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Community Identity in Judean Historiography: Biblical and by Gary N. Knoppers, Kenneth Ristau

By Gary N. Knoppers, Kenneth Ristau

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And all of the booty, with none of it dedicated to the deity (2 Sam 12:30–31; cf. 8:11). The idealism of Dtr’s presentation of David as Yahweh’s nagîd and his anointed is made to confront the hard “reality” of political power and the conduct of war as the author of the David Saga understands it. The Absalom revolt is another instance that points up David’s use of foreign mercenaries and professional soldiers against his own people in a civil war. The whole account is heavily loaded with irony.

2 Samuel 7 originally stood immediately before 1 Kgs 2:1–4. The whole of 2 Sam 9–24 (except 10:15–19a) + 1 Kgs 1–2 (except 2:1–4,10–12) are later additions. The wars of 2 Sam 8:1–15; 10:15–19a originally stood after 5:25. 2 Samuel 8:16–18 is also a late addition. 16. See my book The Biblical Saga of King David. 17. The “Hittites” were, of course, condemned to eradication by Deuteronomy. See also Uriah the Hittite in 2 Sam 11. book Page 35 Friday, May 1, 2009 9:08 AM David: Messianic King or Mercenary Ruler?

There is also other evidence for this identification that is less well-known. It is common in simple societies for metalsmiths to live itinerate lives. 42 This is in part because they must travel to gather raw materials and then bring them back to customers and in part because they are among the very few who possess the requisite metallurgical skills. These skills are naturally valued by the individuals whom the smiths serve, with one result being that the smiths often enjoy a degree of acceptance and protection within the societies that benefit from their work.

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