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King David - One the most powerful rulers in the history of the ancient Near East.

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Introduction

King David One the most powerful ruler in the history of the ancient Near East established his empire on his strength of character and ingenuity. David was the youngest son of a wealthy family would receive no inheritance and used his aggressive nature to gain power through marriage, warfare and trade alliances.1 The void of political power in the declining civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt provided the ideal setting for the emergence of a dominant ruler.2 David was an militaristic expansionist who used all means necessary to control the ancient Near East, and fulfilled that void, eventually controlling from "Dan to Beersheba". His military and political genius cannot be determined completely accurately, but the evidence allows us to examine the history of one of the most powerful rulers of all time. David's ascendancy to power started with his political skills in marriage. First he married Saul's daughter, Michal, tying him with the dominant family of Israel; then he married Abigal from the house of Caleb, the dominant family in Judah. Besides being a skilled warrior, David was a wealthy landholder seeking bigger fish to fry. ...read more.

Middle

While his son's acted as chief officials, his army included foreigners such as Uriah the Hittite, indicating a weakness in the importance of tribal and family affiliations at the time.12 King David had developed an army of capable well trained troops from when he was raiding in the Philistines. Because of their history they held the utmost devotion to their King. They were his personal guard and the foundation of his overall forces.13 Also Six hundred Philistine men of Gath, the Gitities were in King David's service(2 Samuel8:18,15:18). Strategically headquartered in Jerusalem, David used his powerful standing army into an effective expansionist force. This segment of King David's troops was also complimented by the militia. He allowed for great flexibility, separating them into national battalions as opposed to tribal units by which they had formerly been composed.14 Each battalion had individual tribal units placed within them, each which supplied a quota of warriors who served in rotation for one month a year.15 All of the tribesmen weren't in the army at the same time, unless a general mobilization decree was issued. Under this arrangement, David could disperse his troops into numerous powerful units at his discretion, while having the option of summoning all his forces at any time. ...read more.

Conclusion

11 William M. Schiedewind, Society and the Promise to David (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999) 23 12 William M. Schiedewind, Society and the Promise to David (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999) 23 13 Hershel Shanks, Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple (Washington DC: Prentice Hall, 1999) 103. 14 Norman Kotker, "King David's Wars," The Quarterly Journal of Military History Winter 1989: 85 15 Norman Kotker, "King David's Wars," The Quarterly Journal of Military History Winter 1989: 85 16 Norman Kotker, "King David's Wars," The Quarterly Journal of Military History Winter 1989: 85 17 Hershel Shanks, Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple (Washington DC: Prentice Hall, 1999) 103. 18 Hershel Shanks, Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple (Washington DC: Prentice Hall, 1999) 107. 19 Robert B. Coote, Early Israel: A New Horizon (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990) 149 20 Lewis Bayles Payton, The Early History of Syria and Palestine (New York: Charles Scribner Sons, 1901) 186 21 Stefan Heym, The King David Report (Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1972) 142 22 Stefan Heym, The King David Report (Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1972) 142 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 1 ...read more.

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