King David: A Biography

Paperback | December 15, 2001

bySteven L. McKenzie

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Through a close and critical reading of biblical texts, ancient history, and recent archeological discoveries, Steven L. McKenzie concludes that David was indeed a real person. This David was not the humble shepherd who slew Goliath and became king, however, but was a usurper, adulterer, andmurderer--a Middle Eastern despot of a familiar type. McKenzie shows that the story of humble beginnings is utterly misleading: "shepherd" is a metaphor for "king," and David came from a wealthy, upper-class background. Similarly, McKenzie reveals how David's ascent to power, traditionallyattributed to popularity and divine blessing, in fact resulted from a campaign of terror and assassination. While instituting a full-blown Middle Eastern monarchy, David was an aggressive leader, a devious politician, and a ruthless war chief. Throughout his scandalous reign, important figures whostood in his way died at convenient times, under questionable circumstances. Even his own sons were not spared. David's story, writes McKenzie, "reads like a modern soap opera, with plenty of sex, violence, and struggles for power."

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Through a close and critical reading of biblical texts, ancient history, and recent archeological discoveries, Steven L. McKenzie concludes that David was indeed a real person. This David was not the humble shepherd who slew Goliath and became king, however, but was a usurper, adulterer, andmurderer--a Middle Eastern despot of a famili...

Steven L. McKenzie is Professor of Hebrew Bible at Rhodes College. He is the author of many books on Bible Studies, including The Hebrew Bible Today and All God's Children: A Biblical Critique of Racism. He lives in Memphis.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:December 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195147081

ISBN - 13:9780195147087

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"The conventional, laudatory image of David as a simple shepherd boy who courageously slew Goliath and rose to become Israel's greatest king despite some human failings is disputed by McKenzie."--Publishers Weekly