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David

(875 words)

Author(s): Veijola, Timo
1.1. The historical traditions about David (whose name means “beloved”), Israel’s most important king, appear in the Deuteronomistic history, whose author incorporated into the work the earlier stories of David’s rise (1 Sam. 16:14–2 Sam. 5:10) and of his reign and succession (2 Samuel 9–20 and 1 Kings 1–2). Further material about David—lists, anecdotes, annals, stories, and poems (see 2 Sam. 5:11–8:18 and chaps. 21–24)—also entered the work in the course of redaction. ¶ 1.2. The story of David’s rise is composite. It developed over a long and indefinite period in Juda…

Samuel, Books of

(1,243 words)

Author(s): Veijola, Timo
1. Name, Contents, Text The two books of Samuel belong to what are known as the Hebrew canon’s “earlier prophets” (Joshua to 2 Kings). They derive their name from Samuel, who in these books variously appears in the role of prophet, priest, and judge, and whom, together with Nathan and Gad, rabbinic tradition held to be the author of these books (cf. 1 Chr. 29:29). The Septuagint calls the Books of Samuel and Kings together the Four Books of Kingdoms (Basileiōn); the Vg, the Four Books of Kings (Regum). The division of Samuel into two books is attested only after 1448 and actually…

Saul

(361 words)

Author(s): Veijola, Timo
The primary traditions concerning Saul, the first king of Israel (Monarchy in Israel), consist of stories concerning his call (1 Sam. 9:1–10:16), his victory over the Ammonites and elevation to the throne (chap. 11), and his battles against the Philistines (13:2–14:46). The Deuteronomists later reworked and considerably expanded these traditions (1 Samuel 8; 10:17–27; 12; 15; Deuteronomistic History). The kingship of Saul, who came from the tribe of Benjamin (9:1–2), represented only a brief episode toward the end of the 11th century (the exact chronology is uncertain). The introd…