kyle mccarter samuel 1 and 2 analysis pdf

Kyle mccarter samuel 1 and 2 analysis pdf

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Chapter 1 The Genre Debate and Satire

1.1 The Genre Debate

1.1 The Genre Debate

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About us. Stay updated. Corporate Social Responsiblity. Investor Relations. Review a Brill Book. Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives. The Hebrew Bible presents contrasting depictions of King David. For example, David is portrayed as having an adulterous affair with Bathsheba 2 Sam. Contrary to the favourable account in Chronicles, David is criticised explicitly in this narrative for these transgressions.

The narrator writes that God is displeased with David 2 Sam. Yet, the rest of the narrative that is commonly referred to as the Succession Narrative SN is less explicit. There are instances of apparent criticism, such as the contrast between David and Uriah in 2 Samuel — However, overall it would appear that the SN shows David in a negative light. With the seemingly unflattering presentation of David in the passage 2 Samuel 9—20; 1 Kings 1—2, 2 it is no surprise that the genre of this body of work has been debated extensively.

The following section discusses the different competing views of the genre of the SN, and the varied conceptions of King David and his family within these different genre categorisations of the SN. In section 1. The argument for the existence of a unified narrative beginning in the Second Book of Samuel through to the beginning of the First Book of Kings has a long history.

Rost argues that the passage 2 Samuel 9—1 Kings 1—2 is a single authored narrative, by proposing that it is part of a self-contained unit which also includes the Ark Narrative 1 Sam.

Both Wellhausen 7 and Rost see the focus of the content in this narrative as the succession to the throne of King David. He criticizes previous research which identified the unity of texts based only on consistency of vocabulary and thought-content.

Rost suggests that these findings are open to debate; as shared vocabulary and shared thoughts might be found in groups of people within the same sphere of influence, and thereby, consistency may not point to a work being written by a single author.

Rost writes that a single style can be determined by concise vs. Although Rost does not write in detail about the genre of the text he claims that the SN was written by a member of the royal court, 13 and is a highly stylized account of history. However, scholars were yet to strictly define genre.

After the early history of scholarship into the material in the SN, scholars began to make clearer suggestions regarding the genre of the narrative, or spoke of a distinct focus in the narrative which implied a particular genre. Each of these descriptive headings considered on its own is imprecise as it is generally considered that the SN is based on actual historical events, has a theological function, and shows evidence of literary artistry.

That is, the SN has key features of multiple genres and, as such, manifests genre overlap. However, consistent with this overlap of genre, it can reasonably be argued that the SN has a dominant focus, and therefore, is a better exemplar of one of these genres than of others.

However, a group of scholars wrote succinctly of the narrative 2 Samuel 9—20; 1 Kings 1—2 as a national epic. A decade later a body of scholars began to speak of the SN as a work of political propaganda. Contrary to this, Otto Eissfeldt favours the view that the SN is literary art. He argues that the SN outlines historical events, but does so in a way that is artistically crafted.

Furthermore, Gunn argues that all of these motifs have a literary purpose. He suggests that these traditional motifs may have some basis in historical fact, but that the narrative neglects historical reporting in favour of creating an entertaining story. Gunn therefore, concludes that this work finds its origins both in history and the oral tradition of story-telling—a tradition that used these literary patterns to provide artistic flair to the material.

The highly crafted nature of the narrative and the important story encourages Gunn to call the narrative serious entertainment. Van Seters makes the argument that the material in the SN or what he calls the David Saga 39 is akin to Njals sagas , which are a particular form of Icelandic family sagas. Furthermore, Van Seters suggests that the Deuteronomistic History of David, which presents David as a just and righteous king, is subverted in the David Saga, where David is shown to be anything but a model ruler.

I claim that the genre of the SN is a satire in addition to being an historical account with a theological function. This line of research has emerged from two different lines of inquiry. In the first instance, I have been influenced by the body of research which considers the SN to be a work of literary art.

The second line of inquiry has been my own research into irony in the SN. Nevertheless, I suggest that the genre of satire is a better fit. Indeed, as already stated, in this work I argue in detail that the SN meets a received definition of satire and, therefore, should be regarded as satire. Satire, of course, may include some Njals sagas , however, Njals sagas are not always satirical. Moreover, by contrast with a work belonging to the genre of satire, a work belonging to the genre of Njals sagas would not necessarily have a pervasive sense of irony as the SN does and comply with the literary conventions of irony, rhetorical devices, distortions, grotesqueries etc.

For these reasons, I suggest that the SN is more appropriately regarded as belonging to the genre of satire than that of Njals saga. The second line of inquiry which led me to suspect that the SN is a work of satire is my own research into irony in the SN.

Most notably, Bloom argues that the author J was an ironist. However, I argue that the author of the SN is an ironist and a satirist, since irony is an essential element of satire. This process begins with a brief account of the history of satire.

The word satire is derived from the Latin word satura which has come to mean brimming with a variety of different things. Gilbert Highet likens the word satura to the metaphor of a stew, which is a single unit that is full of different elements.

A stew is also rich and earthy as compared to a plate of fine dining, which is sophisticated yet sparse, indicating that satire is coarse and varied. As the word satire was a Roman invention, 60 the earliest satirist is sometimes spoken of as Horace 65—8 BCE. He writes that the Arabic hija which Elliot calls satire was a curse that tribal poets would hurl at each other before a battle. This he contends morphed into bragging, as is demonstrated in the preliminary banter between David and Goliath.

For instance, Goliath speaks of cursing David 1 Sam. Either way, as Elliot mentions, whether this exchange was seen to be a curse or hurtful invective, the commonality in both cases is the desire to harm the opposition, and to gain control over him or her. The fear that satires created is well-documented.

For instance, S. Goitein writes; Muhammad … is reported twice to have ordered the execution of such powerful female satirists, who were greatly dreaded by even such a powerful man as the head of the new Muslim State.

The biting satires of the woman judge, some of which were later included in the so-called song of Deborah Judges 5 were a most effective means of activating the languid tribes.

Prophetesses were consulted or dreaded, up to the very end of the Old-Israelite prophetism, if we may judge from the examples of Hulda, who was approached by King Josiah, and Noadya, who was obviously a great nuisance to Nehemiah, the Governor of Judea in Persian times, even though he was an energetic and rather ruthless man Nehemiah It appears that satiric forms were evident in different cultures including the OT , throughout history. What is significant for this research is the identifying features of satire and the function of satire.

An in-depth analysis of both of these aspects of satire will follow. Satire presents in different forms. It may appear as a monologue, a parody of an existing work, a fictitious drama, 70 a biography, 71 or satire might present as history writing.

When we speak of a satirical novel or a satirical play we probably have in mind a work of art which contains a sharp kind of irony or ridicule or even denunciation … in short, satire has to do with tone and spirit perhaps also purpose , but hardly with form.

Satire also has a discernible object of attack. Traditionally the targets of satire are presented in ways which are humiliating and debasing in order to strip them metaphorically of their social standing. This duality of levels represents the struggle between two different perspectives and these perspectives may be held by different factions within a society or, indeed, by different competing societies.

The form of irony definitive of satire is verbal irony. Moreover, the irony in instances of verbal irony is always intended. Therefore, the irony is not merely the unintended result of some conjunction of action and circumstance as in the well-known case of the pick-pocket whose own pocket is picked as he picks the pocket of others.

Chapter 1 The Genre Debate and Satire

Samuel begins with the prophet Samuel 's birth [5] and God 's call to him as a boy. The story of the Ark of the Covenant that follows tells of Israel's oppression by the Philistines , which brought about Samuel's anointing of Saul as Israel's first king. But Saul proved unworthy and God's choice turned to David , who defeated Israel's enemies, purchased the threshing floor 2 Samuel , where his son, Solomon built the Temple and brought the Ark to Jerusalem. God then promised David and his successors an everlasting dynasty. The childless Hannah vows to Yahweh of hosts that if she has a son, he will be dedicated to him. Eli , the priest of Shiloh where the Ark of the Covenant is located , blesses her, and a child named Samuel is born.

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I will attempt a source-critical analysis of 1 Samuel , focusing on chap. 3 For a summary of various theories concerning the redaction of Dtr, see 7 See, e.g., the attempts of P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., I Samuel (AB 8; Garden City, NY: Double-.


1.1 The Genre Debate

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1.1 The Genre Debate

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Saul's prophetic representations and its parody in 1 Samuel. The paper engages the intrigue of Saul's description as a "prophetic figure" in the beginning of 1 Samuel and his description as the "patron" of witchcraft at Endor. In these conflicting representations of Saul, one of the hidden agenda of the narrator of Samuel is clearly achieved because he has successfully transformed a prophetic tradition which appears originally to attribute prophetic feats to the first Israelite king, and creatively turned the same tradition against itself by amusingly portraying the same character as the practitioner of witchcraft. Consequently, through the technique of parody, the original prophetic figure Saul is humorously no longer among the prophets, but now in consultation of a witch. The last recorded words of Saul to his bodyguard show that Saul preferred to take his own life rather than to face the "mockery" of his Philistine enemies. Taking these critiques seriously, it is then possible to understand the Saul material not from the tampering hands of the redactor but from the powerful skill of the narrator who uses his sources discretely with the sole intention to make a subtle mockery of Saul.

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