By Stanley Jerome Isser

His booklet shifts the focal point of biblical tales approximately David from historicity to pop culture, suggesting their origins in well known heroic literature of the later monarchy and Persian interval and evaluating them with Homeric and Arthurian heroic literature. Synopsis The Sword of Goliath deals a clean view of the biblical tale of David, transferring the point of interest from historicity to problems with style and pop culture. Isser compares the biblical tales of David with different heroic literature, together with the Greek heroes of Homer, King Arthur, and Robin Hood. He means that the David tales, so much of them now misplaced, originated in renowned heroic literature that persisted to develop through the later monarchy and into the Persian interval. Isser engages a wide range of biblical scholarship to light up the complexity of ascertaining the historicity of a lot of the David traditions. Readers will locate the following a brand new point of view at the biblical David that strikes past the present old debate in religious study.

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Extra info for THE SWORD OF GOLIATH: David in Heroic Literature

Sample text

For that we must look at Joab’s oft-neglected brother Abishai. Abishai is overshadowed by Joab in Samuel–Kings, but the portrait that emerges from scattered passages is very interesting. Like Joab, Abishai is a military leader, commanding a division of the army (against Ammon, 2 Sam 10; against Absalom, 18) or all of it (8, against Edom;4 20, against Sheba ben Bichri). His name is included in David’s self-serving denunciation of Joab’s family for the revenge killing of Abner (2 Sam 3:30), but in the actual narrative of the assassination only Joab is said to have been the perpetrator (3:22–27; but an editorial summary remark in v.

But Saul hears about the young man. When Goliath and his armor bearer approach, David runs toward them and kills the Philistine with a stone, for he has no sword. ”), but Abner doesn’t know. When David is brought before him with Goliath’s head, he tells Saul that he is the son of Jesse the Bethlehemite. Saul’s son Jonathan loves David and gives him gifts of clothing and weapons. Saul keeps David at his court and commissions him as a military officer, a job at which David is successful. David plays music to dispel Saul’s evil spirit, but has to escape twice when a jealous Saul throws spears at him.

While the scope of its narrative is impossible to determine, a reasonable guess is that it may have included accounts of military events that covered a time at least from Joshua through 22 Popular Heroic Tradition 23 David. A second poem, also a lament, this one concerning Abner (2 Sam 3:33 –34), and a third, the poetic praises of the Israelite women for David’s military prowess (1 Sam 18:7), are given no attribution. One may speculate about what else might have been in the Scroll of Yashar: for example, accounts of battles involving the judges and David, and perhaps nonmilitary adventures as well.

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