King David's Character

I always thought that King David was a consummate Jewish hero. But lately I've heard various people disparaging his character. What's the story?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

King David was a very pious man, as can be seen in the books of Samuel and Psalms, which he composed. He fought heroic battles, and set up the kingdom in Jerusalem. As the verse says: "David was successful in all his ways; God was with him" (1-Samuel 18:14).

David's purported sins were only apparently so. He married Batsheva after she had received a divorce from her husband, Uriah, who was sent to die in the battlefront for rebelling against the king. David was not perfect, however, and actually did wish to cohabit with Batsheva before the divorce, but he did not do so (and thus the "thought" alone is not accounted against him as a sin).

For more on this topic, see Talmud - Shabbat 56a.

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