THE TESTAMENT OF DAVID IN 1 KINGS II 1-101 by W. T. KOOPMANS Kampen 1. Introduction A dying king's deathbed oration is not always held in high repute, not even if that ruler happens to have been the paragon of Israel's united monarchy. King David's final words in 1 Kings ii 1-10 have frequently been subjected to excoriating examinations. Literary-critical analyses conclude virtually unanimously that these verses do not constitute an original unity.2 Viewing this passage as literature, J. P. Fokkelman is constrained to conclude that David's exhortation in vv. 3-4 "in no way attains the artistic level of its sur- roundings" 3 In his opinion, "these lines are religious platitudes, anaemic when placed directly before the seething rancour of vv. 5- 9" (p. 385). If the intuitions exemplified above are correct, we are confronted with the ironic situation of a king reputed to have been the literary 1 It is a pleasure to thank Professor J. C. de Moor for advice offered during the preparation of this article. 2 E.g., L. Rost, Die Überlieferung von der Thronnachfolge Davids (Stuttgart, 1926), pp. 89-91 ("scheint mehrfach uberarbeitet zu sein..."; Rost concludes that vv. 2*, 3-4 are Deuteronomistic, 1, 2
Vetus Testamentum – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1991
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