I observed the Bible is silent over the number of years David lived on earth.

Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. And the time that David reigned over Israel was forty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.

Some sources noted that David lived 70 years and probably judged from 1 Kings 2:10-11 (ESV) quoted above.

When David is old and bedridden, Adonijah, his eldest surviving son and natural heir, declares himself king. . . . David dies at the age of 70 after reigning for 40 years, and on his deathbed counsels Solomon to walk in the ways of God and to take revenge on his enemies. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David

How could David have been bedridden at 70? Yes, the Bible says he was bedridden before his death, but that couldn't have been at the age of 70. After all the Bible didn't say he had a terminal disease? If David simply died at 70, then 1 Kings 1:1 will appear very confusing when it says "he could not get warm" at that age and probably a few years before he was 70 when Abishag the Shunammite was contracted to serve him.

Now King David was old and advanced in years. And although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. (1 Kings 1:1 ESV)

The effort I made to unravel the exact age of David leaves me in doubt. I will like somebody to help out. How old was David when he died and could he have been bedridden at that age?

Can someone help with any extra-biblical material that possible has something to say on this subject?

  • How could David have been bedridden at 70 ? - A wonderful question, for a different site. – Lucian Oct 1 '18 at 13:42
  • hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/q/1521/11555. Related – Kris Oct 2 '18 at 13:24
  • 1
    What are you expecting? The Bible to give a diagnosis of prostate cancer? Medical science wasn't advanced enough to do that 3000 years ago. They didn't even have microscopes! – curiousdannii Oct 16 '18 at 22:31
  • 1
    No, I hadn't remembered that verse. Doesn't change anything though. You can't take an absence of a specific diagnosis as evidence of good health. – curiousdannii Oct 17 '18 at 12:21
  • 1
    And the scripture is silent over David's absence of diagnosis (if any) just like his actual age wasn't disclosed for obvious reasons. – Ernest Abinokhauno Oct 17 '18 at 13:47

The bible states that David was 30 when he began to reign. That plus a 40 year reign implies that he died at 70. Depending on the exact dates there may be some flexibility but assuming the information is accurate then he was no younger than 69 and no older than 72.

David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.

2 Sam 5: 4-6

As to why he was bedridden, he may not have been in great health. I know some people who are in good health at 70 and others who are bedridden, or close to it.

  • Could he have been bedridden at 69 or 71 being the warrior that he was? – Ernest Abinokhauno Oct 1 '18 at 9:52
  • 1
    I think it's possible. The life of a warrior may not have agreed with his health and he may have sustained injuries that began to impact him in later life. – Belinda Oct 1 '18 at 10:22

David's Life was:

2 Samuel 5:4, 5

David was 30 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 40 years. 5 In Hebʹron he reigned over Judah for 7 years and 6 months, and in Jerusalem he reigned for 33 years over all Israel and Judah.

He was 70 when he died.


David showed signs of physical fatigue at the end of his fighting career in

2 Samuel 21:15 Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted. 16And Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David. 17But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, “Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished.”

David was not just a warrior, he was also a man of bloodshed. Exhaustion came to him.

1 Chronicles 28:3 But God said to me, 'You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.'

So he was done around 70 years of age after a full life of consuming adventures.


Written in Psalm 90, "The years of a man's life are three score and ten (70) and if by reason of strength, four score (80) years." Moses himself lived many years beyond this though he wrote that psalm. David accomplished more in his 70 than most of us could in 100 if granted them in strength. He went home satisfied,"full of years and great honor". I personally believe his physical heart gave out as God gathered him in, like a hand removed from a glove. Don't desire to live one second beyond your usefulness to God. As our dear brother Paul has said, "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord","which is far better".


The Bible didn't note he died at 70. What is clear from the Bible is that he reigned for 40 years. This means that being in active service, he reigned as the king for 40 years.

The co-regency with Solomon was not counted. No one can tell how long he lived after declaring Solomon as king since he was no longer the active king.

David might have lived 20 years more after making Solomon king.


"I agree with the June 4th response. We are not given a definitive date, in years, of King David's death: All we are told are the years he reigned. He could have recovered from his sickness and simply felt that it was time to step down; King Saul, I think, ruled for about the same amount if years: And perceiving David's humility, he may not have wanted to go further. He was clear to see Saul as 'God's anointed' and may not and didn't want to 'show him up.'

Moreover, the Prophetic Books of Nathan and Gad are still outstanding: Two prophets who were closet to him, King David. Perhaps they will have something to say--once they are found. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!"


My opinion is another one. David ruled 40 years. 40.6 yrs. He was 30 when started the ruling. But Solomon took the rule from his father. But, it never mention that, David died in his 70th year of age. May be he lived some more years (1-10) after the change of Kingship. 70 is not accurate one. More than 70 is correct. 70-75, or 70-80 can be taken.

  • Please don't make multiple posts. If you want to update something in your answer use the edit function. – Caleb Jul 29 '19 at 15:10
  • What evidence do you have for any of this? Please explain with much more detail. – curiousdannii Jul 31 '19 at 7:07

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.