Activities for individuals or groups
Learning from David
Make a list of situations in your life where you've faced what seemed like insurmountable odds -
Now go to Young People in the Bible to see how David used lateral thinking to solve the problem. Can you use the same sort of strategy to solve your own problems, focusing on your own particular strengths?
Focus questions for the story of David
The face of Uriah in Rembrandt's painting of David and Uriah: exhausted grief and perhaps awareness of impending death
1. Go to Bible Text for David's story, and choose one episode from David's life. Read the story in your Bible, then spend some time thinking about it.
2. In the story, who speaks and who listens? Who acts? Who gets what they want? If you were in the story, which person would you want to be friends with? Which person would you want to avoid?
3. What is God's interaction with the main characters? What does this tell you about the narrator's image of God? Do you agree with this image?
4. What is happening on either side of the story, in the chapters before and after it? Does this help you understand what is happening?
5. The narrator has chosen to tell some things and leave other things out. What has been left out of the story that you would like to know?
6. Are these types of people still present in the world? Does it remind you of some aspect of your own story?
Writing David's biography
David has one of the best documented lives of the ancient world. We know his origins, his achievements, his family quarrels, his failings, and his gradual lapse into senility.
Write a short biography of David, or at least an outline of his life (see Bible Text: David for help with this).
Collect your data
Organise it into time sequence or subject matter
Match a Bible text to each time sequence or subject
Read these texts carefully, noting the nuances of the passage and jotting down questions as you go
Write character outlines for each person
Divide David's life into separate sections
Write a list of questions for each section
Answer the questions, making each answer a paragraph or set of paragraphs
Read your responses from start to finish, to make sure you have the correct sequence of events and to spot any important bits you might have missed
Polish your material by editing out unnecessary words or phrases
Congratulations! You've written David's biography.
Movies about power and its effects
Answers HERE (see 'David') Can you think of others?
I'm only human...
David is often presented as the great hero/king, but a reading of his story shows he was anything but perfect. Choose one of the events where the narrator presents him as less than perfect. What failing does this story highlight? Why do David's actions disappoint us?
Now think about the following questions: why do we wish our leaders to be perfect? how do we react when they are not?
Do we have the same high expectations of ourselves in our daily leadership roles - for our children, our friends, our community?
Popular monarch convicted
Defense Team Appeals to a Higher Court
'On Thursday October 23, Rabbi Barkan's Tanach class convicted King David of murder for killing an Amalekite youth, a lad who untruthfully took responsibility for the death of King Saul. Lawyers on each side presented witnesses from the first chapter of Samuel II...
The case was remanded to the class for sentencing, but no consensus was reached; some called for the death penalty while others argued for a few years in prison. Each member of the class is writing an appeal to the court to uphold or to overturn the conviction.'
(Activity developed by students of Chicagoland Jewish High School)
Choose an event in David's life where his actions are questionable, and hold a simulated trial by jury where his motives and actions are examined in detail.
In depth study of an event in David's life
1. Pick one of the episodes in David's life. What were the most interesting moments in the story?
2. In the story, who speaks and who listens? Who acts? Who gets what they want?
3. If you were in the story, which person would you want to be friends with? Who would you want to avoid?
4. What is God's interaction with the main characters? What does this tell you about the narrator's image of God? Do you agree with this image? Is it yours?
5. What is happening on either side of the story, in the chapters before and after it? Is this important?
6. The narrator/editor has chosen to tell some things and leave other things out. What has been left out of the story that you would like to know?
7. Are the elements of the story still present in the world? How is the story relevant to modern life, especially your own?
Find out more...
Bible Archaeology: David Archaeological finds linked to David
Bible Archaeology: War David was almost constantly at war
Bible Architecture: Jerusalem The city that became David's capital
Top Ten Bible Heroes David, the bandit leader who became a king
Young Bible People David uses lateral thinking as he confronts Goliath
Bathsheba, Bible Woman David blots his copy-book with Bathsheba