1035 BCE — King David first sees Bathsheba

One of the great beauties of the Old Testament (and of antiquity in general), Bathsheba was a woman from the same tribe as King David, whose husband was Uriah the Hittite. Uriah was a mighty warrior, one of David’s 37 Mighty Men, an elite group within his armies. But when David first saw Bathsheba bathing, and lusted after her, the king quickly seduced the beauty. So far, so good – but then Bathsheba got pregnant.

Unable to compel Uriah to sleep with his wife (even a King’s power only goes so far) and thus obscure the date of the conception, David instead contrived to place Uriah in the thick of battle as many times as it took to kill him. The Hittite’s death accomplished, David married Bathsheba, and their child would become David’s heir, Solomon. But not before God sent the prophet Nathan to upbraid David for his deeds.

As mentioned in:
Hallelujah — Leonard Cohen

1063 BCE — David plays before King Saul

King Saul was the first ever King of Israel. He was, of course, appointed by the Lord, but after many decades of rule, he had lost the Lord’s favour. God thus decided to afflict him with an evil spirit, as you do; and further, tipped off the prophet Samuel to this. As you do.

Samuel went to Saul, and told him that the solution to his problem is to be found with the sons of Jesse. As it turns out, David, the youngest son of Jesse, is able to play the lyre – and his lyre-playing eases Saul’s affliction. Lacking any surviving sons, Saul appoints David his heir. As you do.

As mentioned in:
Hallelujah — Leonard Cohen