David's first action as king was to capture what is now the City of David in Jerusalem, fortify it and build himself a palace. When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king and was threatening their hegemony over all of Canaan, they attacked, spread out over the Valley of Raphaim and captured Bethlehem. David retaliated and in three battles, forced the Philistines out of Israel. Once David had established his kingdom, he brought the Holy Ark, to Jerusalem. David wanted to build a temple to G-d and consulted Nathan the prophet. Nathan replied to David that God would always be with David, but it would be up to David’s son to build the Temple because David had been a warrior and shed blood.
David encountered wars with Israel’s neighbors on the east bank of the Jordan. These wars began as defensive wars, but ended with the establishment of a Davidic empire that extended over both sides of the Jordan River, as far as the Mediterranean Sea. King David defeated the Moabites, the Edomites, the Ammonites and the Arameans. David enforced justice in his empire and established civil and military administrations in Jerusalem, modeled after those of the Canaanites and Egyptians. He divided the country into twelve districts, each with its own civil, military and religious institutions. He established Jerusalem as the secular and religious center of the country. Each district paid taxes to Jerusalem and the people began to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem each year on the holidays of Passover, Shavout and Sukkot. David is often called a Man after God's own heart. Yet, David had many human flaws, he had an affair,he lied, he murdered, he was a lousy father, yet despite all his human flaws, God forgave David and created a great nation. And through his lineage, Jesus was born who became the savior of the World.