Alison Joseph deposited Who Is like David? Was David like David?: Good Kings in the Book of Kings on Humanities Commons 5 years, 10 months ago
Of the more than forty monarchs who rule the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, only three are said to be like David, the paradigm of the good king. What qualifies one to be “like David”? Would David, as portrayed in Samuel, stack up to these criteria? This paper is a study of the accolades given to only a handful of the kings: those who do what is pleasing to Yahweh, whose hearts are with Yahweh, and the very few who are like David. The regnal formula evaluations, a product of deuteronomistic composition, are sparing with compliments. By tracking the various elements of the positive judgments, we can derive criteria for what qualifies a king to be so described. In doing this, it is possible to see that the description of the acts of David in Samuel is not similar to the David of Kings constructed as the standard for kings’ evaluations. The “David” of Kings is a royal prototype reflecting deuteronomistic interests and is a literary tool used to measure the other kings. Through this study, we can see the work of the Deuteronomist and the relationship between the deuteronomistic composition in Kings and Samuel.