Figures in the Life of David

Major Characters (these appear at various points in David’s life.)

  • Samuel (God has heard) – judge of the people and prophet of God, anoints Saul as king but later announces that the kingdom will be taken from Saul and given to someone worthy. Anoints David as the new king and helps to protect him from Saul.
  • Saul (asked/prayed for) – King of Israel who is eventually rejected by God for disobedience. Fears and resents David, and pursues him so as to kill him. Dies in battle with his sons.
  • Jonathan (the Lord has given) – son of Saul who is loyal to David because of their great friendship.
  • David (beloved) – son of Jesse who is a shepherd and musician. Becomes king of Judah, and then of all of Israel.
  • Michal (brook?) – daughter of Saul who professes her love for David. Later given to another man, then taken back again by David.
  • Ahimelech the priest and his son Abiathar (brother of the king; my father is great) – Ahimelech helps David as he is fleeing from Saul, and is thus executed along with his family. Abiathar escapes and becomes a priest for David.
  • Abner (my father is light) – commander of Saul’s armies, killed by Joab even though he changes sides after Saul’s death to serve David
  • Joab (the LORD is my father) – son of Zuriah and commander of David’s armies.
  • Abishai and Azahel – (gift of the father?; made by God) brothers of Joab, sons or Zeruiah. Azahel is killed in battle, but Abishai remains a key military figure throughout the life of David.
  • Achish (anger?) – Philistine lord in Gath. David feigns madness to escape being take captive by him, but later returns and pledges his loyalty. Achish trusts David completely but the other Philistine lords do not.
  • Ish-Bosheth (man of shame) – (grand)son of Saul who is made king by Abner when Saul dies. Killed shortly after by two of his commanders, who were executed by David as a result.
  • Mephibosheth (dispeller of shame) – son of Jonathan son of Saul. Crippled man who is shown great kindness by David.
  • Ziba (station?) – servant of Mephibosheth who takes care of his estate, but later betrays Mephibosheth and ends up with half of his wealth.
  • Nathan (he gave) – prophet of God who gives David some of the best and some of the worst news he ever receives.
  • Bathsheba (daughter of the oath) – wife of Uriah who David covets and takes for his own, after he has Uriah killed, he marries her.
  • Uriah the Hittite (the LORD is my light) – mighty man of David who is killed in order to cover up David’s adultery with his wife.
  • Solomon/Jedidiah (peace/beloved of the LORD) – son of David by Bathsheba, who becomes a great and prosperous king after David dies.
  • Absalom (my father is peace) – Son of David who kills Amnon for raping his sister Tamar. Sent into exile but later allowed to return, he rebels against David and is temporarily successful at taking Israel from David.
  • Tamar (palm tree) – daughter of David and sister of Absalom who is raped by Amnon.
  • Amnon (faithful) – son of David who rapes Tamar and is killed in revenge by Absalom.
  • Ahithophel the Gilonite (brother of foolishness) – David’s advisor, who serves Absalom during the rebellion.
  • Cherethites and Pelethites – 600 men who leave Gath of the Philistines to follow David for the rest of his days.
  • Ittai the Gittite (with me) – foreigner who pledges loyalty to David and becomes a friend and a leader of his armies.
  • Zadok and Abiathar (righteous; my father is great) – priests for David who remain faithful to him when Absalom rebels.
  • Ahimaaz and Jonathan (brother of the council?; the LORD has given) – sons of Zadok and Abiathar who serve as secret messengers to alert David of Absalom’s plans.
  • Hushai the Archite (enjoyment?) – David’s friend and counselor who foils the advice of Ahithophel during Absalom’s rebellion.
  • Gad (fortune, luck) – a prophet of God who helps David flee from Saul, and later gives him bad news concerning the census he carried out.

Minor Characters (these are often extremely important, but  are not recorded to have played a significant role in multiple different events throughout David’s life.)

  • Jesse (gift?) – father of David.
  • Goliath (uncover, unveil?) – giant Philistine who is slain by David with the help of the LORD.
  • Abinadab, Malchi-shua (father of a vow; my king saves) – sons of Saul, brothers of Jonathan. They all die in battle together.
  • Nabal (fool, senseless, failure) – worthless fellow who refuses to provide for David’s men despite the protection they provide his flocks.
  • Abigail (my father is joy) – wife of Nabal who wisely averts disaster and becomes David’s wife when Nabal dies.
  • Doeg the Edomite (careful, fearful, uneasy) – servant of Saul who kills Ahimelech and the other prophets for helping David to flee.
  • Medium at En-Dor – a woman who can communicate with spirits, who helps Saul to call up Samuel.
  • Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab (strength; brother) – they help to transport the ark to Jerusalem, but when Uzzah reaches out to steady the ark he is struck dead.
  • ObedEdom (servent of Edom) – the ark is temporarily stored at the house of Obed-Edom and his whole household is blessed.
  • Hanun, son of Nahash king of Ammonites (gracious, merciful, favored) – becomes king after his father; needlessly provokes David to war and it does not go well for him.
  • David’s unnamed child – dies because of David’s sin with Bathsheba.
  • Jonadab (God gives liberally/impels) – David’s nephew. A “shrewd” man who convinces Amnon to rape Tamar.
  • Wise woman of Tekoa – put up by Joab to convince David to allow Absalom to come back from exile. She succeeds.
  • Woman at En-Rogel – hides Ahimaaz and Jonathan and thus helps David escape Absalom.
  • Shimei, son of Gera (hear, listen, obey) – curses David when he flees from Absalom. David promises not to seek retribution, so Solomon executes him after coming into power.
  • Chimham (longing?) – returns to Israel in place of his master, Barzillai.
  • Amasa (burden?) – serves as a commander for David after the rebellion by Absalom, but is slothful and risks David’s position, and is thus killed by Joab
  • Sheba, son of Bichri (oath) – challenger to David’s throne who seeks refuge in Abel.
  • Wise woman at Abel – avoids the destruction of Abel by throwing the head of Sheba son of Bichri down to Joab.
  • Gibeonites – Have seven of Saul’s descendants hanged as retribution of Saul’s violation of their covenant with Israel.
  • Rizpah the daughter of Aiah (coal, hot stone) – mourns for the descendants of Saul and watches after their remains.
  • Barzillai the Gileadite (man of iron) – friend of David who helps him when he flees from Absalom.
  • Araunah the Jebusite (ark, song, strong?) – owns the threshing floor where David sacrifices to the LORD after the pestilence sent by God.
  • Abishag the Shunammite (my father wanders) – beautiful young woman who attends to David in his old age. A point of contention between David’s sons Solomon and Adonijah.
  • Benaiah the son of Jehoiada (son of the LORD) – one of David’s mighty men, who helps him ensure that Solomon succeeds him as king.
  • Adonijah the son of Haggith – (the LORD is master) seeks to become king in place of Solomon when David is old, but fails and is put to death by Solomon shortly after.
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Scriptures and Thoughts on “Heaven”

What does the word heaven really mean?

Hebrew:
Shamayim – 1) the sky where birds fly, 2) the heavens where stars are, 3) the dwelling place of God, the highest heaven.
Marom – a roughly equivalent word to Shamayim

Greek:
Ouranos – the space above the earth, or the place where God dwells.

Other terms include: “eternal life,” “new heaven and a new earth,” “the heavenly kingdom,” “the new Jerusalem.”

Since in both Hebrew and Greek the same word was used to refer to both the sky and to God’s dwelling place, and based on art and literature throughout history, we can see that God’s people perceived of heaven as a place that is above us. (Genesis 28 – Jacob’s ladder, etc.)

Whether this is true in a literal sense or not, it is certainly true in a symbolic sense, because God is at the height of perfection, is in a place of absolute authority, and calls us to better ourselves as we move toward Him.

Heaven is where God is (Deuteronomy 10:14, Revelation 4:2) and when we go where He is to be with Him, we will be in heaven, too (Revelation 21)

Jesus must be referring to heaven when he speaks of “a place prepared for us” in (John 14)

 What will heaven by like?

There is much that we do not know… (1 Corinthians 2:9) But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—

(Revelation 21) says God will be among men, and there is no pain or crying, and includes an extended description of many fine gemstones, pearly gates, etc. as well as streets of gold (Revelation 22) continues be describing the river of the water of life and the tree of life with twelve kinds of fruit and leaves with the power to heal, and there is no night.

(Isaiah 25:8) appears to be echoed in Rev. 21: “he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.”

Rev. 21 mentions a marriage feast. (Luke 13:29) “People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.”

(Revelation 7:14-17) “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. 16 ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ ”

(Matthew 6:19-21) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

(Colossians 3:3-4) For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

How can heaven be perfect if not everyone will be there?

(Revelation 21:27) But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 (Matthew 7:23) “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”

This is a hard question to answer. But if we trust that God will do what is right, then we trust that we will agree with Him in His doing what is right.

Do we really get a mansion in heaven?

(John 14:2) My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

“Mansion” is an obsolete translation, the meaning is not specifically that of a giant, fancy house.

Will this earth be transformed into heaven one day?

Rev. 21 mentions a new heaven and a new earth…

(Romans 8:19-21)For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

(John 14:3) “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”  This does not sound like a renovated earth.

(Hebrews 11:6) But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

(Revelation 21:1) “I saw a New Heaven; and a New Earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”

(2 Peter 3:10) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

Will heaven be a physical place?

Some point out that Eden was both physical and perfect, but do we know enough about Eden to draw conclusions from it?

(1 Corinthians 15:42-49)  42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. 48As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. 49Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

I do not know the answer to this question. Are you aware of a clear answer in scripture?

Why is there no marriage in heaven?

(Matthew 22:29-30) Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.  30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

Will there be dogs in heaven?

(Isaiah 11:6-9) “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea”

(Romans 8:20-21) For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

What do you think? If God’s plan of redemption is for God, wouldn’t that leave animals out of the picture?

Is there a hierarchy or various levels of reward in heaven?

(Matthew 5:19) Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven

(luke 13:29-30) 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

(1 Corinthians 3:11 – 15) For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,13each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

(Matthew 6:20) “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;