between you and me! And may He take vengeance upon you for me, but my hand will never touch you. As the ancient proverb has it: 'Wicked deeds come from wicked men!' My hand will never touch you. Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? A single flea? FIRST SAMUEL 24:9-15
HOW CAN I MAKE YOU UNDERSTAND?
BEFORE I’D HURT YOU I’D CUT OFF MY HAND.
HERE IS NO SERPENT WHO STRIKES IN THE DEEP.
HERE IS THE BOY WHO ONCE SUNG YOU TO SLEEP.
How have the mighty fallen
In the thick of battle -
Jonathan, slain on your heights!
I grieve for you,
My brother Jonathan,
You were most dear to me.
Your love was wonderful to me
More than the love of women. SECOND SAMUEL 1:25-26
I LOVED HIM IN HIS DARKEST HOUR
I LOVED HIS WEAKNESS AND HIS POWER
I LOVED HIM MORE THAN ANYTHING
I LOVED THE MAN, I LOVED THE KING
BUT EVEN MORE, MY SECRET JOY
NO SECRET NOW, I LOVED HIS BOY
TAKE DOWN THE MOON
PUT OUT THE SUN
LOOK NOT FOR COMFORT
THERE IS NONE
TAKE DOWN THE MOON
PUT OUT THE SUN
I LOVED HIM MOST
As the Ark of the LORD entered the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the LORD; and she despised him for it. SECOND SAMUEL 6:16
CELEBRATE THE WAITING?
CELEBRATE THE HURTING?
CELEBRATE THE FIFTEEN YEARS I WAITED TO BE JUST A PIECE OF PROPERTY?
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, and the king sent someone to make inquiries about the woman. He reported, "She is Bathseba daughter of Eliam [and] wife of Uriah the Hittite." SECOND SAMUEL 11:2-3
SEE - HOW - SHE - SHINES - SO - BRIGHT –
THE MOON DISCOVERS HER WITH LIGHT
HER SKIN SO WET, SO WARM THE NIGHT
I WONDER… Do we know her?
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." SECOND SAMUEL 11:14-15
DAVID: Confidential to General Yoav,
I TRUST THAT YOU WILL EXPEDITE THIS ORDER
I TRUST YOU WILL SAY NOTHING OF THIS THING
IN TIME OF WAR WE MUST MAKE TOUGH DECISIONS
A BURDEN I MUST CARRY AS THE KING.
Just then the Cushite came up; and the Cushite said, "Let the lord the king be informed that the LORD as vindicated you today against all who rebelled against you!" The king asked the Cushite, "Is my boy Absalom safe?" And the Cushite replied, "May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rose against you to do you harm fare like that young man!" The king was shaken. He went up to the upper chamber of the gateway and wept, moaning these words as he went, "My son Absalom! O my son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son!" SECOND SAMUEL 18:31-32, 19:1
METATRON: The heart wants to stop.
The tear cannot mend.
His choice is to bear
this pain to the end.
When David's life was drawing to a close, he instructed his son Solomon as follows: "I am going the way of all the earth; be strong and show yourself a man. Keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in His ways and following His laws, His commandments, His rules, and His admonitions as recorded in the Teaching of Moses, in order that you may succeed in whatever you undertake and whatever you turn. Then the LORD will fulfill the promise that He made concerning me: 'If your defendants are scrupulous in their conduct, and walk before Me faithfully, with all their heart and soul, your line on the throne of Israel shall never end!'" FIRST KINGS 2:1-4
DAVID and SOLOMON: HE IS LIGHT AND DARK
SHE IS EVERYTHING
WE ARE HERE TO GROW
WE ARE HERE TO SING
SING THE LIGHT SHINES THROUGH
AFTER GENTLE RAIN
THEN FROM OUT THIS EARTH WILL RISE
GROWING THINGS AGAIN.
DAVID IN THE MIDRASH
Stories of King David abound in Midrashic traditions. Rabbis and storytellers found many paths to explore and expand the richness of the biblical stories. Most of the Midrash contains stories of David’s singularity; his unique role in the history of the Jewish people. David’s story is tied into the creation of the world. In the Garden of Eden, Adam, who was slated to live for a thousand years, was shown all the history of humankind. He was shown each generation and its leaders, prophets, teachers, scholars, statesmen, judges, the pious, the average and commonplace members; even each generation and its performers. Every detail of all these lives was told to Adam. And then David was shown to Adam as an infant, destined only to live three hours. Adam chose to bestow the last seventy years of his life to David. A deed of gift, signed by God and the angel Metatron, was drawn. Seventy years were legally conveyed and—in accordance with Adam’s wishes—beauty, domination, and poetical gift. Adam died after living only nine hundred and thirty years and David was given his life.