How Much Do You Know About the Life of King David?


By: Isadora Teich

6 Min Quiz

Image: Boston Documentary

About This Quiz

Think you know King David inside and out? There were many kings of Israel and Judah, but few are as well-known as King David. Even those who are not biblical scholars, and even those who do not follow one of the Abrahamic religions (the main ones being Islam, Judaism and Christianity) know of this great biblical king. He is so famous that David is currently one of the most popular names in America and has been a popular name around the world for centuries. Variants of the name exist in over a dozen languages, ranging from Russian to English.   

King David is remembered as being a great king of Israel, but how did he get his start? How did he become king? And how exactly did he wield that power once he got it? Are there any skeletons in that famous closet? As one of the most extensively written about figures in the Old Testament, there is a surprising amount of detail recorded about the life of this character. While many characters barely get a sentence, the Bible extensively delves into the triumphs, tribulations, good deeds and sins of King David.   

If you are a biblical expert who feels ready to take on one of Israel's great kings, try out this quiz! 

David was initially a _________.

King David began life as a young shepherd. Shepherds care for and watch sheep.


How did David first gain fame?

The young David was a shepherd and musician. His music is what first made him famous.


David was the _______ child of Jesse of Bethlehem.

Jesse of Bethlehem had eight sons. David was the youngest.


Who did David famously kill?

The story of David and Goliath is one of the Bible's most famous. A young David killed the massive Philistine Goliath with a slingshot after the man spoke ill of Israel.


What instrument was David known for playing?

David was known as a musician, skilled at playing the lyre. A lyre is a small u-shaped harp.


King Saul initially called David so he could serve him as ___________.

God was displeased with King Saul and sent an evil spirit to torment him. David was called to help soothe the king by playing the lyre for him.


Which king was David a favorite of?

David became a favorite of Saul, the first King of Israel, after slaying Goliath the Philistine. Saul later turned on the young man, out of fear that he was going to steal the throne from him.


How many wives did David have?

David mostly used marriage to create good relations with diverse groups of people and had eight wives. They were Michal, Ahinoam, Abigail, Maachah, Haggith, Abital, Eglah, and Bathsheba.


Which of David's sons went on to be the third king of Israel?

Solomon was the third and final king of United Israel. He is remembered for his wisdom, wealth and occult powers in certain traditions.


Does David come from royal blood?

David was a shepherd when God sent the prophet Samuel to anoint him as king after becoming angry with King Saul. He was the youngest son of Jesse of Bethlehem, who was a farmer and sheep breeder.


Why does David flee Israel for the first time?

King Saul becomes convinced that David is trying to take the throne from him and tries to have him killed. Saul's son Jonathan informs David of his father's plans, so David flees Israel which results in a long chase.


What city was David born in?

David was born to Jesse of Bethlehem in Bethlehem. This city was located in Judah, Israel.


How does King Saul's chase of David to kill him end?

In one account, when David has an opportunity to kill Saul, he secretly cuts off a piece of his clothing instead and uses it to prove that he is not trying to kill and supplant the king. The pair reconcile. However, there are various stories contradicting this within the Bible.


David was the _________ king of Israel.

The first king of United Israel and Judah was Saul. The second was David.


Which city does David conquer as king?

As King, David leads Israel to conquer Jerusalem, which previously belonged to the Jesubites. He made it the capital of Israel.


What did David bring to the city of Jerusalem?

David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. It is a gold-covered wooden chest containing the original stones the Ten Commandments were inscribed on, and according to myth several other religious artifacts.


Why didn't David build a temple in Jerusalem?

David wanted to build a temple in Jerusalem for God, but the prophet Nathan forbid it. According to Nathan's prophecy, one of his sons would build the temple.


Which of these things did David do?

After seeing Bathsheba bathing on a rooftop, David summoned her and impregnated her. She was married to Uriah the Hittite, whom David had killed so he could marry her and cover up their affair.


How is David punished for sleeping with Bathsheba and having her husband killed?

When David acknowledges that he has sinned his life is spared, but the prophet Nathan prophecies that his son will die. His and Bathsheba's first child dies a few days after it's born.


David's son Absalom does what?

Absalom rebels against David. Despite being given orders to not kill him, the commander of David's army kills Absalom in battle after his long hair gets caught in a tree.


How long was David's reign?

David had a long and successful reign as king of Israel. He is considered by many to be the best king of Israel.


Which of David's wives gave birth to Solomon, the king to succeed him?

Bathsheba gave birth to several children by David. These include an unnamed child who died a few days after it was born and Solomon.


How many children did David have?

David had multiple wives and many concubines. In the Bible, 20 of his sons and one of his daughters are mentioned by name, though there were likely more children than that.


Who was David's first-born child?

Amnon was David's first son, born in the city of Hebron to his wife Ahinoam of Jezreel. He was killed by his half brother Absalom.


Which son declared himself king as David lay dying?

Adonijah was David's fourth son by Haggith. He was David's oldest surviving son and natural heir, but the throne was given to Solomon anyway.


David had children in the cities of Hebron and __________.

David had his first named children in the city of Hebron. By Bathsheba, he had Solomon and a few other children in Jerusalem.


How old was David when he died?

David is old and bedridden at age 70. He dies in bed and appoints Solomon as king before he dies.


What tribe did David descend from?

David was the son of Jesse of Bethlehem. Jesse was of the tribe of Judah.


Who did David form a covenant of friendship with?

Jonathan was the son of Saul, the first King of Israel. Jonathan is remembered as one of those who loved David, and their relationship is the source of a lot of scholarly discussion.


On his deathbed, what does David ask of his son, the future King Solomon?

On his deathbed, David asks his son Solomon to do two things. He tells him to walk in the ways of God and get revenge on his enemies.


What is David known for writing?

The Bible itself attributes roughly half of its psalms to David in headings. However, the headings were late additions and this can't be proven.


What did David pretend to be to escape from King Abimelech?

At one point, David escapes from King Abimelech in a unique way. According to Psalm 34, he does this by pretending to be crazy until he's let go.


Is the record of David's life in the Bible considered historically accurate?

Scholars believe that the authors of the Bible wanted to make David's reign look desirable. For this reason, few of the details provided in the Bible about his life are considered to be wholly accurate historical fact.


Where was David buried?

David captured Jerusalem and made it the capital of Israel. He is thought to have been buried in a part of Jerusalem known as the City of David.


Which of David's sons built a temple to God in Jerusalem?

Solomon is credited with building the first temple in Jerusalem. This completes the prophecy of Nathan, who forbade David from building it on the grounds that it was meant for one of his sons to accomplish.


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