David, King of the Jews, possessed every flaw and failing a mortal is capable of, yet men and women adored him and God showered him with many more blessings than he did Abraham or Moses. His sexual appetite and prowess were matched only by his violence, both on the battlefield and in the bedroom. A charismatic leader, exalted as "a man after God's own heart," he was also capable of deep cunning, deceit, and betrayal. Now, in King David: The Real Life of the Man Who Ruled Israel, bestselling author Jonathan Kirsch reveals this commanding individual in all his glory and fallibility.
In a taut, dramatic narrative, Kirsch brings new depth and psychological complexity to the familiar events of David's life--his slaying of the giant Goliath and his swift challenge to the weak rule of Saul, the first Jewish king; his tragic relationship with Saul's son Jonathan, David's cherished friend (and possibly lover); his celebrated reign in Jerusalem, where his dynasty would hold sway for generations. Yet for all his greatness, David was also a man in thrall to his passions--a voracious lover who secured the favors of his beautiful mistress Bathsheba by secretly arranging the death of her innocent husband; a merciless warrior who triumphed through cruelty; a troubled father who failed to protect his daughter from rape and whose beloved son Absalom rose against him in armed insurrection.
Weaving together biblical texts with centuries of interpretation and commentary, Jonathan Kirsch brings King David to life in these pages with extraordinary freshness, intimacy, and vividness of detail. At the center of this inspiring narrative stands a hero of flesh and blood--not the cartoon giant-slayer of sermons and Sunday school stories or the immaculate ruler of legend and art but a magnetic, disturbingly familiar man--a man as vibrant and compelling today as he has been for millennia.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: King David|
|Release Date: 07-22-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||King David|
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Like everyone else, from Samuel, Saul, and Jonathan down to the present, Yahweh is charmed by David. —Harold Bloom, The Book of J
Something crucial in human history begins with the biblical figure of King David. He is the original alpha male, the kind of man whose virile ambition always drives him to the head of the pack. He is the first superstar, a figure so compelling that the Bible may have originated as his royal biography. He is an authentic sex symbol, a ruggedly handsome fellow who inspires passion in both men and women, a passion expressed sometimes as hero worship and sometimes as carnal longing. He is “the quintessential winner,” as one Bible scholar puts it,1 and the biblical life story of David has always shaped what we expect of ourselves and, even more so, of the men and women who lead us.
At the heart of the Book of Samuel, where the story of David is first told, we find a work of genius that anticipates the romantic lyricism and tragic grandeur of Shakespeare, the political wile of Machiavelli, and the modern psychological insight of Freud. And, just as much as Shakespeare or Machiavelli or Freud, the frank depiction of David in the pages of the Bible has defined what it means to be a human being: King David is “a symbol of the complexity and ambiguity of human experience itself.”2
“He played exquisitely, he fought heroically, he loved titanically,” observes historian Abram Leon Sachar. “Withal he was a profoundly simple being, cheerful, despondent, selfish, generous, sinning one moment, repenting the next, the most human character of the Bible.”3
Above all, David illustra