The David Saga — Part One

The mythic tale of David, penned by the priests of Yahweh in the eighth century BCE, presented a pivotal character that has cast heavy influence over Jewish, Christian, and even Islam interpretation.  The name can be traced back through pre-Hebrew variations including Dod and Dodo which was the masculine form of Dido, the Phoenician goddess whose name meant, “the beloved one.”  She was also the consort of the Babylonian sun god Tammuz, “the beloved son.”

The name can be traced through such variations as Hadad, Dada, Adad, Dido, Dod, Dodo, to David.  Hada or Dada are abbreviated forms of Abd-Hadad which were more current in the northern nations, while in the south Dada was confounded with the Semite word which Assyrians wrote as Dadu, meaning “dear little child.”  The Israelites of the northern Babylonian kingdom worshipped a deity Dod or Dodo, adoring the supreme god under that name as well as under the name Yahweh.  Sometimes Dod was regarded as being at the side of Yahweh–just as Christians regard Christ to be at the side of God.  Thus in the book of Isaiah, Jerusalem is described (by the priest-authors writing there) as the tower of the vineyard the Lord planted in Israel and calls him Dod-i, meaning “my beloved.”  From this was derived the name David of whom it is claimed in 1 Samuel 18:16, “…all of Israel and Judah loved him.”

The story of David parallels all the symbolic, mythic characters in the early scriptural tales, and the similarities between Adam, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Samson, et al, are not acciental.  David, for example, is said to have tended flocks (of Jethro); as in the Moses story the Lord speaks to David during his shepherding duties; as in the Samson tale, David slays four lions (thus outdoing Samson who slew only one), etc.  In other words, all these common events are the same cosmological references told allegorically.

It is not uncommon for readers of holy word to come away thinking that if David was an actual historical person, what a monster he must have been—a murderer, thief, bandit, adulterer, voyeur, deceiver, blackmailer, lecher, a slayer of monumental proportions—certainly no person to emulate.  Nonetheless, holy word says that the Lord found him worthy to build a temple, protect the Ark of the Covenant, and pass on a “royal line”!  It defies moral sensibility and logic.  It makes sense only by recognizing that David is but another character that symbolizes the primordial and prephysical stages where energy moves toward defined mass, i.e. matteras once taught in pre-Hebrew cosmology lessons.  It is not chronology of a Near-East theocratic kingdom.

The priest-authors were a superstitious lot, and the acts attributed to David by them reflect those superstitions of the time (rather than any godly enlightenment).  The practice of taking penis trophies of slain enemies, for example, was simply accepted as routine in those barbaric times—it was thought that severing the genitals prevented their enemies from reproducing in the next world.  Thus David, the beloved of God, is depicted as enthusiastically taking two hundred penis trophies of slain enemies—although King Saul had requested only one hundred. 

Later authors of scriptural truth or Gospelwere careful to depict Jesus as descended through the “royal line” of David.  In Matthew 1:1-16, the most Jewish of all N.T. books, Jesus’ genealogy is traced from Abraham through David.   The rather obvious intention was to present Jesus as being  from royal lineage.

  • Footnote: Past events would have contributed to the construction of a “history” for Israel ala priest-style.  In the time period in which David is alleged to have lived, the planet Mars was regarded as the bringer of war and pestilence.  Also in that time frame there had been seen a comet that was spoken of in oral lore as appearing as a man with a sword—1 Chronicles; 2 Samuel 24.
  • Bible literalism is a exercise presented as “history.”  The debris of priest-conjured “history” is placed in actual historic context by two Israeli archaeologists, Finkelstein and Silberman, in their revealing book The Bible Unearthed.

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