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The fate of Saul's progeny in the reign of David

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2009
Dissertation
Author: Cephas T. A Tushima
Abstract:
This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the fate of Saul's heirs in the aftermath of Saul's death. It is an evaluation of the relationships between David and Saul's descendants, with the underlying theme of justice drawing upon the provisions in the book of Deuteronomy for justice in the covenant community. Because no separate narrative of Saul's descendants exists in the Bible, the study focuses on the story of David and its interdigitation with the fate of the Saulides to determine the factors that lay behind the tragedies that befell them, specifically whether these tragedies were due to continuing divine retribution, pure happenstance, or Davidic orchestration. The passages studied for this purpose are 1 Sam 18:17-19:17; 25:39-44; 2 Sam 2-4,6,9,16:1-4; 19:25-31 [ET 24-30]; 21:1-14. A close reading of these texts brings us to the conclusion that David was, for the most part, unjust and calculating in his dealings with the Saulides. Thematic and motific threads arising from this study are subsequently traced throughout Israel's (and Jewish) traditions for their biblical theological and redemptive historical import. As a general introduction, chapter 1 commences with an overview of the history of the critical study of the books of Samuel, beginning with the early days of critical biblical studies in the early nineteenth century. The review of relevant literature embarked upon deals with both methodological and content matters as necessary background for the definition of the research thesis. Other preliminary matters dealt with in the first chapter include the unity of Samuel, Samuel's literary context in the Deuteronomistic History and its relationship to the Torah (Deuteronomy), and the theme of justice in the Deuteronomistic History and its bearings on the narratives in Samuel. Chapter 2 lays out the chosen methodological approach for the study, namely, narrative criticism. It traces the evolutionary path of narrative criticism from the rise of New Criticism to the contemporary literary critical approaches. The chapter also outlines the definition of narrative criticism and its component literary devices, which serve in the study as heuristic tools for explicating the world of the biblical narrative texts studied. Chapters 3 through 5 are where the fate of the Saulides is discussed at length. The murders of Abner and Ishbosheth are dealt with in chapter 3. A close reading of 2 Sam 3 unfolds circumstantial evidence that implicates David in Joab's murder of Abner. Ishbosheth's death, however, is attributable to the crass opportunism of the Rimmon brothers. David's underhanded dealing with Michal, Saul's daughter, is the subject of chapter 4. David is shown to have abandoned her after she had helped him escape being lynched by Saul's henchmen. In order to smooth his path to the throne, David reclaimed Michal--plucking her out of the home of her loving husband Paltiel. The chapter closes with the gory story of David's order for the ritual killing, at the Gibeonite altar, of Michal's kin, the Saulide Seven. Chapter 5 follows Mephibosheth's fate as it ml1tates with the changing fortunes of David's life. While riding the crest of triumph, David puts on the airs of magnanimity toward Mephibosheth. Yet the supposedly gracious return of his grandfather's patrimony is not without cynicism. At his slough of despond, during Absalom's revolt, David hastily expropriates Mephibosheth's estate to bestow it on the graft-wielding Ziba. Even upon his return from exile, David is too compromised to redress the injustice he has done to Mephibosheth and resorts to a face-saving grudging return of only half of the estate he seized previously. The sixth chapter is a two-part integrative reading of the research findings. The first part evaluates David's dealings with the Saulides vis-à-vis the provisions of the Deuteronomic Code for the maintenance of justice in the covenant community, with the conclusion that David was unjust to the Saulides. The second consists of situating the themes arising from the narrative of David's dealings with the Saulides in the larger context of the biblical canon. This biblical theological perspective helps explain the duality of the Deuteronomic (indeed, biblical) stance toward David of both praise and criticism. It ultimately helps foster the understanding of the shift in the Second Temple period from prophetic eschatological expectation to apocalyptic eschatological expectation, which culminated in the messianic hope. Chapter 7 highlights truth claims that arise from this intertwined narration of the story of David and the fate of Saul's descendants and sketches out the implications that arise from it for contemporary communities of faith.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Title Page i Dedication ii Abstract iii List of Abreviations v Table of Contents vii Acknowledgements x Chapter One: General Introduction 1 A General Historical Review of Research in Samuel Review of Selected Relevant Literature Hugo Gressmann and Other Early Twentieth-Century German Scholars Leonhard Carlson Rolf A. Carlson R. N. Whybray Robert Polzin Gillian Keys V. Philips Long Steven L. McKenzie Baruch Halpern Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman Walter Brueggemann Sundry Authors Conclusion Statement of Study Problem The Basis of the Study Study Problem The Significance of the Study Delimitation of Study Reading Samuel in its Literary Contexts Samuel and the Torah Samuel and Deuteronomy Samuel as a Literary Unity The So-called Appendix and the Rest of Samuel The Theme of Justice in Deuteronomistic History Summary of the Chapters Chapter Two: Study Methodology—Narrative Criticism 82 The Rise of Contemporary Literary Criticism Introduction to Narrative Criticism Biblical Narrative and Narrative Art Narrative Critical Reading of the Bible: Some Reflections Key Elements in Narrative Criticism Plot Characterization Point of View vn

Narration Dialogue Narrative Gaps Repetition and Leitworl Type Scene and Narrative Analogy Chapter Three: The Contest for the Succession to the Throne of Saul (2 Sam 2-4).... 143 The Beginning of Civil War (2 Sam 2:1-32) Abner: Conflict, Compact, and Catastrophe (2 Sam 3:1-39) Ishbosheth's Death (2 Sam 4:1-12) Conclusion Chapter Four: David and Michal .... 198 Michal in the History of David's Rise (HDR) Michal: David's Lover, Trap, or Savior? (1 Sam 18:17-19:17) Michal Loses David (1 Sam 25:39-44) Michal as David's Victory Tribute (1 Sam 3:12-16) Michal at David's Triumph (2 Sam 6:1-23) Michal's Sons and Her Brothers: Pawns in the Dynastic Struggle (2 Sam 21:1-14) The Famine, the Oracle, and its Outcome The Execution of the Saulide Seven Rizpah's Search for Dignity for Her Dead Conclusion Chapter Five: David and Mephibosheth 273 Mephibosheth and the Triumphant David (2 Sam 9:1-13) David's Inquiry into Saul's Surviving Progeny (2 Sam 9:1-4) David's Parley with Mephibosheth (2 Sam 9:5-8) David's Instructions to Ziba (2 Sam 9:9—1 la) The Epilogue (2 Sam 9:1 lb—13) Mephibosheth and a Disgraced David (2 Sam 16:1^4) Mephibosheth and a Compromised David (2 Sam 19:25-31; ET 24-30) Conclusion Chapter Six: An Integrative Reading of The Research Findings 332 A Deuteronomic Evaluation of the Research Findings Deuteronomy and David in the Civil War Years Deuteronomy and David and Michal (with her Sons and Half-brothers) Deuteronomy and David and Mephibosheth Reading These Stories of David from a Biblical Theological Perspective The Torah and David's Story The Deuteronomistic History and David's Story The Latter Prophets and David's Story The Writings and David's Story The New Testament and David's Story Conclusion via

Chapter Seven: Conclusion—Truths from David's Dealings with the Saulides 386 David and the Fate of the Saulides The Fate of Abner and Ishbosheth The Fate of Michal and the Saulide Seven The Fate of Mephibosheth David's Dealings with the House of Saul in the Light of the Law David's Moral Failures in the Context of the Biblical Canon The Implications of the Study • Conclusion Bibliography 399 IX

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Embarking on a journey that is both time and resource consuming, such as doctoral studies, one is bound to need "Aarons and Hurs" along the way to support one's drooping hands and feeble knees. That, certainly, has been my experience on this journey. Constrained by both time and space, it is impossible for me to acknowledge every source of support and encouragement. I will, however, endeavor to list just a few out of the myriad of God's people who have stood by us (my family and me) through the valleys and hills of this journey. My foremost appreciation goes to my mentor, Dr. Tremper Longman III, who made sure that I took ownership of my work from the very beginning. Yet, time and again, at critical junctures, his penetrating inquiries into the what's, why's and how's of what I was doing set me on the path of critical reappraisal of my work. This often led me to change course—whether in substantial or peripheral matters. The present work is a direct result of such crucial guidance. Likewise, his suggestions of additional resources for me to consult were very helpful. Dr. Longman even graciously went beyond the call of duty by correcting technical errors that escaped both my proofreaders and me. This acknowledgement would be incomplete without the mention of my professors at Westminster Theological Seminary. First of all, I am highly indebted to my late faculty advisor, Prof. J. Alan Groves, who helped shaped my interest in the Deuteronomistic History. Through the opportunity he accorded me to work for him as a research/teaching assistant, Prof. Groves afforded me such privileged exposure and experience in our discipline that it will continue to inform my work for years to come. I am equally indebted to my former professor, Steve Taylor, who recognized my potential and would not watch me fall by the wayside on account of financial constraints. The initiative he took on my behalf resulted in a scholarship that allowed me to complete my studies at Westminster. I am likewise thankful to Prof. Michael Kelly who provided me necessary guidance in the beginning stages of my research, when my initial advisor became terminally ill. He has also been a very helpful resource as the second reader of the dissertation. I also extend gratitude to the other professors in my department (Drs. J. Douglas Green, Peter Enns, Dan McCartney, Kirk Lowery and Vern Poythress), from whom I have learned immensely through the courses I took with them. I am thankful for Rev. Dwight Singer (my mentor during my studies at ECWA Theological Seminary, Jos, Nigeria), who introduced me to the Hebrew Scriptures and the Hebrew Language. On a personal level, Rev. Singer also worked hard to make possible my "coming to America." I also owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Paul Wright of Jerusalem University College, Jerusalem (where I studied in 2004 and 2006). He was the one that called my attention to the plight of the Saulide Seven, during one of the numerous insightful personal conversations I had with him. This helped crystallize for me what the focus of my research would be. I am equally thankful to Dr. V. Philips Long (of Regent College, Vancouver, B.C., Canada), the external reader of my dissertation, whose kind affirmations have been a huge encouragement while his constructive criticisms have helped me tighten my arguments in places and correct outright mistakes in others. I wish to also thank my army of supporters, some of whom stepped up to the plate at crucial points in this journey to lend a helping hand, while others by choice were with me every step of the journey. These include Westminster Theological Seminary (for my scholarship awards), and congregations such as ECWA Wuse II, ECWA Seminary Church (and other x

ECWA congregations), New Monmouth Baptist Church, Faith Community Church, Broomall Reformed Presbyterian Church, Church of the Saviour, Calvary Baptist Church, and Cheltenham Presbyterian Church. On an individual level, my appreciation goes to Mr. Allen Kwaghkor, Mr. Dondo Ahire, Emmanuel & Olubusola Eshiet, Daniel & Mbanan Sugh, Saaondo & Eunice Anom, Solomon & Doo Asen, Orkurga & Kezia Malu, David & Felicia Hwande, Paul Martin, Lorrain Martin & her family, Stephen & Karen Dunn, Luke & Linda Brown, Daniel & Joan Lloyd (and the Lloyd family), Bill & Beth Rumberger, Bob & Vicki Winter, Glen & Margareta Palomino, Dorothy Carson, and Leanne Bickel. To you, and all the others I am unable to name, I say, thank you for your labor of love. The Lord is not unjust as to forget your sacrifices for the sake of his people (Heb 6:10). I also express gratitude to my immediate and extended family. Members of both my wife's and my own families have over the years stepped in to fill the void we left back home when we came to America, as they took on responsibilities we would have borne. Thank you all for the different ways in which you have all sacrificed for us or on our behalf. To my wife (Nguhemen) and daughter (Iyuana Salome), I say a big thank you. You have endured many years of my being around but not available. Without your sacrifices, I could not have reached this journey's end. I am also indebted to Leslie Altena (of Westminster Seminary Writing Center), whose counsels and instructions on writing style were of invaluable help to me. I wish to also thank those who at different points in the journey have painstakingly proofread different chapters of the manuscript of my lengthy dissertation. These are Henry Whitney, Janice Kuhlmann, Denise Hoover, and Dr. Kenneth Davis. While these brothers and sisters helped in proofreading my manuscripts, I am solely responsible for any errors that are still present in the final copy. Above all, I am most grateful to the Almighty God and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who loved me before the foundation of the world and called me from my mother's womb to be his servant. His mighty hand has brought me thus far, and he will surely carry me to the end of my life pilgrimage. To him be glory and honor forevermore. Cephas T. A. Tushima May 2009. XI

CHAPTER ONE GENERAL INTRODUCTION A GENERAL HISTORICAL REVIEW OF RESEARCH IN SAMUEL J. G. Eichhorn's demonstration of the existence of sources in the book of Samuel in 1823 set the critical study of the book of Samuel on its path.1 O. Thenius further refined this initial effort. However, Wellhausen's study was a definitive turning point. The key for identifying the sources, for Wellhausen, was the attitude toward the monarchy. He read the texts with a favorable attitude toward the monarchy (cf. 1 Sam 9:1-10:17; 11:1-11, 15) as early, while those with an unfavorable attitude (1 Sam 7:2-8:22; 10:17-27; 12:1- 25) he considered late in origin.4 A long succession of scholars who found the Pentateuchal sources continuing into the Former Prophets (such as Eduard Meyer and Karl Budde) expanded on these initial efforts.5 It had been the practice of critics to consider the sources of Joshua identical with those of the Pentateuch, hence the practice of referring to the whole as the Hexateuch rather than the initial limiting of the sources to the first five books that make up the 1 Otto Eissfeldt, The Old Testament: An Introduction (Trans. Peter R. Ackroyd; New York: Harper and Row, 1965), 244. 2 O. Thenius, Der Bticher Samuels (Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch zum Alten Testament 4; 2nd ed.; Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1864). 3 J. Wellhausen, Der Text de Bticher Samuelis untersucht (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Rupert, 1871); idem. Die Composition des Hexateuchs und der historischen Bticher der alten Testaments (3rd ed.; Berlin: B. Reimar, 1899). 4 Ralph W. Klein, I Samuel (WBC. Vol. 10; Waco, TX.: Word,1983), xxviii; cf. P. Kyle McCarter, "The Books of Samuel," in The History of Israel's Traditions: The Heritage of Martin Noth (eds. Steven L. McKenzie and M. Patrick Graham; JSOTSup 182; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1994), 260-80. 5 For example, see Karl Ferdinand Reinhardt Budde, Die Bticher Richter und Samuel: Ihre Quellen und ihr Aufbau (Giessen : J. Ricker, 1890).

2 Pentateuch. Some critics had considered extending the range of these sources even beyond Joshua. R. Kittel was the first major voice to limit the scope of the sources to the Hexateuch. For him, therefore, it is the fragmentary theory that accounts for the corpus from Judges through Kings.6 His point is that this corpus "consists in a variety of complexes of larger and smaller sizes: hero stories, royal stories, ark stories, prophet stories and the like."7 Building upon the insight of Kittel, Hugo Gressmann argued that the book of Samuel consists of a loose compilation of individual narratives of varying scopes.8 Gressmann held that this collection eventually underwent a Deuteronomistic redaction at some stage in its history.9 What is called the "successive block" theory is a modified form of Gressmann's theory. Some of the main suggested blocks include the History of David's Rise (HDR, 1 Sam 16 [or 15]-2 Sam 5); the Ark Narrative (AN, 1 Sam 4-6 and 2 Sam 6); the Succession Narrative (SN, 2 Sam 9-20 and 1 Kgs 1-2); and the Appendix (2 Sam 21-24). Following the trail blazed by Gressmann, Leonhard Rost began a slightly different strand of fragmentary theory, in which he laid his emphasis more on the traditio-historical approach. In his work, published in 1926 (Eng. 1982), Rost saw the book of Samuel as 6 R. Kittel, "Das erste Buch Samuel," Die Heilige Schrift des alten Testaments (Vol. 1; 4th ed.; revd. A. Bertholet; Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1922), 407-51; idem. Geschichte des Volkes Israel'.(Vol. 2; Gotha: Friedrich Andreas Perthes, 1922). 7 Eissfeldt, Introduction, 245. 8 George Fohrer, Introduction to the Old Testament (Initiated by Ernst Sellin; Trans. David E. Green; Nashville: Abingdon, 1968), 217; for more details see H. Gressmann, Die dlteste Geschichtereibung und Prophetie Israels, von Samuel bis Amos undHose, (Die Schriften des Alten Testaments; 2 Vols.; Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1921). 9 A. A. Anderson, 2 Samuel, WBC (Waco, TX.: Word, 1989), xxvi.

3 consisting of a series of independently existing traditions that were crafted together without much intervening material.10 Rost's work became the bedrock of almost all research in the books of Samuel for the rest of the twentieth century. To a great degree, it is still the definitive point of departure for contemporary work in Samuel studies. Nevertheless, another major development along the lines of traditio-historical critical research that has had no less significant impact on the study of Samuel is Martin Noth's Deuteronomistic theory of the redaction of the Former Prophets. Noth held that the sources (J, E, and P) never went beyond Numbers, so that there was never a Pentateuch but a Tetrateuch. He considered the books Deuteronomy through Kings the unified work of an exilic author, based on Deuteronomic theology. This Deuteronomist compiled the books creatively from independently existing sources." Noth states that 1-2 Samuel was composed from a variety of already existing traditions, which the Deuteronomist stitched together into a unified work using his own compositions—infused with Deuteronomic theology—as the connecting seams.12 The previous near unanimity in critical scholarship concerning the high historical reliability of the books of Samuel—considered close to an eyewitness account —began to ebb away with the work of Noth, and the weakness only becomes magnified with the 10 Leonhard Rost, Die Uberlieferung von der Thronnachfolge Davids (BWANT 3rd Series; Vol. 6; ed. Rudolf Kittel; Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1926); published in English as The Succession to the Throne of David (trans. Michael D. Rutter and David M. Gunn with introduction by Edward Ball; Sheffield: Almond, 1982). 11 Martin Noth, The Deuteronomistic History JSOTSup 15 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1981) 24-26; trans, from the original UberlieferungsgeschichtlicheStudien, (2nd ed.; Tubingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1957), 1-111. 12 Noth, The Deuteronomistic History, 76-77, 84-91. 13 Cf. J. Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel (4th ed.; Cleveland, OH: World, 1965), 262; R. H. Pfiffer, Introduction to the Old Testament (New York: Harper, 1948), 357-59.

4 multiplication of redactional layers and redactors arising from scholarly responses to Noth's theory of a single exilic redactor. Subsequent to Noth, research in the books of Samuel in general, and in the SN in particular, has focused on either analyzing the text to uncover its different layers and the redactors responsible for them,14 on considering it as a story or novel,13 or on outright denial of its historical character and branding it as a fictional creation of the Golah community.16 Particularly within the last thirty years there has been a shift in the direction of research in Samuel. Two streams of this new direction are noteworthy. One relates to the efforts of historical reconstructionists, which consists of the endeavors of radical minimalists or revisionists (such as K.W. Whitelam, Niels Peter Lemche, John Van Seters, Thomas L. Thompson, and Philip R. Davis), and reconstructionists of the more 14 As the number of redactors multiply, especially in the method of the Gottingen School, it is easy to characterize the emergent phenomenon as pan-Deuteronomism. In his evaluation of the phenomenon Thomas Romer writes, "This approach risks inflating the number of redactional layers (and sigla), whose precise extent no one has yet to define in the deuteronomistic work; and the descriptions of certain 'layers' often appear quite arbitrary" ("Deuteronomy in Search of Origins," in Reconsidering Israel and Judah: Recent Studies on the Deuteronomistic History [eds. Gary N. Knoppers and J. Gordon McConville; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000], 116). 15 Eissfeldt, Introduction, 141; cf. R. N. Whybray, The Succession Narrative: A Study of 2 Samuel 9-20 and 1 Kings 1-2 (SBT; 2nd Series; Vol. 9; London: SCM Press, 1968), 10-11. 16 On the opening book of the Deuteronomistic History, Romer writes, "Deuteronomistic Deuteronomy, conceived as far as chapter 30 as a great Mosaic discourse (with a few minor interruptions), transports the exile community, for whom in my opinion it was intended, into a situation of origins. By directly addressing their audience, the Deuteronomists in a way made them into contemporaries of Moses, and this transparent fiction corresponds well with the actual situation of the exiled community: as at the time of Moses, they are again/anew outside the land, and they await (re)entry. They find themselves in a desert, in a 'land of want,' in a place where 'the need for divine aid makes itself felt most urgently.' We have the impression that by situating their addressees at the 'origins' of Yahwistic faith, the Deuteronomists wished to temporarily wipe out entire centuries of history to signify that a new beginning was possible" ("Deuteronomy in Search of Origins," 117-18). For similar or more strongly stated views see J. Van Seters, Abraham in History and Tradition (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1975); idem, In Search of History: Historiography in the Ancient World and the Origin of Biblical History (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1983); T. L. Thompson, Early History of Israelite People from the Written and Archaeological Sources (SHANE 4; Leiden: Brill, 1992); K. W. Whitelam, The Invention of Ancient Israel: The Silencing of Palestinian History (London: Routledge, 1996); P. R. Davis, In Search of "Ancient Israel, " (JSOTSupp 148 Sheffield: JSOT, 1992); and G. Garbini, History and Ideology in Ancient Israel (New York: Crossroad, 1988).

5 restrained sort, such as Baruch Halpern. Steven L. McKenzie counts himself in the latter group, but in my estimation, he is more proximate to the former group than the latter. The second major stream relates to the works of critics of the ideological bent. Works in this category include those of deconstruction and reader-response critics and feminists such as David Jobling, David J. Clines, David Gunn, Cheryl Exum, Mieke Bal, and to some extent Phyllis Trible. REVIEW OF SELECTED RELEVANT LITERATURE HUGO GRESSMANN AND OTHER EARLY TWENTIETH-CENTURY GERMAN SCHOLARS W. Lee Humphreys rightly notes that if scholarship often appears to entail looking at old questions from a new perspective, "it is also revealing to consider presumed new questions from older perspectives." The application of literary approaches has flourished to hitherto unheard-of dimensions in the last thirty years, yet it is very telling that these approaches had been broached from the early decades of the last century. It is thus fitting to begin this review with the works of Hugo Gressmann, Wilhelm Caspari, Bernhard Luther, and Alfons Schulz. Gressmann's essay, "The Oldest History Writing in Israel," sets the stage for his W. Lee Humphreys, a Review of David M. Gunn (ed.), Narrative and Novella in Samuel: Studies by Hugo Gressmann and Other Scholars, 1906-1923 (trans. David E. Orton; JSOTSup 116; HTIBS 9; Sheffield: Almond, 1991) in CBQ 54 (1992), 746. 18 Here I refer specifically to Gressmann's Die dlteste Geschichtsschreibung undProphetie Israels (2nd rev. ed.; GQttigen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1921), Wilhelm Caspari's "Literarische Art und historischer Wert von 2 Sam 15-20," TSK 82 [1909]: 317-48; Bernhard Luther's "Die Novelle von Juda und Tamar und andere Israelitische Novellen," in Die Israeliten und ihre Nachbarstdmme (ed. E. Meyer; Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1906), 177-206; and Alfons Schulz's Erzahlungskunst in den Samuel-Buchern (Biblische Zeitfragen 11; series 6-7; Munster: Aschendorffsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1923), from which selected essays are published as Narrative and Novella in Samuel: Studies by Hugo Gressmann and Other Scholars 1906-1923 (ed. David M. Gunn; trans. David E. Orton; JSOTSup 116; HTIBS 9; Sheffield: Almond, 1991).

6 other essays by focusing primarily on historical questions. He demonstrates how the literary products of ancient societies were determined by the constitution of their polity. His proof for this is that where the kings were all important (as in Egypt, Babylonia, or Assyria), their extant literary products are inscriptions, chronicles, lists, and annals highlighting the great deeds of these all-important figures. On the other hand, in the polity of the Israelites and the Greeks, where the citizens were free, very little in the way of inscriptions or annals is extant, but their "history writing has reached the highest level of perfection that was granted to ancient times."19 He then shows the relationship between the development of history writing and that of saga and legend. He thus situates the books of Samuel-Kings within the historical framework furnished by the Deuteronomist as the skeleton on which the flesh and blood of various sagas, historical narratives, anecdotes, annals, and legends were hung. Other sections of Gressmann's book delve more directly into literary issues. In these, he highlights such matters as plot embedding, characterization, scenic composition, and the use of one character to foil another. He concludes that in these narratives, reality is not given a sober description but is rather artistically glorified. This is what he calls a "history-narrative with novella-type depth"—anticipatory of Robert Alter's "historicized-fiction" or "Jictionalized-history" concepts. The essays of the other scholars, similarly ahead of their times, cast the searchlights on the author's narratorial skills. They likewise take note of such phenomena in the books of Samuel as the embedding of one narrative in another, the anecdotal character of narration (especially as it relates to David), characterization, the combined Narrative and Novella in Samuel, 12.

Full document contains 438 pages
Abstract: This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the fate of Saul's heirs in the aftermath of Saul's death. It is an evaluation of the relationships between David and Saul's descendants, with the underlying theme of justice drawing upon the provisions in the book of Deuteronomy for justice in the covenant community. Because no separate narrative of Saul's descendants exists in the Bible, the study focuses on the story of David and its interdigitation with the fate of the Saulides to determine the factors that lay behind the tragedies that befell them, specifically whether these tragedies were due to continuing divine retribution, pure happenstance, or Davidic orchestration. The passages studied for this purpose are 1 Sam 18:17-19:17; 25:39-44; 2 Sam 2-4,6,9,16:1-4; 19:25-31 [ET 24-30]; 21:1-14. A close reading of these texts brings us to the conclusion that David was, for the most part, unjust and calculating in his dealings with the Saulides. Thematic and motific threads arising from this study are subsequently traced throughout Israel's (and Jewish) traditions for their biblical theological and redemptive historical import. As a general introduction, chapter 1 commences with an overview of the history of the critical study of the books of Samuel, beginning with the early days of critical biblical studies in the early nineteenth century. The review of relevant literature embarked upon deals with both methodological and content matters as necessary background for the definition of the research thesis. Other preliminary matters dealt with in the first chapter include the unity of Samuel, Samuel's literary context in the Deuteronomistic History and its relationship to the Torah (Deuteronomy), and the theme of justice in the Deuteronomistic History and its bearings on the narratives in Samuel. Chapter 2 lays out the chosen methodological approach for the study, namely, narrative criticism. It traces the evolutionary path of narrative criticism from the rise of New Criticism to the contemporary literary critical approaches. The chapter also outlines the definition of narrative criticism and its component literary devices, which serve in the study as heuristic tools for explicating the world of the biblical narrative texts studied. Chapters 3 through 5 are where the fate of the Saulides is discussed at length. The murders of Abner and Ishbosheth are dealt with in chapter 3. A close reading of 2 Sam 3 unfolds circumstantial evidence that implicates David in Joab's murder of Abner. Ishbosheth's death, however, is attributable to the crass opportunism of the Rimmon brothers. David's underhanded dealing with Michal, Saul's daughter, is the subject of chapter 4. David is shown to have abandoned her after she had helped him escape being lynched by Saul's henchmen. In order to smooth his path to the throne, David reclaimed Michal--plucking her out of the home of her loving husband Paltiel. The chapter closes with the gory story of David's order for the ritual killing, at the Gibeonite altar, of Michal's kin, the Saulide Seven. Chapter 5 follows Mephibosheth's fate as it ml1tates with the changing fortunes of David's life. While riding the crest of triumph, David puts on the airs of magnanimity toward Mephibosheth. Yet the supposedly gracious return of his grandfather's patrimony is not without cynicism. At his slough of despond, during Absalom's revolt, David hastily expropriates Mephibosheth's estate to bestow it on the graft-wielding Ziba. Even upon his return from exile, David is too compromised to redress the injustice he has done to Mephibosheth and resorts to a face-saving grudging return of only half of the estate he seized previously. The sixth chapter is a two-part integrative reading of the research findings. The first part evaluates David's dealings with the Saulides vis-à-vis the provisions of the Deuteronomic Code for the maintenance of justice in the covenant community, with the conclusion that David was unjust to the Saulides. The second consists of situating the themes arising from the narrative of David's dealings with the Saulides in the larger context of the biblical canon. This biblical theological perspective helps explain the duality of the Deuteronomic (indeed, biblical) stance toward David of both praise and criticism. It ultimately helps foster the understanding of the shift in the Second Temple period from prophetic eschatological expectation to apocalyptic eschatological expectation, which culminated in the messianic hope. Chapter 7 highlights truth claims that arise from this intertwined narration of the story of David and the fate of Saul's descendants and sketches out the implications that arise from it for contemporary communities of faith.