Blurring the Boundaries The Figure of David as Prophet, Priest, and King

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David Z. Blackwell


This article shows that while the figure of David is most commonly recognized as an ideal king whose heir will have an eternal kingdom (2 Sam 7), priestly and prophetic portraits of David are woven throughout Second Temple Jewish literature. While David never held the vocational role of prophet or priest, he is described in these terms or at least portrayed in the trappings of these positions. This paper shows how these three categories are blurred in the person of David by tracing how various authors portray David, not only in royal terms but also in priestly and prophetic terms. David’s role as king bleeds over into priestly and prophetic categories which appears to stem from his musical prowess and role as temple preparer and psalmist. David’s Psalms are frequently referred to as David’s prophecies. While prophetic and royal portraits of David have been considered, few have explored David’s portrait as priest. This paper outlines the ways that David has been presented as priest. Despite the prophetic and priestly aspects of David’s life, these depictions of David do not erase his regal representation, throughout the literature of the Second Temple period

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