본문 바로가기
  • Home

“%lma yna”: Twist in the Line of Succession to the Throne of David

Son Jong-hee 1

1서울신학대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Who will succeed the throne of David? This has been an issue of utmost importance not only for the people of Israel but also within the court of David. According to the principle of primogeniture as a fait accompli in Israel, Amnon is David's eldest son and therefore the heir to the throne. However, the line of succession within the royal palace is completely twisted and eventually Solomon succeeds David. Regal power in David's house is not smoothly transferred, and thus the court is exposed to urgent crisis with continuous power struggles among the princes related to the succession. What is the reason for such a twist? Was there a redactor's activity? Why was the Succession Narrative (2 Sam 9-20 and 1 Kgs 1-2), which revolves around the succession of the throne, written? In order to answer these questions, this study looks at each of the four candidates for the throne in order, and searches for the purpose and intentions of the author of the Succession Narrative. The author of the Succession Narrative, who worked as Solomon's apologist, reveals the reasons why Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah were all rejected as David's successor, although they were the most privileged. The author records that Solomon is the only lawful successor set by Yahweh. The three candidates violated the law of Yahweh and committed crimes such as rape, murder, and rebellion, even though they had the legitimacy and rights to succeed David's throne. Thus those who committed crucial sins against the law cannot claim the throne, even though they are David the King's eldest son or the second one. In the eyes of the author of the Succession Narrative, therefore, Solomon's accession is the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant and a legitimate, natural result which accords with the will of Yahweh. The author explains through such a theological analysis why Solomon, the youngest son and thus the last candidate for the throne, was able to succeed the throne, and he seeks to find a solution to the immediate political crisis during the early years of Solomon's reign. Thus the Succession Narrative functions as Solomon's political propaganda, which is an apologetic account of the court to resolve public suspicions and accusations.

Citation status

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