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David served for a time in the house of King Saul, but for ten years David was little more than a refugee fleeing before the wrath of the king when it became widely known that Samuel had withdrawn the divine mandate of king- ship from Saul and had bestowed it upon this youth. Saul had lost the moral authority to be king, but he retained the actual power of kingship until his death in battle against the Philistines at Mount Gilboa.

Upon the death of King Saul, David was consecrated king of Israel on the strength of his selection by Samuel, but this was recognized only by the tribe of Judah and the city of Hebron.

Ishbaal, son of Saul, was anointed king over the rest of Israel, and for seven years the land was torn by civil war between the allies of the house of David and the allies of the house of Saul, but the house of David gradu- ally prevailed.

And the house of Saul itself was divided when Saul's general, Abner, after a quarrel with Ishbaal, reconciled with David and swore to aid David in bringing the rest of Israel to accept David as king over them.

After that, Ishbaal the king of Israel was slain while he slept, and the head was brought to David by the murderers, thinking they would be given a large reward for slaying David's mortal enemy. But David had the murder- ers themselves put to death, because he had no respect for their deed of killing an innocent man in his sleep.

Now David's power in Israel was unchallenged, and all the tribes of Israel came to him in Hebron and offered fealty to David as their king. And David was thirty years of age when he became King of the whole House of Israel.

Then David moved against the Jebusites, and captured the city of Jerusalem after defeating them. To Jerusalem David moved his wives and concubines and sons and daughters, and built the city up as the capital of Israel.

Then David defeated the Philistines at Baal-perazim, and again in the val- ley of Rephaim from Gibeon to Gezer. Of the Moabites David demanded trib- ute after defeating them, and he also defeated Hadadezer, king of Zobah, and the Arameans of Damascus who aided him.

After David's victory in the Valley of Salt, the Edomites became David's subjects as a close commonwealth of Israel rather than merely tributary to it, as befitting their origins as the descendants of Esau, twin brother of Israel.

David defeated the Ammonites outside their capital city of Rabbah, but spared the city, while defeating their mercenaries the Arameans at Medeba.

There was a famine that ran for three straight years. King David made his inquiries, and the LORD answered, *"It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites."*

The Gibeonites were all that remained of the Amorites. And Saul was only doing what the LORD told the Israelites to do in Deuteronomy 20:

"But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee"

Nevertheless King David called the Gibeonites in and asked them what he could do to make them whole again.

They didn't want any gold or silver from Saul's estate. Instead they said, "The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul."

Nowadays Christians rely on the merits of Christ being hanged up unto the Lord once and for all to allay God's wrath. But back in David's time, the sons of the previous king were hanged up unto the Lord to allay his wrath.

This had an additional benefit in that David didn't have to worry about these sons of Saul intriguing for his throne as sons of deposed kings are wont to do. And this whole thing about God sending a famine until they were killed was a very convenient excuse.

"So the king took the two sons of Rizpah and the five sons of Michal, which they bore unto Saul, and delivered them to the Gibeonites. They hanged them on the hill before the LORD and were put to death in the beginning of the barley harvest.

And after David took the bones of the hanged men and buried them with the bones of Saul and Jonathan, God was "intreated for the land".

In other words, God accepted seven human sacrifices as atonement for Saul carrying out his own commandment to bring total genocide to the Amorites.

When David invaded the the land of the Geshurites, the Gezrites, and the Amalekites he left no man or woman alive. He conquered Rabbah and Ammon, and put the people of those cities under saws and harrows and axes of iron and made their dead bodies pass through a brick kiln.

David committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of a loyal officer named Uriah, and tried to cover it up. When this sin was in danger of being exposed, David him Uriah killed on the battlefield by other officers in order to obtain Bathsheba as his wife.

On his sick bed he ordered a beautiful young girl named Abishag the Shunamite to stay in bed with him and try to cure his sexual impotence. On David's death bed he broke his promise to Shimei not to kill him, and arranged to have him murdered.

After reigning over the House of Judah for forty years, and over all of the House of Israel for thirty-three years, King David died in 970 BCE, and he was succeeded by his son Solomon.

David's harem of forty women also passed to his son. And it was written in the chronicles of the kings of the House of Israel that King David did right in the eyes of Yahweh, that David was a man after Yahweh's own heart, that he was an angel with a heart perfect with Yahweh, and that evil had not been found in David all his days.

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