Kings Without Privilege: Graeme Auld’s Interpretation of the Bible’s Presentation of David and Moses -- By: Paul Edward Hughes

Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 06:1 (NA 1996)
Article: Kings Without Privilege: Graeme Auld’s Interpretation of the Bible’s Presentation of David and Moses
Author: Paul Edward Hughes


Kings Without Privilege:
Graeme Auld’s Interpretation of the
Bible’s Presentation of
David and Moses

Paul Edward Hughes

Trinity Western University

Fresh challenges to assumed paradigms are always exciting. Graeme Auld’s felicitously-titled Kings Without Privilege offers such a revision,1 and also serves as a forceful apologetic for Shakespeare’s Ham- let dictum that “Men of few words are the best men.” The book succinctly represents the accumulated findings of several papers previously delivered to the Society of Biblical Literature and Society for Old Testament Studies, results that have gradually appeared in journals such as JSOT, TZ, VT, and ZAW, along with the Malamat Festschrift, over the past few years.

Auld, now Professor of Hebrew Bible and Academic Dean of the Faculty of Divinity at New College, University of Edinburgh, submits a proposal that is both creatively simple yet profoundly significant for its potential implications. He argues on the basis of substantial textual support that predominant hypotheses about the relationship between Kings and Chronicles are flawed and require serious reconsideration. Auld challenges De Wette’s conclusion about the derivative nature of Chronicles—furthered fourteen decades later by Martin Noth fifty years ago—in comparison with the supposed historically superior material contained within Samuel and Kings. Having unsettled the governing paradigm, Auld reintroduces a fresh proposal for assessing these distinct accounts with a return to the assumption prior to De Wette that both Chronicles and Samuel-Kings had drawn on a common source, a return which Auld supports with several punctilious exegeses of the so-called Deuteronomistic History’s prevalent

Judean kings. Contrary to a parent-like analogy of the traditional dependency between Chronicles and Samuel-Kings, Auld instead portrays a construct that displays something much more like the rivalry or at least relationship of siblings.

A large bulk of this volume deals with the shared material connected with David and Solomon (chaps. 2-3), along with brief mention of the David traditions from Samuel. On the latter, Auld refers to a 1992 JSOT article co-authored with Craig Y. S. Ho which suggests that the proto-Masoretic version of the David/Goliath story has been modified to emphasize crucial character contrasts between David and Saul. With respect to the former and regarding the vision at Gibeon, Auld draws connections between several of the Kings pluses and earlier material in 1 Kings that is not present in Chronicles’ substantially different version. Citing th...

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