King David, the second king of the Israelites, had one of the
biggest influences on the advancement of the Israeli nation. Early
in his life when he was 17, Davied defeated the great Philistine Goliath,
a giant that seemed invincible. This story is alluded to often when
concerning an underdog's defeat over a great adversary.
While reigning as king of Israel, David founded the City of David in Jerusalem
and built fortifications to hold the city against enemies. He defeated
the Philistines, the strongest of Jerusalem's
neighbors, to expand the empire. King David defeated other neighbors
such as the Moabites, the Edomites, the Ammonites,
and the Arameans. Although the wars started as defensive battles
for the Israelites, they conquered these tribes to further expand the empire.
Once his nation was fortified and stable, David began devising a
government, the first for that area. He declared Jerusalem as the
center of all secular and religious actions of the Israelites. In
this city, he set up many institutions to manage the military, religious,
and civil actions. David desired to build a great temple in the old
city of Jerusalem, bu he was told by the prophet Natan that his son would
take care of that task. He changed the Jewish religion by making hymns
to the Ark of the Convenant and performing public dispays of faith.
David is also known as one of Jesus' ancestors. Through relation,
David helped give rise to a religion practiced world wide.