Why the Lord Doesn't Allow David to Build the Temple

David remains a revolutionary hero, a guerrilla leader and desert tribal bandit—too much of a renegade at heart to be entrusted with His house.

From King David Playing the Harp by Gerard Honthorst, 1622. Wikimedia.

From King David Playing the Harp by Gerard Honthorst, 1622. Wikimedia.

Atar Hadari
Observation
April 20 2017
About the author

Atar Hadari’s Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems of H. N. Bialik (Syracuse University Press) was a finalist for the American Literary Translators’ Association Award. His Lives of the Dead: Poems of Hanoch Levin earned a PEN Translates award and was released in 2019 by Arc Publications. He was ordained by Rabbi Daniel Landes and is completing a PhD on William Tyndale’s translation of Deuteronomy.


This week’s haftarah (reading from the prophets), taken from the second book of Samuel (6:1-7:17), is set toward the beginning of King David’s reign. By now David has won the civil war against loyalists of his predecessor, King Saul, conquered the city of Jerusalem from the Jebusites, set about making the city his capital, and achieved a decisive victory over the Philistines. In the aftermath of that last battle, he assembles a triumphant procession to lead the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem from its temporary location in Gibeah:

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More about: Ark of the Covenant, King David, Religion & Holidays, The Monthly Portion