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King David

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Would have been more interesting if the author had followed the schools of thought for intellectual debate.

    King David often evokes contradictory responses. Young church-goers praise David's decisiveness and his Goliath slaying heroics, but regard other behavior in his life to be troubling or repugnant; for example, his cold-blooded murder by proxy of Bathsheba's husband, his lapses in lust, and inclination to laziness. David possessed every flaw and failing a mortal is capable of, yet men and women adored him and God showered him with many more blessings than he did Abraham or Moses. With a taste for sex and violence this charismatic leader exalted as the apple of God's eye, capable of deep cunning and bloodthirsty violence is portrayed in all his glory and failings. The real David is not just a simple and small shepherd that killed a giant but the conqueror of a vast empire.
    One must take this book with a grain of salt while reading the incorrect conjectures, that are eluded for fact, such as the Bible is just spin for the throne of King David or that Saul was a mistake made by God, etc. Kirsch expends much effort on the homosexuality of David and Jonathan even stating that you "must accept unless you just refuse to accept it." It made me wonder if the author was trying to justify his own homosexuality. However, much is correct such as most people fell in love, at first sight, with David male and female alike, Saul, Saul's son Jonathan, later Michal the king's daughter, and the list goes on.
    Rarely does Kirsch mention which school of thought his sources belong, excluding a crucial dimension of any intellectual debate. His tone is much like that of a lawyer might portray in a summation to a jury, arguing that the entire Old Testament may have originated as David's royal biography. The two myths he examines most closely are those cultivated by a "Court Historian" who embellished David's exploits to make him seem more kingly than he was, and those written by the "Deuteronomistic Historian," who revised the ancient texts about David, as "spin doctors," to downplay his bad behavior in attempted to sanitize David. There are much more reliable assessments of David, however, this muckraking account in the modern style is somewhat entertaining if not correct.

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