Research Paper: King David's Influence on Jerusalem

Pages: 5 (1250 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: History - Israel  ·  Buy This Paper

King David's Influence On Jerusalem

The city of Jerusalem is one of the world's oldest and most highly prized urban centers. It plays a starring role in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It has been the source of battle for millennia, with many of those wars fought to retain or capture control of the city itself. Jerusalem is both tangible and symbolic; it is itself a beautiful historical site and it stands as an icon for religious identity. King David, one of the earliest Kings of that city, had a lasting influence on Jerusalem. Through history, religion, mythology, and politics, the legacy of King David remains active three thousand years after he ruled the city of Jerusalem.

King David in the Bible

According to the Books of Samuel, David lived approximately 3,000 years ago. He was the second king of Israel, and is depicted as being fundamentally powerful and ethically righteous. While he is known for many things, including his battle with Goliath and his adulterous affair with Bathsheba, he is perhaps most importantly remembered for his many years spent ruling Jerusalem.

David came to Jerusalem following many battles. He conquered the city that was then called Jebus, and made it his capitol. To solidify his rule, David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, with the intent of building a temple there to permanently hold that holy object. God forbade this action, since David was a warrior and the building of a temple must fall to a man of peace. Although the temple would not be built until many years later -- when David's son Solomon completed the task -- the "house of David" was established for eternity. Later in his life, when he is bedridden, David issued his final wishes that his ancestors would inherit his throne forever. He was buried in the City of David, a palace adjacent to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, after 33 years of rule over that city.

To this day, many observant Jews believe that their Messiah will be a descendent of David's. Moses Maimonides (also known as Rabram) was a Rabbi in the middle ages. He sought to integrate Jewish thinking and became a revered spiritual leader. For him, the ideal messiah will "arise and restore the kingdom of David to its original state." (Ariel, 1995: 230). Thus, David's time ruling over Jerusalem is still idealized and yearned for in many modern Jewish circles.

While the story of David as presented in the New Testament may be seen superficially as the "classic bandit tale" (Finelstein, 2003: 32), it has been studied and interpreted well beyond its entertainment value. David's legacy in Jerusalem is religious, political, and even infra-structural. He established the city of Jerusalem as a Jewish center, and attempted to build a temple there to commemorate that orientation. He ruled the city as a politician, employing the Jebusites who were there when he arrived. He built the City of David, which remains an important stop on tours of Jerusalem. Essentially, he "established the religious foundations of ancient Israel, and created an effective monarchy that unified the religious, military, judicial, and political apparatus of the nation," (Ariel, 1995: 213). With Jerusalem as the nation's capitol city, David initiated a chain of history in which that prized city would be the focus of much consternation.

King David in History

Many researchers, including archaeologists and historians, have sought to corroborate the Biblical account of King David in Jerusalem. They have had difficulty narrowing down a precise date for his conquest although most place it sometime in the 10th century BCE (Gavron, 2003). Until 1993, there was no solid evidence for the existence of King David outside of religious texts. However, in that year a team of archeologists uncovered… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"King David's Influence on Jerusalem."  Essaytown.com.  April 12, 2010.  Accessed August 23, 2019.
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