Page 0290

290 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

were killed. Ishbosheth survived, and was for a brief period recognized as king of Israel.

David, however, was also crowned at Hebron, and only awaited Ishbosheth's death to become

king. of the whole nation.

One of the first acts of his reign was the conquest of Jerusalem, the principal town of

the Jebusites, which place he made the future capital of Israel and the holy city of his

race in all time to come. The Ark of the Covenant, set up along time ago in the desert,

was now transferred from Kirjathjearim to Jerusalem, and this fact fixed the religious

thought of the people on the new capital. David then entered upon his wars, which were

successful to the extent that the primacy of Israel was for a season extended from the Red

Sea to the banks of the Euphrates. All the remnants of the old pagan nations around the

borders of Palestine were reduced to absolute subjection. The king conquered a peace, and

rested on his laurels.

At this epoch a national literature made its appearance. David himself was a poet and a

patron of song. He is the reputed author of many of the Psalms composed during his reign,

which have ever since remained, a central element in the religious worship of both Jewish

and Christian peoples. Less creditable to the king were the social abuses which began 'in

his time, and