I’ve read that some scholars believe that King David either did not exist, or was not quite the person described in the Bible. It is hard to prove from a ‘scientific’ standpoint. All we have to prove that anyone existed in ancient times are oral traditions or written evidence.
I looked up in my Study Bible to find the author of the book of 2 Samuel, which includes the story of David. They don’t know for sure, but it is suggested that it may have been Zabud, son of Nathan the Prophet.
David was the greatest king of Israel. He was a ‘man after God’s heart’, he wrote most of the inspirational Psalms, he was a great warrior. Basically in God’s eyes and in the eyes of the people of Israel, and all Jews, he was the greatest hero, maybe equal or next to Moses.
But – he committed a huge sin, especially for a great hero. He lusted after Bathsheba, and ordered that her husband be put on the front lines in the war, where he was sure to be killed. David not only took another man’s wife, but was sneaky about getting rid of him. David was exposed and confronted by a messenger appointed by God. Who did God use to confront David? It was Nathan the prophet, whose son Zabud (some people believe) wrote David’s story.
Ok, in those days, kings were pretty much autonomous, they had total power which included the writing of history. History has traditionally been written by the victors, or at least by the people in power. So my point is this – If the story of David and Bathsheba really happened, my guess is that David as king would not want it in the official record. It’s an embarrassing story, especially for someone who’s supposed to be a great hero. But, the fact that it IS in the Bible makes me think that maybe it is true. Maybe it really did happen the way the Bible tells it, because all of the blemishes and embarrassing details are in there. David’s line was in power for a long time after him, there were many years it could have been taken out, but it stayed.
Next: Gospel – An Unexpected Title for the Story of Jesus