Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz/Art Resource, NY

King David brings the Ark to Jerusalem in this manuscript illumination from a 15th-century German Bible. The Ark of the Covenant was the main religious symbol of Israel’s tribes; by bringing it to his new capital, David centralized Israel’s religious life and solidified his political control over the young monarchy. And since sacrifices brought income in the form of tithes and food, David’s move brought much of the kingdom’s wealth under royal control too. Later kings sometimes reasserted this religious centralization. During the reign of the seventh-century B.C.E. reformer Josiah of Judah, the Temple priests supposedly “found” (in 2 Kings 22:8) a scroll of the law—the Book of Deuteronomy—which commands centralized worship: “You shall seek the place that the Lord your God will choose out of all your tribes … You shall go there, bring there your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and your donations” (Deuteronomy 12:5–6).