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Unformatted text preview: Shweiky 1 Ramy Shweiky Professor Chamberlain MMW2, Section # C06 30 Jan. 2007 A Flawed King King David is arguably one of the most important characters in the Hebrew Bible. He is responsible for the unification of Israel as a nation, capturing Jerusalem and making it the official capital of Israelites (Chamberlain). Despite how David is often thought of as a flawless, virtuous leader compared to Saul who preceded him, David’s behavior and judgment in Book 2 of Samuel can surely be put into question. His pursuit of the married woman Bathsheba, and the plotting of the death of her husband Uriah prove to have costly consequences for David and his entire family. The conflicts that David and his family are presented with, as a result of his disobedience to the Lord, ultimately reflect badly upon David and his family, and from an Israelite’s perspective, portray himself and the kingship in a primarily negative light. Given the ambiguity of King David’s character in both Books of Samuel, many could also argue that the writers of the Hebrew Bible portray him in a very positive light, and that Israelite readers would agree. Proponents of this argument surely point first to 1 Samuel. As the youngest, smallest son of his father Jesse the Bethlehemite, David is chosen by the Lord as his next king. The Lord says to Samuel that he has chosen David not by the same criteria as mortals may choose a king, but in looking to his heart ( The New Oxford Annotated Bible, 1 Sam. 16.7). Here, the author makes evident the good qualities that David possesses, stating how the Lord reflects positively on his character and heart, and not his outward appearance. The pro-Davidic tone of 1 Samuel continues with his encounter with Goliath, the Philistine. After David’s Shweiky 2 unexpected victory over the much larger and much stronger Philistine, he begins to win the support of the Israelites, as he continues a trend of victories on the battlefield. “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (18.7). This song that women sing in response to David’s military success shows the sway of support from King Saul to David. All of Israel loved David, because he was the one who marched against their enemies and led them to victory (18.16). The portrayal of David as the successful military leader of Israel shows that through his victories he has captured the love and support of...
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This note was uploaded on 05/01/2008 for the course MMW 2 taught by Professor Chang during the Winter '08 term at UCSD.
- Winter '08