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King David a Biography

by Steven L. McKenzie

  • ISBN: 9780195147087
  • ISBN10: 0195147081

King David a Biography

by Steven L. McKenzie

  • List Price: $16.95
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 12/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780195147087
  • ISBN10: 0195147081
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Description: The conventional, laudatory image of David as a simple shepherd boy who courageously slew Goliath and rose to become Israel's greatest king despite some human failings is disputed by McKenzie, an associate professor of Hebrew Bible at Rhodes College in Memphis. His biography emphasizes the negative aspects of David's character and minimizes his achievements. McKenzie begins by identifying the sparse contributions of archeology to the story of David and then describes the sections of the Bible that deal with the enigmatic shepherd-king. McKenzie's suggestion that it would be helpful to have a copy of the Bible at hand while reading his book should be strongly emphasized. Fortunately, readers can turn to Robert Alter's 1999 volume, The David Story, for a translation and insightful commentary on 1 and 2 Samuel and the first two chapters of 1 Kings, in which David's life is recounted. Alter's sober presentation balances McKenzie's strident depiction of David as a "Middle Eastern tyrant" who was "senile and flaccid" in his dying days. Early in his life, according to McKenzie, David was a "ruthless... mercenary" who tried to "usurp" King Saul's throne. McKenzie claims that his portrait of David as a brazen adulterer, power-hungry politician, grim assassin and wanton murderer is "a realistic likeness".
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