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In: Political Theologies in the Hebrew Bible


Developing I. Provan’s observation that the kings whose reigns are under impending judgment typically reign for two years in the book of Kings, we propose that Saul’s reign of two years in the MT of 1 Samuel 13:1 can be read as indicative of his failed kingship.

In: Vetus Testamentum
A Literary Analysis of Narrative Historiography in the Book of Samuel
Eschewing both so-called minimalist and maximalist readings, this volume advocates an understanding of the book of Samuel as ancient narrative historiography that must be understood according to its own conception and ideology of history before being judged as a historical source. This study shows how narrative strategies and literary embellishment, unaccustomed in modern historiography, are used to express familiar historical concepts such as causation, meaning and evaluation of the past. The requirements for historical ‘accuracy’ within the book’s cultural milieu are investigated through analysis of the differences tolerated between the LXX and MT versions. Fresh interpretive insights for specific passages emerge as the conventions of historiography in Samuel are compared and contrasted to the ideals of modern historical theory.


This article interprets the story of the outbreak of God against Uzzah in 2 Samuel 6 as an act of “divine violence,” a concept described by Slavoj Žižek in his book Violence: Six Sideways Reflections. In previous interpretations of 2 Samuel 6, the violence against Uzzah has been understood either as a punishment for a transgression, or as a capricious act of God’s power. Slavoj Žižek describes “divine violence” as violence, which is not a means to an end, and which irrupts from a position of vulnerability and impotence. By looking at the details of the Masoretic Text of 2 Samuel 6, it will be argued that the violence of God in this story should also be interpreted as divine violence: it lacks meaning as a punishment for transgression, and it stems from the vulnerability of God’s presence in the ark rather than from God’s transcendent power.

In: Biblical Interpretation
In the broadest sense, political theology refers to “God talk” in the context of multiple and often competing perspectives on social life. While political history is firmly established within biblical studies, it is frequently separated from the study of theology and religion. And if political theology has found a place in scholarly conversations within biblical studies, it has often been reduced to specific comparisons with political genres in the ancient world, such as treaty/covenant, or kingship. This volume is an edited collection of 17 essays that seek to broaden the scope of what might count as political theology, throwing new light on older studies and demonstrating the diversity of political theologies in the Hebrew Bible. Each essay demonstrates the integration of political theology with other strands of innovative research in current biblical studies. The essays cover a range of topics such as sovereignty, nation, migration, cultural politics, land holding, and gender.