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David and Goliath
    David first showed signs of his courageous future when he challenged the monstrous Goliath of Gath, a nine-foot tall Philistine warrior around 1020 B.C.E . After watching the most skilled Israelite soldiers grovel in fear for forty days, David decided to take matters into his own hands. Only armed with a stick and some stones, he walked out onto the field to challenge the beast of the man. Goliath, seeing the small boy, laughed at the thought. David, however, was determined in his cause. He appealed to God to protect him and in His name, formed a primitive slingshot and killed Goliath. This was an extremely significant event for two reasons. It led to a rout of the Philistines by the Israelites, and it brought about Saul’s attention. Saul took David as the commander of his troops, and David formed a close bond with Saul’s son, Jonathon.

David and the Philistines
    Israel fought several battles against the Philistines during the later years of Saul and the early years of David. Before David became king he commanded several victories against the Philistine people. He also fought other tribes, however, who offered resistance against Israel. David had great success as a military leader in those battles. Around 1000 BCE, David fought a tribe called the Amalekites and was successful. At the same time that David was fighting the Amalekites, Saul commanded an army against the Philistines on Mt. Gilboa. In this battle Jonathon was killed. Jonathon was one of Saul’s sons, all of whom were also killed in the battle. After hearing that his sons had been killed, Saul killed himself. Although the death of Jonathon, who had been like a brother to David, and Saul greatly saddened David, it brought him to power among the Israelites.


David Unifying Judah and Israel
    When David was about thirty years old, he had ruled over Judah for about seven years and six months. He ruled Judah while Ish-Boshet, a son of Saul, ruled over Israel. Abner, son of Ner, had anointed Ish-Boshet king of Israel. Israel and Judah fought each other, with David’s dynasty (Judah) growing stronger and more powerful, and Saul’s dynasty (Israel) getting weaker. After Abner had a conflict with Ish-Boshet, he approached David and made a pact with him. This enabled David to unite the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and rule over all Israel. Joab, David’s army commander, killed Abner without David’s knowledge as he was leaving from David. Ish-Bonet was soon killed and all the tribes of Israel anointed David as their king. The most important thing that David then did was to establish a capital city of Israel, which was known as Jerusalem.