Download David, Saul, and God: Rediscovering an Ancient Story by Paul Borgman PDF

By Paul Borgman

The biblical tale of King David and his clash with King Saul (1 and a pair of Samuel) is likely one of the so much colourful and perennially well known within the Hebrew Bible. lately, this tale has attracted loads of scholarly realization, a lot of it dedicated to displaying that David was once a miles much less heroic personality than looks at the floor. certainly, a couple of has painted David as a despicable tyrant. Paul Borgman presents a counter-reading to those stories, via an attentive analyzing of the narrative styles of the textual content. He specializes in one of many key good points of historic Hebrew narrative poetics -- repeated styles -- taking specific notice of even the small diversifications every time a trend recurs. He argues that such "hearing cues" might have alerted an historic viewers to the solutions to such questions as "Who is David?" and "What is so flawed with Saul?" The narrative insists on such questions, says Borgman, slowly disclosing solutions via styles of repeated situations and dominant motifs that yield, eventually, the preferrred paintings of storytelling in old literature. Borgman concludes with a comparability with Homer's storytelling procedure, demontrating that the David tale is certainly a masterpiece and David (as Baruch Halpern has acknowledged) "the first really glossy human."

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Extra info for David, Saul, and God: Rediscovering an Ancient Story

Example text

What ‘‘all Israel heard’’ was ‘‘that Saul had defeated the garrison’’ (I, 13:3– 4). It would seem that Jonathan has taken the initiative in battle while Saul demands the credit for victory. The situation immediately deteriorates under Saul’s leadership, as we have seen: the Philistines ‘‘mustered to fight,’’ and the Israelites gathered by Saul begin scurrying off, badly frightened. They hid ‘‘in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns,’’ while those remaining with Saul trembled with fear (I, 13:5–7).

At the beginning of his diatribe, Samuel had commended his own behavior, hinting that although Saul had just been celebrated as king, the two sons of Samuel himself, the prophet-judge, were still available to lead the people (I, 12:2). But the people had already balked at the rule of these sons, asking instead for a king: after all, Samuel’s elevation of his sons as judges had already been disastrous. The two sons ‘‘turned aside after grain; they took bribes and perverted justice’’ (I, 8:3). As suggested, echoes of Eli’s two sacrilegious and manifestly evil sons have helped to suggest, before Saul enters the scene, that the people’s request for a king has some merit, in spite of their desire to have a king ‘‘like other nations’’ (I, 8:5).

When I saw that the people were slipping away from me . ’’ Saul begins (I, 13:10–11). ), he finally ‘‘forced himself ’’ to start the sacrifices. Whether the prophet’s arrival is too late, given the seven-day instruction, we are not told: there is nothing in the text to indicate that the seventh day had ended when Samuel appears, interrupting Saul between the burnt offerings and the communion sacrifice. 15 ‘‘You have done foolishly,’’ Samuel responds. ‘‘Now your kingdom will not continue; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart .

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