Richard McBee

David dances before the Ark of the Covenant as his wife Michal (upper left) looks on from a window in disgust, in this painting by contemporary New York artist Richard McBee. David, who took many wives in his life, is the most illustrious of the Bible’s alpha males. He clinched his claim to the throne by wedding the daughters of his predecessor Saul—Michal and her sister Merab. His behavior resembles that of upstart males in the primate world, who claim the women of their predecessors when they usurp the position of top dog—or top ape. In such a society, sex (and marriage) is an assertion of dominance.