Talk:David/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Vandalism attempts

Hi, just thought I would warn you that someone is trying very hard to vandalize this page. This link has been spammed on imageboard sites with the obvious intent of messing with this page. I don't know what you can do with this information, possibly lock the page from editing or something, I just thought I'd warn you of this as I don't appreciate people doing such a pointless thing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.113.119.195 (talk) 08:32, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Historical evidence

Can anyone put any historical evidence on this article?

As always, Jew-haters hide behind the mask of "academic neutrality" to discredit any and all facts, no matter how self-evident or abundant, so long as they support Judaism or Jewish national claims. Even the very existence of King David is questioned. PiCo, just admit it, you're a Muslim. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.14.36.197 (talk) 05:22, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

People are "Jew Haters" because they think differently than you? Oh boy!MPA 20:37, 6 April 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by MPA (talkcontribs)

Positions on Jerusalem cites 1004 BCE and King David as crucial in determining Israel's right to Jerusalem. Is there any evidence for the year 1004 BCE?

Johnbibby 21:41, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
The section "Historicity of David" gives an good overview of the non-Biblical information on David. It doesn't amount to much - a disputed inscription mentioning the "House of David" is about the most solid evidence we have for the very existence of David (outside the Bible itself), but it dates from some centuries after the supposed lifetime of David and can't be used to obtain a date. The 1004 date comes from counting backwards from various other dates in the Bible - reigns of various kings, mostly. The trouble with that is that there are too many things happening in periods of 40 years to be credible (David himself is said to have reigned 40 yerars, for example - one of many times this period of years crops up). PiCo 02:55, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

The hebrew words for "many" and "forty" were very similar, and would often be used interchangably. Hebrew is a language that is generally strong in metaphor but weak in precision. ("The World May Know" DVD set, Vanderlaan) Swift99 06:22, 27 September 2006 (UTC)


The article states the following: "The Hebrew Bible places David's reign from around 1005 BCE until around 965 BCE and the end of the reign of the last king of the Davidic dynasty at 586 BCE. Thus the early sources are much closer to the purported events of David's lifetime than the present day, and yet they are still, as far as we can tell, centuries removed from that time."

May I please ask what is meant specifically by purported events of David's lifetime ? (Joe Gatt, 2nd May 2007)

Please forgive my ignorance but the historicity section claims that there is lack of solid archaeological evidence of the existence of kingdom of David or even a big Judean kingdom. Then why does the first line of the article claim David to be the second king of united Israel? Has it been proved beyond doubt? Should it not be worded differently, something like David is claimed/said to be the second king of Israel according to the Hebrew bible? (Ambar, 1st August 2007)

That first sentence also says "according to the Bible". The Bible in many parts creates a fictional past for Jews to believe in, and this may be no exception. So far, the archeological record is silent about David (The Tell-Dan-stela does not necessarily refer to the biblical David at all). And historical evidence is completely absent. Nobody has ever written about a king David in the time frame that he allegedly lived in. Cush (talk) 10:03, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Academic Confusion

In this article and consistently on the history channel, you have confused academics pondering what appears to them to be the unknownable, did a single soul from the Bible ever exist at all? And then you have those confused "scholars" warbling over their meager finds of pottery shards.

Well, fellows, it IS clear you will be confused the remainder of your lifes and so will all your associates.... BUT, the 80% of Americans and all Christians globally are NOT confused about any of it and so slanting this article in such a hair brained fashion to question the whole of it, e.g. did David ever exist , etc etc is carrying "de rigeur" to the point of absurdity for such widely held and "known" beliefs.

YOU do not know the sun even exists, but you do get a pretty clear clue each day with its rising.

Meantime, put a couple of shards under your pillow, and hope you have an erika moment.


/s/ CINCU, CMP,KK —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.202.166.166 (talk) 00:53, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

"80% of Americans and all Christians globally" A relatively small minority of the total population of the planet then? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.139.199.146 (talk) 17:55, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

"Slanting this article in such a hair brained fasion" - If it is so clearly unquestionable that such a king existed, there will be no problem in testing the evidence will there? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.65.25.188 (talk) 00:18, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

The existence of king David is VERY questionable. The Bible lies in so many instances it is hard to think that it this one thing right. And really, the belief of Americans is no basis of veracity. Cush (talk) 10:09, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

In Christianity

This section does not fit its title. Not only does it begin with an anthropological, as opposed to a theological or historical, perspcetive which no Christian (or Jewish) beliver would maintain (i.e. that both stem from the "Jebusite Zion cult"), but the only reference given is from a strongly Messianic website. To head the section with "In Christianity" means that the section should, at the least, be formed around the union of common perspcetives of primary Christian sects (e.g. Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholicism or mainline Protestantism). This needs to be drastically altered to reflect, not an athropological or myopically Messianic view, but one that is much more indicative of historic christian theology. Otherwise, the section needs to be re-titled. I'm willing to do this myself, but would appreciate input from others on the validity of my comments here and if you agree then what the content should be.

This section is essentially a summary of the relevant part of the article on King David in the current edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica - definitely not a Messianic website. Did you actually look at the reference? PiCo 12:14, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
It appears that I clicked on the wrong note by accident. My bad. The actual link is relevant... except for that it is still true that the current text in this section is a conjecture-based, athropological understading of David as someone who "took over the Zion cult" which has nothing to do with his image within Christianity (or Judaism) as to how his person and life fit into their understanding of history and theology. The biblical account, which I might add is the only extant account, speaks absolutely nothing to the adoption of the cultus of another people, but that David becomes established as king under the same same Hebrew religion that came out of Egypt. While the current text might be appropriate for the historicity section - perhaps even to show how the biblical account theologically meets up at this point with the Zion cult - it just doesn't fit in "David In Christianity".

I am going to submit an example of how I would like this to be rewritten sometime this weekend and would like some review...

I wish you'd sign your posts (four tildes, the snake-like objects just under the Esc key on the keyboard). If you're the same person who objects to the boiled-down EB paragrpah describing Christianity and David, I can only point out that the theme or point of that para is that Christians see David as the beginning of a divine bloodline leading to Jesus (and that this concept of a divine king was taken by David from the Jebusites of Salem - an idea I personally doubt, but who am I to argue with the EB). Anyway, edit away and let's see. PiCo 09:17, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps the section title should simply be changed to "In the Encyclopedia Brittanica" or perhaps "Contemporary academic perspectives" or similar. That would seem to solve the problem. If this is the current edition or any edition under copyright we should make sure the content isn't simply being plagiarized --Shirahadasha 04:50, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
"In Christianity" is fine. So is the use made of the EB - it's an attributed summary of the idea contained in a few paras of a far longer article, not a long and unattributed quote. And we have to have sources, we can't just make things up or put down personhal thoughts. What would be nice would be (a) more things toi say about Christian ideas on David, and (b) more sources. As for the first, I'm afraid that, apart from the messianic descent of Jesus, there's not much to say. But if you can find it, say away. PiCo 08:30, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

lead image was replaced, but I moved it back. The section where David's statue appeared mentioned it explicitly and it's more appropriate there. Pico, the reason I added LMLK seal is because this dates to the first Temple and it means "KING", seems very interesting for a see also in the article of Israel's most famous king of roughly the same era. Amoruso 18:16, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, I don't have any strong objection to the LMLK seal, so put it back if you want. PiCo 02:16, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I had a look at the LMLK article and didn't see any mention of David. Was this actually used when David was king or later?-Crunchy Numbers 16:08, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Nobody knows, since no seals from David's time have been discovered. PiCo 01:19, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Map of kingdom of David

I deleted a map (fairly recently added) which said it showed the extent of David's kingdom at his death. My reason for doing so is that it comes from a personal website run by someone called Rusty Russel (see http://www.bible-history.com/biblehistoryonline_aboutbho.php). Not that I have anything against Rusty Russell, but he admits that he's no academic, just a man of faith. Faith is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't produce good maps. We need something more solid than this. PiCo 06:34, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Birth and early life

I added the section of "Birth and early life." The next day it was deleted by PiCo on the grounds that it is "all very controversial and based on assumptions rather than the biblical text." I disagree with PiCo that it is based on assumption. Every single point given is straight from the biblcial text: He was the son of Jesse (Ruth 4:22; Matthew 1:6); descendant of Judah (Genesis 46:12-Ruth 4:18-22; Matthew 1:3-6) great-grandson of Ruth (Ruth 4:13,17; Matthew 1:5-6); Ruth immigrated with her mother-in-law (Naomi)from Moab to Israel (Ruth 1:16,19); David was possibly born illegitimately (Psalm 51:5); called Elhanan as late as when killed Goliath (2 Samuel 21:19). If all of this is controversial, sorry—it's straight from the biblical text. I am reinstating the section. —Keith H. 23:20, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Keith, the material on David's descent is already in the article (see the section "David's Family"). (Incidentally, to speak of Ruth "immigrating" is anachronistic - their were no border controls in those days, no paperwork to be done, no Green Cards to collect). I hope you can agree that there's no need to repeat this material. More contentious is the rest of your proposed addition. First, the idea of David's being born illegitimately is highly unlikely - you'll be aware that under Deuteronomistic law an illegitimate child was not admitted to the congregation, a prohibition so strong that it applied to the tenth generation. Psalm 51:5 appears to refer instead to the fact that all men are conceived in sin and born in pain - a reference to Genesis and the expulsion from Eden. (It's beside the main point, but this is why this text became the basis for the beautiful Miserere transcribed by Mozart). As for the Elhanan reference, it's not textual - nowhere will you find a line that says "David was known in his youth as Elhanan," or anything like it. The section is headed "Scriptural Acount of David's Life" - in other words, it sticks very closely to the text, in order to avoid controversy. For these reasons I'm reverting your addition. PiCo 03:52, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Adultery

The King James version of 2:Samuel 11:3-4:

And David sent and enquired after the woman. And [one] said, [Is] not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house>

Lying with another man's wife is adultery. I do not believe there is any doubt about the accuracy of this translation; and if so, the article text should remain and the doubt be explained. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:55, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

But of course, an editor's personal reading of the Bible cannot be accepted by Wikipedia as a reliable source to resolve a content dispute. The Talmud, for example, reads this same passage quite differently. It claims that Uriah had given Bathsheba a Get prior to going to battle to prevent her from becoming an Agunah in the event he became missing in action, as Talmudic law prescribes for soldiers in Jewish armies prior to going into battle. It held that David was entitled to rely on this Get. Any contrary view would have be sourced to some notable commentator. There is a genuine dispute here. It simply doesn't matter whether one believes one is right or not. Best, --Shirahadasha 01:38, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I see an edit war developing here and would like to head it off. Shirahadasha is correct in saying the Talmud doesn't regard David's act as adultery - but the Talmud is only an opinion on the meaning of the passage - it should be mentioned under "Jewish tradition", or whatever that section is called, but can't be taken as authoritative. Likewise in Islam, David, being a Prophet of God, is seen as incapable of any morally reprehensible act - and again, the proper place to mention this is in the "Islamic tradition" section. For user Rebroad, I would point out that a personal user page is not the place to reach consensus on edits to an article - that's what article talk pages are for. (I hadn't even been aware of any on-going discussion on that user page). Anyway, here's my proposal: My concept of the Summary section is that it should simply report the text of the Torah story, without explanation or gloss. When I wrote this paragraph, (yes, it's originally my work), I simply assumed that David's act was adultery, both because that's the traditional reading in Christian circles, (like everyone else, I'm the prisoner of my traditions), and because it seems to me, as to to user Pmanderson, to be the plain meaning of the text (what else was Nathan talking about, and what else could have "displeased YHWH"?) Nevertheless, it's true that the text doesn't mention adultery (not even in Hebrew), and on closer reading there are other things that could have been disturbing Nathan and God, notably David's encompassing the death of Uriah, which was tantamount to murder. (But in that case, why kill the child as a punishment? - so I still incline personally to the adultery theory). Anyway, to keep to my originally aim of sticking scrupulously to the text, I propose that the contentious sentence be changed to something along the lines of David lying with B/sheba - it could even take the form of a direct quote: "David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her." That leaves room for further note of the various traditional readings in the appropriate sections below. PiCo 03:25, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

User:Shirahadasha is indeed correct. An interpretation of the bible does not consitute a credible source. However, there would be nothing wrong in including a source that states which groups interpret the bible in this way, and adapting the text to make it clear that this is an interpretation by those groups, rather than stating it as a fact as it is currently worded. --Rebroad 15:32, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Hi again, I have now made this compromise edit, and I hope this is something that everyone can be happy with. If it needs re-wording slightly please feel free, but please ensure to stay away from personal interpretations, and always cite sources if it's likely to be disputed. Thanks! --Rebroad 15:41, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
"Some Christian groups" is an enormous understatement. This is the plain meaning of the text (if memory serves, it is endorsed by a free-thinking Jew, in writing a commentary on the Bible). It is the quibblers who should be identified. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:58, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Since it seems that some editors cannot refrain from tendentious and illiterate edits, I have repaired the violation of English idiom and marked it as worthless. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:34, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

It's true that what the Talmud says is only an opinion about the passage, just as it's true that what a Wikipedia editor says is also only an opinion. The difference is that the Talmud is a WP:reliable source for a notable body of thought, while a Wikipedia editor's opinion is not. Doubtless there are numerous Christian (and a number of liberal Jewish) commentators who treat the event as adultery; no-one's doubting that. The issue is that Wikipedia can't say which side is right and which side wrong in the presence of a religious dispute. We have to use neutral language and then note that the different religious traditions have developed different commentaries about this text, and then present each view. No-one can deny that the viewpoints of both traditional Judaism and traditional Islam, both of which differ from the traditional Christian view, repreent notable religious viewpoints. Wikipedia editors aren't entitled to say one viewpoint is correct just because they personally think it better reflects their reading of the text. --Shirahadasha 22:57, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
And we have a sentence on the Talmud's view - or rather, on one view in the Talmud, which expresses multiple views on most topics it covers. One Wikipedia's editor's view on what the Talmud says is not a reliable source; nor does it justify calling all other views (including the meaning of the text without exebisis) goyish. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:04, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Attribution and WP:NPOV come into play only in the presence of an identified dispute. If there were a dispute about what the Talmud said, then I'd certainly agree I couldn't offer my own opinion as the correct view if a reliable source says otherwise. However, you haven't offered a reliable source who says that what there is a dispute about what the Talmud says on this issue, whereas the existence of a dispute on what the Bible says is clearly reliably sourced. That's the difference. --Shirahadasha 23:19, 7 February 2007 (UTC) Also, don't understand what you meant be "calling all other views...goyish", never said that. Without any exegesis at all, we have squiggly marks on a piece of paper; exegesis tells us that the marks were intended to have a meaning and what the squiggles mean. --Shirahadasha 23:27, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
The present footnote suggests that the view that David was adulterous is uniquely Christian, which is unsourced, and incredible. One cite from the Talmud, as yet unspecified btw, cannot show that. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:06, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Actually, it is the unanimous opinion in several places in the Talmud, the compiled Midrash, as well as over 35 Jewish Biblical commentators. There is no dissenting Jewish opinion on the subject in all of classical Jewish commentary. I have rarely seen on Wikipedia such a blatant POV not be challenged.Tuvia613 (talk) 08:50, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Compromise edit! Is that serious? "Furthermore, according to David's apologists, the death of Uriah . . ." When you say David's "apologists", you have injected a very extreme POV that must be removed or I shall do so. Tuvia613 (talk) 08:50, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I might not have been clear, it is the word "apologists" which is POV and must be removed.

I've rewritten the first section of the paragraph in question to bring it closer to Shirahadasha's guideline regarding the Summary section, that it should reflect the wording of the text itself, without interpretations. (I can't find now where he says this, but I think itight be in an edit summary on the main page). I've made Bathsheba's erlationship with Uriah (i.e., that she is his wife) into a direct quote from the text - in fact, on a quick reading, the text says 3 times that B. is Uriah's wife, the last time, 2 Sam. 9, being the words of YHWH himself). I've deleted the footnote, as the Talmudic tradition that she was technically not';' his wife is too important to be buried away like that - it belongs under the section now headed "David in later Abrahamic tradition", under the section on Judaism. Incidentally, it also needs to be moer percisely identified in that section, with a reference to just where in the Talmud this traditoin is to be found. I hope we are getting closer to a solution on this, though I'm sure we haven't arrived yet, such being the emotions involved.PiCo 03:04, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Well done. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 05:29, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Revisions to the Summary section

I've made some revisions to the summary section which I hope other editors will look at kindly. Perhaps the most obvious s that I've turned the narrative part into present tense. The reason for this is stylistic: it markes the words of the summar (present te4nse) from the direct quotes from the text (normal tense).

The other major alteration is the addition of a subsection on David playing the lyre befoer Saul. I did this because the theme is an important one in Western art - the famous painting by Rembrandt, for example, which is illustrating the article. (As an aside, it's very difficult deciding what should go into the summary and what can be ledft out. The David story is full of incidents, and it's impossible to include them all. My guyiding preinciple has been to include those which are important to the story itself, and those which are important because they've entered into Western art and literature).

I've also made some revisions to the details here and there. Mostly this has been aimed at saving space. But I've diivided one existing subsection into three, on Jerusalem, the Covenant, and David's kingdom, because all three are important to the story.

Grateful for comments. PiCo 06:22, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Improving the article

Anybody have any ideas/suggestions on how to improve the article? New sections? I learned today, incidentally, that Charlemagne's courtiers used to flatter him by comparing him to David. Must be lots of details like that waiting out there somewhere. PiCo 07:36, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

It would be good to add some discussion of the heartbreaking rift between David and Michal. Meheller 23:19, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

David and Mormonism

I changed the previous summary of David and Mormonism using some the canonical scripture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I also added some citations. I hope it is clearer now. Any suggestions? Wrad 01:04, 17 February 2007

I feel the D. in Mormonism section is now far too long. We need to keep balance between various sections, but this part is now far longer than, for example, the section on David in Islam, and Islam is a far more important religion in terms of numbers of adherants, historical influence, or just about any measure you care to mention. Can you look at the section very objectively and cut it down to the bare basisc, within, say, five or six lines?PiCo 03:18, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I shortened it a little. I don't know if I can shorten it more without losing meaning. I do agree, though, the Islam section should be more proportional. Can anyone add to it? Wrad 04:50, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

King David...a redhead?

Doesn't it say somewhere in the Talmud or via 'legend' that King David had red hair? Has anyone else seen, read, or heard of this anywhere? --WassermannNYC 11:45, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, no one has responded to my query (yet), but this comes straight from the Adam article:
Yes, the Talmud clearly says he was a readhead! Alex Toussieh
Adam's name is a reference to red earth or clay, but it also can be interpreted as 'the one who blushes' or 'turns rosy'. This concords with Adam's capacity for shame or embarrassment. Note that the reddish clay suggests the presence of iron oxide, which is the mineral that makes blood red and accounts for the red-faced countenance of blushing. The same root Hebrew word turns up as admoni in subsequent descriptions of Esau and King David (1 Samuel 16-17), where the description is commonly interpreted as 'ruddy' or 'red-haired.' [bolded emphasis mine] --WassermannNYC 01:47, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Biblical Hebrew was written without vowels, which (a) made puns irresistable, and created problems for copyists at a later date when vowels became usual - what vowels to put in? There's a whole series of puns here, all based on the fact that all these words, when written without vowels, are identical or nearly so. The words are: adamah, earth; adam, man; adom, red; and dam, blood. There were no capital letters in Hebrew either, which meant that it was impossible to discriminate between adam meaning man in general, and Adam as a name for the first man. PiCo 06:30, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

David's red hair > all Royal's across Europe descend from David and scores of them have red, red gold hair...and the "red branch" the Irish are also descended from David, etc. /s willy the red

Islam template

I don't know if I like the Islam template. It takes up a lot of space and attention, and isn't that relevant. Plus, there is no Christian or Jewish Template, so why this one? Any objections to removing it? Wrad 23:24, 5 April 2007 (UTC)


Spelling

MAYBE A MOOT POINT, BUT DAVID IN HEBREW ON THE TOP IS SPELLED WRONG Axedmt 02:26, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

It appears that it was spelt וד instead of דוד however it should also be noted that David in modern Hebrew is often spelt דויד --Belfry 10:19, 18 September 2007 (UTC)


I've never done this before but I thought I might get a educated answer here. Does not the name David mean "loving" and not "beloved"???

1730 dowd dode

or (shortened) dod {dode}; from an unused root meaning properly, to boil, i.e. (figuratively) to love; by implication, a love- token, lover, friend; specifically an uncle:--(well-)beloved, father's brother, love, uncle.

1732 David daw-veed'

rarely (fully); Daviyd {daw-veed'}; from the same as 'dowd' (1730); loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse:--David.  —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.190.117.25 (talk) 22:56, 27 March 2008 (UTC) 
  • The word 'dod' is, indeed, a flowery word for 'lover' (in the meaning of 'someone who loves'), and is spelled like the name 'David'. However, despite my very good Hebrew, I have absolutely no idea to which binyan is 'david' supposed to belong to. Most likely the name isn't Hebrew, but the tri-consonant root is common for Hebrew. Siúnrá (talk) 23:30, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Historicity

I think that the above section is too long, or at least needs to be split into subsections. It takes up more prose than the rest of the article combined. Wrad 07:41, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

I've revised the Jewish Tradition section to make it (I hope) more informative - but please, any one more knowldegeable than I am is welcome to have a try at improving it.
As for tighhtening up the Historicity section, I think it could be reduced by about a third without much damage, just by tightening the writing. But what do others think? PiCo 04:40, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree. There is too much biblical tradition in it. Also the view of modern archaeological science should be covered. See: Israel Finkelstein/Neil Asher Silberman: David and Solomon. Simon & Schuster, 2006. --charlandes 11:39, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

The section about excavations in the City of David are somewhat misleading and contradict other Wikipedia articles, i.e. 'not only are there no signs of monumental architecture, but even distinctive 10th century pottery shards are absent'. In 1997, the archeologist Eilat Mazar discovered pottery shards and the foundation of a monumental public building which were dated to the 10th century. reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Stone_Structure and http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/08/04/news/david.php harlan (talk) 21:16, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

The ladies wearing sackclothe and weaping over no shards and who claim there are no monunmental

size public buildings might perhaps view the "wall" left as part of the ancient temple mount which contains in size likely the largest (200 ton plus) sizes stones ever moved in history in its lower layers of stones...all dated to the Solomon temple period of 1,000 bc. These largest stones used in buildilng in history might not be able to penetrate consciousness as monumental, but there they are. /s/ willy shard sr

I see mention of the Tel Dan stele in the article, but I see no mention of either the Merneptah Stele or the Mesha Stele, both of which are significant to any discussion of David's historicity. There are even nice WP articles for both. Can someone add mention of these - or should I? --72.43.196.198 (talk) 03:56, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

I can't see how the Merneptah stele is relevant to David - it dates from some 200 years before his time. The reconstruction of a reference to David in the Meshe stele is somewhat controversial, but could be mentioned (but I think a simple sentence wld be enough). PiCo (talk) 05:26, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

David/Abishag illustration

The Abishag article has a good medieval illustration of David and Abishag. If anyone knows how to put pictures into articles (I don't), it would be nice to have it in our David article. Any volunteers? PiCo 13:08, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

"serve to underline the likelihood..."

The article contained the phrase:

Observations such as this serve to underline the likelihood that the narrative is drawn from numerous originally independent sources.

This clearly violates WP:V, WP:NPOV, and WP:NOR. It states an unsourced conclusion as fact. Let's start with sourcing; who makes this claim? Jayjg (talk) 16:27, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Hi and welcome. First, the section on the historicity of David is largely the work of Lawrence Mykytiuk, an associate professor of library science (not relevant I guess) at Purdue University, with a PhD in Hebrew and Semitic studies (definitely relevant). He wrote this section at my invitation, an invitation I issued because I felt we (Wiki) could benefit from some editing by someone who knew the subject. Here'sa link to a review of an important if rather dry book Mykytiuk has written on one aspect of OT studies: in other words, he's a respected scholar in this field.
Next, the phrase you object to, "observations such as this ... underline the likelihood that the [narrative of] David is drawn from numerous originally independent sources." Without enumerating the observations, I would point out that this statement is a truism of biblical studies. Martin Noth formulated the currently accepted consensus on the a Deuteronomistic history in 1943: his suggestion was that the books from Joshua to the end of Kings were written during the Exilic period. The history has a unified theological theme, and a defined purpose, namely to explain why the God of Israel had permitted the Babylonians to triumph over his (Yahweh's) appaointed house, the house of David. It's axiomatic that the author or authors drew on original texts - in fact they refre to some of them, to the Book of Jasher, the Book of the Wars of the Lord, to the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel (which is not the Boojk of Chronicles we have today - that dates from a still later period).
In my view Myktyiuk hedges his bets too much - there's no doubt among scholars that the story of David is drawn from more than a single source. See, for example, this online article from 1918(long before Noth and the modern formulation of the Deuteronomistic history) which mentions the relative ages of various strands of the Goliath story.
I suggest you do a google for "Deuteronomistic history", including the names of major scholars of the last half of the 20th century, such as Noth, von Rad, Van Seters, Cross, and anyone else you can think of - this should give you enough material to show how firlmy established the idea of multiple sources for the story of David is. Then we can talk.

PiCo 17:34, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I think people who come from a university environment are great, but they often run into difficulties with Wikipedia because of the unique rules for content here. More specifically:
  • they almost always write from a POV, and try to make a plausible case for that POV, but don't recognize it as a POV - the opposite of WP:NPOV. They consider "neutral" to mean "what I consider to be the consensus of scholars who agree with me".
  • they almost always write what they "know" to be "true", rather than writing material that is verifiable.
  • they come from an environment that encourages original research, of course at odds with WP:NOR.
Regarding your other claims, I understand what the common views based on the Documentary hypothesis say, and your choice of the terms "truism" and "axiom" are both appropriate and telling. These beliefs (regardless of their many individual variations) are widely held, and they should be properly represented here, but they must also adhere to the WP:V and WP:NPOV constraints. I've removed one particularly egregious example of a claim that was a belief stated as fact, and I've tagged a bunch of other issues. It's time for you, or Lawrence Mykytiuk, to crack open the books/scholarly journals, and start citing them. Jayjg (talk) 19:39, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I've started revising the Historicity section. Bear with me, as it will take some time to finish. But the first step has been to introduce a brief subsection setting out the sources available for constructing our knowledge of David. Please don't tear it apart, but do add "citation needed" wherever you feel necessary. (I have one citation in there already, drawn from the original section). PiCo 07:21, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Today's work was largely a revision of the existing paragraph. The plan is to go on and explain the various theories about the textual origins of 2 Samuel, which should fulfil the request for citations. I don't have a lot of free time to devoet to this, so it could be a while befoer I can finish. Please bear with me. (I intend to keep as much as possible of Myktyiuk's work, but he has very little on textual criticism). PiCo 09:53, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

"Historicity" section

  • I've started revising this section, to make it much shorter and to provide useful references and citations. I'll continue this bit by bit over the next few days. In the meantime, please add comments here, rather than in the article itself, and I'll try to integrate thwem. Also feel free to add "citation needed" tags (and any other tags) to the text. Thanks PiCo 06:22, 28 June 2007 (UTC) (A little later): The Historicity section now has 2 paras on the archaeological record for David. The second para cites Finkelstein's "Bible Unearthed", a highly controversial book, but the quote from the book deals with matters that are not the subject of controversy - the surface surveys and demographic analyses are well established, the controversy relates to Finkelstein's wider interpretations of the relatyionship between the biblical pictuer of a united monarchy and his own thesis of a Judah which was always the junior partner to a dominant northen Israel. PiCo 10:48, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Added a para suymmarising the scholarly debate on historicity. At the moment it lacks erferences, and I would also like to add links to major scholars and scholarly schools. Please feel free to make suggestions for improvement, including citation tags. PiCo 03:32, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
It cites "The Bible Unearthed" as fact, which, of course, WP:NPOV forbids. I've NPOVd it a bit for now, but you can't just discuss this article from the POV of the minimalists. And yes, Finkelstein is a minimalist. Jayjg (talk) 07:05, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
I'll try to avoid NPOV. What I'm trying to do is have a logical progression to the exposition of the argument - first the epigraphy, then the archaeology, finally the textual evidence. Finkelstein actually has little in common with the Copenhagen School, and dismisses most of their position, although finding common ground in some areas. Dever disagrees with Finkelstein in some areas but agrees in others. Then you have people like Freedman who ask, quite rightly, if the account in Samuel isn't tue then what's it all about? Meanwhile, thanks for your continuing help, it's appreciated. (Sorry, I'm not signed in) Pico.
  • I've re-written the 2nd archaeology para, dealing with all the non-epigraphical evidence, to make it simply a presentation of the evidence. References have to be from books and journals as I can't find anything on-line. The 3rd para will also be re-written to cover differing interpretations of the evidence, notably from the viewpoints of Finkelstein and Dever, who are probably the two best-known authorities on the subject. Comments? PiCo 07:54, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
  • I've now finished the archaeology section (a para about the various interpretations of the archaeological evidence) and begun the next subsection, on the critique of the text of Samuel and Chronicles. (This will begin with the minimalists and go no to discuss Noth and more modern scholars). Comments? PiCo 13:44, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

As I mentioned in another section above, the portion of the Historical section about excavations in the City of David are somewhat selective and misleading. They also contradict other Wikipedia articles, i.e. 'not only are there no signs of monumental architecture, but even distinctive 10th century pottery shards are absent'. In 1997, the archeologist Eilat Mazar discovered pottery shards and the foundation of a monumental public building which were dated to the 10th century. An IHT article states 'Other scholars who have toured the site are skeptical that the foundationwalls Eilat Mazar has discovered are David's palace. But they acknowledge that what she has uncovered is rare and important - a major public building from around the 10th century BC with pottery shards that date from the time of David and Solomon and a government seal of an official mentioned in the book of Jeremiah.' reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Stone_Structure and http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/08/04/news/david.php harlan (talk) 22:22, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I checked the references you give, one to the Wiki article on the Mazar find, the other to a 2005 IHT article. The Wiki article doesn't support your statement that the two articles contradict each other - it notes that other archaeologists have cast doubt on Mazar's date. Their noteability outweighs that of the IHT in these circumstances. PiCo (talk) 12:55, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Reb Chaim HaQoton blog

Does anyone know anything about this site, how reliable it is? [1]. The info seems in line with what I've read elsewhere abt the Talmud and David, but I'm not sure. PiCo 11:32, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't know that reliability is an issue in external links, is it? I removed it from here and Davidic line. If there are relevant portions worthy of contributing to the article I wouldn't oppose it's inclusion. On the surface it doesn't appear to belong here. Linking to blogs is generally considered gratuitously advertising them, and is frowned upon. Why have they been included all of a sudden without contributions to the article I wonder aloud? Jeff 08:20, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
The information in the blog is in line with what I've read about Talmudic traditions (myths, if you like) about David. These date from the first few centuries BCE to about the 7th century CE. They're in the article, (and they are in the article) not because they are "true", but because they illustrate how Jews of a later period continued to embroider and extend the story of David. Most of these embroideries ended up in the Talmud, but one of them made its way into our bible: about half of the story of David and Goliath isn't part of the original story, but was added some time during the first few centuries after Christ. (The added portion is the verses in the middle of 1 Samuel 17 which tell how David was sent with food to his brothers and overheard Goliath's challenge: the original version has David already present as Saul's armour-bearer, and incidentally has David as a young man - a "man of valour" - rather than a young boy). So these later traditoins are important, and that's why we need them in the article. But what I really want is someone well versed in Talmud, which I am not, (I'm not even Jewish), to tell us whether this particular blog is reliable. PiCo 09:39, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
I've been reading Reb Chaim's blog for quite some time now and I am extremely impressed with his scholastic and academic abilities. Without a doubt, Reb Chaim HaQoton could be considered an expert in his field. Everything he writed is well-source and well-documented and could easily be corrborated by looking up his citations. I have yet to read a concise yet erudite paper on the topic of King David's ancestry according to classic Rabbinic interpretation that is as well-written as Reb Chaim HaQoton's essay on that topic. 75.5.8.76 02:07, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Not the point. Wiki is not the place to advertise blogs. This is not being included as a source, it's being added to the external links. I'm sure every word of these papers are true and verifiable. NOT THE POINT>they don't belong. Jeff 02:20, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

That's not the point at all. We don't allow blogs because (as a rule) they're unreliable; they're just a diary. And we don't use diaries and the opinions of persons as sources in wikipedia. But this is a well-referenced academic paper which happens to have been put onto blogspot. There's no reason not to include it, as far as I see. Carl.bunderson 04:00, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure we're all talking about the same thing. Jeff, you say the blog is not being included as a source, but it is - see footnote 15. I was the one who added it as a source, and my question at the head of this section was aimed at seeking opinions on how reliable it is for that purpose. Carl says it is reliable, and so does User:75.5.8.76, whoever he might be. So on that ercommendation Id like to leave it as a source in that section. Whether it goes in the External Links is neither here nor there to me. PiCo 05:48, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't mean to have responded to your question of its reliability as someone well versed in Talmud, as I hardly fit the bill. I just meant to say that it appears reliable and well-resourced, to someone who often reads similar papers from JSTOR; though I suppose the end result is the same, I still wanted to clarity, Pico. cheers :) Carl.bunderson 06:13, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

You're right Pico, we were talking about different things. I wasn't aware you used it as a source. I thought you brought this up the same day it was added to the External links, and my response was under that assumption. I was having a background discussion with the editor that added it asking why not just use it for sourcing some of the sourceless statements in the article. I didn't realize you had done just that. It's clearly a weighty piece of resource material by any definition. Who is that guy writing all that anyways? It's great. I will now fade to black. Do with the blogs as you will. Bigger fish to fry, right? Jeff 08:00, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Lead picture

Why isn't Michaelangelo's David the lead picture? That is certainly the most iconic artistic representation of David- and a lot less gruesome than the one currently in the lead. 138.237.165.140 02:31, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I assume it is simply a matter of taste. Caravaggio's painting actual addresses the event David is most known for in general. Also, Michaelangelo's piece, though artistically masterful, does not address David the person, but David the work of art. I prefer the painting for this article. Cheers. --Storm Rider (talk) 02:45, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree with stormrider on this one - Michaelangelo's David isn't doing anything, just standing there - if there wasn't a label on it saying "David" you might mistake it for a local bodybuilder; Caravaggio's is dynamic and narrative. PiCo 08:12, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Spurious Link

Any idea of why a link to psi is in the links? --67.181.57.9 (talk) 19:25, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Move without discussion

Is anyone else concerned about the move without discussion? The move involved capitalization of "biblical". There is no exact wording in the MoS to support either position, and searching through various other manuals of style, it seems like both are acceptable. I think this is a case of where wikipedia shouldn't take sides, and allow both (like American vs. British). However, assuming both are ok, it would be unnecessary to change between the two. Does anyone feel like at the very least, this move should have been discussed on talk first, or have gone through WP:RM? -Andrew c [talk] 15:06, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I agree, moves w/o discussion are annoying. And I think it was preferable being uncapitalized. The OED shows "bblical" being lowercase, and given its placing in the article title I see no reason for it to be capitalized. Carl.bunderson (talk) 17:11, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I am moving the article back to the title it had for years. For a discussion and a vote regarding the proposed move, please see Talk:David/Archive001#Requested_move. If you'd like to propose a move, please use the proper process as described in WP:RM. Thanks. ←Humus sapiens ну? 23:26, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Disambiguation line

Might the disambiguation line in italics at the top of the article be a... comma splice?! 212.84.105.227 (talk) 23:26, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Have a cup of coffee and a Tim Tam and call me in the morning if you still have the palpitations. PiCo (talk) 10:16, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

David vs David (disambig)

Am I the only one who thinks that "David" should redirect to a disambig page and not to this david. I think the disambig page fits the word david more than its primary use.

See adam for a similar subject and/or name.

Anyone agree?? --Mattburlage (talk) 01:43, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

I think it could go either way. If it gets moved, though, I would suggest moving this to 'King David', which already redirects here and is a more clear reference to this article's subject, exclusively. (In fact, looking at the history of that redirect, it looks like this article was there originally, way back in 2002, but was cut-and-paste moved to here.) --Aquillion (talk) 05:18, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
See the section #Move without discussion above, re the recent move to David (biblical king) and back.
Most incoming links are intended for the biblical David. I therefore think it is justified to keep the article here at David. Anybody pushing for the move should be prepared to disambiguate over 1,000 incoming links. I already changed most templates to use the redirect David (biblical king), so the remainder are all individually coded to this article. Mind you, if you want to start preparing the way, nobody should object if you want to change those links to [[King David|David]] or any other existing redirect, since that will be permanently unambiguous whatever happens. - Fayenatic (talk) 14:22, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Well... there are semi-automated tools to assist in that (you confirm each change with a keystroke, but it goes very fast.) Before anyone ran a tool like that over a thousand pages I'd want to be sure that there's actually consensus to make the change, though... even if it doesn't really matter (since I'd just be changing it to what's currently a redirect to here, as you say) people are likely to object to a wide-scale semi-automated change like that without serious discussion. --Aquillion (talk) 02:26, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough. I see this suggested move was strongly opposed when discussed before at Talk:David/Archive001#Requested move. If you think it's worth starting a fresh discussion, please follow the procedure at WP:RM. - Fayenatic (talk) 13:15, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

The Illustrated David

Anyone think, like me, that this article is getting a bit over-illustrated? PiCo (talk) 13:26, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, we could definitely cut down on the pics. Carl.bunderson (talk) 21:09, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Funny question but I think its better to have too many then too few. Bolinda (talk) 04:42, 20 September 2008 (UTC)Belinda

Is this sentence accurate?

According to the lead, David is "claimed by the bible to be the third king of the united Kingdom of Israel after Saul and Ish-Bosheth." So far as I know Ish-Bosheth was not king of a united Israel. Any views? PiCo (talk) 12:34, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Looking at 2 Sam, I think the sentence is wrong. Ish-Bosheth was never the king of a united Israel, as were Saul, David, Solomon, and Rehoboam (briefly). He clearly ruled only 11 of the 12 tribes, according to 2 Sam. And Chronicles names him, but doesn't so much as mention his rule. The Bible does not claim that he was king of the "united Kingdom of Israel". Carl.bunderson (talk) 03:35, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

arabic in the first sentence?

do we really need that there? InfernoXV (talk) 16:01, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

I could go either way. Carl.bunderson (talk) 06:19, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Champion of the oppressed

In this like -- In the wilderness David gathers a band of followers and becomes the champion of the oppressed while evading the pursuit of Saul. -- what is the source for David being a champion of the oppressed? And what does that entail exactly? Tuvia613 (talk) 07:14, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

The source would have to be the Bible itself, since this is a summary of the Biblical narrative. I sort of recall David being a champion of the Israelites, but not too much about him and the oppressed. On the other hand, he did become the leader of a band of Hebrews, and the way the word "Hebrew" is used in Samuel suggests that were a social group rather than an ethnic one. Have a read of Samuel and see what you think. PiCo (talk) 08:00, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

I have been through Samuel I and II, and I do not see the statement "gathers a band of followers" or "champion of the oppressed" fitting with the narrative. Can you reference any specific chapters/verses? Tuvia613 (talk) 05:48, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

1 Sam. 22:2: "All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him (i.e. David after he fled from Saul), and he became their commander, about four hundred men were with him." (The number is later described as 600). 1 Sam. 23, David is told, "Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors," [and] he inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I go and attack these Philistines?" The LORD answered him, "Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah." A little later David has a confrontation with Nabal, the wealthy man with many herds. Nabal refuses to help David, but his own shepherds regard David as a friend: "Night and day [David's men] were a wall around us the whole time we were herding our sheep near them" (1 Sam. 25:15). So Nabal's men regarded David as their champion and friend - a little later in the same chapter it appears that David's men have been guarding Nabal's men and the herds up in the hills, although it doesn't say against what - predators, brigands, it doesn't say. That's from the early chapters describing David in the Wilderness. Later he enters the service of the Philistines, but continues to champion the Israelites. PiCo (talk) 08:30, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Religious bias once more?

The headline "Carbon 14 evidence" reeks of religious bias. Cf the sentence:

The site is a massive fortification of the type that could only have been built by a powerful kingdom for defensive purposes.

This is just unsolicited conjecture. Would it be impossible for a smaller state to build a strong fortress? Has anybody visited Petra or Constantinople? And where is the evidence that this fortress was Jewish, not Phoenician or any other nationality? The source is the Albright Institute, leaders of the Biblical_archaeology_school, who are religious fundamentalists who spent their lives - and much money - trying to prove the veracity of the Bible. The details are made quite clear on the aforementioned page. You cannot be a priori supporter of the view that the Bible is literally true and still be considered an objective authority on archaeology. There are no active links in the section - and the only reference (repeated 3 times) is to an article in a newspaper, not a scientific journal. I have removed the section, and until somebody presents a less partisan account of its veracity it should remain removed. Sponsianus (talk) 19:31, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Our editor re-inserted the deleted passage, and I re-deleted it. I think I feel an edit war approaching. This is obviously a controversial edit, so the normal course would now be to leave it off and discuss it here. For the sake of that discussion, here is the passage (originally 2 paragraphs):
  • In 2008 the dig at Khirbet Qeiyafa thought to be Biblical Azekah, produced strong evidence for the existence of a strong Judean kingdom at the time most scholars attribute to David's reign. The site is located on the northern hills that border the Elah Valley where, according to the Biblical account, David fought Goliath. The site is dated by pottery styles and by two burned olive pits tested for carbon-14 at Oxford University and found to date from between 1050 and 970 B.C., the period most scholars consider to be during the reign of King David.[38] The site is a massive fortification of the type that could only have been built by a powerful kingdom for defensive purposes. It is located astride the road to Jerusalem and seven miles from the fortified Philistine city of Gath.[39] Seymour Gitin, an archaeologist and a director of the Albright Institute in Jerusalem, a private American institution, who has seen the finds from Khirbet Qeiyafa, says that the 2008 finds prove that “There was an urban center in the 10th century. You can extrapolate and say this helps support a kingdom, a united monarchy under David and Solomon. People will rightly use this material to support that."[40]
I agree with Sponsianus that this is not appropriate for the article, for the following reasons: first, the discovery is very recent and has yet to be assessed by scholars - newspaper reports are more than a little premature; and second, the paragraph is far too long. When the scholarly verdict is in, then we can note it, and with proper citation. PiCo (talk) 08:47, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Hello PiCo, when I read this I am more concerned with the quality of the reference. Newspapers are often used and are deemed reputable references for Wikipedia. We might disagree with what a newspaper article says, but that does not mean we then get to delete it from an article. Second, as far as I know a Carbon 14 test has no relationship to Christianity or any other religion. The findings of such a test by a reputable group is applicable to the article. Third, this does seem like it might be an over-indulgence or over-weighting for the article. Maybe it can be stated more concisely, but I see no reason to delete it. As an aside, scholars are scholars; archaeologists are archaeologists. Their religious beliefs are irrelevant. Qualifying a scholar by their religious affiliation is an attempt to spin a perception for readers and is not acceptable. If there is one article about such a find, there would have to be more. I think instead of deleting it, we should be trying to provide other references for alternative positions. At least we should verify the qualifications of Mr. Gitin rather than dismissing him because he is a fundamentalist Christian. Cheers. --StormRider 09:08, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Hello Storm. I'm posting this from the waiting area of Ho Chi Minh airport, which must surely be a first for English Wiki - or maybe not, you never know. Just thought I'd note that little milestone. Anyway, to the point: The matter we're talking about is a very technical one, i.e., the assessment of an archaeological find. It takes time for the archaelogists to assess and decide, and they simply haven't done it yet. Even as a layman, I can see problems with the way things are being reported. Do we know who built this thing? Not really, so far as I can tell. It's not easy disentangling various cultures from that time and place - the Philistines were extremely "Canaanitised" by then, and 11th-10 century Judea was also part of the Canaanite cultural world (I mean in terms of physical culture - pottery, house types, that sort of thing). If a double altar of Israelite pattern were found, that would be something, or an inscription mentioning YHWH and his asherah. These might yet turn up, but at the moment, the newspapers are being premature. (For the rest of your comments, I think you might be confusing me with Sponsianus - I didn't mention anyone's religious affiliations). PiCo (talk) 14:45, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
(P.s. - if you'd like to follow developments and the debate in more detail, I suggest biblicalist@yahoogroups.com. I think the general impression there is also that this is a story that's just beginning, rather than one that's reached a conclusion. User: Funhistory is rather good - he edits here sometimes). PiCo (talk) 14:57, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
(And if you're modern Henbrew is good, try co.il/Article/ ?ArticleID= 591122&TypeID= 1&sid=182& pid=48 - no, I don't speak Hebrew, but some of our readers might). PiCo (talk) 15:01, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks PiCo, and good look with your journey :) I stand by my judgement that the NY Times article is - even if it were available online - not a sufficiently good source for such a delicate matter. It does in addition seem rather biased, interviewing an evangelical source who claims that the find of these ruins could be used to extrapolate not only a strong kingdom, but specifically the Biblical kingdom under two specific kings: Solomon who is basically only known from much later religious sources (GT), and David, of whom we have vague evidence that he was an ancestor of kings, and no indications of the extent of his own powers. Such strong conjectures must be backed up by published scientific material.Sponsianus (talk) 18:01, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
More than anything I was waving a flag of caution when it comes to a reputable reference. It is appropriate to hold off when all that exists is a single newspaper source. That logic has been successfully used elsewhere for complex topics, which I think this one does. I think what is being stated is that an individual was quoted, but no other scholar related more closely to the project has made any public determination of the site. That being the case, it is certainly a more prudent action to wait for further comment before going into any detail in the article.
As an aside, my comment above was to Sponsianus. I addressed you because of working together in the past. Taking time out in an airport halfway around the world...now that is a dedicated Wikipedian or maybe one addicted to the work here. Cheers and happy travels. --StormRider 18:33, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
In that case, Storm Rider, I will comment on my point. In Coele-Syrian (that's the most neutral word I could think of) archaeology, there has been a long tradition of attempts to connect the findings with passages in the Old Testament. This is not an unbiased method to do archaeology, and indeed many of the scholars - and their mecenates - have been evangelical Christians or Jews trying to make religious or political points. If an evangelical archaelogist would make a statement about pottery in Polynesia I am willing to give his/her work every benefit of the doubt, but not when it comes to findings in the vicinity of Israel that seem to prove the historicity of the Bible, because history has proved that there is every reason to believe there is a religious agenda behind it.
If this is to the detriment of honest evangelicals doing archaelogy in the area, that is a price we must have to pay. They should be treated with caution, and a reasonable amount of such caution is that we should demand quotations from publications in scientific journals. Sponsianus (talk) 17:24, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Recent discoveries in 2008

Perhaps the article should mention some of the recent discoveries which have made news in recent weeks, though further analysis is needed. If the discoveries prove to be what they claim, then this article will need to be revised. --75.175.79.88 (talk) 20:50, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Have a link?? Cush (talk) 00:50, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
The thread immediately above this is about this subject. I suggest that any discussion continue to take place there, rather than starting a new thread. PiCo (talk) 01:24, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Redirect

I think "David" should redirect to a disambiguation page, not here. I'm not going to change this, pending discussion, but I throw this out there. David is far too common of a word to redirect to a biblical figure. I was looking up the painter, whose name is spelled the same.65.117.234.99 (talk) 13:12, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree. It is inexplicable why any search for a name should end up at an article about a biblical character. There have been so many Davids in the world that bowing down to judeochristian ideology seems ridiculous. Cush (talk) 08:05, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Seriously why does it say David in Arabic?

Greek translations were done of the Bible hundreds of years prior to Arabic ones. Writing David in Arabic is like writing David in Russian, it is completely irrelevant to David! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 35.9.92.28 (talk) 18:48, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

However, David is also a figure in Islam and he appears in the Qur'an. Cush (talk) 08:07, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
So what, why don't we have David in Greek then? David was written in Greek versions of the bibles more than a half-century before it was written in Arabic: —Preceding unsigned comment added by 35.11.56.20 (talk) 00:22, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Explaining edits to the lead

I've made some edits to the lead which other editors are taking exception to, so I'll explain here.

Cush says that Abimelech was king of a united Israel. Well, he wasn't - a king had to be chosen by God, and Abimelech's sin was precisely that he hadn't been chosen. The D.History is obsessed with the idea of kingship, and what constitutes rightful kingship - it's the single major theme running through the whole series of books from Joshua to the end of Kings. Yahweh (according to the DeutH) was Israel's original king. Eventually he chose Saul, and then David. Abimelech was never chosen, and was therefore not a rightful king.

For "the books of Psalms etc etc are included in the Bible", we can assume a level of basic knowledge for our readers - not many people, in fact probably none, will not be aware that Psalms and Samuel are books in the Bible. But the statement that Psalms, Kings and Chronicles are primary sources for our knowledge of David is factually wrong anyway. Samuel is the primary source, not the others. Psalms wasn't written by David - the article explains this - and in any case contains nothing about his life; Kings contains nothing about him after I Kings 4, and even then deals only with his death; and Chronicles was written centuries later and is a revision of Samuel, not an independent work. PiCo (talk) 08:01, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

A king does not have to be chosen by any god. A king is who has the power to assume the title. Abimelech was styled king according to Judges 9. "Rightful" means what??? Cush (talk) 08:13, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
The bible is a book of theology, not history; there is no evidence whatsoever that Abimelech or Saul ever existed. The DtrH is not history, and was not written as a record of events. It dates from the 5th century BC, long after the events of David's supposed reign. It surely contains accounts from earlier ages, and David is generally agreed to have been a real person, but the details in the books of Samuel and Kings are also agreed to be based on epic poetry, folk-stories, and similar traditions, with )and this also is generally accepted) some quite genuinely old records from the earliest days of the Judean kingdom. But it's a major mistake to regard these accounts as true in our sense of historical truth. The truth they're concerned with is theological truth, and central to that is the idea that God guides Israel. God chooses kings, his "anointed", anointment being a ceremony of dedication to the god - as a sacrificial offering is dedicated with oil (the oil makes it burn better). So, in the terms of the Bible, a king is only a king if he is chosen by god through the prophets. Saul and David were chosen, Abimelech was not. PiCo (talk) 10:54, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
However, this article is about a possibly historical figure, not theology. As such, the source (which is the bible) narrates that there were 3 other kings before David (while archaelogical evidence for all of them is equally zero). Why they were kings is irrelevant. Your religious POV as to the rightfulness of their kingships based on divine support is just ridiculous. Sounds a lot like protestant fundamentalism to me. Cush (talk) 11:37, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
The bible doesn't "narrate"that there were 3 kings before David - it doesn't call Abimelech a king, and it doesn't call Ishbosheth king of north and south. Get your facts straight :) PiCo (talk) 03:05, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Abimelech and Ishbaal are Israelite kings in the bible. The extent of their kingship is irrelevant. Abimelech styled himself king of Shechem, which at the time was the capital of the Israelite tribal confederacy. Ishbaal was Saul's sole surving son und rightful heir to the fresh kigdom of Israel, and until the traitor and opportunist David had his underlings murder him he was officially king of Israel (wile David was "king" of Hebron), no matter how far his actual power reached. Get your facts straight. Cush (talk) 21:06, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Not quite. Have a look at the Hebrew.PiCo (talk) 01:05, 25 February 2009 (UTC)


Use of the Tetragrammaton

Two places in this article use a transliteration the Tetragrammaton (each with a different spelling). In my opinion, there is no need for the Word in this context. I suggest that it be replaced with "God" without any loss of meaning, and, more importantly, with more clarity for the average reader. Moreover, use of the Tetragrammaton in such a casual way in this article is unnecessarily offensive to many readers. In this regard, please refer to Wikipedia:Etiquette. Shlomokatz (talk) 20:44, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

The term Yahweh should be used, as it is the proper English rendition of the biblical deity's name. "God" is too ambiguous and creates textual bias in favor of the Abrahamic deity. And as for the use of the Tetragrammaton: this is the English and thus international Wikipedia, there is no reason to bow down to fringe groups who maintain dubious interpretations of ancient texts of uncertain origin and unverified content. Cush (talk) 21:48, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I respectfully disagree, and don't consider my suggestion to be bowing to "fringe groups who maintain dubious interpretations of ancient texts." Nevertheless, since my suggestion seems to be roundly opposed, I will abandon it. Shlomokatz (talk) 21:57, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
agree with Cush - "Yahweh" (or YHWH) does not mean God - the word for that is elohim. Nor does it mean Lord - that word would be baal. Yahweh is not god in general, but one specific god, the god of Israel. The fact that the book of Samuel uses YHWH and not Elohim is therefore meaningful - David is Yahweh's chosen king for his chosen people, Israel. PiCo (talk) 22:03, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Within a monotheistic ideology there is no difference between calling the god "The God" (Elohim/Allah) or calling the god by its name. But we are not withing a monotheistic ideology but within a neutral encyclopedia. That is why biased use of language is inappropriate. Your beliefs about who is king by whose choice or whether such beliefs are expressed in the biblical source is irrelevant. Cush (talk) 22:39, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Judaism wasn't monotheistic when the Book of Samuel was written - the idea came later. But this is now irrelevant, since the op has withdrawn his suggestion. PiCo (talk) 23:15, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Disagree with Cush, whose argument is unworkable. The article is about a Judeo-Christian figure, so the identity of the particular God is clear from the context. In fact, the word God is used many times in the article itself (and probably millions of times in Wikipedia) in relation to the God of Abraham. Using Cush's logic, every occurrence of a reference to the God of Abraham would require the use of the Tetragrammaton. This is clearly unworkable and absurd. Catsinthebelfry (talk) 01:20, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Every occurrence or reference to the biblical deity indeed requires the name Yahweh or any neutral term. But definitely not capitalized "God", which in fact renders every article it occurs in biased. Every article with references to Zeus calls that deity by its name and not "God", every article with references to Amun calls that deity by its name and not "God", so why should references to Yahweh be treated differently? Because of an editor's own Judeo-Christian background? No. Every god must be treated equally in a neutral encyclopedia. Cush (talk) 18:16, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

There's also an issue of practicality I think. There is a wiki page about Yahweh and at least 750 individual articles link to this. So it's not a word that's going to be removed from wikipedia even if we were to remove it from here. Contaldo80 (talk) 09:43, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Yahweh is not the Tetragrammaton, although derived from it. And the issue is the use of "God" instead of the Jewish deity's name. Using Yahweh is the preferred reference to said deity. Cush (talk) 09:53, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I feel that this topic is such an emotionally charged one that many people have been reading much more into my original suggestion than I had intended. I did not intend to suggest that the transliteration of the Tetragrammaton should be removed in its entirety. All I was trying to suggest was that, in line with Wikipedia's guidelines on etiquette, it should be used with more sensitivity to typical readers of this article.
So, for example, perhaps when the article first mentions "God" (which is currently capitalized), we could write "David's God" with a parenthetical link to the transliteration of the Tetragrammaton. Thereafter, any reference could use the word "God" (with or without capitalization, depending on the editor's preference), and such reference would be unambiguous and more sensitive to others.
I agree that neutrality is a noble and honorable goal. However, in reality (particularly in subjects like religion), true neutrality cannot be achieved. Every article ever written reflects the perspective of its author. One person who rails against attributing divinity to another person's chosen deity is simply displaying their disbelief. Disbelief, like belief, is, in the final analysis, subjective and based on evidence that the person chooses to accept or reject. Neither disbelief nor belief are neutral. In the absence of an absolute standard of neutrality, I suggest that the best we can do is to write articles that are as polite as possible. Shlomokatz (talk) 18:19, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
No. Articles are supposed to be accurate. Not polite. The (English or anglicized) name of the biblical deity is Yahweh. Period. That is unambiguous and free of any personal perspective. And there is simply no need to not call something by its name. Cush (talk) 18:50, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
And in what sense is my latest suggestion inaccurate? Shlomokatz (talk) 19:45, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
The use of "God" is ambiguous (and biased btw). There is no reason to not treat Yahweh as any other deity in Wikipedia articles. Yahweh is just like Enki, Enlil, Ra, Atum, Thor, Odin, Krishna, or Shiva. If something has a name then you use that name. No exceptions. Cush (talk) 20:43, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree that it is ambiguous and biased to use the word "God" without any qualifiers in an international encyclopedia that strives to be neutral. However, that use is not what I'm suggesting. I'm suggesting using something like "King David's [G|g]od" with a suitable parenthetical cross reference to your preferred name. This is an article about King David; not about the identity of his [G|g]od. The appropriate place to discuss his [G|g]od's name is in the article that deals specifically with that topic. Shlomokatz (talk) 21:22, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
I have sympathy with view that we should try to be polite as we can with articles so certainly understand the argument, and the need to avoid gratuitously offending individuals. But I'm not sure if in this case the offence is gratuitous. The issue is surely what is a fact and what is not. Is Yahweh one of the names of the God of David? If it is then no reason not to cite that in the article. If the God of David has no name then we can say that it is 'David's God'. Contaldo80 (talk) 10:28, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
In what way would the use of "God" be politer than the use of "Yahweh" ?? The name of the deity David is worshiping according to the bible is Yahweh. So what is the problem with that? Cush (talk) 10:39, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Stick to the text of Samuel. If it says "elohim", say "God" (with a capital); where it says YHWH, say Yahweh (and not "Lord", which is a totally inaccurate translation of the Hebrew). PiCo (talk) 10:53, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Biblical text is irrelevant. We do not just replace words with their translations to make them unrecognizable. And we do not mimic the text we draw information from. We eliminate bias and perspective and render a neutral description. The name of the deity at issue is Yahweh. So what is the problem with that? Cush (talk) 12:47, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
The problem with that is that introduces bias, namely yours. PiCo (talk) 05:59, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
I know you have a problem with neutrality in an encyclopedia. That is why you have been warned many many times for your disruptive editing and your insults towards folks who disagree with you. Using a thing's name to identify it in a text is free of any bias. If you use words that require a supposition of faith and that imply some kind of veracity, then bias comes back in. There is a huge difference between the biblical text and an article text on Wikipedia, because the article is only referring to the biblical text but not recreating it. Wikipedia articles do not exist in the same context as biblical source texts. If you do not understand that then take your constant disruptive editing elsewhere. Cush (talk) 09:16, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Temper! :)


  • Much of this discussion seems to revolve around a misunderstanding of policy, so I'll attempt to clarify. In WP articles the preferred usage is always the most common English usage. That's because WP is descriptive not prescriptive (ie, we write about things the way people actually talk, we don't tell them how they should talk). There can't be any reasonable question that the most common English usage for the Christian deity is "God"; almost no one refers to that deity as "Yahweh" in ordinary conversation or writing. Contrary to statements made in this discussion, it is not inherently POV to refer to the deity as God; it is the most common name, not an assertion of specific religous values or supremacy of certain beliefs. Since the huge majority of Christians refer to their god as "God" and use it as a proper name, it is entirely correct for us to do so as well. Thanks, Doc Tropics 16:12, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments, which I know are well meant. However, there are some misunderstandings - notably, the deity in question is not the Christian one, but the Jewish. That particular god, unlike the Christian deity, has a personal name, YHWH in the Tanakh (ie, the Old Testament - but Old Testament is a Christian term). In short, this is not an article about a Christian religious topic, and it can be misleading to use Christian terminology. (There is a Hebrew word meaning "god" in a general sense - it's Elohim - but this discussion is over the way to translate/represent the personal name of that "elohim"). PiCo (talk) 22:01, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Historicity removal

I removed the following, and was probably more curt about it than I should have been, but I'm not sure it is relevant. There are probably a lot of speculative opinions that could be included in this article. I'm not sure why this is a standout.

Steven McKenzie, Associate Professor of the Hebrew Bible at Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee, USA and author of King David: A Biography, argues that the Biblical version of David was conceived by spin doctors. He states the belief that David actually came from a wealthy family and was "ambitious and ruthless": "The vigor with which the apology in the Bible asserts David's innocence against Saul strongly suggests that he was in fact involved in a plot against him." The story with Goliath was probably part of the propaganda in David's favour. McKenzie's view is that David was a tyrant who murdered his political opponents, including his own sons.[1]

Sweetmoose6 (talk) 03:42, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

"David is Chosen"

The Text currently reads:

God withdraws his favour from Saul, king of Israel, and sends the prophet Samuel to seek a new king for his people from the sons of Jesus of Bethlehem. Seven of Jesus' sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel says "The LORD has not chosen these." He then asks "Are these all the sons you have?" and Jesus answers, "There is still the youngest but he is tending the sheep." David is brought to Samuel, and "the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one.""[1]


Samuel did not choose from Jesus of Bethlehem (i.e., Jesus from the Christian New Testament). Rather, Samuel chose from Jesse of Bethlehem. Unless these names are different translations of the same name (which I've never heard of) then the article as it stands is incorrect.


It should read:

God withdraws his favour from Saul, king of Israel, and sends the prophet Samuel to seek a new king for his people from the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem. Seven of Jesse's sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel says "The LORD has not chosen these." He then asks "Are these all the sons you have?" and Jesse answers, "There is still the youngest but he is tending the sheep." David is brought to Samuel, and "the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one.""[1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.177.99.123 (talk) 18:58, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Adultery

I am surprised this has not been brought up before, but the Talmud states that David's liason with Bat-Sheva was not technically adultery. Adultery in Jewish Biblical law is when the woman is married to another man. The Talmud explains that all soldiers in King David;s army gave their wives conditional divorce decrees to avoid problems of soldiers whose bodies were never recovered. Without a body or witnesses who saw a man die, his wife is not considered a widow and may not yet remarry.

While it is a bit complicated for those unfamiliar with the times and laws, I can easily explain more if needed. But I wonder if I am just missing where this was discussed already as a possible addition? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tuvia613 (talkcontribs) 22:38, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

As I understand it the Talmud was compiled about 12-1500 years after David was said to have lived based on oral rabbinic tradition. What is your citation? 2nd Samuel 2-3 states (NIV): "2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" Evidently, at that time, she was still his wife according to the Bible. That is how I read it anyway.Sweetmoose6 (talk) 01:28, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
For OP: This is covered in the section David in Judaism. Essentially, as I see it, the "narrative" section should simply summarise what the storyline in the Book of Samuel says, without any analysis, comment, etc. Your point is an important one, and should be mentioned, but in the section which deals with later Jewish interpretation (as Sweetmoose6 points out, the Talmud is indeed a later source, developed within a later tradition, just as the idea that David prefigures Christ is a later tradition. The truth or otherwise of these claims is not our affair, we just record them).PiCo (talk) 02:13, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

David.

Searching David links directly to this page. Clearly, this is wrong and should go to a disambiguation page instead?--Frank Fontaine (talk) 12:57, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

What David were you looking for? PiCo (talk) 13:51, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

NPOV violation

In the opening introduction, a sentence reads

"The narrative depicts him throughout his life as conflicted between his ruthless ambition and lusts"

the characteristic "ruthless" is subjective and does not belong in this article. It certainly cannot be attributed to someone based on one event.

ReaverFlash (talk) 15:27, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for coming to Talk. First, I can think of three instances of ruthless behaviour by David just off-hand: his treatment of Uriah, his deception of Achish, and his instruction to Solomon to murder old rivals. That's without bothering to open the Book of Samuel. Second, it's not subjective to call someone ruthless if they really are ruthless. (David is only intermittently ruthless, by the way - the picture in Samuel is of an extremely complicated individual, a man capable of the widest possible range of human emotions and experiences, from his grief at the death of Saul and Jonathan to his brutal betrayal of Uriah). Finally, David's ruthlessness isn't depicted in the Bible as despicable, but as admirable - the biblical authors apparently had a quite different approach to these matters, and seem to have viewed David as strong rather than as ruthless. You'll find a full treatment of these matters in any of the major commentaries. (And really finally: it wasn't me who wrote that sentence in the first place).PiCo (talk) 15:48, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Actually, ruthlessness is a characteristic, not the definition of a specific action.

Wikipedia is not a place for personal opinion, while actions may be construed as being ruthless, labelling someone as having ruthless ambitions is not what encyclopedias does.

Your argument is "these actions are ruthless, therefore he has ruthless ambitions". Even you acknowledge that these actions can be viewed as strong rather than ruthless. But they don't belong in the article because they're personal opinions.

ReaverFlash (talk) 16:07, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Encyclopaedia's will have some opinion in them (it's impossible otherwise) - what they should avoid is undue or unfair bias. There are 2 meanings for ruthless. (i) feeling or showing no mercy; and (ii) thorough and forceful, regardless of effect. I think it would be hard to argue against the second of these meanings in the examples cited above. Contaldo80 (talk) 16:23, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes, encyclopedias have opinions, but they must be presented in a neutral manner. Attaching a characteristic to someone is hardly neutral.

"regardless of effect" is also debatable. There are about a dozen ways you can descibe the events in David's life and a dozen characteristics can be arguably attached to him, but they are not because it is not neutral. ReaverFlash (talk) 18:44, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

I still don't agree that ruthlessness violates the neutrality view. At what stage do you eliminate all opinion from the article? I suggest you try reading it. In the intro alone it says that he was depicted as "righteous", "not without fault", "conflicted", and "lustful". All these are opinions of characteristics. It is inevitable - every fact will always have an interpretation. There are no "neutral" facts - including a fact while not including another is in a sense a selection of material. My question is why is why are we trying to remove "ruthlessness" - are we in fact pushing an alternative POV that suggests David was a good man (beloved of God) who did things as king that he had to do as part of his divinely ordained kingly duties ie "strong". If so then we need to be careful that the article doesn't descend into apologism. Contaldo80 (talk) 09:44, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Saying that other parts of the article aren't neutral does not mean that the article cannot be neutral. The Bible does mention that David is righteous, and it mentions that he has faults, but it certainly doesn't depict his ambitions as ruthless. Although other parts of the article are somewhat debatable, it does not mean that all other POV material should be left on the page.ReaverFlash (talk) 13:37, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Ok but does that then mean that we effectively accept that the Bible uses non-neutral or even biased language but can comfortably leave that in, but all other opinions are to stay out? I'm afraid I can't accept that argument. Wikipedia is a secular encyclopaedia, and not a religious one. It is perfectly valid in my mind to say that David was "ruthless", accepting that means he was thorough and forceful, regardless of effect. The onus is on you please to demonstrate that his actions were not at any time "thorough and forceful, regardless of effect". Thanks. Contaldo80 (talk)

15:10, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Actually that is only one definition of ruthless, and not even the main one. Wikipedia presents opinion, but they must be presented in a neutral way.

The Bible never mentions David as ruthless, not even with the definition you have stated. "Regardless of effect" is very much debatable. The onus is on those who want to include it to provide objective proof that this is what the Bible is depicting him as. Ruthless is not defined by mere actions, but is a characteristic. If the Bible mentions David as ruthless, it would be perfectly acceptable to include it. ReaverFlash (talk) 15:39, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Actually it's neither here nor there what the Bible describes David as. I think we've comfortably provided evidence that David can be seen as "thorough and forceful, regardless of effect" - one of the meanings of ruthless. I don't see as there's anymore to it. Contaldo80 (talk) 08:50, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
"can" be seen doesn't mean that it's objective fact. You yourself admitted that his actions could also be seen as strong. Plausible opinion =/= fact. ReaverFlash (talk) 23:31, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
The portrayal of David in Samuel certainly isn't one of ruthless ambition. In the narrative, David refuses several opportunities to kill King Saul when Saul was trying to kill him. Perhaps one could argue that he is portrayed as a ruthless warrior against the enemies of Israel, but he is portrayed as patient and relatively unambitious regarding the kingship. One would need to have a reliable secondary source that describes David as having "ruthless ambition" in order to include it anywhere in the article; otherwise you've got a personal interpretation which is original research. Even with a secondary source, describing David as having "ruthless ambition" is a minority view (possibly even a fringe theory); mentioning it in the lede is undue weight.Pasteur1967 (talk) 02:29, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
As I have patiently explained, there are 2 dictionary meanings for ruthless. (i) feeling or showing no mercy; and (ii) thorough and forceful, regardless of effect. If you can clearly demonstrate that David was not thorough and forceful, regardless of effect then it would be fair to remove the description "ruthless ambition". But really I do find it ironic that you're describing this as "personal interpretation" when you spend the first few lines of your argument giving your own interpretation of why he wasn't ruthless. Contaldo80 (talk) 15:53, 22 September 2009 (UTC)


Incidentally did a really quick search. Found several books that describe david as ruthless, so not really that fringe I'm afraid to tell you. King David: The Real Life of the Man Who Ruled Israel by Jonathan Kirsch; and The amazing adventures of the Jewish people by Max I. Dimont. Contaldo80 (talk) 16:01, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Reliable sources are not required on the talk page. There are plenty of reliable sources to support the above interpretation of David's portrayal as patient regarding the kingship, should it be included in the article. And the question is not whether or not David was capable of ruthlessness; he is certainly portrayed as ruthless in his treatment of Israel's enemies. The NPOV violation stems from the unsupported assertion that David's "ruthless ambition" was displayed throughout his life in a manner that was in opposition to his desire to serve God. The Biblical narrative asserts that David was pleasing to God throughout his life "except in the case of Uriah the Hittite." Whatever other cases of ambition or ruthlessness that might be attributed to David in the narrative cannot be legitimately contrasted to his desire to serve God.Pasteur1967 (talk) 16:30, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Now I understand. It would have been simpler to make that point clearly from the start. In which case I suggest we amend the text to say something like "The narrative also depicts him as driven at times by ruthless ambition and lust. Yet he strives to overcome this in his desire to serve God." And I know that reliable sources are not required on the talk page, I was putting them there simply as an example to illustrate the point. Contaldo80 (talk) 16:41, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
You keep re-inserting the claim of "ruthless ambition" over the objection of other editors and without citing reliable sources. "Ruthless ambition" is a much stronger, and much more negative claim than "ruthless" with respect to the enemies of Israel. In addition, the wording "at times" suggests that there were multiple cases where David's lust got the better of him. The biblical text explicitly says that God was only displeased in the "case of Uriah the Hittite." Since this is already mentioned in the lede, it is repetitive to mention it again, especially in a manner that implies multiple occurances. Wikipedia policy insists that unsourced material be removed if challenged by other editors. Do not restore the claim that David was "driven by ruthless ambition" without citing reliable sources.Pasteur1967 (talk) 15:28, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference McKenzie_on_David was invoked but never defined (see the help page).