A complete account of the life of King David can be found in the Old Testament starting in 1 Samuel 16, the entire book of 2 Samuel, and 1 Kings 1-2. A slightly edited version of this story, along with some additional specifics of the King's reign, is also found in 1 Chronicles, particularly beginning in Chapter 11.
David was born in Bethlehem as the eighth and youngest son of Jesse. After Saul's disobedience to God (see 1 Sam 15), the Lord ordered the Prophet Samuel to Bethlehem to visit Jesse and anoint one of his son's as the new king. As the youngest, David was left in the fields to tend the sheep while the holy man was visiting his father; however, the Lord revealed to Samuel that none of the first seven sons was his Chosen One, and Samuel inquired of Jesse whether he had another son. Then David was called, and Samuel was told to anoint him. A notable quote concerning David's righteousness occurs in this passage:
- But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his [i.e. Eliab, another of Jesse's sons] height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Sam 16:7) 1
Thus David became the Anointed One of the Lord at a young age. Soon he was called upon to visit the court of Saul, who, having forsaken the Lord, was tormented by demons. David was already a talented harp player, and the music he made soothed Saul. Saul liked David and made him his armor-bearer; David also became fast friends with Saul’s son Jonathan.
Flight from Saul
David’s popularity among the people soon grew; their refrain “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands,