• King David

  • The Real Life of the Man Who Ruled Israel
  • By: Jonathan Kirsch
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Kirsch
  • Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
  • 3.6 out of 5 stars (92 ratings)

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King David

By: Jonathan Kirsch
Narrated by: Jonathan Kirsch
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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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  • Overall
    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.

77 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    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.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    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.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Don't Waste Your Money

This is a completely ridiculous book based on the author's personal biases. There is no historical foundation for his point of view.

Mr. Kirsch attempts to portray as a bisexual deviant. You won't be happy, as I am not, that he has my money. I made a big mistake buying this book and I will be careful to read the author's bio before buying again.

14 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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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.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

King David

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

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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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.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not historically accurate.

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

4 people found this helpful

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  • JC
  • 04-07-12

Negative

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

agnostic

What could Jonathan Kirsch have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

be less jaded and pre-judgemental

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I thought it was an attempt to discredit the biblical texts and authorship. It focused on and magnified the negative aspects of King David, his life and legacy.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Written with an agenda

Right after I started reading this book I realized that this author was not writing from a Christian perspective but from more of a worldly view trying to discredit King David and even the writers of the Bible. I tried reading more but it just got worse. I would not recommend this book.

3 people found this helpful