I wrapped up my consideration of Joel Baden’s The Historical David. But I am still thinking about David’s career. One way of thinking about David is that the Bible uses him as a bad example and as part of the reason for the eventual divine judgment that fell upon his city and his dynasty.
David Noel Freedman’s The Nine Commandments: Uncovering the Hidden Pattern of Crime and Punishment in the Hebrew Bible made the case that by separating the Torah from the historical books we have missed a continuous story about how Israel broke each of the Commandments one by one. Some of Freedman’s case I find unconvincing. However, its strongest parts are the connection of David’s behavior to the breaking of the commandments against adultery and murder. So is an idealized portrait of David something the devout have imposed on the Bible?
Part of the nativity story is…
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