Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Originally intended as a four-part miniseries, Kingdom of David: The Saga of the Israelites made its U.S. debut as a two-part PBS special on May 14 and 21, 2003. Narrated by Keith David, with character voices provided by an impressive lineup of prominent actors, the program is dedicated to the thesis that the Israelites and the Jewish faith changed human history "as much as any empire that ever existed." Persecuted and slaughtered for practicing monotheism at a time when the prevailing belief was in multiple gods, the Kingdom of David kept itself united and solvent by passing along the history and traditions of its elders in written form (the "religion of the book"). Among the subjects explored are the formation of the laws of the Jews, the origins of their customs, and their strongly held and strictly enforced moral values. Individual episode titles include "By the Rivers of Babylon," "The Book and the Sword," "The End of Days," and "The Gifts of the Jews." As often as possible, Kingdom of David was filmed on the exact locations where the historical events described herein occurred.