What David Really Looked Like According To The Bible

David, or King David, was the ruler of Israel and Judah. In the Bible, he is mostly mentioned in the Books of Samuel in the Old Testament version. A ruler for 40 years, many people know of David from the famous story of how he killed Goliath, the multiple failed attempts at his life, and how he became king of Israel, per Crosswalk.

King Saul was the ruler before him, but he was not a favorite. Once upon a time, the Israelites wanted Saul to lead, but over time he lost fervor with the masses. In fact, even though he was the first king, many people — including God — saw him unfit for the role and decided he needed to be replaced. The Prophet Samuel, who was a judge, was sent by God to Bethlehem in search of a new leader for Israel. He was specifically sent to a man named Jesse, a wealthy Bethlehemite who had eight sons. Upon arrival, Samuel met with Jesse, who presented him with his seven oldest sons. But each was rejected by God, as none of the seven were what He wanted — until Samuel learned that Jesse had one remaining son.

David's appearance in the Bible

As the story goes in 1 Samuel 16, God informs Samuel that he has chosen one of Jesse's sons for the job and that he must invite him to a sacrifice (via the Lewistown Sentinel). When Samuel asks to meet Jesse's final and youngest son, we learn that he was a shepherd who was tending to sheep while the prophet was sorting through his older brothers.

When David appears in front of Samuel, his appearance finally becomes clear. In 1 Samuel 16:12 in the New International Version of the Bible, it says David is "ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features." Other versions say David was "glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features" (via Bible Gateway). Across all translations of the Bible, David is often described as a sight for sore eyes — most descriptions of him say that he was a very good-looking man with beautiful eyes. And in the very moment that David appears before Samuel, God tells the prophet to immediately anoint him as king. And so David, the youngest son of Jesse, succeeds King Saul.