A very recent article by a Professor Galil of the University of Haifa has been released which documents that King David did have the empire in the Levant that the Bible ascribes to him. Two links re: this article are below.
Professor Galil’s article states David led a “regional empire from the Sinai Peninsula to the Euphrates.” This is the biblical definition of David’s personally-ruled empire although it is my belief that he dominated a much larger area. The article focuses on King David’s alliance with King Toi of the Aramaean region, which is recorded in the Bible in II Samuel 8:10. However, I’d like to point out one omission and one error in the article cited below. The omission is that the article makes no mention of King David’s very close alliance with King Hiram of Tyre and its affiliated cities of the “Phoenician” Empire (II Samuel 5:11, I Kings 5:1). The alliance between Kings David and Hiram united David’s large land army (which was strengthened by David’s alliance with King Toi) with the Phoenicians who had the largest maritime fleet and navy of the ancient world at that time That alliance between King Hiram was later continued and deepened with King Solomon, David’s son (I Kings 5:1-18, 9:26-27, 10:22-26). This alliance, dominated by King David (and later by King Solomon) dominated all the foreign lands on other continents that were part of the Phoenician Empire.
During David’s reign, the alliance of Kings David, Toi and Hiram was attacked from the east by an alliance of Syrian and Mesopotamian kings (I Chronicles 19). David won that war and his alliance went on to subjugate Assyria and Mesopotamia. As my books point out, secular sources record that Assyria was subjugated during the reigns of Kings David and Solomon by an invading army of Semites who invaded from the west. Some sources call the Semitic invaders “Aramaeans,” however, King Toi’s Arameans were allied to King David’s larger army of Israelites and both were Semites (as were the invaded Assyrians–Genesis 9:21-22). Many of David’s Psalms were inspired by events in his life and Psalm 83 was a Psalm about this war against a great Mesopotamian/Mideast alliance. Psalm 83:8 lists “Asshur” (the Assyrians) as being part of this Mesopotamian alliance and adds that this alliance “helped the children of Lot.” This phrase affirms that the war of I Chronicles 19 inspired Psalm 83 as the war of I Chronicles 19 was started over a pretext where the Mesopotamians and Syrians attacked Israel to, literally, help the children of Lot. I Chronicles 19:1-6 records that the Ammonites (who were “children of Lot”) provoked the war in which the Mesopotamian kings brought their armies to fight the Israelites. The Mesopotamian kings were so confident of victory they came to watch the battle (verse 9) before they had to beat a hasty retreat when David’s forces won the battle and the entire war. You will likely have an impossible time locating records of this Israelite defeat of Assyria in more modern history texts as they have suppressed the fact that the reality of ancient history supports the Bible’s accounts of Israel’s power under Kings David and Solomon. For a full account of this most fascinating ancient war and the secular sources which recorded it, you can find that information by ordering either my E-book, The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel…Found! or my printed book, The Origins and Empire of Ancient Israel.
The error in the article cited below is its assertion that when Absalom, David’s son, led a rebellion against David, that “all Israelites rebelled against David.” The Bible records that was not the case. When David fled Jerusalem to seek refuge elsewhere in Israel, he was escorted by a significant contingent of loyal Israelite troops and supporters as well as the non-Israelite bodyguards mentioned in the article. David’s “servants” (that is likely a very broad term) all stayed loyal to him (II Samuel 15:15) as did “all the people with him.” These were all Israelites. II Samuel 15: 24 states that the priest Zadok “and all the Levites with him (emphasis added),” plus the priest Abiathar were loyal to David. It sounds like the entire tribe of Levi may have remained loyal to King David. A wise Israelite counselor named Hushai was with David and proved critical to David’s success (Hushai’s son was later appointed to govern in the tribe of Asher’s territory–I Kings 4:16). Ziba, a servant of King Saul, came with a contingent to meet and support David ( II Samuel 16:1-4). Hushai deceitfully counseled Absalom to delay his attack against David as David’s men were “mighty men” (this was likely a reference to David’s “mighty men” of II Samuel 23 who were David’s almost superhumanly-powerful special forces troops). Most of these would have been Israelites. Joab, the Israelite general from the tribe of Judah, was over part of David’s forces when Absalom’s forces were defeated (II Samuel 18:2). When David fled eastward, a great man of Gilead (the name of the region of the Israelite tribes living east of the Jordan River) named Barzillai led a contingent of men who rallied to David’s support (II Samuel 17:27-29). These passages confirm many Israelites stayed loyal to King David.
Nevertheless, with that one correction, the article below is a good one which confirms that David was a real king with a real Israelite empire in the distant past.
My thanks to a friend who informed me about this story.