Thoroughly fascinating King David codes have been discovered in very fitting locales within the Hebrew Old Testament, giving further evidence that the Old Testament could not have been written by a human being or group of human beings. The locations where the King David ELSs appear are either narratives about the life of David, prophecies that mention him, or psalms that he composed.
In the September issue we introduced the astonishing David mosaic we found in 1 Samuel. This article presents the ELSs we have found that add the title “king” to his name.
There are two accepted spellings of King David in Hebrew, both equally valid. The first is and the second switches the order of the two words and is . Both are translated King David and can be used interchangeably. For our first search we used the latter spelling, the one used most commonly in the Bible.
We looked at the basic seven-letter ELSs of King David as well as extended ELSs, some of which even involve the names of his father, Jesse, and his great-grandmother, Ruth. Although none of the longer codes here are prize winners in terms of their letter count, the passages that they pass through—whether long or short—are remarkable.
We were quite surprised to find that all five of the King David ELSs with the shortest skips in the Tanakh appeared in texts with literal mentions of David himself. Furthermore, eight of the ten King David ELSs with the shortest skips were in David contexts. We are working on completing computer models to determine how unusual this kind of phenomenon is, and plan to report on that in the December issue. All indications are that the odds of this happening by chance are quite small.
The first one on the list, in order of skips, was in the prophetic passage of Zechariah 12. It runs from verse six through 10 with a skip of +69. Here is what this passage of Zechariah says:
“On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.
“The Lord will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the Lord going before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (New International Version)
The next ELS, with a skip of +73, was extended into a 29-letter ELS, with the main term being centered in I Samuel 25:41 through 26:5: It is the story of Abigail becoming one of David’s wives, and Saul’s continuing attempt to find and kill him:
She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, “Here is your maidservant, ready to serve you and wash the feet of my master’s servants.” Abigail quickly got on a donkey and, attended by her five maids, went with David’s messengers and became his wife. David had also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both were his wives. But Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Paltiel son of Laish, who was from Gallim.
The Ziphites went to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Is not David hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which faces Jeshimon?”
So Saul went down to the Desert of Ziph, with his three thousand chosen men of Israel, to search there for David. Saul made his camp beside the road on the hill of Hakilah facing Jeshimon, but David stayed in the desert. When he saw that Saul had followed him there, he sent out scouts and learned that Saul had definitely arrived.
Then David set out and went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of the army, had lain down. Saul was lying inside the camp, with the army encamped around him. (New International Version)
Extended to 29 letters, the ELS reads Bow the Palm, Master of King David. Where is My Light and the Holy Ghost of God?
And it continues on in this vein. with a skip of –830 is next and runs from 2 Samuel 7:26 through 12:3, a section that includes the tragic story of David and Bathsheba. The next ELS at a skip of +912 cuts right through the tawdry story about the treachery of David’s children—the rape of Tamar by her brother Amnon and the vengeful scheming of Absalom—in 2 Samuel 13:12 through 15:24.
Another long ELS comes next, a 21-letter code with a skip of +1,095 that passes through 1 Samuel 20:21 to 24:11, the account of a poignant parting of two good friends, David and King Saul’s son, Jonathan. The extended ELS reads, What is Present? From Whom in Him is He King David?.
Skipping one ELS that does not have an obvious connection to David, the next viable one has a skip of +1,595 and begins in the prayer of King Solomon, the son of David, in dedication of the temple he built for the Lord in Jerusalem. It spans sufficient text that it also covers the tearing apart of the kingdom of David into two nations—Israel, the northern kingdom, and Judah, the southern, through the foolishness of Solomon’s son, King Rehoboam.
The next ELS is the first to appear in the Psalms, and begins in David’s triumphant Psalm 68 (“Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered . . .”) and continues through his despairing Psalm 69, and then into several psalms of Asaph.
“Then King David went in and sat before the LORD . . . “ This is the way 1 Chronicles 17:16 begins, where the first letter of the next ELS with a skip of 1,650 is located. It continues:
“. . . and he said: ‘Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, O God, you have spoken about the future of the house of your servant. You have looked on me as though I were the most exalted of men, O Lord God.’” (New International Version)
Two unrelated ELSs follow, then one with a skip of +2,899 that touches down in 1 Samuel 16:4, where the prophet Samuel travels to Bethlehem on orders from God to look for a replacement for King Saul. Those familiar with the story know that he chooses the youngest and least likely son of Jesse, the shepherd boy David. The ELS’s next stop is 1 Samuel 17:28, in which David is confronted by his brother Eliab for leaving the sheep to travel to the front lines of the battle with the Philistines, where he will fight and kill the giant Goliath.
Finally, this spelling of King David turned up one last extended ELS at a skip of –3,756, Now, Ruth, Who will Begin? Where? Or, Who Joins with King David? Those among You have Knelt Down. At 40 letters, this is the longest of the extended King David ELSs with either spelling. The basic seven-letter ELS begins in Psalm 147:15 ( not attributed, but could be a psalm of David) and runs backward to Psalm 104:23, another anonymous composition.
More long ELSs were yielded with the spelling . In fact, the first viable ELS, with a skip of –335, was extended to 23 letters. The wording of the ELS is He will Illuminate and Motivate the Period of King David in the High Place for the Lofty One. The context of the passage in 1 Kings 14-15 where the ELS crosses a listing of the kings of Israel and those of Judah, the grandsons of David. It touches down in verse 15:3:
“(Abijah) committed all the sins his father had done before him; his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his forefather had been.” (New International Version)
Jumping to the next significant ELS, this one does not land in a verse that directly refers to King David, but it soars over two (Psalms 101:1 and 103:1) that refer to him. It has a skip of +1,573 and begins in Psalm 71 and ends in Psalm 105. Its 14 letters spell out You will Rejoice in the Oppression of King David. Next is an ELS with a skip of –2,366 that runs from 1 Samuel 14:34 to 21:3, and also embraces Samuel’s selection of David as the next king and David’s battle with Goliath. A 31-letter ELS crosses this passage of scripture, reading Show the Exhausted Father Jesse. David the King Poured Evenly into the Mother’s Meadow.
Another long ELS is made of the next find of interest at +3,355 skips, which runs from David’s Psalm 25:22 (“Redeem Israel, O Lord, out of all his troubles.”) to another of David’s compositions, Psalm 64:4 (“Who whet their tongue like a sword, and aim bitter words like arrows.”). Twenty-two letters long, the ELS reads, The Bell Clapper is to Me as a Loaf on Water. King David is Happiness. Could the loaf on water refer to Jesus Christ, who called Himself the “bread of life,” walking on water?
Skipping over two ELSs in portions of the Bible unrelated to David, we come to four consecutive ELSs that connect strongly to the subject. The first, at a skip of –3,499, runs from 1 Chronicles 23:32 back to 9:1, and describes King David taking control of Israel and bringing up the Ark of the Covenant.
The second, running from 1 Samuel 17:37 to 30:16 at a skip of +3,634, covers the story of David and Goliath, the decline of King Saul and the testing and increase of David in the lore of Israel. Third is an ELS that runs from Psalm 78:21 to 115:7 at a skip of +3,634. On the way, it passes through 89, which is a prophetic psalm about the seed of David, the Messiah, with God’s promise that this seed will be established forever. Fourth, an ELS at a skip of +3,862 that runs from Nehemiah 7 to 1 Chronicles 6:17, covering the genealogy of David’s descendants in 1 Chronicles 3.
Three More King David ELSs
Five more ELSs are skipped, then there are three more King David ELSs. At a skip of +5,099 is an ELS that runs from 1 Samuel 3:21 to 21:6. On the way, it touches down in 16:17, where Saul commands his servants to find him an excellent musician, and thus David is brought in to Saul’s service.
An extended ELS of 24 letters is the second of the three, which begins in 11:5 and goes backward to Nehemiah 7:2, covering an area that includes the genealogy of David’s sons, and the story of David’s strong desire for a cup of water from the well by the gate of Bethlehem. At a skip of –5,326, it reads The Blood of David Arose. Provide in Her a Brother to Those who go Astray.
Third in this group is an ELS that describes the last days of King David, the reign of Solomon and the splitting of the kingdom under his sons. It has a skip of +5,634 and runs from 1 Chronicles 26:24 to 2 Chronicles 21:3. This code is followed by one that is not of interest, then two that are.
The first begins in a psalm of David, Psalm 31, and continues to Psalm 95, an anonymous composition. At a skip of +6,193, it touches down in 52:2, another of his compositions, which in the Hebrew Bible reads, “When Doeg the Edomite had gone to Saul and told him, 'David has gone to the house of Ahimelech,'” the composer’s words to describe the occasion of writing the psalm.
And the second runs from 1 Samuel 14:48 to 2 Samuel 6:1 with a skip of +6,275, touching down in several verses important in the life of David. The second it contacts is 1 Samuel 17:43, where Goliath curses David by his gods. Thirdly, in 1 Samuel 20: 33, where Saul raises his spear to strike David and Jonathan realizes that his father is out to kill his friend. Then, in 1 Samuel 25:1, Samuel dies, and in 1 Samuel 28:14, is called up from the nether world by the medium hired by Saul.
We searched only the smaller skips of both spellings—those under 7,000 for and under 5,000 for . But these were more than enough to show that there was a profound intention in their appearances. The bottom line here is that there is no way that these ELSs appear where they do by accident, and that leads to the conclusion they could not have been placed there by the human “authors” of the Old Testament.