Saul and the Monarchy: A New Look
- Dear list,
I just finished S. S. Brooks's Saul and the Monarchy: A New Look (Aldershot, Ashgate, 2005) and would like to know in what esteem those of you who read that book hold it. As for me, I find it feeble, especially as a revised DPhil. Thesis (London, 1998). I am not qualified to pass judgement on its revision of archaeological data ; but as a literary analysis it exhibits many flaws. The textual stratatification of Sam and Kgs is seldom taken into serious consideration ("the many duplications and contradictions in the book are characteristic of the author. They are inserted deliberately with specific objects in mind", Brooks asserts about Sam on p. 17), which means that the massive literary and interpretative scholarship on (especially) Sam is not used apart from a few books, mainly McCarter's commentary ; judgements ex cathedra based on faulty data abound ("it must be remembered that David and Jonathan were about the same age ; when Jonathan was killed in battle, Mephibosheth was a baby (2 Sam.4.4)", p. 61 ; actually, Mephibosheth was 5 years old by then and it seems unlikely that Jonathan was not somewhat older than David) ; knowledge of ANE matters is sketchy at best. Briefly put, Brooks is not in the same league as Ishida's Royal Dynasties of Ancient Israel or Noll's Faces of David.
Universit� de Provence
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