David ben Jesse of Bethlehem is the central human character in the Hebrew Bible.
While Moses spoke with God "face to face" (Exod 33:11; Deut 5:4), David was God's son (Ps 89:27-28), a relationship never attributed to the great giver of the Torah. Centuries later, when the prophets of Israel gazed into the future, they did not speak of another Moses, but another David.
David was the paradigm of the biblical messiah, the one anointed with the Ruach of God:
Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed [mashach] him in the midst of his brothers; and the Ruach of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. (1 Samuel 16:13)
In the Bible—especially the books of Samuel, Isaiah, and the Psalms—there is a constellation of ideals, principles, and hopes that surrounds King David. After his death, the House of David lasted nearly four more centuries (961-587 BCE). But even long after its collapse, the constellation of David Theology elements continued to provide prophetic guidance and shaped Israel's identity and hopes—well into the First Century, even to this day.
In the texts below, "David" is both the biological son of Jesse, as well as David's many grandsons who ruled in Jerusalem in his stead, in his name. Some passages reflect the idealistic and future-oriented views of later generations.
"David" is also the premiere future Mashiach, "the Son of David" (e.g., Matt 9:27; 15:22; 21:9; Rev 5:5; 22:16).
[See how this theology fits into the The Two Lords concept in the Bible.]
The following 14 elements of David Theology are drawn primarily from:
Most quoted texts are from NJV = New Jewish Version (= Tanakh: A New Translation of the Holy Scripturesl Jewish Publication Society, 1985) unless noted. Other translations include: NASB = New American Standard Bible; NRSV = New Revised Standard Version.
At times, more than one translation of a passage is given for comparison. Because the NJV follows the verse numbering of the traditional Masoretic text in the Book of Psalms, some references will be one verse off from Christian versions. (Verse numbering in Bibles began in the 1500s and is not original to the biblical texts.)
1) David is God's son
2 Samuel 7:142) David sits at God's right hand, in the shadow of God's wings
Psalm 57:2b3) David occupies the throne of God's kingdom
1 Chronicles 28:54) David is worshiped along with God
1 Chronicles 29:20
Psalm 45:76) David's regal glory reflects God's glory
Psalm 72:17, 18, 197) David is God's mashiach, anointed one, or messiah
1 Samuel 16:138) David is God's servant-shepherd
2 Samuel 5:29) David is like God's angel (physical presence on earth)
1 Samuel 29:910) David is a priest (not from the line of Levi, but the line of Melchizedek)
2 Samuel 6:12, 1811) David is a prophet (through whom the Breath of God speaks)
2 Samuel 23:212) David rules the nation by the Torah (God's teaching)
Deuteronomy 17:14, 15, 18Đ1913) David will rule the entire earth
Psalm 2:814) David's throne (rule) will endure forever
2 Samuel 7:12, 14, 15Đ16
Hebrew-Greek Transliteration [PDF]