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Title: The Demise of the Warlord: A New Look at the David Story
Author: Bodi, Daniel
Publisher: Sheffield Phoenix Press; Publication Date: 2010
Hardcover; ISBN: 9781906055820
Volumes: 1; Pages: 330
List Price in Cloth: $85.00 Our price: $67.99
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The novelty of this monograph on David and Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11-12) lies in its placing the narrative in the context of the behaviour of nomadic warlords and Amorite tribal chieftains as reflected in several Akkadian texts from Mari and Mesopotamia. The biblical story is interpreted in the light of an Akkadian literary topos depicting the ideal warlike existence of a Bedouin tribal chieftain. According to this topos, David's dallying with women, and eating, drinking and living in the shade rather than leading armies into military exploits would be considered unworthy of a warlord and disparaging to his reputation.Another new feature in this book is the explanation of the treatment that king David inflicted on Uriah the Hittite, a "resident alien" according to the rabbis, in the light of the outrage that a high official of a Pharaoh committed upon a resident-alien in El-Amarna times. There seems to have existed a non-written ancient Near Eastern law about the obligation of protecting and not harming resident aliens. As evidenced by the El-Amarna letter 162, disregard for this law entailed a death sentence on the perpetrator of such an outrage. In 2 Samuel 11-12 the outrage done to the resident alien is expressed through the literary motif of the abduction of the beautiful wife in the context of oppression and threat exercised by the powerful over the weak and the helpless.ContentsChapter 1A BRIEF SURVEY OF THE HISTORY OF RESEARCHChapter 2HISTORICAL, NARRATOLOGICAL AND COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF 1 SAMUEL 11-121. The Text of 2 Sam. 11.1-27 and 12.1-312. Setting the Stage: the Time, the Occasion and the Place3. The Phenomenon of Inclusion between 2 Sam. 11.1 and 2 Sam. 12.26-313.1. The Original Inclusion3.2. The Secondary Inclusion4. Two "Females" Besieged: Rabbah and Bathsheba5. Siesta in the Shade6. David Espying and Abducting Bathsheba (vv. 2b-5)7. Bathsheba's Name, Age and Status8. David and Uriah (vv. 6-13)Chapter 3THE PROPHET NATHAN ACCUSES DAVID (2 Sam. 12.1-31)1. Nathan's Parable of the Poor Man's Ewe-Lamb2. The Capture of Harems Between Tribal Chiefs3. The Epilogue (2 Sam. 12.26-31)Chapter 4AN AKKADIAN LITERARY TOPOS: THE BEDOUIN IDEAL OF THE WARLIKE EXISTENCE1. The Nomadic Life--"La vie nomade"2. The Literary Topos in a Letter of Samsi-Addu to his Son Yasma-Addu(ARMT I 69 + M. 7538)3. The "Warriors' Manifesto" in the Babylonian Poem of Erra4. The Warlord Ideology in the Epic of Zimri-Lim5. Woman at Childbirth Likened to a Warrior in a Middle Assyrian IncantationChapter 5A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE HISTORY OF MARI AND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE AMORITES FOR BIBLICAL STUDIES1. The Archaeological Discovery of Mari2. How to Explain the Rise of the City of Mari in a Desert Area3. The Amorite Nomads Settling in Mari4. The History of Mari and the Main Amorite Rulers5. The North Syrian Amorites and the ArameansChapter 6DAVID'S CRIME: OUTRAGING THE RESIDENT-ALIEN1. The El-Amarna Letter EA 1622. The Analysis of the Term ubarum "Resident-Alien"3. Was Uriah the Hittite a Native Israelite or a Resident-Alien?3.1. Opinions of Rabbinic Authors3.2. Modern Onomastic Studies of the Name Uriah4. Hittites in the BibleChapter 7THE RETRIBUTION PRINCIPLE IN 2 SAMUEL 12 AND ITS AMORITE AND ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN BACKGROUND1. The Crime That Brings Pollution2. The "Retribution Principle"--Not a Hebrew Invention3. The Amorite Worldview Based on the Retribution Principle4. The Retribution Principle in the So-Called Weidner Chronicle5. The Retribution Principle in the Poem of Erra6. The Retribution Principle in Hittite Texts7. The Retribution Principle in Greek Texts8. The Retribution Principle in Egyptian Texts9. When Could The Story of the House of David Have Been Written?Chapter 8THE "WIDOW'S TABLET" FOR THE WIFE OF AN ASSYRIAN WAR PRISONER AND THE RABBINIC "DIVORCE LETTER" OF THE HEBREW WARRIORSIntroduction1. The "Divorce Letter" of Hebrew Warriors2. The "Widow's Tablet" for the Wife of an Assyrian War Prisoner3. How to Bridge the Chronological Gap Between the Two Documents?