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The Shepherd Boy who Slayed Goliath and became King David


King David was one of the most significant figures in the history of ancient Israel and one of the most important figures in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religious traditions. He is best known as the second King of Israel, following Saul, and as the father of Solomon, who succeeded him as King. However, while Saul is generally regarded as the first King of Israel, Abimelech (the son of Gideon) is also referred to as a king in Judges 9:6 and would have preceded Saul[2].

This paper is about King David, his life, his loves, his family, his legacy, and more, although due to the length of his life and the extensive amount of information available about him, it will not cover every detail or nuance, but will provide an overview of his most notable achievements and events.

It is perfectly possible that some individuals or groups may have different perspectives or interpretations on certain aspects of David’s life, and some details may be debated or omitted depending on the source or context.

Picture Credit: David and Goliath by Michelangelo, on the Sistine Chapel ceiling
Attribution: Michelangelo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL:,_David_and_Goliath_02.jpg

Some things about King David are verifiable, such as:

The rest that is known of David comes from biblical literature, the historicity of which has been extensively challenged[5], and there is little detail about David that is concrete and undisputed.[6]

King David was the second ruler (or third, if you accept Abimelech’s status) of the United Kingdom of ancient Israel and Judah. He lived over 3000 years ago. Saul, who preceded David, was the ruler of the United Kingdom for about 40 years.

David was born in Bethlehem and was the youngest son of Jesse, a farmer and shepherd. So far as I have been able to determine, King David’s mother is not mentioned in the Bible, nor is it said to be known from any other historical sources. It seems widely suggested that the Bible only provides the name of David’s father and mentions his brothers but does not give any information about his mother, but this may not be true as David’s mother is named as Nitzevet[7] in the Talmud.[8] According to the Bible, David had at least eight siblings: Eliab, Abinadab, Shimma, Nethaneel, Raddai, Ozem, Zeruiah, and Abigail.

David first gained fame as a young man when he killed the Philistine giant Goliath with a single stone from his sling. This victory helped establish his reputation as a skilled warrior and leader, and King Saul soon enlisted him to serve as a military commander. However, David’s success on the battlefield eventually led to a rift with Saul, and David was forced to flee into the wilderness to escape Saul’s wrath.

During his time in the wilderness, David gained a loyal following of soldiers and became a skilled guerrilla fighter. He also formed alliances with neighbouring tribes and nations, including the Philistines, Moabites, and Ammonites. After Saul’s death, David was anointed King of both Israel and Judah, and he reigned for 40 years.

David is best known for his military accomplishments, including his conquest of Jerusalem, which he made the capital of the United Kingdom. He expanded the Kingdom’s territory and defeated numerous enemies. In addition to his military prowess, David was known for his religious devotion and was credited with writing many of the Psalms in the Hebrew Bible.

Personal Life
David was born in Bethlehem, a small town in the Judean hills, and was the youngest son of Jesse. He was a shepherd boy whom Samuel chose to be the future King of Israel.

Title: Jean-Léon Gérôme‘s depiction of Bathsheba bathing watched by David.
Attribution: Jean-Léon Gérôme, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL:,_by_Jean-L%C3%A9on_G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me.jpg

He had a tumultuous personal life, including relationships with his wives and children. He had a scandalous affair with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers (Uriah the Hittite), which led to Uriah’s death and caused great controversy. Nevertheless, he is remembered as a great King, a skilled warrior, and a man of faith who was favoured by God. He had at least eight wives, including Bathsheba, whom he married after he had her husband Uriah killed in battle. Bathsheba later gave birth to David’s son Solomon, who succeeded him as King. David’s other children included Absalom, who rebelled against him and was killed, and Amnon, who raped his half-sister Tamar.

Besides Absolom, David had many children, including Adonijah, Amnon, Solomon, and Tamar. His descendants became known as the Davidic dynasty, and the promised messiah was believed to be from his line.

Notable Events and Controversies in David’s Personal Life
Here are a few examples:

  • David’s relationship with Jonathan: David had a close friendship with Jonathan, the son of King Saul, although Jonathan’s father was David’s sworn enemy. Some scholars have suggested that David and Jonathan’s relationship may have been romantic in nature, although this is a matter of debate. Regardless, their bond was seen as a model of true friendship and loyalty.
  • David’s affair with Bathsheba: One of the most controversial episodes in David’s life was his affair with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of his soldiers. David saw Bathsheba bathing on a rooftop and became enamoured with her, even though she was married. He arranged to have Uriah killed in battle so that he could marry Bathsheba and then tried to cover up his actions. When the prophet Nathan confronted David about his sin, David repented and acknowledged his wrongdoing.
  • David’s family conflicts: David’s family life was marked by conflict and strife. His son Absalom rebelled against him and tried to overthrow him as king, leading to a bitter civil war. David’s son Amnon raped Tamar, his half-sister, leading to her brother Absalom’s revenge by having Amnon killed.

These events and controversies provide a nuanced picture of David’s personal life and show that he was not without his faults and flaws. However, they also highlight his capacity for repentance, forgiveness, and growth, which are key themes in his story.

Before Becoming King…
According to the Bible, David was a shepherd and musician before he became King. He rose to fame as a young man when he defeated the Philistine giant Goliath with a sling and a stone. He then became a military leader in the service of King Saul and won many battles against Israel’s enemies.

According to the Bible, David was born into a family of humble origins and grew up in a rural setting, where he learned the skills of herding and farming.

Despite his humble beginnings, David was chosen by God to be the future King of Israel. This was revealed to the prophet Samuel, who was instructed by God to anoint David as king while Saul was still on the throne. Samuel travelled to Bethlehem, met with Jesse and his sons, and eventually selected David as the future King.

Title: King David, the King of Israel
Attribution: Gerard van Honthorst, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL:,_the_King_of_Israel.jpg

As a shepherd, David learned valuable skills that would later serve him well as a warrior and ruler. He spent long hours in the fields caring for his flocks, and he became skilled at using a sling and a staff to defend his animals from predators.

In terms of David’s family and upbringing, the Bible provides some information about his brothers and his father, Jesse but does not give much detail about his early life. We know that David had several older brothers, including Eliab, Abinadab, and Shammah, and that Jesse was a farmer and shepherd like his son.

David’s humble origins and rural upbringing were significant factors in his later success as a king and warrior. His experiences as a shepherd taught him important leadership skills, resourcefulness, and courage and helped shape his identity as a man of the people.

Regarding the evidence of David’s humble origins and rural upbringing, the Bible is the primary source of information on David’s life, providing numerous references to his life as a shepherd. For example, in 1 Samuel 16:11, when the prophet Samuel comes to Jesse’s house to anoint the future king, David is described as “ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features,” but “a shepherd boy.” Similarly, in 1 Samuel 17:34-37, when David volunteers to fight Goliath, he tells King Saul that he has experience fighting lions and bears while tending his father’s flocks. These passages suggest that David was indeed a shepherd and had experience caring for animals in a rural setting.

As for the evidence of David’s selection by God as the future king, the primary source of information is again the Bible. The story of Samuel anointing David as king is told in 1 Samuel 16:1-13, and is recounted in detail. According to the story, Samuel was instructed by God to anoint the future King from among the sons of Jesse, and when he saw David, he knew that he was the one. The story goes on to describe how David was anointed with oil in the presence of his brothers and the prophet Samuel and how the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. While this account may not be verifiable by modern standards of evidence, it is considered a foundational story in the history and theology of Judaism and Christianity and is widely accepted as historical fact by believers.

While the primary sources of information on David’s early life and selection as King are religious texts, these texts are considered to be authoritative by millions of people around the world and provide valuable insights into David’s life and legacy.

Title: David and Goliath, a color lithograph by Osmar Schindler (c. 1888)
Attribution: Osmar Schindler (1869-1927), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL:

David’s fight with Goliath – what was it about?
The story of David and Goliath is one of the best-known and beloved stories in the Hebrew Bible. The encounter between the young shepherd David and the giant Philistine warrior Goliath is a tale of courage, faith, and divine intervention.

According to the story, the Philistines and the Israelites were at war, and Goliath, a champion warrior from the Philistine army, challenged the Israelites to send out a champion to fight him in single combat. The Israelites were terrified of Goliath, who was said to be over nine feet tall and heavily armoured, and no one was brave enough to face him.

However, although still a young boy at the time, David offered to fight Goliath. He was initially dismissed by King Saul and others who thought he was too young and inexperienced, but David was undeterred. He went to the battlefield armed only with a sling and a few stones and confronted Goliath.

Goliath was insulted that the Israelites had sent a boy to fight him, and he taunted David, saying, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” But David remained confident and replied, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”

David then took out a stone from his bag, slung it, and struck Goliath in the forehead, causing him to fall to the ground. David quickly ran over, took Goliath’s sword, and beheaded him with it.

The story of David and Goliath is often seen as a symbol of faith and courage in the face of overwhelming odds. It has been retold and celebrated in art, literature, and popular culture for centuries and continues to inspire people today.

The fight between David and Goliath was part of a larger battle between the Israelites and the Philistines. The exact location of the battle is not specified in the biblical account, but it is believed to have taken place in the Valley of Elah, which is located between the Philistine city of Gath and the Israelite city of Bethlehem.

The battle between the Israelites and the Philistines was a long-standing conflict, and the two sides had been engaged in warfare for many years. In the lead-up to the battle between David and Goliath, the Philistines had encamped on one hill, while the Israelites were on another hill, with the valley of Elah in between them.

Goliath, the champion warrior of the Philistines, had challenged the Israelites to send out a champion to fight him in single combat. The winner of the duel would determine the outcome of the battle. The Israelites were afraid of Goliath, who was a giant of a man, and no one was willing to fight him.

At this point, David (still a young shepherd boy at the time) offered to fight Goliath. Although he was greatly outnumbered and outmatched, David was not afraid, as he had great faith in God and believed that God would help him in battle. The fight between David and Goliath was a pivotal moment in the larger conflict between the Israelites and the Philistines. It was a moment of great courage and faith on David’s part, and it helped to turn the tide of the battle in favour of the Israelites.

King David’s Reign and Accomplishments
Rise to Power
David rose to prominence in the court of King Saul as a skilled musician and warrior. He gained a reputation as a brave fighter and military leader and was admired by many.

After Saul’s death, David became king of the tribe of Judah and eventually unified all twelve tribes of Israel under his rule.

Religious Devotion and Artistic Talents
David was known for his deep religious devotion and close relationship with God. He is credited with writing many of the Psalms, which are still used in Jewish and Christian worship today.

In addition to his writing, David was also a skilled musician and is said to have played the lyre and other instruments. David’s religious and artistic talents were important in shaping his identity as a man of faith and a leader of his people.

Accomplishments as a Ruler
David established a powerful and stable kingdom, which was marked by prosperity, growth, and military might.

He centralised the government and established a strong military, which helped to secure the borders of the Kingdom and protect it from external threats.

David was known for his wise and just rule and was respected by his people for his leadership and vision. Under his rule, Israel became a major regional power and enjoyed a period of stability and growth.

King David’s Military Conquests
During his reign as King of Israel, David led numerous successful military campaigns, including battles against the Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, and others. One of David’s most famous military conquests was the capture of Jerusalem, which had been held by the Jebusites. David’s forces were able to infiltrate the city through a water shaft and capture it, making it the capital of Israel and an important religious and political centre.

The most significant battles were:

  • Ammonites and Arameans: David defeated the Ammonites[9] and Arameans[10] in several battles and conquered their cities (2 Samuel 10). The Ammonite war began when the Ammonites insulted David’s messengers, who had come to offer condolences on the death of their king. David sent an army under the command of his general Joab to fight against the Ammonites, and they were eventually defeated. In the Aramean war, David fought against the Arameans, who were a group of tribes that lived in the region that is now modern-day Syria. The Bible provides several accounts of battles fought against the Arameans, and David was able to defeat them and establish control over their territory.
  • Edomites: David defeated the Edomites[11] and conquered their territory (2 Samuel 8:13-14). The Edomites were descendants of Esau, the brother of Jacob. David’s army established garrisons in Edom to maintain control over the region.
  • Moabites: David defeated the Moabites[12] and made them pay tribute to Israel (2 Samuel 8:2). The Moabites were descendants of Lot, the nephew of Abraham. The Bible does not provide many details about this war, but it is known that David’s army was successful.
  • Philistines: David fought several battles against the Philistines throughout his reign and often successfully drove them back (2 Samuel 5:17-25, 8:1). David famously defeated the giant Philistine[13] champion Goliath with a sling and a stone (1 Samuel 17).
  • Jebusites: David conquered the Jebusite[14] city of Jerusalem and made it his capital (2 Samuel 5:6-10).

On Becoming King…
After Saul’s death, David was anointed as King of Judah, and later, he became the King of a united Israel, which he ruled for 40 years, from approximately 1010-970 BC.

He is known for his military prowess, but he is also credited with transforming Jerusalem into a religious and cultural centre. He was a strong and capable ruler who expanded the Kingdom’s borders and established Jerusalem as its capital.

Title: Rembrandt, c. 1650: Saul and David.
Attribution: Rembrandt or workshop, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL:

David’s Psalms and Relationship with God
David was a deeply religious man who was known for his devotion to God. He is credited with writing many of the Psalms in the Hebrew Bible, which are still widely read and sung today. David’s faith in God was a central aspect of his life and identity. He is often described in the Bible as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14) and is credited with establishing Jerusalem as a centre of worship and religious practice.

  • David’s Psalms: David’s writings in the Book of Psalms provide a window into his deep relationship with God. Many of the Psalms express David’s emotions and feelings of devotion, gratitude, and awe towards God. They also reflect his struggles with sin, doubt, and suffering and his trust in God’s faithfulness and mercy.
  • David’s Religious Practices: David was known for his commitment to religious practices and rituals. He established the Tabernacle in Jerusalem and brought the Ark of the Covenant, which was considered the symbol of God’s presence among his people. David also appointed priests and Levites to serve in the Temple and made provisions for the upkeep of religious ceremonies and festivals.
  • David’s Prophetic Role: David is also seen as a prophetic figure in Jewish and Christian tradition. In the Book of Acts, the Apostle Peter describes David as a prophet who foresaw the coming of Christ and spoke about him in his Psalms (Acts 2:29-36). David’s prophetic role underscores his importance in the history and theology of Judaism and Christianity.

Overall, David’s relationship with God was a central aspect of his life and legacy, and his writings in the Psalms continue to inspire and challenge readers today. His deep faith and commitment to religious practice helped to shape Israel’s religious and cultural identity and established Jerusalem as a centre of worship and devotion.

IL09 1942 King David's Tomb קבר דוד המלך, Mt-Zion, Old City, Jerusalem ירושלים
Title: IL09 1942 King David’s Tomb קבר דוד המלך, Mt-Zion, Old City, Jerusalem ירושלים” by Templar1307 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

King David’s Death
David died at the age of 70, after ruling Israel and Judah for 40 years. He was succeeded by his son Solomon, who became one of Israel’s most famous and powerful Kings. King David was one of the most powerful and successful kings in Israel’s history and had established a powerful and stable kingdom.

The Bible provides no information on David’s health in the years leading up to his death. He may have suffered from age-related ailments or other health problems, but there is no way to know for sure. Also, the Bible does not specify the cause of David’s death. Some scholars have speculated that he may have died of natural causes, while others have suggested that he may have been killed in battle or assassinated. However, there is no definitive evidence to support any of these theories.

The Bible does not provide any information on the details of David’s funeral, such as where or when it was held, or who attended. However, given his status as one of Israel’s greatest kings, it is likely that his funeral was a significant event and was attended by many people.

While there is a paucity of information available on the circumstances of David’s death, his legacy as a powerful and influential leader continues to endure.

King David’s Legacy
David’s legacy has been profound and enduring, and he is regarded as one of the most important figures in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic history. In Judaism, he is revered as the greatest King of Israel and is known as the “sweet singer of Israel” for his role in composing the Psalms. In Christianity, he is regarded as a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ, and his genealogy is traced in the New Testament. In Islam, he is known as Dawud and is considered a prophet and a righteous ruler. David’s legacy continues to have an impact today, and he is still considered a central figure in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religious traditions.

David is best known for his military campaigns, including his defeat of the Philistine champion Goliath and his conquest of Jerusalem. He also fought against neighbouring nations such as Moab, Ammon, and Edom and established a powerful and respected military.

He is traditionally considered the author of many of the Psalms, which are praise and worship hymns in the Jewish and Christian traditions.

The Story of David
The story of David, as presented in the Bible, has been the subject of much interpretation, discussion, dispute and debate among Jews, Christians, and Muslims over the centuries. While the basic outline of David’s life and achievements is widely accepted by believers, several different perspectives and interpretations have emerged. For example, some scholars have questioned the historical accuracy of certain aspects of the Davidic narrative, such as the story of his battle with Goliath or the size and power of his Kingdom. Others have debated the nature of David’s relationship with God, his accomplishments as a military leader, or his personal character and morality.

In addition, other religious traditions have interpreted the story of David differently. For example, Jewish tradition views David as a model of faith and devotion and a symbol of Israel’s national identity. Christian tradition has often focused on David as a type or foreshadowing of Christ, emphasising his prophetic role and his connection to the Messiah. Muslim tradition also recognises David as a prophet and a leader and considers him a key figure in the history of monotheism.

While there may be differences in interpretation and perspective among different groups, the story of David remains a foundational and influential part of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim history and theology.

David’s Enduring Impact on Jewish, Christian, and Islamic History and Theology
David is considered a key figure in the history and theology of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He is seen as a model of faith and devotion, as well as a symbol of national and religious identity.

  • In Judaism, David is revered as the greatest king of Israel and the founder of the Davidic dynasty, which would eventually produce the Messiah. Many of the Psalms written by David continue to be used in Jewish worship and prayer.
  • In Christianity, David is often seen as a type or foreshadowing of Christ and is considered a prophetic figure who foresaw the coming of the Messiah. He is also recognised as a significant figure in the lineage of Jesus, who is often referred to as the “Son of David”.
  • In Islam, David is recognised as a prophet and a ruler and is known for his wisdom and justice. He is mentioned in the Qur’an and is considered an important figure in Islamic history and theology.

David’s Continued Influence in Art, Literature, and Music
David has been a popular subject in art, literature, and music for centuries:

  • In art, he is often depicted in regal poses, with a crown and sceptre, or in scenes of battle or triumph. Some of the most famous works of art featuring David include Michelangelo’s sculpture of David and Caravaggio’s painting of David and Goliath.
  • In literature, David has been the subject of numerous books, poems, and plays. Some of the most famous works include John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” which features David as a key character, and James Hogg’s “The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner,” which tells the story of a man who believes himself to be the reincarnation of King David.
  • In music, David’s influence can be seen in the numerous musical works that have been inspired by his life and writings, such as Handel’s “Messiah,” which includes several musical settings of the Psalms, and Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah,” which references the story of David and Bathsheba.

Concluding Words
David is often seen as a symbol of strength, courage, and faith, and his story continues to inspire people today. His bravery in the face of danger, his commitment to justice and righteousness, and his deep faith in God are all qualities that are admired and emulated by many. In addition, David’s story serves as a reminder that even those who are flawed and imperfect can still achieve greatness through their faith and perseverance. His struggles with sin and temptation are a testament to the challenges that all humans face in their journey through life, and his ultimate redemption and forgiveness offer hope and inspiration to all who seek to follow in his footsteps.

King David was a remarkable figure in ancient history, known for his military prowess, religious devotion, and artistic talents. His legacy has endured for thousands of years and left a lasting impact on Jewish, Christian, and Islamic history and theology. His life was marked by military conquests, religious devotion, and personal struggles, and his story continues to inspire people around the world.

David’s accomplishments as a ruler were significant, including his expansion of the Kingdom’s borders and establishment of Jerusalem as its capital. He was also known for his religious devotion and his role in composing many of the Psalms in the Hebrew Bible.

However, David’s personal life was not without controversy, and his relationships with his wives and children were often complicated and tumultuous. His affair with Bathsheba, in particular, caused great controversy and had lasting consequences.

Despite these challenges, King David’s legacy has endured for thousands of years. He is revered as a symbol of strength, courage, and faith, and his story has inspired countless works of art, literature, and music. From his early days as a shepherd boy to his reign as one of Israel’s greatest kings, David’s story is one of triumph and perseverance, and his impact on history is immeasurable.

From his early days as a shepherd boy to his reign as one of Israel’s greatest Kings, David’s story is one of strength, courage, and devotion to God, and his impact on history is immeasurable.

Title: A singing and dancing David leads the Ark of the Covenant, c. 1650.
Attribution: Attributed to Pieter van Lint, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Page URL:

Sources and Further Reading


YouTube/TED Videos and Films:

  • The True Story Of David & Goliath | Naked Archaeologist, at:
  • The Story of David the Shepherd | Full episode | 100 Bible Stories, at:
  • Malcolm Gladwell: The unheard story of David and Goliath – TED, at:
  • The Complete Story of David: King of Israel, at:
  • 5 Things You Didn’t Know About King David (Biblical Stories Explained), at:
  • David and Bathsheba, a 1951 historical Technicolor epic film produced by 20th Century Fox and starring Gregory Peck as King David and Susan Hayward as Bathsheba.
  • David and Goliath (Italian: David e Golia), a 1960 Italian film starring Orsen Welles, Ivica Pajer and Hilton Edwards.
  • King David, a 1985 American Biblical epic film released by Paramount, starring Richard Gere, Edward Woodward, Alice Krige, Denis Quilley, Cherie Lunghi, Hurd Hatfield, John Castle, Jean-Marc Barr, Christopher Malcolm, and Gina Bellman.
  • A Story of David, a 1961 British-Israeli drama film starring Jeff Chandler, Basil Sydney, Donald Pleasance and Peter Arne. It was one of the first films made for television.
  • The Story of David, a 1976 two-part, 3.2-hour American television film by Columbia Pictures starring Timothy Bottoms as the young David, Keith Michell as the older David, Anthony Quayle as King Saul, and Jane Seymour as Bathsheba.

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End Notes and Explanations

  1. Source: Compiled from research using information at the sources stated throughout the text, together with information provided by machine-generated artificial intelligence at: [chat] and
  2. It is worth noting that the term “king” can be used in different ways in the Bible, and not all of the individuals referred to as kings had the same kind of authority or legitimacy. Abimelech‘s reign, for example, was not divinely appointed like that of Saul and David. Additionally, some scholars have debated the historical accuracy of the biblical account of Abimelech and his reign. So while Abimelech is referred to as a king in the Bible, he may not be considered the “first” king of Israel in the same way that Saul is. The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh records that David was the third king of Israel (Source:
  3. Source:  Ben Halpetha, Jose (1971). M.D. Yerushalmi (ed.). Seder Olam Rabba (in Hebrew). Gil Publishers, in affiliation with the Haredi Youth Organization. OCLC 233090728., s.v. Seder Olam Zutta, p. 107 (who gives the year of his ascension as 2875 anno mundi). Cited at:
  4. Sources: (a)“New reading of Mesha Stele could have far-reaching consequences for biblical history”, and (b) Amanda Borschel-Dan. “High-tech study of ancient stone suggests new proof of King David’s dynasty”The Times of Israel. Cited at:
  5. Source: Writing and Rewriting the Story of Solomon in Ancient Israel; by Isaac Kalimi; page 32; Cambridge University Press, 2018; ISBN 9781108471268. Cited at:
  6. Source: Moore, Megan Bishop; Kelle, Brad E. (2011). Biblical History and Israel’s Past. Eerdmans, 2011, pp. 232–233. ISBN 978-0-8028-6260-0. Cited at:
  7. Nitzevet bat Adael was, according to Hanan bar Rava, the mother of David with her husband, Jesse.
  8. Explanation: The Talmud is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law and Jewish theology, a record of the rabbinic debates in the 2nd-5th century on the teachings of the Torah. The Torah is the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. In that sense, Torah means the same as the Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses. It is also known in the Jewish tradition as the Written Torah. For Jews is the core part of the Jewish faith and the source of the main laws and ethics.
  9. Explanation: Ammon was an ancient Semitic-speaking nation occupying the east of the Jordan River, between the torrent valleys of Arnon and Jabbok, in present-day Jordan. The chief city of the country was Rabbah or Rabbat Ammon, site of the modern city of Amman, Jordan’s capital. Milcom and Molech are named in the Hebrew Bible as the gods of Ammon. The people of this kingdom are called “Children of Ammon” or “Ammonites“. (Cited at:
  10. Explanation: The Arameans were an ancient Semitic-speaking people in the Near East, first recorded in historical sources from the late 12th century BCE. The Aramean homeland, sometimes known as the land of Aram, encompassed central regions of modern Syria. At the beginning of the 1st millennium BCE, a number of Aramean-ruling states were established throughout the western regions of the ancient Near East. The most notable was Aram-Damascus, which reached its height in the second half of the 9th century BCE during the reign of King Hazael. (Cited at: (
  11. Explanation: Edom was an ancient kingdom in Transjordan, located between Moab to the northeast, the Arabah to the west, and the Arabian Desert to the south and east. Most of its former territory is now divided between present-day southern Israel and Jordan. Edom appears in written sources relating to the late Bronze Age and to the Iron Age in the Levant. (Cited at:
  12. Explanation: Moab is the name of an ancient Levantine kingdom whose territory is today located in the modern state of Jordan. The land is mountainous and lies alongside much of the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. The existence of the Kingdom of Moab is attested to by numerous archaeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabite victory over an unnamed son of King Omri of Israel, an episode also noted in 2 Kings 3. The Moabite capital was Dibon. According to the Hebrew Bible, Moab was often in conflict with its Israelite neighbours to the west. (Cited at:
  13. Explanation: The Philistines, known for their biblical conflict with the Israelites, were an ancient people who lived on the south coast of Canaan from the 12th century BC until 604 BC, when their polity, after having already been subjugated for centuries by the Neo-Assyrian Empire, was finally destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar II of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. After becoming part of his empire and its successor, the Persian Empire, they lost their distinct ethnic identity and disappeared from the historical and archaeological record by the late 5th century BC. Cited at:
  14. Explanation: The Jebusites were, according to the books of Joshua and Samuel from the Tanakh, a Canaanite tribe that inhabited Jerusalem, then called Jebus prior to the conquest initiated by Joshua (Joshua 11:3, Joshua 12:10) and completed by King David (2 Samuel 5:6–10), although a majority of scholars agree that the Book of Joshua holds little historical value for early Israel and most likely reflects a much later period. The Books of Kings as well as 1 Chronicles state that Jerusalem was known as Jebus prior to this event (1 Chronicles 11:4). The identification of Jebus with Jerusalem is sometimes disputed by scholars. According to some biblical chronologies, the city was conquered by King David in 1003 BC. The identification of Jebus with Jerusalem has been disputed, principally by Niels Peter Lemche. Supporting his case, every non-biblical mention of Jerusalem found in the ancient Near East refers to the city as “Jerusalem”. Cited at:


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