By Paul Borgman
The biblical tale of King David and his clash with King Saul (1 and a pair of Samuel) is among the so much colourful and perennially well known within the Hebrew Bible. lately, this tale has attracted loads of scholarly cognizance, a lot of it dedicated to exhibiting that David was once a miles much less heroic personality than seems to be at the floor. certainly, multiple has painted David as a despicable tyrant. Paul Borgman offers a counter-reading to those reviews, via an attentive analyzing of the narrative styles of the textual content. He makes a speciality of one of many key gains of historical Hebrew narrative poetics -- repeated styles -- taking precise word of even the small adaptations every time a trend recurs. He argues that such "hearing cues" might have alerted an old viewers to the solutions to such questions as "Who is David?" and "What is so mistaken with Saul?" The narrative insists on such questions, says Borgman, slowly disclosing solutions via styles of repeated eventualities and dominant motifs that yield, ultimately, the ultimate 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 stated) "the first actually glossy human."
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Extra resources for David, Saul, and God: Rediscovering an Ancient Story
Only this story’s God can see something far more signiﬁcant than the boy’s cheerful good looks. ‘‘Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed [David], surrounded by his brothers’’ (I, 16:13). The outsider is now encircled by his family—though unknown to them, David is seized on by God: ‘‘now the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward’’ (I, 16:13). The episode ends without a single word or action from David. We have met David, but not really: we know nothing about him except that God likes him—for good reason, apparently, but reason known only to God (I, 16:7).
Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep and of the cattle and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was valuable, and would not utterly destroy them; all that was despised and worthless they utterly destroyed. ’’ Samuel was angry; and he cried out to the Lord all night. (I, 15:8–11) Saul utterly destroyed all the people; all that was despised and worthless they utterly destroyed. ’’ In the case of Agag and all that was valuable, Saul and the people would not utterly destroy them.
Why not is what Saul wants to know. The attentive audience has been given important clues about why not, but the worst of Saul’s poor action is yet to come. The king decides on lots to determine the culprit, the one who has broken the king’s oath, the one whose guilt presumably has kept God silent before Saul’s plea. Saul said, ‘‘Come here, all you leaders of the people; and let us ﬁnd out how this sin has arisen today. ’’ But there was no one among all the people who answered him. ’’ (I, 14:38– 40) The lot will determine whether someone on the people’s side is guilty, or on the other, the father and son’s side.
David, Saul, and God: Rediscovering an Ancient Story by Paul Borgman