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The History of Davids Rise, Part I: 1 Sam 16 2 Sam 1

BOT694 Exegesis of 1 & 2 Samuel

Introduction
"1 Sam 16-2 Sam 1 describes David's increasing berakah up to the death of Saul. This complex is dominated by the epic number three, and has a thematic construction which is deserving of special attention. The chosen (bahar) David is forced to flee (barah) from Saul (19.10, nus, 12, 18, 20.1, 21.11, RSV 21.10) and take refuge (yashuab) in the desert (midbar), 22.1-26 (cf. 22.5 and the programmatical "and David dwelt in the strongholds in the wilderness", 23.14a). The theme of yashab here serves as a "desert" or "wilderness" theme; a point which is further marked by the verb hithallek, "to go about" -the keyword which indicates the content of this phase in the story of David, 23.13-25.15, 27-30.31. In 25.15, 27 hithallek is further connected with the motif of "hunger" - traditional part of the "desert" triad of hunger, thirst and weariness. this gives the thematic structure the clear stamp of "the curse" - seen not least in the final motif of expulsion, in which David flees from the country of Yahweh's inheritance and "goes over" (`abar) to the Philistine king Achish, cf. 27.2, 4. Each of these motifs recurs in the description of the second phase of the story of David in 2 Sam 10ff., though they have the character of qelalah, quite distinct from 1 Sam 16ff." [Carlson, David the Chosen King, 46-47]

Introduction
"It shares the basic themes of the Hittite apology of Hattushilish as enumerated above. First David's ability to rule is illustrated by reference to his early military success, the spontaneous loyalty of the people of Israel and Judah, and the skill and restraint with which he wages the long war with the house of Saul after his accession as king of Judah. Second, he is shown to have begun as Saul's trusted lieutenant and to have won the loyalty of the royal family. Third, he is depicted as thoroughly loyal to the king, never seeking out the power that steadily comes to him,. and indeed refusing at least one opportunity to secure his position by slaying Saul. Fourth, he is shown to have been blameless in all his dealings with Saul, whose jealousy and groundless suspicions were responsible for the alienation of David and the conflict the that ensued. Finally, it is made clear that David's rise to power was made possible, indeed inevitable, by the special favor of the god of Israel, "Yahweh is with him" being...the leitmotif of the entire composition." [McCarter, "The Apology of David,'" 499]

Purpose of the HDR


"The intention of the story line and the artistic skill of literary design are matched by the theological intentionality of the story, for it is clear that David's heroic buoyancy is held in close relation to the purposes of Yahweh. This theological affirmation of David is evident in the initial transitional episode of 1 Sam 16.1-13 and is reaffirmed in the concluding formula of 2 Sam 5.10: "And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him."" [Brueggemann, "Samuel, Book of 1-2," ABD, V, 970]

Purpose of the HDR


"The history of David's rise, then, is a narrative that promulgates a political point of view supported by theological interpretation of the events it recounts. Its purpose is to show that David's accession to the throne was lawful and that the events leading up to his proclamation as king over all Israel were guided by the will of the god of Israel." [McCarter, "The Apology of David," 494495]

Charges Against David


David sought to advance himself at court at Saul's expense. He notes that Saul calls him to the court (1 Sam 16.18-22). Hesitates to marry Michal although an idea from Saul himself(1 Sam 18.20-21a, 23). David was a deserter. The HDR defends by showing David as being forced to flee (1 Sam 19.9-17) and that the continued hostility was of Saul (1 Sam 26.19). Even Saul's family member side with David (1 Sam 19.11-17; 20.1-21.1). David was an outlaw. The HDR depicts David as a fugitive from and unjust Saul (1 Sam 26.18-20).

Charges Against David


David was a Philistine mercenary. Note 1 Sam 17.1, 8-12 and 1 Sam 30. David was implicated in the death of Saul. (1 Sam 29; 2 Sam 1.14-16). David was implicated in Abner's death. (2 Sam 2-3). David was implicated in Ishbaal's death. (2 Sam 2.2-12a).

1 SAM 16.1-13 Samuel Anoints David


The scene 16.1-13 contains a short introduction, v. 1-3, and the report of the actual event, the anointing of the king, vv. 4-13. These two parts of the story are related to one another other as an order from God to Samuel and its execution by the prophet. The criterion of place readily shows us the difference between them: The body of the scene is delineated by a fame showing the prophets journeying. The destination of his outward journey is established in v. 4b, Bethlehem, the destination of his return journey in v. 13d, Ramah, the last word of the scene, and we now realize that Samuel also received his order there, in his birthplace. [Fokkelman, J. P., Narrative Art and Poetry in the Books of Samuel, Volume II, The Crossing Fates, 112]

1 SAM 16.1-13 Samuel Anoints David


"From the outset it is made clear to the reader that David is to be Saul's successor, but Saul is left to divine that for himself. The anointing of David is carried out by subterfuge involving, ironically, the pretense that the real purpose of Samuel's excursion is to offer a sacrifice. Two other points may be noted at the very beginning of this story. Samuel claims that were Saul to hear of his mission he (Saul) would kill him. Is this a touch of paranoia on Samuel's part, or is it an intimation of a violent strain in Saul that will begin to mark his life from now on?.... Furthermore the tense atmosphere of suspicion and potential violence is not confined to relations between Yahweh/Samuel and Saul. The elders of Bethlehem meet Samuel with fear and barely disguised hostility (16.4f). To ordinary people, as to kings, Samuel can be a dangerous man." [Gunn, The Fate of King Saul, 77]

1 SAM 16.1-13 Samuel Anoints David


David is a classic personality who draw around him a variety of interpretive narratives. Israels storytellers introduce David in three distinct ways; as a shepherd boy (16.1-13), as a young musician (16.14-23), and as a young unknown warrior (ch. 17). This threefold introduction of David has important parallels to the threefold introduction of Saul, which presents Saul by way of secret anointing (9.110.16), public acclamation (10.17-27), and military victory (11.1-15)... All three introductions of David focus on his role as a shepherd (16.11; 16.19; 17.15, 34-36). Around that single theme, the storyteller weave a variety of different accounts. [Brueggemann, First and Second Samuel: Interpretation, 120]

Anointing & Kingship


The connection between the popular assembly and the rite of anointing has been dissolved. Instead, the anointing is said to have been performed by a man who is manifestly a man of God with a special divine commission. It is in no way public and is not accompanied by popular acclamation. [Mettinger, King and Messiah, 206-207] The anointing does not bring about a relation between the king and the people. Instead, it has the character of a consecration for YHWH: ...and you shall anoint for me (l|=) him whom I name to you (v. 3). The rite has become sacralized. [Mettinger, 207]

Anointing & Kingship


The anointing amounts to a visible sign of the divine election of the king. Election terminology is of considerable importance in the passage (ma)a6s bah9a6r in vv. 7-10). The anointing seals the divine election of David. [Mettinger, 207] There is an immediate connection between the anointing an the bestowal of the charisma of the Spirit. (v. 13). The charisma is closely related to the rite itself. There are no immediate spectacular manifestations of it. From the point of view of this tradition the question of how one could know that David had the Spirit could only be answered: because he was anointed. That the royal charisma of the Spirit did not have an intrinsic and original connection with the rite of anointing is shown by 1 Sam 11.1-11 and by the tradition of Saul and the unknown seer in its ancient form before the incorporation of Sauls anointing as nag|=d (1 Sam 10.2ff.). In the tradition of Davids anointing by Samuel (1 Sam 16.1-13), the charisma has become ritualized and, I

Anointing & Kingship


should like to add, it has also become routinized, stripped of its earlier dramatic manifestations. [Mettinger, 207]

1 SAM 16.14-23 David Comes to the Royal Court


"This account of Saul's taking David in to his court is set between accounts of David's anointing (16.1-13) and his fight with the Philistine gain (chap. 17). The pericope begins in v14 with the one-time departure of the spirit of Yahweh; it ends in v23 with the notice of the repeated departure of the evil spirit as David played." [Klein, 164] ...in this brief passage three of the major theme of the stories that follow are introduced: (1) Saul is in decline; (2) Yahweh is with David; (3) Saul is deeply attached to the younger man. At least two other themes are pared for in a general way, viz. that of Davids unshakable loyalty to Saul and Israel and that Davids military prowess. Both of these find full expression in our story. This, then is the beginning of the history of Davids rise to power, an old narrative setting forth these themes and others, which is preserved with only minor alternations in the materials that follow.... [McCarter, 282-283]

Relationship of 16.1-13 & 16.14-23


1. David is said to be among the flock (16.11, 19). 2. "See" is used in the sense of select (16.1, 7, 17, 18). 3. David's name mentioned at a climatic moment (16.13, 19). 4. The interplay of 16.13 and 16.14 in terms of the spirit of the Lord.

HDR's use of 16.14-23


1. 18.10-11 and 19.9-10 Saul attempts to kill David while playing for Saul. 2. Saul's disorder in 20.26-34 and 22.6-19. 3. David as musician in 2 Sam 23.1; 2 Sam 6.5; 1 Chr 6.16; 16.7-42. Also 11QPsa has, "that David wrote 3,600 psalms and 450 songs!"

Relationship of 16.14-23 & Chap 17


1. In 16.18 David is described as "a man of valor and a man of war" and in 16.21 he becomes Saul's armor bearer, but Eliab berates David for coming to the battle as a spectator. 2. How can Saul doubt the ability of his armor bearer, etc. in 17.33 and David himself is unfamiliar with his master's weapons in 17.38-39. 3. 16.22 has David doing musician's duty at the court of Saul while chapter 17 has him tending his father's sheep. 4. Why are Saul and Abner surprised at the identity of David in 17.55-58? 5. Alter suggests that the composite nature is thematically an artistic presentation of the two images of David: David as Musician and David as Warrior.

1 Sam 17.1-18.5 David Defeats the Philistine


17.1-11 Fresh Attach by the Philistines 17.1-3 Battle Location 17.4-7 Goliaths Description and Armor 17.12-31 Davids Coming to Camp 17.32-39 David Volunteers to meet the Philistine 17.40-54 The Duel 17.55-58 Abner and Saul 18.1-5 David and Jonathan

1 SAM 18.6-30 Sauls Jealousy & Davids Success


"This pericope forms a sequel to David's defeat of the Philistine giant in 17.1-54 (cf. 17.55-18.5). Chap. 19 introduces a new incident dealing with Jonathan, though 18.28-29a may once have been part of that pericope." [Klein, 186] "This pericope forms a sequel to David's defeat of the Philistine giant in 17.1-54 (cf. 17.55-18.5). Chap. 19 introduces a new incident dealing with Jonathan, though 18.28-29a may once have been part of that pericope." [Klein, 186] "David's success is divinely given and, as we shall see, cannot be thwarted by his own lack of selfishness or excessive ambition any more than by Saul's opposition. In other words, both men are caught up in something larger than themselves, in events in which they must participate but cannot finally control." [McCarter, 314]

18.17-19 David and Merab


"The proposed marriage with Merab. . . . In its present form it shows the duplicity of Saul. The king hoped that David would be killed in the battles (v. 17) he would fight as part of the marriage agreement, and he reneged on the offer of his daughter when the time for marriage came." [Klein, 186]

18.20-30 David Marries Michal, Sauls Daughter


"David's marriage to Michal forms an important motif in the books of Samuel. In 1 Sam 19.11-17 she is used a trick to help David escape from her father. According to 1 Sam 25.44, her father later gave her to Palti, son of Laish, of Gallim. In David's struggles with Abner and Ishbosheth, he insisted that Michal be restored to him, and Ishbosheth sent her home much to the distress of her second husband (2 Sam 3.13-16). Ben-Barak has supplied a possible legal explanation for this incident from ancient legal sources. A woman whose husband was forced to leave the country could remarry after a wait of two years. If her first husband were to return, however, she would be reunited with him. Any children of the second marriage would stay with the natural father. In a final story Michal despised David for leaping and dancing before the ark, and when she criticized David, he rebuked her and defended his actions. As a

18.20-30 David Marries Michal, Sauls Daughter


result, she was forever childless (2 Sam 6.17-23). David's marriage to Saul's daughter and her initiative both in falling in love and in helping him escape offered important support for David's calm to be Saul's legitimate successor." [Klein, 186] "As noted by R. Alter and followed by R. Polzin, the narrator deliberately avoids informing the audience of most of David's motivations within the chapter, in contrast to his spelling out of Saul's thoughts explicitly." [Edelman, 141] The story parallels in some ways the other biblical account of an elder and a younger sister offered in marriage, the story of Leah and Rachel in Genesis 29. Why the parallel? Why would the author want the reader to think about Jacob, Leah, and Rachel? Is there, in fact, a parallel? After all, Jacob loves Rachel. But that is the point. Aware of the parallel, the reader expects to

18.20-30 David Marries Michal, Sauls Daughter


learn that David loves Michal. And yet that is what the reader does not hear. The narrator tells us that Sauls daughter Michal loved David (1 Sam 18:20), but there is no mention of Davids loving her. We discover that when the servants report this offer to David, he was pleased with the prospect of becoming the kings sonin-law (1 Sam 18:26). Mentioning Merob sets up a parallel which underscores what David lacks in his relationship with Michal: love. [Robert B. Lawton, 1 Samuel 18: David, Merob, and Michal, CBQ 51/3 (1989), 424-425]

18.20-30 David Marries Michal, Sauls Daughter


learn that David loves Michal. And yet that is what the reader does not hear. The narrator tells us that Sauls daughter Michal loved David (1 Sam 18:20), but there is no mention of Davids loving her. We discover that when the servants report this offer to David, he was pleased with the prospect of becoming the kings sonin-law (1 Sam 18:26). Mentioning Merob sets up a parallel which underscores what David lacks in his relationship with Michal: love. [Robert B. Lawton, 1 Samuel 18: David, Merob, and Michal, CBQ 51/3 (1989), 424-425]

19.1-24 Four Escapes


This chapter consists of four distinct incidents: vv1-7, 9-10, 11-17, 18-24. A new unit involving Saul, David, and Jonathan begins in 20.1. Vv1-7 may once have been connected to 18.28-29a. [Klein, 193] To an ordinary observer who does not, like us, have this privileged narrator to interpret and anticipate, the drama appears simply to be a deathly conflict over power between a king and his best warrior. The biblical narrative characteristically dares to assert, however, that there is purpose in the midst of power. It is this purpose in the midst of power to which David is willing to entrust himself, which Saul will not notice and cannot acknowledge. [Brueggemann, First and Second Samuel, 141]

19.1-24 Four Escapes


19.1-7 The test of Jonathan and David's friendship This passage also introduces us to the theme of Jonathan's loyalty to David. That is, the narrative is designed to show not only that David is now in mortal danger but that he has found help from Jonathan, the king's son, and that it is willing, eager help. [McCarter, 323] 19.11-17 The Siege of Davids House Gen 31.30-35 describes Labans search for his household gods (te6ra4p|=m), which were small enough to be hidden under a saddle. Their use reflect the custom in Aram, and perhaps they were similar to the numerous figurines, and many of them of deities, found throughout the Near East. Other passages indicate that teraphim were used in divination (Eze 21.21; Zech 10.2). Their use is condemned in 1 Sam 15.23 and 2 Kgs 23.24, though some have taken Hos 3.4 to imply that the used of teraphim was

19.1-24 Four Escapes


considered legitimate in some circles. The mention of teraphim in Davids house in 1 Sam 19.13 is problematic in that it appears to refer to an object that was the size of a person and thus much larger than both the teraphim described in the other texts or the figures known from archaeological excavations. [Curtis, Edward M., Idol, Idolatry, ABD, III, 379] 19.18-24 Davids Miraculous Protection Before, Saul was included among the insiders by virtue of his prophetic power, which set him apart from the unaffected world at large. Now he is left naked, symbolically stripped of his dignity and royal symbols of authority. The ambiguous nature of prophetic possession is ably demonstrated through the contrastive use of the mashal, Is Saul also among the prophets? in chs. 10 and 19. The entire incident, with its focus on Saul, highlights the king's fate as one who has been rejected for disobedience to the divine command: he has become the victim of the dark side of the divine spirit. [Edelman, 152]

I SAM 20.1-21.1 Bilateral Loyalty


The paragraphs in this pericope are united by the promise of mutual protection between David and Jonathan. The previous chapter dealt with David's escapes, which were connected with Michal and Samuel, whereas chaps. 21-22 deal with the priests at Nob. Note that the chapter division between 20 and 21 is mistaken in Hebrew. 1 Sam 21. 1 (Heb) is the last part of v42 in English versions. [Klein, 204] The story of Jonathan and David should not be used for a general celebration of the virtues of friendship. Rather, it is an expose of the wrenching, risk, pain, hurt, and hope required as God brings Gods new reign. The narrative (and Jonathan) is clear on the wave of the future. That wave of the future breaks Saul as a person and as a king. The narrative will not wait for Saul while the new kingdom comes. Jonathan reads aright the laws of fidelity concerning Gods future. [Brueggemann, First and Second Samuel, 153]

1 SAM 21.2-10 A Priest Favors David


In vv2-10, David meet with the priest Ahimelech. The preceding unit, 20.1-21.1, described the bilateral loyalty between David and Jonathan and their touching farewell; the sequel to vv2-10 comes in 22.6-23, where Saul executes the Nob priesthood for their alleged conspiracy with David. Between the two narrative segments about Ahimelech comes 21.11-16, David's first visit to Achish, and 22.1-5, a miscellany of David's travels. [Klein, 212]

1 SAM 21.11-16 David, the Madman


Two important points emerge for the developing characterization of David. First, he is no longer an innocent and unknown shepherd boy. He now is wellknown, with alliances he can count on, with allegiances he can summon, and with political savvy about his own future. He has important political resources at his disposal. Second, and derivatively, David is no longer a passive recipient of the actions of others, as he has been through chapters 16-19. Now he is assertive and prepared to take necessary and bold initiatives. It is a measure of the skill of the narrative that Davids character is traced in this way. [Brueggemann, 155]

1 SAM 22.1-23 Abiathar Joins David in Flight


This pericope is important for the Deuteronomistic Historian. The curses against the house of Eli announced in 2.27-36 and 3.11-14 find further fulfillment here after the preliminary fulfillment of chap. 4. The man not to be cut off from the altar (2.33) is now identified as Abiathar (22.20-23). The negative aspect of 2.33, of course, is fulfilled when Solomon exiled Abiathar (1 Kgs 2.26-27). David's confession of fault in v22, already mitigated by the actions of Saul and Doeg in the immediate context, is made of no importance by the fact that the massacre at Nob is really the working out of the cure announced in 2.27-36. [Klein, 222]

1 SAM 22.1-23 Abiathar Joins David in Flight


The main character in this episode is Saul, who harshly accuse (v. 13) and more harshly executes (v. 18). Chapter 22 concerns the demise of Saul, who is now deeply alienated from his own people. Saul has nothing left but raw power. He has no religious support, no legitimacy, no charisma. We are watching the performance of power from which the spirit has departed. Such power can only cause death. [Brueggemann, 161]

In this chapter David escapes twice from Saul, with a meeting with Jonathan interspersed between the two accounts. The unit concludes with David moving on to En-gedi, the site where the next encounter with Saul takes place. [Klein, 228] 23.1-13 The Keilah Episode In the midst of extreme danger, David is not portrayed as a man of action. Rather, in his extreme danger he prays (v. 10). David understands that his proper posture before Yahweh is one of need and that Yahweh is his source of life and hope. David addresses two questions to Yahweh. [Brueggemann, 163] 23.14-18 Jonathans Visit Dramatically, the encounter with Jonathan functions to add one more voice to the voices giving the future over to David.... The Speech of Jonathan is intended to permit David to receive the future from Yahweh that is now securely his. [Brueggemann, 164]

1 SAM 23.1-24.1 Yhwh does not Surrender David

1 SAM 23.1-24.1 Yhwh does not Surrender David


23.19-24.1 Another Narrow Escape
Viewed in broader perspective, this passage is to be read with 24.2-23; together they compose an account of how David spares Sauls life that is shaped on the pattern of another, older such account in 26.1-25. Verses 19-24a of the present story can be seen to be an expanded version of 26.1, the introduction to the story, and the continuation of 23.24a in 24.2 corresponds to 26.2.... However, 23.24b-24.1 in which the main action of the present section occurs, corresponds to nothing in 26.1-25. [McCarter, 379]

1 SAM 24.2-23 David Refuses to Kill Yhwhs Anointed


Relation to Chapter 26:
A = David was in the wilderness fleeing from Saul. B = He had an opportunity to kill his pursuer. C = Someone suggested that this opportunity had been provided by Yahweh. D = Because David respected the anointed of Yahweh, he refused to kill Saul. E = He nevertheless, took a piece of evidence that showed what he could have done. F = Saul recognized David's innocence and superiority.

1 SAM 24.2-23 David Refuses to Kill Yhwhs Anointed


Unique to Chapter 24: "In chap 24, after David took only the piece of Saul's robe instead of the king's life, the account consists of a speech by David to Saul (vv10-16) and a response by Saul to David (vv17-22). In chap 26, by way of contrast, after David escaped from Saul's camp he spoke to Abner (v14a), Abner responded (v14b) and David replied again to Abner (vv15-16). Then Saul (vv17a, 21, 25a) and David (vv17b-20, 2224) engage in a two-way conversation. In both chapters, Saul has the last word." [Klein, 238]

1 SAM 24.2-23 David Refuses to Kill Yhwhs Anointed


Purpose of Chapter 24: "The HDR is intent to show why David replace Saul and to give a proper perspective on the conflict between Israel's first and second king.... This story no doubt was meant to make more credible David's claim not to have harmed Saul himself (2 Sam 1) or even his other royal rival Ishbosheth (2 Sam 4)." [Klein, 241]

1 SAM 25.1-44 David and Abigail


"At first glance the story of David, Nabal and Abigail seem to interrupt the duplicated stories of 24 and 26 of how Saul, lying at David's mercy, is allowed to escape despite the pleas of David's own men, and thereafter acknowledges David's righteousness and for some time ceases his pursuit. Davids "righteousness" indeed stands out very noticeably in these stories against the background of Saul's unjust persecution. On the other hand, David's moral quality is severely tested and nearly comes to grief over Nabal. In being placed between the duplicated Saul/David stories, the story of Nabal and Abigail contains a most important message that moral stature is not a fixed "given" but is something that a person must fight for repeatedly, struggling against his emotions and passions." [Garsiel, 123]

1 SAM 25.1-44 David and Abigail


"At face value this is a tale about good and evil - about good and evil people, and good and evil actions. Abigail is good, Nabal evil. Nabal does an evil action; David, a good person, is about to do an evil action in return but is stopped in time by Abigail's good action. Nabal is punished by Yahweh." [Gunn, The Fate of King Saul, 101] "Scratch the surface of this "good" and "evil", however and a rather different picture is revealed. These stark contrasts of good and evil are conveyed through some slippery rhetoric that is not necessarily motivated primarily by a concern for the truth. Is Nabal's death a just reward for his rebuff to what he sees as the "Mafiosi"? The narrative itself suggests not merely the fact of Abigail's rhetoric, but through the contextual parallel with the slaughter of the priests of Nob. David is stopped only by the "lucky" intervention of Abigail from aping the violence of Saul. Yet Yahweh in David's place strikes Nabal dead." [Gunn, 101]

1 SAM 26.1-25 David Refuses to Kill Yhwhs Anointed


The intensification of chapter 26 beyond chapter 24 is enhanced by its location in the larger narrative. This chapter is the last meeting and last exchange between the two heroes who have become deathly rivals. Saul will appear again only in the secret, disastrous meeting of 28.3-25 and in his own death scene (31.1-13). In terms of narrative power and significance, chapter 26 culminates the Saul narrative. This is his last appearance. Sauls last word is a relinquishment of the future to David. Israels storytellers will not quit until they have David fully legitimated, even in the mouth of Saul, The long-awaited outcome is now in hand (and in ear), an outcome sweet for David, poignant and painful for Saul. [Brueggemann, 183-184]

1 SAM 26.1-25 David Refuses to Kill Yhwhs Anointed


"And what of the spear? It had been flourished by David before the king, but although its return is proposed we are not told of any such eventuality. Symbolically David has now taken Saul's place (and so properly retains his spear). The plot reflects this symbolic transfer of power with Saul relinquishing the pursuit. With this resignation form his struggle to survive we are ready for the account of his death." [Gunn, 106] His retention of the insignificant water jug carries symbolic repercussions. It expresses his ability to control Sauls life and death, should he so desire. As such, the jug highlights Davids potential to use selfhelp in the future to secure form the rejected king the throne that is to be his, raising a question about his ability to rely on Yahweh as the king must learn to do. [Edelman, King Saul in the Historiography of Judah, 230-31]

1 SAM 27.1-28.2 David as Double Agent


"The account of David joining the forces of Achish (cf. 21.11-16) covers all of chap 27 and the first two verse of chap 28. There it is interrupted by the story of the Witch of Endor, only to be resumed in 29-30." [Klein, 262] \ This chapter and its continuation in 28.1-2 and 29.1-11 are completely devoid of theological reference. There is not intervention of God or Gods agent (as Samuel), no reference to religious obligation. Perhaps David is permitted to do what Saul could not do because the action takes place in Philistine territory, and by no stretch of the imagination can Davids forays be construed as wars of Yahweh (although Abigail shrewdly refers to these raids as battles of Yahweh; 25.28). [Brueggemann, 190]

1 SAM 28.3-25 Bad News at En-Dor


The contrast with David in terms of divine inquiries. Note 1 Sam 22.10, 13, 15; 23.2, 4; 30.8; 2 Sam 2.1; 5.19, 23. It is significant however that David himself who has been running into foreign territory and being tempted to commit bloodguilt has not inquired since chap. 23!

1 SAM 29.1-11 A Narrow Escape


Note the roles that the song of 18.7; 21.11; and 29.5 play in David's life. No explicit theological statement marks this chapter, except for an incongruous Yahwistic oath in a pagans mouth. But the biblical narrator surely sees here the providential hand of God and not just another lucky break. [Klein, 278]

1 SAM 30.1-31 A Kinglike Hero


"David's defeat of the Amalekites is preceded by his dismissal at Aphek (chap 29) and followed the death by of Saul (chap 31).... This chapter forms a natural sequence to David's dismissal from the Philistine campaign contrasts with the defeat of Saul in chap 31. Saul's own successful campaign against the Amalekites had been the occasion of a disobedience that cost him the kingship (chap 15; 28.18).... David's even-handed treatment of the troops who fought and those who stayed with the gear provides an etiological explanation of an abiding custom in Israel (vv21-25)." [Klein, 281]

1 SAM 31.1-13 The Death & the Burial of Saul


Sauls death (chapter 31) is recounted in a simple, matter-of-fact, style. Perhaps the true climax of the story has already come, in chapter 28, with the last confrontation of Saul with Samuel. Within a few sentences we learn of the death of the sons (as prophesied). Then there is a moment of tension as Sauls last request, to be allowed at least a dignified death, is refused. But Saul acts typically, For the last time he takes matters into his won hands (quite literally now) and kills himself. It is a fine ending, in the best Roman fashion. [Gunn, The Fate of King Saul, 111] Contrast this account of Sauls death to that given David by the Amalekite in 2 Sam 1.6-10. The easiest and most popular explanation of the discrepancy is that the Amalekite is lying in an attempt to gain favor with David. [McCarter, 443]

2 SAM 1.1-16 Report of Sauls Death


The two accounts of Saul's death agree basically expect for the role of the Amalekite in 2 Sam 1.10. This text's purpose was first of all to disassociate David from the death of Saul. The ironic connection of David with the Philistines, then defeating the Amalekites; Saul with the Philistines and now David with the Amalekite is interesting. It would also be ironic to have an Amalekite kill Saul in light of 1 Sam 15.

2 SAM 1.17-27 Davids Lament over Saul and Jonathan


"The basic structural element of the elegy seems to be the refrain. "How are the warriors fallen." Its occurrences in vv19 and 27 mark out the major inclusion, and thus indicate the beginning and the end of the dirge. This is an additional reason for regarding v19a as the opening line of the poetic composition. The same refrain is found also in v25, and it divides the lament into two sections; vv19-24 and 25-27. The first is concerned with the fate and deeds of Saul and Jonathan while the latter section laments for Jonathan, and is more like an actual funerary dirge. The unity of the first section (vv19-24) is further emphasized by vv20 and 24, where "the daughters of the Philistines" (v20) balances "the daughters of Israel" (v24)." [Anderson, 15] This poem marks a deep, precious, and hurtful moment in the life of Israel.... I submit that this poem is a useful model for public grief among us. [Brueggemann, 214]