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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54699
Doc. No:TL24653
Call number:‭3239144‬
Main Entry:John Randall Short
Title & Author:The story of David's rise as political apology: A reconsiderationJohn Randall Short
College:Harvard Divinity School
Date:2006
Degree:Th.D.
student score:2006
Page No:235
Abstract:Modern biblical scholars have increasingly characterized the story of David's rise to kingship as stemming from an originally independent and unified source that was composed in the Jerusalemite royal court for the purpose of legitimizing David's usurpation of Saul's throne. Scholars have made this case for interpreting "the History of David's Rise" (HDR) as royal propaganda through comparisons of it with other ancient Near Eastern royal texts, particularly the Hittite "Apology of [special characters omitted]attušili." Furthermore, they have detected in HDR a rhetorical posture that addresses several underlying or implied charges of illegitimacy and lèse-majesté against the historical David. Inasmuch as these scholars believe that the original HDR remained essentially unchanged throughout its literary history, they interpret the biblical account in terms of the apologetic needs of King David. In this dissertation, I contend that these recent characterizations of HDR as "the Apology of David" fail to make adequate sense of many literary and theological features and particularities of the biblical account. My contention is not that the story of David's rise to kingship was never used for any sort of "apologetic" purposes, but that the biblical account---at any point in its literary history---cannot be so easily assimilated to the genre of ancient Near Eastern "royal apology" and basically reduced to "political self-justification" or "secular, political ideology," as some scholars have characterized it. Ultimately, this approach leads to unsatisfactory results even for versions of HDR that have been reconstructed according to these historical and literary assumptions. Reading through the lens of political apology is all the more inadequate, then, vis-`a-vis the present biblical account. Within the biblical context of 1 and 2 Samuel, I argue, YHWH's initial election of David is not simply one of several legitimizing themes or motifs in "David's story" Divine election, rather, is the sole ground upon which David's kingship rises and stands. Subsequent to YHWH's initial election of David as His king, therefore, the rest of the narrative presents YHWH's confirmation of him as His choice for king through the emergence of David as the "beloved son" of Jesse, Saul, all Israel, and YHWH Himself.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; David, King of Israel; Divine election; Political apology; Samuel 1; Samuel 2; Biblical studies; 0321:Biblical studies
Added Entry:J. D. Levenson
Added Entry:Harvard Divinity School