Article -

David


Authors: Jo Milgrom and Yoel Duman







David – A man of many faces

In the Bible, David is a shepherd, a musician, a poet, a warrior, a desperado, a king – a husband, a lover, a father and finally an invalid. In post-biblical literature, both Jewish and Christian, David is spiritualized and idealized, because his descendant is the Messiah. And in art, he becomes a stud, a knight in shining armor, a divinely inspired greybeard monarch, a venerable saint. 









David as a Lad, as a Musician, as Orpheus

Both the beginning and the climax of the Davidic presence are to be found in the earliest expression of Jewish art, the third century Dura Europos synagogue. In a central panel of the western wall, David is chosen over his older brothers and anointed future king of Israel by Samuel.

Dura Europos, Samuel anoints David, 244

Dura Europos, Samuel anoints David, 244

In the reredos (screen) above the Torah niche, David appears as the messianic “prince of peace” and as the messianic king, enthroned above his people.

Dura Europos, David as Orpheus, 244

Dura Europos, David as Orpheus, 244

Dura Europos, David enthroned and Jacob and his sons

Dura Europos, David enthroned and Jacob and his sons

Elsewhere in Dura, at least three additional episodes from David`s life confirm his overwhelming importance for this diaspora Jewish community of Talmudic times; for David was the symbol of their hopes for restoration and salvation.
Many figures in early Jewish and Christian art evolve from prior Hellenistic images. Thus, in the screen above the Torah niche David appears as Orpheus the divine Hellenistic musician, enchanting the animals. Why Orpheus? Charisma, music and poetry unify the two figures. David is first introduced to us as Saul`s music therapist, brought to calm his spirits. David is the “sweet singer of Israel” (2 Sam23:1), traditionally the author of Psalms. Finally, a passage in Isaiah 11 endows David`s messianic descendant with the ability to end all violence:

The wolf will dwell with the lamb
and the leopard and the kid will lie down together
The calf and the young lion and the sheep together,
and a young lad will lead them.(verse 6)

All these biblical images coincide with the character and feats of Orpheus.
This use of the orphic model is found throughout the history of art, but undergoes significant changes in accordance with the spirit of the ages. In the 6th century mosaic floor of a synagogue in Gaza, David is crowned and haloed like a Byzantine divine emperor. By contrast, in Emil Nolde`s expressionist woodcut of 1919, we can hardly see David, seated in the shadow behind Saul. Only his strong left hand is visible, plucking the lyre, parallel to Saul`s weak left hand, desperately gripping his spear. The center of the woodcut is dominated by the stooped figure of Saul, who once stood “head and shoulders above all Israel.” He looks in our direction, his face sunken into his chest and his mouth downturned into his pointed beard, but he sees only his own tragedy.

Gaza Synagogue, David as Orpheus, 6th century

Gaza Synagogue, David as Orpheus, 6th century

Emil Nolde, David and Saul, 1911

Emil Nolde, David and Saul, 1911

 









David and Goliath

An alternate biblical tradition regarding David`s introduction into Saul`s court is found in the story of David and Goliath.


Michelangelo, David, 1504

Michelangelo, David, 1504


Moshe Shah Mizrahi, The Fall of Goliath, early 20th century

Moshe Shah Mizrahi, The Fall of Goliath
early 20th century


In Michelangelo`s idealized sculpture of 1504, the young David pauses, a stone in his right hand, sling in his left. But Michelangelo exaggerates David`s heroism and beauty, by stripping him not only of armor as in the biblical account, but of all clothing (making him into a nude, Greek athlete) and by hiding both
the stone and the sling; he is going to fight Goliath with nothing but his own skill.

In contrast, the central figure in Moshe Mizrahi`s picture is the decapitated giant, Goliath. Coming 400 years later, out of the oppressed Jewish community of Turkish Palestine, the enemy is dressed as mustachioed Turkish soldiers. Next in importance is Saul, standing stiffly among his troops in the upper register. Tiny David, a third the size of Goliath`s sword, is hardly visible, impaling the giant`s head, whose copper helmet looks like an overturned basket. Thus Mizrahi is expressing his faith in God`s support of the weak over the strong.








David and Saul`s Children


According to the biblical narrative, David`s meteoric rise in rank and in popularity parallels Saul`s growing paranoia and loss of confidence. After the victory over Goliath, David enters the household of Saul, via marriage to Michal, Saul`s daughter, and through a profound friendship with Jonathan, Saul`s son. Both of these relationships threaten Saul`s equilibrium and his hold on the new kingdom.


Marc Chagall, David saved by Michal, 1960

Marc Chagall, David saved by Michal, 1960


Rembrandt, David and Jonathan, 1642

Rembrandt, David and Jonathan, 1642


In I Samuel 19, Saul orders David`s liquidation, which is thwarted by Michal. Chagall, showing David in active flight (rather than being lowered on a rope, as in other renditions) relates carefully to the three verbs in verse12, “he went and he fled and he escaped”. David`s voluptuous bride Michal is framed in the window, a connection to which we will return below.

In a later episode, David escapes Saul once again, this time with Jonathan`s help. During their moving farewell, Jonathan implores David to spare the life of his family, once he becomes King. The bond between these figures has had many interpretations. Rembrandt`s painting of 1642 generates a question of identity. Is the regal turbaned figure, comforting his abject companion, David or Jonathan? An examination of the biblical text shows that Jonathan is the older of the two; examination of the painting reveals the sheathed sword and traveling boots of the fugitive. Thus Jonathan is the comforter and David is bent over in embrace.

Verse 41 describes the scene as follows:

They kissed one another and wept, David even more so.


Up to this point, in all their interchanges, only Jonathan expresses his love. The ambiguity of their relationship is revealed in the convoluted verse 17, when Jonathan begs David to declare David`s love for him “because of Jonathan`s love for David”; but David does not respond. How then should we account for David`s excess of emotion at the farewell. The medieval commentator R. Levi ben Gershom claims that David was simply afraid for his life.









David Pursued by Saul


Having escaped from Saul`s rage, David becomes a fugitive, wandering the frontiers of his native Judah, collecting a band of followers and supporting himself by his military prowess. But the King pursues him. Two parallel accounts in the book of Samuel (chapters 24 and 26) describe David`s cunning reversal of check into checkmate and the further undermining of Saul`s stature. In I Samuel 24, leading 3000 troops, Saul enters a cave in Ein Gedi to relieve himself; unknown to him, David and his band are trapped in the recesses of the cave. Seizing the opportunity and fully conscious of the threat to his own life, he cuts off the fringe of Saul`s robe. Once the King has rejoined his troops, David calls out from a distance, feigning loyalty as he displays the torn fringe. Both men know that cutting the fringe is tantamount to an attack on the body and office of the King. Saul cries out, “Now I know that you will rule


Rembrandt, David sparing Saul`s life, 1657 - 1660

Rembrandt, David sparing Saul`s life, 1657 – 1660


Bible Historiale, Saul and David at the Cave of Ein Gedi, 1372

Bible Historiale, Saul and David at the Cave of Ein Gedi, 1372


In a naively illuminated fourteenth century manuscript, David, carrying a tailor`s shears (as if to do an alteration) casually clips Saul`s cape. The King sits unaware in a privy. In contrast, David`s men cringe fearfully in the upper left corner. In Rembrandt`s drawing of the same moment, Saul squats in broad daylight—vulnerable, off balance and ludicrous—as David quickly steals out of the cave and cuts his robe. A soldier stands guard around the corner, oblivious to the King`s peril. The illumination is an iconic tableau, centering on the saint David, while Rembrandt`s version is both naturalistic and pathetic.








David the Chivalrous

Another episode from David`s fugitive period is the story of Abigail, the wife of Nabal. After Nabal has refused to pay them for their “protection,” David and his men, intending to avenge their honor, are diverted by Abigail`s generous tribute.

Rubens, The Meeting of David and Abigail, c. 1630

Rubens, The Meeting of David and Abigail, c. 1630

The scene is presented by Rubens (and many other Christian artists) as an expression of David`s chivalry. At the head of his armed followers, he stoops virtuously to raise Abigail, kneeling at the head of her women.









David and the Ark of the Covenant

With the death of Saul and the collapse of support for his descendants, David is recognized as King of Israel. Upon his conquest of Jerusalem, David brings the Ark of the Covenant to his new capital.

Morgan Bible, David dancing before the Ark, 1245-55

Morgan Bible, David dancing before the Ark, 1245-55

 

Marc Chagall, Ark carried to Jerusalem, 1956

Marc Chagall, Ark carried to Jerusalem, 1956

Schwebel, David whirls with all his might before the Lord, 1983/86

Schwebel, David whirls with all his
might before the Lord, 1983/86

Three works of art from the fourteenth to the twentieth century focus variously on David`s celebration of the ark`s arrival, described in II Samuel 6. In these three interpretations, David`s presence increases as the ark`s presence declines.

13 And so it was, that when the bearers of the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14 And David was whirling before the Lord with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouting and the sound of the horn. 16 Then it happened as the ark of the Lord entered the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.
 
 

The Morgan Bible, incorporates four images: on the left, the ark moves forward ceremoniously; on the right, a crowd greets the procession with music and sacrifice; in the tower, Michal gestures contemptuously; in the center, David, despite the uproar and his wild dancing before the ark, catches her scathing look. Marc Chagall`s lithograph of 1956 resembles a Simchat Torah celebration in the shtetl. David, crowned and dressed royally in white, carries his harp like a Torah. The procession of the ark, resembling a traditional synagogue Aron Kodesh, is modestly visible in the background. Michal is absent. Schwebel envelops David in florid, ecstatic swirls against modern Jerusalem`s drab main square. Neither the ark nor Michal takes part in David`s rapture. These three readings of the biblical event move from the medieval-cultic, to folk nostalgia, to the completely secular-individualistic view of David.









The Turning Point – David and Bathsheba

The protracted war against the Ammonites is the background of the story of David and Bathsheba, in II Samuel 11. Calling for all able-bodied men to be sent to the front, David remains in Jerusalem. Late one afternoon David rose from his couch and strolled on the roof of the royal palace and from the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful. (II Sam 11:2, NJPS) This scene has elicited vigorous commentary and artwork, most of which portrays Bathsheba bathing entirely in the open. In the illumination below, from a Dutch Book of Hours, Bathsheba attended by a maid, is outrageously exposed in public.

Book of Hours, David observes Bathsheba, ca. 1500

Book of Hours, David observes Bathsheba, ca. 1500

 

The King, rather than being on his own rooftop, is standing at eye-level, as if he has a ticket for the show. The meaning of the picture, however, changes fundamentally once we realize that its composition alludes to the Song of Songs.

 

A garden locked is my own, my bride; a fountain locked, a sealed-up spring (Song of Songs 4:12 (NJPS))

 

In the Jewish allegorical tradition, the bride is Israel and the lover is God. Here, in Christian commentary Bathsheba is the bride in the locked garden, in the sealed spring; but since she will eventually be the Queen Mother (of Solomon), she can become Maria Ecclesia, the Mother Church, often symbolized, as here, by a towering fountain

 

David, then, is the prefiguration of Jesus and Bathsheba (the Church) must purify herself before becoming one with David (Jesus).
During the Renaissance, ecclesiastic interpretations gave way to a secular, even voyeurist, reading.

 

Jan Massys, David and Bathsheba, 1562

Jan Massys, David and Bathsheba, 1562

 

Having identified the bather, David sends messengers to bring Bathsheba to the palace (II Samuel 11:4). This is the moment portrayed by Massys: Centerfold Bathsheba, accompanied by her giggling servants, raises her skirt with her left hand, while pointing with her right hand to her dog, a classic symbol of marital fidelity. Meanwhile, David`s leering messenger, accompanied by his “hunting” dog, holds one hand to his heart and with the other points toward the King, waiting anxiously in the palace with his aides. The scene borders on pornography.
A different, somber view of Bathsheba during this period is represented here by the early feminist sensitivity of Artemisia Gentileschi (one of the few women artists known from the time).

 

Artemisia Gentileschi, David and Bathsheba, ca. 1640

Artemisia Gentileschi, David and Bathsheba, ca. 1640

David is barely visible in the distance. Bathsheba sits on her roof, surrounded by attentive ladies in waiting. Although undressed, she covers herself both from our sight and that of her peeping neighbor. In the continuation of the narrative, pregnant, Bathsheba sends David word. David sends for Joab to send her husband, Uriah, home to Jerusalem in order to cover up David`s adultery. But Uriah`s refusal to enjoy his wife, forces David to send Uriah to his death by proxy at the front. David hurriedly marries Bathsheba who bears the child of their dalliance. Enter Nathan, the King`s prophet. The scene known as The Parable of the Poor Man`s Lamb (II Samuel 12) is the text of the ivory relief on the cover of Charles the Bald`s Psalter from the mid-9th century.

Psalter of Charles the Bald, Nathan rebuking David, 850-75

Psalter of Charles the Bald, Nathan rebuking David, 850-75

The body of Uriah divides the ivory into two scenes across its entire width. Above the victim, Nathan (right) pulls aside a curtain to expose David`s sin. Bathsheba, carrying her newborn in a sling, stands behind David. A broken staff appears to descend diagonally from David`s shoulder through Bathsheba`s hands, terminating in a point above Uriah`s head, accusing the pair of adultery and murder. Below, the parable is illustrated by the poor man (representing Uriah) hugging his one and only lamb (representing Bathsheba), while the rich man (David) views his large flock (his extensive harem). Unwilling to deplete his own flock to entertain a guest, he appropriates the poor man`s lamb. Thus, David is placed directly above his symbolic alter ego at the ivory`s vertical axis, forming a cross with Uriah`s corpse; David is the blemished prefiguration of Jesus, while Bathsheba, who in other cases is Maria Ecclesia, is here rejected Judaism, Synagoga. This Christian interpretation on the cover of the French king`s Book of Psalms derives from Psalm 51:

For the choir director. A Psalm of David,
When Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
Grant me pardon, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion, blot out my transgressions.

In the Book of Samuel, Nathan`s condemnation is unequivocal – David has sinned and will be punished. But the late biblical Book of Chronicles deletes the shameful story, and Rabbinic commentary completely exonerates David:

Anyone who says that David sinned is mistaken, as it says
“David was successful in all his endeavors because God was with him.”
(Shabbat 56a)

The whitewash of David is based on the historical situation of the oppressed Jewish people for whom David was the progenitor of the hoped for Messiah. Christianity, for its part, acknowledges David`s sin, but his individual repentance is not enough. Full redemption for humanity can only come from the perfected David, i.e. Jesus.









Dotage and Glorification


The final episode of David`s life finds him a decrepit, pathetic invalid. None of his well-used wives loves him enough to take care of the old man and a national search has to be conducted to find Abishag, his bed warmer but not his lover.


lluminated Latin Bible, David cherished by Abishag, 1287 - 1300

lluminated Latin Bible, David cherished by Abishag, 1287 – 1300


The initial letter from a medieval book of hours, illuminates Abishag, unimpressed by the job description, being pressed into service. King David, abed but still crowned and haloed, looks up passively, warming his hands under the covers.

This would be a dismal end to David`s saga. But he blossoms again in the books of the prophets, as the symbol of expectations for a glorious future.


Winchester Psalter, Jesse Tree, 1121-61

Winchester Psalter, Jesse Tree, 1121-61


Siegburg Lectionary,Jesse Tree, 12th century

Siegburg Lectionary,Jesse Tree, 12th century


The Jesse Tree, a visual genealogy connecting David with Jesus

, starts with David`s father lying at the base of the family tree. On the left, from his loins emerge the future generations: David, Mary and Jesus. On the right, the Jesse Tree is rooted in earlier history and displays seven virtues connected with David`s ideal descendant:

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,

The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2)


Article Sources:

Midrash Samuel 21
And he put them into the shepherd`s pouch and into the bag - R. Joshua of Sikhnin in the name of R. Levi: The pebbles fused into one…
He fell to the ground head first - in order to bury the mouth that had cursed and derided, as is written (Job 40:13) Bury them in the dust together, hide their faces in obscurity. Another explanation of he fell to the ground head first - because his god was portrayed on his chest, to fulfill the verse (Lev 26), I will heap their corpses on the remains of their idols....
 
Radak on I Sam 17:40
Five pebbles - smooth stones, fit for slinging, as Yonatan translates `smooth stones`. And the midrash explains, Why five? One in honor of the Holy One, blessed be He, and one in honor of Aaron, and three for the three Patriarchs. Said the Holy One`s stone, Did he not curse and revile me? I must punish him. Aaron`s said, Am I not the avenger of blood? I must punish him. Said the stones of the Patriarchs, Must we not punish him, since he cursed and reviled the armies of the living God and sought to exterminate our children and their Torah, their very life.
 
Bab. Tal. Brachot 3b
But did David rise at midnight? [Surely] he rose with the evening dusk? For it is written: I rose with the neshef and cried.  And how do you know that this word neshef means the evening? It is written: In the neshef, in the evening of the day, in the blackness of night and the darkness!  — R. Oshaia, in the name of R. Aha, replies: David said: Midnight never passed me by in my sleep. R. Zera says: Till midnight he used to slumber like a horse, from thence on he rose with the energy of a lion. R. Ashi says: Till midnight he studied the Torah, from thence on he recited songs and praises. But does neshef mean the evening? Surely neshef means the morning? For it is written: And David slew them from the `neshef` to the evening `ereb of the next day,  and does not this mean, from the `morning dawn` to the evening? — No. [It means:] from the [one] eventide to the [next] eventide. If so, let him write: From neshef to neshef, or from `ereb to `ereb? — Rather, said Raba: There are two kinds of neshef: [the morning neshef], when the evening disappears [nashaf] and the morning arrives,  [and the evening neshef], when the day disappears [nashaf] and the evening arrives.
But did David know the exact time of midnight? Even our teacher Moses did not know it! For it is written: About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt.  Why `about midnight`? Shall we say that the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him: `About midnight`? Can there be any doubt in the mind of God? Hence we must say that God told him `at midnight`, and he came and said: `About midnight`. Hence he [Moses] was in doubt; can David then have known it? — David had a sign. For so said R. Aha b. Bizana in the name of R. Simeon the Pious: A harp was hanging above David`s bed. As soon as midnight arrived, a North wind came and blew upon it and it played of itself. He arose immediately and studied the Torah till the break of dawn. After the break of dawn the wise men of Israel came in to see him and said to him: Our lord, the King, Israel your people require sustenance! He said to them: Let them go out and make a living one from the other.  They said to him: A handful cannot satisfy a lion, nor can a pit be filled up with its own clods.  He said to them: Then go out in troops and attack [the enemy for plunder]. They at once took counsel with Ahithofel and consulted the Sanhedrin and questioned the Urim and Tummim. 
Midrash Tehillim 144
1. A Psalm of David. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle(Ps. 144:1). Solomon said: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not upon your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him(Prov. 3:5-6). What did he mean by In all your ways acknowledge Him?He meant: "Everywhere you go, set God in your heart before you, as David used to do." He became king, yet he would say, "I am not king. The Lord is king, for He set me on the throne!" As Scripture says, David perceived that the Lord had established him King over Israel(2 Sam. 5:12). David was a mighty man, but he would say, "I am not a mighty man." David was a wealthy man, but he would say, "I am not a wealthy man." Instead he said, nay, proclaimed: Yours, 0 Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty(I Chron. 29:11). David went into battle and conquered, yet he would say, "Not by my own power have I conquered; the Lord helped me, and the Lord brought me the victory. Yea, I con­quered because the Lord so formed me that I could wage war." As Scripture says: It is God that girds me with strength of war(Ps. 18:33). Hence David said: Blessed be the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle(Ps. 144:1). When did God train my fingers for battle? When I smote Goliath. Thus Scripture says And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slung it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead; and the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell upon his face to the earth(I Sam. 17:49). But is this the way one would have expected him to fall? Would not one expect that a man smitten from the front would fall backwards? Why, then, did the Philistine fall upon his face? Because an angel went along with the stone and deliberately threw the Philistine upon his face. Nay, more! The Philistine wore a brazen helmet upon his head: How could the stone have pene­trated the brass, except for the fact that the Holy One, blessed be He, was with David. Hence David said: Blessed be the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle. I would not have been skilled in war, had not the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, may He be blessed, trained me for war. And so Saul said to David: "Go, and the Lord shall be with you" (I Sam. 17:37). And so it was said to Gideon: The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor(Judg.6:12).
Another comment: Blessed art Thou, 0 Lord; teach me Your statutes(Ps. 119:12). I would have known nothing had You not taught me, for it is said 0 God, You have taught me from my youth; and until now do I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and gray-haired(Ps. 71:17). Hence David said: Blessed be the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle(Ps. 144:1).
 
Bab. Tal. Sanhedrin 107a
Rab Judah said in Rab`s name: One should never [intentionally] bring himself to the test, since David king of Israel did so, and fell. He said unto Him, `Sovereign of the Universe! Why do we say [in prayer] "The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob," but not the God of David?` He replied, `They were tried by me, but thou wast not. Then, replied he, `Sovereign of the Universe, examine and try me` — as it is written, Examine me, O Lord, and try me.  He answered `I will test thee, and yet grant thee a special privilege;  for I did not inform them [of the nature of their trial beforehand], yet, I inform thee that I will try thee in a matter of adultery.` Straightway, And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed etc.  R. Johanan said: He changed his night couch to a day couch,  but he forgot the halachah: there is a small organ in man which satisfies him in his hunger but makes him hunger when satisfied. And he walked upon the roof of the king`s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.  Now Bath Sheba was cleansing her hair behind a screen,  when Satan came to him, appearing in the shape of a bird. He shot an arrow at him, which broke the screen, thus she stood revealed, and he saw her. Immediately, And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath Sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her, and she came unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanliness: and she returned unto her house.  Thus it is written, Thou host proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou host tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.  He said thus: `Would that a bridle had fallen into the mouth of mine enemy [i.e., himself], that I had not spoken thus.`
Raba expounded: What is meant by the verse, To the Chief Musician, A Psalm of David. In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?  David pleaded before the Holy One, blessed be He: `Sovereign of the Universe! Forgive me that sin, that men may not say, "Your mountain [sc. the king] has been put to flight by a bird."`

Bab. Tal. Shabbat 56a
R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in R. Jonathan`s name: Whoever says that David sinned is merely erring, for it is said, And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways: and the Lord was with him.  Is it possible that sin came to his hand, yet the Divine Presence was with him? Then how do I interpret, Wherefore hast thou despised the word of the Lord, to do that which is evil in his sight?  He wished to do [evil], but did not. Rab observed: Rabbi, who is descended from David, seeks to defend him, and expounds [the verse] in David`s favour. [Thus:] The `evil` [mentioned] here is unlike every other `evil` [mentioned] elsewhere in the Torah. For of every other evil [mentioned] in the Torah it is written, `and he did,` whereas here it is written, `to do`: [this means] that he desired to do, but did not. Thou hast smitten Uriah the Hittite with the sword:  thou shouldst have had him tried by the Sanhedrin,  but didst not. And hast taken his wife to be thy wife: thou hast marriage rights in her.  For R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in R. Jonathan`s name: Every one who went out in the wars of the house of David wrote a bill of divorcement for his wife, for it is said, and bring these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge [`arubatham].  What is meant by `arubatham? R. Joseph learned: The things which pledge man and woman [to one another].  And thou hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon:  just as thou art not [to be] punished for the sword of the Ammonites, so art thou not [to be] punished for [the death of] Uriah the Hittite. What is the reason? He was rebellious against royal authority, saying to him, and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open field [etc].
Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer 30
R. Hanina b. Dosa said: From that ram, which was created at the twilight, nothing came forth which was useless. The ashes of the ram were the base which was upon the top of the inner altar. The sinews of the ram were the strings of the harp whereon David played….
Matthew 1
1 The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram. 4 Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon. 5 Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. 6 Jesse was the father of David the king.
David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.

Augustine, Contra Faustem xxii, 87
87.  As regards the prophetic significance of David’s sin, a single word must suffice.  The names occurring in the narrative show what it typifies.  David means, strong of hand, or desirable; and what can be stronger than the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who has conquered the world, or more desirable than He of whom the prophet says, "The desire of all nations shall come?" (Hag.2:7) Bersabee means, well of satisfaction, or seventh well:  either of these interpretations will suit our purpose.  So, in the Song of Songs, the spouse, who is the Church, is called a well of living wate; (Cant 4:15) or again, the number seven represents the Holy Spirit, as in the number of days in Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came from heaven.  We learn also from the book of Tobit, that Pentecost was the feast of seven weeks.  To forty-nine, which is seven times seven, one is added to denote unity.  To this effect is the saying of the apostle:  "Bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." The Church becomes a well of satisfaction by this gift of the Spirit, the number seven denoting its spirituality; for it is in her a fountain of living water springing up unto everlasting life, and he who has it shall never thirst.Uriah, Bersabee’s husband, must, from the meaning of his name, be understood as representing the devil.  It is in union to the devil that all are bound whom the grace of God sets free, that the Church without spot or wrinkle may be married to her true Saviour.  Uriah means, my light of God; and Hittite means, cut off, referring either to his not abiding in the truth, when he was cut off on account of his pride from the celestial light which he had of God, or to his transforming himself into an angel of light, because after losing his real strength by his fall, he still dares to say, My light is of God.  The literal David, then, was guilty of a heinous crime, which God by the prophet condemned in the rebuke addressed to David, and which David atoned for by his repentance.  On the other hand, He who is the desire of all nations loved the Church when washing herself on the roof, that is, when cleansing herself from the pollution of the world, and in spiritual contemplation mounting above her house of clay, and trampling upon it; and after commencing an acquaintance, He puts to death the devil, whom He first entirely removes from her, and joins her to Himself in perpetual union.  While we hate the sin, we must not overlook the prophetical significance; and while we love, as is His due, that David who in His mercy has freed us from the devil, we may also love the David who by the humility of his repentance healed the wound made by his transgression.