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How is it possible that this page doesn't have Michelangelo's David. That's very weird, and incomplete, as it's the most famous artwork about him. . — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A01:E35:8A8D:FE80:58DA:1F2B:3676:8AF1 (talk) 10:18 pm, Today (UTC−5)

Protected page, explained nowhere![edit]

Why the page is protected? if this site is the site of people, please explain what you do.

Infobox issues[edit]

  • has link to Kings of Israel and Judah which is horrible, conflating biblical narrative and history
  • has dates for reigns in Judah and separately in Israel; this is biblical narrative, not history. These dates are not clear and should not be in the infobox
  • has date for his death; it is not certain that he existed and if he did, when.

-- Jytdog (talk) 17:14, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

I agree. I would strip out all dates for David. As I understand the scholarly literature, it's a majority opinion that David existed, but there just isn't a firm basis for thinking that we can date his reign with any accuracy, much less take the "United Kingdom" business at face value. Alephb (talk) 17:19, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
Stripping out all the dates is a really hamfisted way of dealing with this and is unhelpful to the reader. If the only dates we have are biblical then we make a note of that. If there is discrepancy between the biblical dates and the scholarly literature that should be discussed. I'm envisioning wording like "reigned from approximately xxxBCE to xxxBCE according to the biblical narrative". For the infobox, there should probably be something, even if it's a large range. ~Awilley (talk) 18:11, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
Support for Awilley's points BedrockPerson (talk) 18:23, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
User:Awilley, there are no dates in the bible. Please explain what you mean. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 18:31, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
@Jytdog: I believe Awilley is referring to instances in the Biblewjere a specific date is mentioned without giving a year, such as "In the seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar (...)" and things like that. Naming a time period without giving a year. BedrockPerson (talk) 18:35, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
Awilley is capable of speaking for themselves. To address your claim -- links made in the Bible, between events in the biblical narrative and events that we know about from extrabiblical sources, are not facts, necessarily, but narrative that needs to be handled with care. The Bible is not a history book. Jytdog (talk) 18:50, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
@Jytdog, I'm not sure I understand your question. There are relative time references given in the bible and biblical scholars analyze those to say that so and so ruled from xxxB.C. to xxxB.C. We can then cite those scholars to say that, in the biblical narrative, so and so ruled from xxxB.C. to xxxB.C. Whether the Bible is history or fiction is beside the point. We give years and dates when writing about Middle-earth as well. ~Awilley (talk) 19:03, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
What I am saying is mainstream ANE scholarship. Sure people construct chronologies in purely fictional universes. The difficulty in dealing with the bible is that it is not a history book. It is a lot of things including narratives that tell stories. Believers take those stories as True. Historians take them as ... interesting, possibly useful, but unreliable. The most obvious clash between believers and mainstream scholarship is with creationism but the same issue arises when people who believe the Bible is True uncritically map events that occur later in the biblical narrative onto actual history. This is what Bedrockperson does. It is called a "maximalist" position. Mainstream ANE scholarship treats statements in the Bible very, very gingerly. This is the so-called "minimalist" position and it is the mainstream. Now, the closer the biblical narrative gets to the modern times the more we can actually do the mapping with confidence but David takes place earlier, when things are very murky. Looking at all the extrabiblical evidence for example, mainstream ANE scholarship has very strong doubts whether the unified kingdom that the bible describes as being governed by David and Solomon, existed at all. This is the kind of thing I mean. Likewise is is not clear if David even existed. And to the extent mainstream scholars are willing to grant that he existed, the dates are very tentative - constructions based on a lot of assumptions. So no, the middle earth thing is not relevant (nothing to do with actual history) and the mappings are not simple. Jytdog (talk) 19:55, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
About the "stripping out all the dates" frame being put on this; infoboxes are for facts. Not "reconstruction accepted in some circles but not in others". That is nuanced stuff to be dealt with in the body (dates are fine there, in context); they have no place in an infobox for a liminally historical character like this. It is not certain if David existed at all (though scholars tend to lean toward "probably did") but when he may have been born and died is completely constructed and is subject to lots of assumptions. Jytdog (talk) 18:45, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
Right. I want to make it clear that when I endorsed stripping all dates out, I was responding only to the proposal to strip them out of the infobox. I'm perfectly fine with dates being discussed in the article. Alephb (talk) 18:48, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

Guerilla fighter[edit]

David's activities described in the bible, after Saul turned on him but before he became king, have been described as guerilla warfare - James Kugel described that period that way (ref) and this is even in the footnote of a bible study edition, per here. I realize that was startling and to be frank and i didn't check first to make sure that was discussed in the body, so am fine with taking that out. Jytdog (talk) 17:52, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

See WP:TERRORIST. It would be fine to say in the body that he used guerrilla tactics while fighting so and so. ~Awilley (talk) 18:00, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
TERRORIST is irrelevant (guerrilla tactics are just a form of warfare - TERRORIST is about "terrorist" vs "freedom fighter" etc. ) but this is something to deal with later. Jytdog (talk) 18:33, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
WP:TERRORIST was just the link to the section about value-laden labels. The term "Guerrilla fighter" also carries connotations, albeit to a lesser extant than do "terrorist" and "freedom fighter". (Our own article on Guerrilla Warfare confirms this, saying that the term "Guerrillas" carries positive connotations to the guerrillas and their sympathizers, and notes that "Making an objective definition of the difference between 'a guerrilla' and 'a terrorist' has proven a difficult task." Anyway, the point is to avoid using value-laden labels, not to equate guerrillas with terrorists. ~Awilley (talk) 18:47, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
Not responding further to this, as this is not an issue now. Will pick this up later. Jytdog (talk) 18:51, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
Just to throw in my two cents, I don't know if there are any wholly reliable accounts to how David actually commanded his army – only that he won alot. There's no real evidence he used any guerrilla tactics whatsoever, let alone that it was a recurrent theme in his battles enough that it should be noted on the page. Fighting with ferocity doesn't equate to guerrilla warfare. BedrockPerson (talk) 19:00, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
I am not discussing this further now nor arguing to add content about this now. So am not responding now other than to say that you are not dealing with the parts of the biblical story where David uses guerrilla tactics (nothing at all to do with ferocity). You can read the two refs I provided and there are plenty others, to prepare for later, if you like. Jytdog (talk) 19:05, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

References used in article which support 1040 BCE as birthdate.[edit]

Before I begin, @Alephb:, just saw your unacceptable edits. Removing all the dates? This article is sourced with the very same references we give to biblical kings – Albright, Thiele, Dever, etc. These dates are accepted consensus fact, these calculations are used on the king entries both before and after David. Why are the dates attributed to David suddenly inaccurate? Who are you to decide? And also, your edit summary of "per talk page"? You can clearly see no such discussion ever took place on this talk page. You gained no consensus on the talk, you agreed with @Jytdog: once and were immediately rebuked. I'm done.

Citation 28 – Kirkpatrick, A. F., Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on 1 Samuel, Section IIIa

— Josephus, Ant. VI. 14. 9, makes the same statement, adding however that he reigned 18 years during the lifetime of Samuel, and 22 years after his death, which does not agree with the facts of the history. David was 30 years old at his accession.
  • Article cites 1010 BC as the approximate year of David's ascension - thus making his birth year 1040 BC

Kirsch, Jonathan (2000) King David: the real life of the man who ruled Israel. Ballantine. ISBN 0-345-43275-4 — p. 269

— At the age of seventy, the king of Israel…ended.
  • Article cites 970 BC as the approximate year of David's death - thus making his birth year 1040 BC

Bergen, David T. (1996). 1, 2 Samuel. B&H Publishing Group. ISBN 9780805401073. , p. 31

— 1045 I Ish-Bosheth born (cf. 2 Sam 2:10)
1040 I David born (cf. 2 Sam 5:4)
1015 I Mephibosheth born (cf. 2 Sam 4:4)
  • Source literally states birth year is 1040 BC

Citation 83 – Commentary on II Samuel 22, The Anchor Bible, Vol. 9. II Samuel. P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., 1984. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-06808-5, p. 133

— Similarly, we note the years of David's life were seventy
  • Again, 70 years from 970 BC is 1040 BC

Citation 90 – John Corbett (1911) King David The Catholic Encyclopedia (New York: Robert Appleton Company)

— David died at the age of seventy, having ruled Jerusalem 33 years.
  • seventy years.

Come on now. BedrockPerson (talk) 18:07, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

You are giving the old-school maximalist version of ANE history, which is not mainstream ANE history. WP is not a Christian website and the body does a good job of explaining the mainstream view of David's historicity. Jytdog (talk) 18:35, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
Alright, you've knocked down one source. Still plenty left up. Continue. BedrockPerson (talk) 18:50, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
The content in the body of the article is well sourced and read as a whole, makes it clear that none of these dates are firm. They don't belong in an infobox. Jytdog (talk) 18:53, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

Infoboxes have birth and death info as presets for a reason, Jyt. BedrockPerson (talk) 18:56, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes they are used for people that existed for certain and about whom we know those facts. Not every field in an infobox is relevant in every article. Jytdog (talk) 19:02, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
Laozi is legendary, he has exact birth and death dates with no sources. We have a place of death and nothing more for Jesus, but his estimates are still alllowed. What about Cissa of Sussex? What about Aesop? What about Ithobaal? What about Ælle of Sussex? What about Pythagoras? Why are all these people with discounted historicity allowed these things in info boxes without so much as one source, yet when plenty of sources come along and balance a whole field of archeology on these estimates, you find it fit to remove? BedrockPerson (talk) 19:10, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── you are making the "other stuff exists" argument. We are talking about this article, and the sourced content in the body of this article makes it clear that his historicity is unclear and the dates are tentative. The use of dates in this infobox is not warranted per WP:INFOBOX. Jytdog (talk) 19:17, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

Any editor is free to remove unsourced content from any page, and it is not to be added back without sources. So if you want to remove the Ithobaal stuff, go for it. Nobody's stopping you. And if anyone tries to put it back without adding in sources, I'll be there to support your edit, Bedrock. Alephb (talk) 19:20, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

POV reversions[edit]

User:Awilley your edit here - and you own it - violates WP:NPOV. I added content to the lead that is well supported in the body about negative things David did and toned down the hero-worship. You removed that and restored the blatant POV adulatory lead. This is not OK - to be clear, with your comments above and that edit, you are now INVOLVED here. And violating content policy to boot.

There are wider-ranging issues here around historicity of people described in the Bible that are distinct from the POV issues that were present int the lead. Please restore the neutral version of the lead. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 18:59, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

I just restored what seems to have been the longstanding status quo. Neither version was neutral in my opinion, and I've already started trying to make it better [1]. Really though instead of trying to make the lead say that he was "righteous" or "sinful" we should be focusing on how the sources talk about him. My opinion is that Bathsheba should be mentioned, but not to the exclusion of everything else. Why don't you try to add a sentence about Bathsheba, but without removing anything, and we can work from there? An interesting snippet from the body is, "Jacob L. Wright, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Emory University, has written that the most popular legends about David, including his killing of Goliath, his affair with Bathsheba, and his ruling of a United Kingdom of Israel rather than just Judah, are the creation of those who lived generations after him, in particular those living in the late Persian or Hellenistic periods." That might be the basis for saying something along the lines of him being often remembered/credited for his killing of Goliath and his adultery with Bathsheba. ~Awilley (talk) 19:26, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for your note. The content you restored violates POV, and blatantly so; I had made it more neutral (not perfectly so, no -- but much moreso). Please improve what I did or take your own stab at completely revising it; restoring what was there is really unacceptable. Your suggestion about summarizing Wright is fine with me, but not leaving the adulatory stuff that you restored. Please remove that. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 19:42, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
I saw a recent edit and jumped in without checking the talk page; sorry for that. I was going to simply fix a typo and a tense error, but found the whole statement jarred with the paragraph. Anyway, there's my bit for all to consider. YoPienso (talk) 21:25, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
@QuackGuru: Please note that "Citation needed" is not about challenging content neutrality (referring to your recent edit summary), but about verifiability. Thanks, YoPienso (talk) 21:44, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
  • User:Yopienso please review WP:LEAD and WP:NPOV. The lead just summarizes the body and gives WEIGHT as the body gives WEIGHT. Nothing should be in the lead that is not in the body, and the lead is not a place to sing anybody's praises nor to tear them down - it just summarizes the body of the article. Your edit note here indicates you are seeking some kind of "balance" between positive and negative statements. That is not what NPOV means. Look at the body; summarize it. Jytdog (talk) 07:24, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, thank you. I understand that. YoPienso (talk) 08:42, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
The edits you have made to the lead after I wrote the above (diff blatantly violate NPOV and do not summarize the body. Please self-revert or edit to make this neutrally summarize the body. Jytdog (talk) 23:35, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
I have revised the lead to neutrally summarize the body of the article. The lead does not need refs per WP:LEAD, as all it is doing is summarizig the body. We do not need prooftexting anywhere in Wikipedia, but especially not in the lead of an article where the content is only there, and not in the body. Jytdog (talk) 00:08, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
Actually, I only restored or rearranged material that was already in the lead.
You removed the statement that David was a man after God's own heart on July 28th with the edit summary "neutral." Neutral? Nothing POV about what you removed, so I restored it. Perhaps your real objection was stylistic--it didn't summarize a topic treated in the body. On a crowd-sourced project like this, we inch forward; I suggest that it would have been better to move it down into the body or bring it to talk, because it's an important point in the biography of the biblical David. It had been in the lead for over two years. Prior to that, it had been in the body for over four months. Of course longstanding info can be removed, but we could do so more collaboratively.
As my edit summary says, I also incorporated info on ancestry/Messiah into another paragraph: (More editing on lead. Moved last line into 2nd para. Now the first para. names him and defines him as king of Israel. 2nd describes him. 3rd give chief events of life.) I think that outline of the lead would be fine, but I like your most recent revision of the lead, too.
I don't understand your charge of prooftexting. YoPienso (talk) 18:32, 30 July 2017 (UTC)


@Yopienso:, the claim that David was 69 or 70 has come in and out of the infobox today several times, and I originally removed it because there is no reliable source given for the claim. Given that it is a matter of Wikipedia policy that unsourced material should not be added back into an article after it has been removed, I would request that you remove the bit from the infobox where it claims David was "69 or 70" at death. Whatever you think of a several topics that are all being debated right now, I would hope we can all at least agree about WP:RS. Alephb (talk) 22:06, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

Yes, we certainly have no reason to be so specific. I merely copied and pasted what had been removed. There's a general consensus that David reigned, or was supposed to have reigned, about 1000 B.C. I'll go with that. YoPienso (talk) 23:46, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
On second thought, his posited reign is sourced. We say circa, so it's obvious an estimate. The article is clear that there is no definitive source for his birth or reign or death. I left it as "age approx. 70." YoPienso (talk) 23:55, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't know why the timeline is being discussed here. I am going to throw an RfC about the infobox issue and historicity issue more broadly. Things like how old he was are narrative, not facts and have no place in a factual infobox. The problem is not "unsourced" -- all kinds of things are claimed all over the place. The issue is what is accepted knowledge per mainstream scholarship, which as I have noted, is pretty well summarized in the body and pretty OK there. But pulliing numbers out of nuanced reconstructions and trying to force them into a "fact"-box that is invalid and violates NPOV. Not OK. Jytdog (talk) 00:17, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
I think an RfC would be an excellent idea. At this point, we've sort of got people floating in and out of the disagreement in a semi-disorderly way, unsourced stuff getting removed, unsourced stuff getting pushed back in repeatedly by multiple people, plus of course the concerns about historicity more generally. I think the infobox issue has reached the point where an RfC would be appropriate. Alephb (talk) 00:25, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
I always welcome input from fresh eyes. I disagree with Jytdog's dichotomy of narrative and history, though, wrt the infobox. The infobox is there on the basis of the biblical narrative, not of archaelogical finds ("facts"), so I don't see how we can single out his age--which the Bible puts at 70--from his parents, spouses, issue, etc. Everything in the infobox is right there in the article. YoPienso (talk) 02:51, 29 July 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Well, there are several competing Davids. There (1) the David(s) of the biblical texts themselves, (2) the historical David(s) reconstructed by mainstream contemporary biblical scholars, (3) the David(s) reconstructed in the most conservative kinds of scholarship, and (4) the historical David(s) reconstructed by older biblical scholars before modern archaeology made scholars a lot more skeptical about relating the Bible and history. All four Davids or groups of Davids are complicated.

So, for example, a simple adding up of the reigns of the kings of Judah would suggest that David was in power 1060-1020 BCE. I can show you the work if you want. Pushing his reign forward fifty years involves from fiendishly complicated stuff with synchronizing the chronologies of Judah and Israel — fiendishly complicated stuff that has not lead to any consensus. The fact that the 1010-970 date is because of the privileging of one particular subset of the different ways one could try to reconcile all the various discrepancies in biblical chronology.

To quote Norman K. Gottwald, in The Politics of Ancient Judah, p. 54 [2], The numbers supplied for the synchronisms and durations of royal reigns do not "add up" at any number of points, probably because of any number of factors affecting the computations: incorrect transmission, and/or undisclosed fluctuations in calendar and manner of counting regnal years. Indeed, chronological difficulties also attend the prior reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon. A textual lacuna means that we lack a report on the length of Saul's reign (1 Sam. 13:1), and the forty-year reigns assigned to David and Solomon may well be round numbers (1 Kings 2:1; 11:42). As a consequence, there is no consensus among the many scholars who have sought to reconcile the chronological data in Kings, nor can any be expected short of new textual discoveries.

The most important part of that quote is "there is no consensus." And that's true.

So, while one particular Wikipedia editor or another may like to say that David reigned over Judah from 1010 to 1002, and then over Judah and Israel from 1002 to 970, using that date in an infobox gives the reader a false impression. David just is not dated by consensus. The biblical data doesn't solve the problem, and the archaeological data just isn't there because the earliest detailed information on David is written 350+ years after he dies. All we know from an archaeological point of view is that by around 800 BC there was an identifiable bytdwd in the region -- not a thing about his life as a person, just the name existing for some political group.

If the infobox is there to simply communicate what the Bible says about David, the Bible does not give a single agreed-upon date for David's reign. If the infobox is there to communicate what modern historical scholarship says about David, there also isn't a single agreed-upon date for David's reign. As of now, the dates aren't justified. There is a larger discussion to be had about what details should or should not be in that infobox, and whether that infobox should clarify that it is talking about the biblical portrayal as opposed to the historical character. That's fine. But as a start, the infobox should be for summarizing key information about a character. So if the article correctly notes that the details are fuzzy, the infobox shouldn't produce a different impression Alephb (talk) 08:11, 29 July 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for that, which I'm aware of. Don't you think the c. in the infobox indicates the details are fuzzy? YoPienso (talk) 08:47, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
It's true that there is a "c." there, and if we're going to have dates in the infobox it's better to have "c." than no "c." But, on the other hand, the inclusion of a date like "1002" there makes it appear that the fuzziness would be very limited. If we're going to keep dates in the article, I would suggest something more like "11th-10th century." That would come closer. But I also think (probably when the RfC comes out) that we need a closer look at what the infobox's mission is.
You say, "The infobox is there on the basis of the biblical narrative, not of archaelogical finds ('facts'), so I don't see how we can single out his age--which the Bible puts at 70--from his parents, spouses, issue, etc." I'd say, instead that the infobox currently uncritically conflates three different things, in a way that only a very well-informed reader will be able to see through. On the one hand, yes, most of the material in that infobox reflects the biblical account. On the other hand, the inclusion of the date as it stands reflects a particular sort of conservative historical approach to David, and doesn't come in any direct way from the biblical account. On yet another hand, the inclusion of David's "mother" Nitzevet is from the Talmud, a work without a shred of credibility on biblical history. You don't find Nitzevet in the Bible, nor would any historian take her existence seriously. If we're going to add in later Jewish traditions, we might as well push the date of David into the ninth century, as Seder Olam has it. There is nothing explicitly in the biblical account, by the way, that would eliminate a ninth century date if we're ruling out archaeology from the infobox.
So the composite David we now have there isn't just Bible David, because Nitzevet and some oddly specific dates found there way in there. It isn't historical consensus / archaeological David, because most historians don't buy the idea that he reigned over all Judah and Israel, and there's no confidence about the dates. It isn't traditional Jewish David, because traditional Jewish David lived in the ninth century. It's a composite David that doesn't accurately reflect any of those three. Unless our readers are very sophisticated and know how to distinguish modern history-writing, biblical narrative, and medieval Jewish tradition, there's no way they know what they're looking at right now. Alephb (talk) 09:24, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
I'm not at all sure the general reader would object to a composite David, but perhaps we would do better to stick with the biblical one. I'm more comfortable with vague dates than specific dates, and very unhappy with no dates. 11th-9th centuries B.C. is far better than no time reference. As James Moffatt wrote in the preface to his translation of the Bible, "When the choice lay between a guess or a gap, I inclined to prefer the former." For now, can we just say "c. 10th-century B.C." or "likely/approx. 10th-century B.C."? YoPienso (talk) 10:13, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
Nitzevet is blue-linked and identified as coming from the Talmud--iow, a labeled exception to the biblical David--so I have no problem with naming her in the infobox. Would you prefer "Talmudic tradition" in parentheses? YoPienso (talk) 10:19, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
Oh, I'm not saying the general reader would object. I'm just thinking the general reader wouldn't even realize that they're looking at a composite David. I would be happier with "c. 10th century" than what we have now. If the date is that general, I don't think I'd have any remaining objection to it. When it comes to the infobox more generally, I've got ideas about a couple ways it could go, but I'm more looking forward to the RfC to see what kinds of ideas people have. Infoboxes are hard for issues where there's some complexity. If the community decides that infobox is about the biblical David as opposed to the historical David, I would hope there would be some way to tip the reader off that that's what we're doing. If the community decides that the infobox is about the historical David, then we'd have another interesting set of issues on our hands. If the community decides they want a composite infobox, well, I'll live with it. Alephb (talk) 11:24, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
I'd also be fine with "c. 10th century." What do you think about the source cited in the infobox for the specific dates? What do you think about the source cited in the first paragraph of the lead? Eerdman's, p. 244: "Beginning at the end of the OT period we possess quite precise figures for the chronology of the Persian and Babylonian periods. The chronology present there probably does not vary by more than plus or minus one year. By the time one reaches the time of David at the beginning of the 1st millennium B.C.E. that variation is probably still limited to less than a decade." Shea dates David to c. 1000. But on p. 247 he specifies 1012-972. YoPienso (talk) 20:11, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
My impression is that Eerdman's dictionary is one of the higher-quality sources that pops up in Wikipedia Bible articles. And Baruch Halpern is a prominent scholar. However, he is on the maximalist side of the minimalist / maximalist debate when it comes to David and Solomon. He tends to see the forty years of Solomon as exactly or almost exactly correct, likely to the exact year, and something similar for David. And for all I know he might be right, but as his article in Eerdman's illustrates with its comments about "King Arthur", he's giving his personal judgment as a scholar rather than speaking for the scholarly world in general. What if we were to meet in the middle and use the Eerdman's dates for David with the word (disputed) in parentheses after it? That might be what I'll suggest in the RfC. I'd be interested to hear what either User:BedrockPerson or User:Jytdog might think of that idea. Alephb (talk) 21:35, 29 July 2017 (UTC)

You could go with circa dates and add a note telling the reader that nothing is certain and giving the major suggestions by Thiele and whoever. Would need to add a Notes section. PiCo (talk) 00:06, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

It would be OK to have one date in the infobox - that he lived ca 1000. Nothing about his birth or death date or the dates of his reign and nothing about the united monarchy at all, as that probably didn't exist. Jytdog (talk) 00:11, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
There are two Davids (AlephB sees even more, but I'll stick with two), the historical man who probably existed but about whom practically nothing is known, and the literary figure we have in the bible. About this one a great deal is known, but most of it involves magical numbers. There are, for example, 10 generations from Adam to Noah, 10 from Noah's son Shem to Terah, and ten from Terah's great-grandson Judah to David. (The gap between Terah and Judah is introduced by the need to fit Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in as "sons" of Terah - they form a triad, like the three sons of Adam and the three sons of Noah, marking the division between the blocs of ten). Then from David's son Solomon to Johoiachin and the end of the kingdom there are two further groups of ten kings of Judah, with the break at Uzziah. The last few kings in the list are real, but the further back you go the less reality there is and the more you find these "significant numbers", like 40 years, which is all over. PiCo (talk) 03:58, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
It seems we're all pretty much of one mind that the infobox should not give specific dates even with a circa unless a note is appended. Looks like it's time for someone to go ahead and make the improvement. YoPienso (talk) 04:56, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
OK, done here. I left it at "reign". You all OK with that? Jytdog (talk) 05:42, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
Works for me. Alephb (talk) 09:17, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
Me too. YoPienso (talk) 16:15, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
I'm seriously good with this, but my one hangup is I'd still at least keep the date of c. 970 BC as death. My reason being that most of the king entries after David are dated based off Thiele's calculation (or people working off of Thiele's calculation) of Solomon reigning from 970–931 BC, and even Solomon, the king entry right after this one, is listed as 970-930. My thought is some unaware editor is going to see Solomon reigning from 970 BCE and say, "Why isn't David listed as dying in 970 BC?", and then we start all over again. Then again, we got a 2 week lock on editing, so what more can we do at this present moment? BedrockPerson (talk) 16:30, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Well, BedrockPerson, if you want 970 in the infobox, a necessary but not sufficient condition for a move like that would be first making sure it is in the article and sourced. At your most recent addition, it was not in the article or sourced. We've had this discussion many times -- anything in an infobox must be sourced. You shouldn't add unsourced things to David, and you shouldn't do what you just did to Ish-bosheth a few minutes ago. These are simple and blatant violations of Wikipedia policy, and given the way people keep talking to you about the issue, you really should stop doing that. Of course, if it was sourced and in the infobox, it would still be a good idea to seek consensus on adding in the 970 date, but sourcing is a non-option requirement. Alephb (talk) 16:41, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

If you remember, I made a whole subset of the talk page showing that numerous citations used in this article support the birth year originally on the page — they all support the 970 death date as well. Scroll up a bit, and you'll see it. The years were always sourced, but I suppose just not directly. So when the time comes that I am able to do so, I will gladly source as seen fit.
Also, for Ishbosheth, it says he reigned two years. If the entry for his predecessor places their death in 1012 BC, is it not obvious that Ishbosheth reigned from 1012-1010? If we have clear info and sources not just on the page, but also the page before, do we even need to directly affix more to something so obvious? It's the equivalent of saying we can't make a page from 2 BC until we find a source that affirms it occurred after 3 BC or before 1 BC. BedrockPerson (talk) 17:52, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
There are a couple issues here. First, an infobox is for material found in the article. If it's not in the article, don't put it in the infobox. Second, you need a source. Saying that some other Wikipedia page has the information does not constitute a source. We are over a year into you inappropriately adding unsourced things into Infoboxes. People keep explaining to you that you need reliable sources for these things, and then you revert, in violation of the Wikipedia policy on sourcing, or else you give arguments other than actual footnoted sources. At this point, you should understand what's necessary. The pages affected by your repeated inappropriate and disruptive additions of unsourced content additions to infoboxes include Abdon (Judges), Abimelech (Judges), Abraham, David, Ehud, Elon, Habakkuk, Ibzan, Isaac, Ishbosheth, Ishmael, Jacob, Jair, Jephthah, Jezebel, Joshua, Kenan, Moses, Othniel, Samson, Samuel, Shamgar, Tola (biblical figure). Can you figure out how not to add unsourced information to infoboxes, or should I take this up with WP:ANI? Alephb (talk) 18:43, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
Alephb, I've appreciated our brief and collegial dialog here. I recognize BedrockPerson--who I've only just come across a day or two ago--is editing in too aggressive a manner. Still, the material was in the article until very recently. Just yesterday you and I discussed two sources that were removed later. Why were they removed? Do I correctly understand you that you don't accept maximalist views as RSs? If so, why not? Thanks, YoPienso (talk) 20:52, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
We don't cherry pick. Per NPOV we look at what mainstream, reliable sources say and we summarize them. For ANE history issues, those are publications by mainstream ANE historians. Religiously-driven scholars form a "minority view" under NPOV; they can be mentioned but they must be given less WEIGHT than the mainstream view. Again, this is policy. Jytdog (talk) 21:08, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
Yopienso, as for myself, I think there are kooks at the far ends of both the maximalist and minimalist spectrums. Speaking only for myself, I am perfectly comfortable with citations to maximalist and minimalist sources, and to the great number of scholars somewhere in between. I would have to no problem with someone citing Baruch Halpern, for example. In the list from Abdon to Tola, above, in every case I'm talking about the addition of dates with no sources whatsoever. When it comes to our recent discussion on David, I'm more interested in making sure stuff in infoboxes can be traced back to reliable sources, and where debate in reliable sources exists I don't want the infobox to pick a side. I think that myself and Jytdog -- another editor I very much respect -- are approaching this issue from slightly different angles. I am mostly focused on the question of the infoboxes, while he has a broader goal of working on the question of whether the article itself is fully neutral. I've mostly tried to stay out of the issue with the article itself. I'm here mostly for the infobox question. If I gave a lot of thought to it, I could probably come up with opinions about some of the article body edits that have happened here over the past few days, but so far I've been abstaining. When I'm aware of a debate, I try to cite both minimalists and maximalists. Where I'm not aware of a debate, I'll happily cite anything that's peer-reviewed and/or published in a reputable source like the Eerdman's dictionary. I'm sorry if I said something to give you another impression. There's been a very large number of edits and it's been difficult to keep up with all the ins and outs of it. There are also problems where people mean different things by "minimalist" and "maximalist," so if you want to get more specific I'd have to talk about individual sources.
When it comes to the information about dates in the article body itself, I don't think I've removed any, so I'll let anyone who's removed information from the article body speak for themselves. I wouldn't be the person to ask about that. Alephb (talk) 21:22, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! So, fir example, I guess you wouldn't cite to Kenneth Kitchen on the question of dates.
And now, to Jytdog, why did you remove the dates? YoPienso (talk) 21:44, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
Kenneth Kitchen would not be my first choice, but when I've found him cited in articles, I haven't removed him. In a few cases I have added information about other scholars as well, while leaving Kitchen in.Alephb (talk) 21:48, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
Again, thanks. It seems to me the mainstream consensus is that he is reputable except for dates.
Jytdog is making allegations and threats related to this article and discussion on my talk page. Would you care to look at them and coach me through them? YoPienso (talk) 22:25, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
YoPienso, there was consensus above to remove them, to which you agreed (diff writing Me too with edit note Yes, OK). What has changed? Jytdog (talk) 22:39, 30 July 2017 (UTC)
I perceived and agreed to a consensus to remove specific dates from the infobox, not to strip them from the article. YoPienso (talk) 00:05, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Maybe that was too brief. Nothing's changed. I still agree with that consensus, but you went beyond it.
You seem to have missed a reply I made to you above at 18:32, 30 July 2017. Do you care to explain what you meant by "prooftexting"? (I know what the word means; I don't understand your use of it.) Thanks, YoPienso (talk) 00:10, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
1) about prooftexting - you added and re-added content to the lead several times making hagiographic claims about David sourced solely to the Bible. They are right there in the diffs. This is bad for three reasons - it is has nothing to do what we do in the LEAD and it is abuse of primary sources and it violated the crap out of NPOV.
2) You are saying you agree with my diff that removed the dates from the infobox, but that I " went beyond it." All that diff does is remove the dates. That was my last edit to the article. So again, what are you talking about? Are you talking about my prior edit to the lead? If so this edit, most of which has stuck, still has the same ca1000 BCE date in it, in the history section. So again - what are you talking about? Jytdog (talk) 00:42, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Maybe you don't know what "prooftexting" means. I did add back in material you deleted without discussion. You did not respond to my subsequent discussion of it.
I agreed with the consensus to remove specific dates from the infobox, which you did per talk 05:41, 30 July 2017]. You had stripped it from the article [00:06, 30 July 2017.] So my apologies for thinking you had removed it from the article after you removed it from the infobox. You did not go beyond the consensus; I got lost in the edits and diffs. My bad. YoPienso (talk) 01:36, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

I don't expect anyone wants me to completely re-write the article, do they? No, thought not. Carry on :) PiCo (talk) 09:30, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

I wouldn't object. Alephb (talk) 12:56, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

Looking forward[edit]

I don't expect anyone wants me to completely re-write the article, do they? No, thought not. Carry on :) PiCo (talk) 09:30, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
I wouldn't object. Alephb (talk) 12:56, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

Well, no, not a complete re-write, but some improvements could be made.

The biblical vs. the historical David
There was quite a discussion about how many Davids are represented in the article. I suggest we focus on the biblical David--with all his facets and contradictions--since there really is no historical David. The historical part is what historians and archaeologists say about the biblical David. Scholars don't doubt his existence, but the only artifact supporting it is the Tel Dan stele, which attests to his dynasty, not to him as an individual. My suggestion is more about editorial direction than revision of the current article, which I think treats it well by presenting the Biblical account and then David in history, archeology and literature.

Suggested improvements
I suggest expanding the Family sub-section of the "Biblical account" to include David's dynasty (The House of David or Davidic line), which is an important biblical theme. Finkelstein and Silberman, p. 129, is a good source: "This [the Tel Dan stele] is dramatic evidence of the fame of the Davidic dynasty..." Finkelstein and Silberman support the idea than the dynasty is important to mention in the "Biblical account" section.

The section "David as psalmist and musician" should be a subsection of the "Biblical account" section, imo, and needs to be rewritten. Brettler and Zvi, "Psalms," The Jewish Study Bible, pp. 1281-82, is a good source. Mention should be made of David's harp-playing for Saul, and of his institution of a choir to sing before the Ark of the Covenant. 1 Chr. 16:4. I think it's important to keep "the sweet psalmist of Israel" because it's a well-known epithet.

The section "David in history, archeology and literature" seems quite good to me since it covers in a neutral fashion the development of scholarly thought and the various opinions offered by the academic community. I suggest adding a paragraph or section about dates, citing to Thiele, Gottwald, Finkelstein and Silberman, Eerdman's and others for a rounded view of the debate, weighted toward modern MS scholarship.

Sections 4-6 seem appropriate and are chronological. Should the lead mention that David is a revered figure in the Abrahamic religions?

The "Modern art and literature" section is important, imo, but seems to have too many entries in the "Literature" sub-section and not enough in the "Paintings" and "Sculptures" sub-sections, which I just opened and can't presently enlarge. YoPienso (talk) 20:02, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

The stuff about Tel Dan is history, not bible. It doesn't belong in the biblical narrative section. I agree with the suggestion about "psalmist and musician" content - that is completely part of the bible's intertextuality and should be there. Jytdog (talk) 20:12, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
I didn't suggest putting the stuff about Tel Dan in the biblical narrative section. It's appropriately in the historical/archaeological part. YoPienso (talk) 20:19, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Oh, I see how you misunderstood--I was mentioning F & S to show that the Davidic dynasty is important to mention in the biblical part. I see I wasn't clear enough. YoPienso (talk) 20:22, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
I didn't misunderstand anything. Thanks for withdrawing that. Jytdog (talk) 20:26, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
You're welcome. YoPienso (talk) 20:38, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
  • another section that is missing in the article is fruits of study from anthropology that view David as a culture hero of the ancient israelites and his role in the National myth; a bunch of the biblical narrative can be seen as expressions of that. ditto his nachleben in the self-understandings of Christianity, Islam, the current nation of Israel etc. All from the perspective of anthropology. Jytdog (talk) 20:50, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
  • and likewise more clearly separating out a recap of david in the bible, from meanings and emphases generated in Jewish, Chrisitan, and Islamic traditions (which each have more than one set of readings). Separating out what the bible says, from theology. This is hard to do. Jytdog (talk) 20:54, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
I agree on all points. The culture hero, national myth, and legacy angle is what I meant about being a revered figure in the Abrahamic religions. But you seem to be extending it also to the present-day political state of Israel? I would concur.
Do you want to start a draft to have ready when the article's unlocked? YoPienso (talk) 21:05, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
I never expected this to come from my off-hand comment :). If anyone has the time, good on 'em. I'd suggest for starters that the subsection on "family" be deleted - the info is presented in the biography box or whatever it's called. I'd also suggest that the summary of David's life be much, much shorter, though for some reason people seem to love summarising the Bible - perhaps because it's easy. Most of the other sections could be a lot shorter too. My opinion only of course. PiCo (talk) 06:43, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
Well, I'd already seen room for improvement before you made the comment. :)
Remember that what's in the infobox must also be in the article. WP:INFOBOXPURPOSE YoPienso (talk) 17:13, 1 August 2017 (UTC)


Suggested Edit:

*'''1440?''' [[Donatello]] ''[[David (Donatello)|David]]''
*'''1501-04''' [[Michelangelo]], ''[[David (Michelangelo)|David]]''


=== Sculptures ===

* ''[[David (Donatello)|David]]'', [[bronze]] statue by [[Donatello]], ca. 1440
* ''[[David (Verrocchio)|David]]'', bronze statue by [[Verrocchio]], ca. 1475
* ''[[David (Michelangelo)|David]]'', [[marble]] statue by [[Michelangelo]], 1504 
* ''[[David (Bernini)|David]]'', marble statue by [[Bernini]], 1624

or something along those lines.
Maybe some kind of connection to Category: Sculptures depicting David might also be appropriate.
--BjKa (talk) 17:39, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

Yes, I like it, but not sure we need to link to "Bronze" and "Marble." I got locked out of the article soon after starting that section. (See "Suggested improvements" above.) The protection comes off in 5 days so if an administrator doesn't add it in before that, you or I can afterwards. YoPienso (talk) 21:04, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
Not done: The page's protection level has changed since this request was placed. You should now be able to edit the page yourself. If you still seem to be unable to, please reopen the request with further details. – Train2104 (t • c) 16:38, 13 August 2017 (UTC)

Incorrect Link[edit]

Under the subheading "Film", the link "David and Bathsheba" redirects one to this page about Bathsheba: . The link should take one to this page about the 1951 film "David and Bathsheba": . RhavinBanda (talk) 06:06, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

God denies him the opportunity to build the temple...[edit]

God denies him the opportunity to build the temple... This is misleading to assert it as a fact. QuackGuru (talk) 19:49, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

The first mention is prefaced with "In the biblical narrative," and the second time is in the "Narrative" section. Nobody's saying it's a historically documented fact. YoPienso (talk) 21:06, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

Adultery and forced sex with Bathsheba[edit]



  1. ^ Larry Richards; Lawrence O. Richards (2002). Bible Reader's Companion. David C Cook. pp. 210–. ISBN 978-0-7814-3879-7. 
  2. ^ Carlos Wilton (June 2004). Lectionary Preaching Workbook: For All Users of the Revised Common, the Roman Catholic, and the Episcopal Lectionaries. Series VIII. CSS Publishing. pp. 189–. ISBN 978-0-7880-2371-2. 
  3. ^ David J. Zucker (10 December 2013). The Bible's Prophets: An Introduction for Christians and Jews. Wipf and Stock Publishers. pp. 51–. ISBN 978-1-63087-102-4. 

The lede says "As king, David arranges the death of Uriah the Hittite to cover his adultery with Bathsheba." Bathsheba did not commit adultery. It is misleading to suggest Bathsheba committed adultery. QuackGuru (talk) 19:23, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

As you correctly wrote, the lead says "his adultery, not hers. It does not suggest Bathsheba committed adultery. YoPienso (talk) 21:08, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
It was more than adultery. It was rape. QuackGuru (talk) 21:15, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
It was rape because of that verse where it says she was an unwilling participant, I take it. There is a verse like there somewhere, right? Or is this all just speculation? Alephb (talk) 22:15, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
I provided three references above that are already in the article. All three say she was raped. QuackGuru (talk) 23:03, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
Actually, there is no verse that says she was an unwilling participant. StAnselm (talk) 23:23, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
It is easy to find references for both adultery and rape - scholars are divided on this issue. It would be POV to describe it as "rape" (in WP voice) since many scholars deny that it was rape. StAnselm (talk) 23:20, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
It was both adultery and rape. The sources presented are not divided on this issue. QuackGuru (talk) 23:24, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
See, for example,
  • George G. Nicol, "The Alleged Rape of Bathsheba: Some Observations on Ambiguity in Biblical Narrative," JSOT 73 (1997), 43-54.
  • Alexander Izuchukwu Abasili, "Was it Rape? The David and Bathsheba Pericope Re-examined," VT 61 (2011), 1-15.
  • Richard M. Davidson, "Did King David Rape Bathsheba? A Case Study in Narrative Theology," JATS 17 (2006), 81-95.
StAnselm (talk) 23:30, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
QuackGuru said, "I provided three references above that are already in the article. All three say she was raped." QuackGuru would have done better to look more carefully at the resources they provided. The first two sources QuackGuru provided are both outside of what Wikipedia normally uses as reliable sources. The third source QuackGuru provided says clearly that the text allows for both rape and non-rape interpretations. I agree with StAnselm here -- the sources provided, both biblical and scholarly, do not support the notion that we can call this a rape in Wikipedia's voice. There may be an appropriate place in the article for discussing how some scholars, but not others, see a rape here, but the article should not casually drop this accusation into the text. Alephb (talk) 23:50, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
All three sources seem reliable to me--they're all academic journals. Vetus Testamentum, while having solid scholars on its editorial board, is possibly not peer-reviewed, but the other two are.
None of the sources says definitively that David raped Bathsheba. Davidson comes the closest, calling it a "power rape." I can't access Nicol's article, but the abstract indicates his conclusion is not that David raped Bathsheba. Ditto for Abasili. YoPienso (talk) 01:30, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
Vetus Testamentum is certainly peer-reviewed. I know, because they've recently accepted an article of mine. :) StAnselm (talk) 01:59, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The three sources I was talking about were QuackGuru's, at the top of the thread. I didn't challenge Anselm's sources. Alephb (talk) 02:37, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Ah, I see. Thanks. YoPienso (talk) 07:09, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
Folks here seem to open to acknowledging that the biblical text is ambiguous enough that it allows both readings - rape and not rape. This is elaborate-able in the body, and after that is done, it might be possible to briefly summarize that in the lead with something like "his adultery with Bathsheba, which some commentators describe as rape." or depending on how most of the literature describes this, "is widely described as rape". But only after content is developed in the body. Jytdog (talk) 15:07, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"As king, David arranges the death of Uriah the Hittite to cover his adultery with Bathsheba." needs to be clarified. Change to "As king, David arranges the death of Uriah the Hittite to cover his adultery or rape of Bathsheba." QuackGuru (talk) 02:40, 19 August 2017 (UTC)

Don't be dull. You just made a half-decent very good edit at Bathsheba. Jytdog (talk) 02:43, 19 August 2017 (UTC) (correct Jytdog (talk) 02:54, 19 August 2017 (UTC))
The proposal will clarify the misleading sentence in the lede. More details can be added later. QuackGuru (talk) 02:50, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
You have perfectly good language at Bathsheba. Do not be disruptive. Jytdog (talk) 02:53, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
I added it. Jytdog (talk) 03:25, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
QuackGuru being a constructive editor? Whatever next. PiCo (talk) 11:52, 19 August 2017 (UTC)

Bible Readers Companion[edit]

It's a reprint of a 1991 book and has only one author, we either use his formal name or his nickname. If we use it at all. Why should we? Is the concept of an age old struggle between angels and demons mainstream?[3] Just curious, seems odd. Doug Weller talk 19:35, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

@QuackGuru: We also generally state the opinions of authors, not books. I think you should fix all your recent additions. StAnselm (talk) 19:40, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
Is there a guideline for this? I usually state the book and date for books when it is not in WP's voice. When you state the authors it can cluster the content when there are more than one author. For brevity I simply state the book and date. QuackGuru (talk) 19:50, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
I don't know about a guideline, but I would second Anselm's opinion. Generally, I think, it is more normal in the social sciences to cite author names in the text than the book title. Authors generally have more of a reputation than individual books, so it probably gives the reader more useful information that way. Alephb (talk) 21:03, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
Done. Changed to authors. Is there anything else missing from David's relations with Bathsheba? Is there other sources that can be summarized? QuackGuru (talk) 02:38, 22 August 2017 (UTC)

I'm really sorry to see this feminist POV giving undue weight to one incident in David's life. When QuackGuru gets tired and goes home maybe we can pare it down to size. YoPienso (talk) 00:54, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

The Art Bible[edit]

@Alephb: Hi! I think the person who titled the image here made capitalization errors. The original was in all caps, so impossible to tell for sure, but easy to assume normal capitalization rules should be followed. Amazon gives the title as The Art Bible: Comprising The Old And New Testaments. Regards, YoPienso (talk) 00:52, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

I think the person who made it got the error from the website where the same capitalization error appears. Alephb (talk) 00:55, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

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