This is a continuation of a multi-post article. You can read the first post here. You can also find the previous post here. This is also part of a larger series called "The Koran from a Christian perspective." You can find other posts in this series here.The Koran contains two stories of interest pertaining to David. The first has to do with the defeat of the Philistines and of Goliath.
"So, when they went forth against Goliath And his hosts, they said, 'Our Lord, pour out upon us patience, and make firm our feet, and give us aid against the people of the unbelievers!' And they routed them, by the leave of God, and David slew Goliath" (Koran 2:251-252)The story, as recorded in the Jewish scriptures shows us a different timeline than the Koranic story. In the Jewish story, the army of Israel was terrified of Goliath. For forty days Goliath taunted and challenged the army of Israel and for forty day its men trembled before him.
"As he [David] was talking with them [his brothers], behold, the champion, the Philistine from Gath named Goliath, was coming up from the army of the Philistines, and he spoke these same words; and David heard them. When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him and were greatly afraid. The men of Israel said, Have you seen this man who is coming up? Surely he is coming up to defy Israel. And it will be that the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father's house free in Israel.'" (1 Samuel 17:23-25)Unfortunately, there were no takes to challenge Goliath from among the army of Israel. However David dared to believe that God would deliver Goliath into his hands and volunteered for the mission. After much second guessing by the King of Israel, he finally let David go forth into battle against Goliath.
"Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David's hand. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. The men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the slain Philistines lay along the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath and Ekron." (1 Samuel 17:50-52)The victory was not due to the prayers and faithfulness of the army of Israel, as the Koran would have us to believe, but due to the courage and daring of one man, David.
The second story in the Koran relates to David's sin with Bathsheba. Having sinned, two men come to David to convince him of his error.
"Has the tiding [story] of the dispute [two pleaders] come to thee? When they scaled the Sanctuary [walls of his closet], when they entered upon David, and he took fright at them; and they said, 'Fear not; two disputants [opposing parties] we are -- one of us has injured [wronged] the other; so judge between us justly [with truth], and transgress not, and guide us to the right path.' 'Behold, this my brother has ninety-nine ewes, and I have one ewe. So he said, "Give her into my charge"; and he overcame [over-persuaded] me in the argument [dispute].' Said he, 'Assuredly he has wronged thee in asking for thy ewe in addition to his sheep; and indeed many intermixers [associates] do injury one against the other, save those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness -- and how few they are!' And David thought [perceived] that We had only tried him; therefore he sought [asked] forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down, bowing, and he repented." (Koran 38:20-23)However, the Jewish scriptures tell us that it was only one man who came to David to expose his sin and that was the Prophet Nathan.
"Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said, 'There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor... Now a traveler came to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd, to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him; rather he took the poor man's ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.'... Then David's anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, 'As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die.'... Nathan then said to David, 'You are the man!'... Then David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the Lord.' And Nathan said to David, 'The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.' (2 Samuel 12:1, 4-5, 7, 13).
David was brought to repentance, not by two unnamed men who scared him and broke into his room, but by a trusted friend and prophet of God, Nathan.
More to come...
More to come...