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David's Policy Towards Gibeon

Kim, Sun-Jong 1

1호남신학대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article presents a good model for communication among members of a society by reviewing David's policy towards the Gibeonites. The flow of 2 Sam 24:1-14 is outwardly very simple. There is a famine during David's reign for three consecutive years. David inquires of God regarding the reason, and He informs him of the cause of the famine. It is because Saul murdered the Gibeonites. David unconditionally accepts their demand to execute Saul and his seven descendants. Then Rizpah preserves the corpses of her two sons from the birds and wild animals by spreading a sackcloth on the rock. David who hears this news gets to know that the bones of Saul and Jonathan were not buried well. So he gathers and buries them in the grave of Kish, Saul's father. After this, God gives rain on the land of Israel. When reading this text closely, the readers encounter numerous problems regarding the text and its redactional history and theology. In addition to the problems concerning textual criticism and redaction criticism, the text astonishes us in that God responds to the Gibeonites' demand for a certain type of human sacrifice. This fact leads us to reconsider the image of the God of Israel. Another problem we meet is that the text may read differently, and that the action of the protagonists ― Saul and David ― may be judged differently according to the mode of lecture. In order to resolve the conflicts and interruptions in the story, we try to understand the text from the viewpoint of redaction criticism. At the same time, in order to grasp the theological meaning of the communication between the Israelites and the Gibeonites, we approach the text in its final form by means of narrative criticism. According to the axiom that the narrator is omniscient and reliable, the readers can judge that David's intention in 2 Sam 21 is good, and that God is not only the God of Israel but also the God of the foreigners. Whereas Saul attempts to form one blood community by eliminating the Gibeonites in his zeal for Israel, David adopts a policy of including the Gibeonites by communicating with God. Hence, good communication among members of a society presupposes good communication with God.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.