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Publisher's Summary

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, best-selling 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. 

©2000 Jonathan Kirsch (P)2000 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Both educates and entertains." (Publishers Weekly)

"[A] splendid biography....An eminently readable account of perhaps the best-known and most popular of all biblical heroes." (Los Angeles Times)  

What listeners say about King David

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King David: A Homosexual

This work openly spins the Bible to portray King David as a homosexual. I can not recommend this work.

3 people found this helpful

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King David

This book should be torn up!! Worst book that I . started to read. Throw it out

2 people found this helpful

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Very Negatively Biased

There were some interesting perspectives but overall very negatively biased and condescending. Made it very hard to get through the book.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Intriguing History of David

I found this audiobook fascinating because of its in-depth review of David using various translations of the Old Testament with clarifying information from other religious sources. The best part of this book was its comprehensive look at David's life using the whole scriptural record rather than just focusing on the children's stories shared in Sunday School. It is a scholarly treatise so it will offend listeners who struggle when beloved religious figures are portrayed as mortal, with faults and sinful behavior. The scripture by scripture detail, with additional perspective provided by scholarly research, highlights the society and perspective of the time. The politics involved are fascinating and the book, overall, is quite engaging - when taken from the academic perspective in which it is written. The narration is well done with a reader who has a fine timbre of voice.

11 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

David Made out to be Less than Holy

I purchased this book in the hopes that a detailed scientific look at the King of the Jews would be found. I was disappointed to find that this Great Man would be portrayed as a Homosexual, tyrant, and fool. If you are a Christian or a Jew please do yourself a favor and skip this title. It is filled with conjecture, personal opinion and so called facts based on others opinions. At one point in this title King David is compared to JFK and Bill Clinton, I can see no reason to insult such a Great King. I was upset as I listened and was hoping for so much more, all I received was a slap in the face. If you want speculation and to plant a seed of disbelief in you heart this title is for you, however if you Love the man that this book is written about, then avoid it.

75 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Don't expect a Sunday School lesson

This book is written by a Bible scholar, not a Sunday School teacher, so you will be treated to a very scholarly look at King David, not a sermon from a limited perspective and religious agenda. If you enjoy a historical perspective on David, then you will enjoy this book. If you are looking to bolster your preconceived ideas about who he was from a religious perspective, you will probably not enjoy it. No matter who you are, though, if you enter this with a desire for facts - you will enjoy learning some things you never knew or even considered about one of the most famous men in the Hebrew Scriptures. He was as flawed as they come and nobody can deny that. If he had not been flawed, he would probably not be such an iconic character today.

16 people found this helpful

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Interesting listen

The life of David is intriguing, but the book almost made it seem over-sensationalized. I did not like the book because the author seemed biased. There was too much conjecture. This is probably worth the listen, but maybe pick up another book to get a more balanced perspective.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting

Starts off pretty slow but really starts building good momentum. Very informative. The only complaint I have is that the author (who also reads) is constantly sighting his sources mid-narrative. Slightly annoying. But a great historical "read"

2 people found this helpful

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Not historically accurate.

Author has a low view of God and scripture. Humanistic in its approach to the Bible. I erased from library.

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Very Poor Biblical Criticism

The textual criticism in this book is really bad... the author sets up dichotumies that simply don't exist as well as reading things into the text that the authors simply wouldn't have been interested in....