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the first kings of israel

             For the purposes of this essay, I have chosen to study David and Solomon. Firstly I will look at the life of King David.
             David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem of Judah, whose name was Jesse and had eight sons. The figure of David, as man and king stands out in such a way that he ever remains for Israel, the type of messiah who is born of his race.
             The rise to power of King David, who reigned as king of Israel for thirty-nine years, came about through his good work in this land. The debacle at Gilboa left Israel at the mercy of the Philistines, who apparently followed up their advantage and occupied at least as much of the land as they had held before Saul came upon the scene. While they did not venture into Transjordan, and perhaps not very deep into Galilee, their garrisons were once more established in the central mountain range. Israel's case seemed hopeless. Yet she rose again with incredible speed and within a few years had become the foremost nation of Palestine and Syria. David was the cause of this, the rebuilding up of Israel and thus, like Saul before him, he was a military elected king. He was a popular king and was welcomed by the people of Judah. After all, he was one of them, a strong leader who could see to their defence, and one who was in position to mediate between them and their Philistine masters. He was, therefore, acclaimed king by popular consent and anointed at the ancient shrine of Hebron. .
             David was a hero born to Israel because of his deep attachment to God. His religion is characterised by expectancy of the hour of God. He therefore restrains himself from making an attempt on Saul's life, even though he has the opportunity to rid himself of his Persecutor. He allows himself to be entirely ruled by God's will and is ready to accept what-ever comes from Him, hoping that the lord will change all the evils he has to under go into blessings. .
             Eshbaal, Saul's surviving son served as a rival to David.

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