We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Select Bible Use this Lookup to open a specific Bible and passage. Start here to select a Bible.
Make selected Bible the default for Lookup tool.
Book: Ch.V. Select book from A-Z list, enter chapter and verse number, and click "Go."
:
OR
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result

The Oxford Bible Commentary Line-by-line commentary for the New Revised Standard Version Bible.

The Deuteronomistic History.

1.

The final compilation of the books of Samuel, like that of Joshua, Judges, and Kings, with which they formed a corpus, is generally attributed to a Deuteronomistic author or authors. The complex, covering the period from the death of Moses (Deut 34 ) to the account of Jehoiachin's favourable treatment in exile in 561 BCE; (2 Kings 25:27–30 ), is generally known as the Deuteronomistic History (see Noth 1943 ). Without surveying the long and complex debate about the Deuteronomistic History, the position can be generally stated as follows: in Joshua–2 Kings is found a presentation of history according to a single line of interpretation; there are links of language and thought between these books and the Deuteronomic law and its accompanying speeches in the book of Deuteronomy (see Weinfeld 1972 ); despite its influence on subsequent studies, Noth's concept of a single Deuteronomistic historian (Noth 1943 ) presented too simple a view of the history; similarly the idea of a double redaction, one working before the Exile, soon after 621 BCE, and the other in the Exile, after 561 BCE (see Nelson 1981 ), also presents too simplistic a picture of compilation; a more prolonged and complex development, reflecting continuing activity by a Deuteronomic school or circle, has found support because it attempts to do justice to both the unity and diversity found in the Deuteronomistic History (see Jones 1984 ).

2.

It must be recognized, however, that the contribution of the Deuteronomists to the final form of the books of Samuel is less pronounced than their part in fashioning Judges and Kings. The exploits of the ‘judges’ were presented within the Deuteronomists' own rigid formula; likewise they imposed their own structure on their presentation of the kings of Israel and of Judah, sometimes including very little material within their standard formulae. Evidence of such a domineering structuring is absent from the books of Samuel. A possible reason is that the blocks of tradition mentioned above were complete narratives in themselves, and because they more or less subscribed to the Deuteronomistic viewpoint there was very little need for editorial activity. A full list of verses which can be regarded as Deuteronomistic annotations is given by McCarter (1980 ; (1 Sam); 1984 (2 Sam)). In some places in 1 Samuel relatively lengthy additions have been made to the text, such as the polemic against a non-Jerusalemite priesthood in 1 Sam 2:27–36; 3:11–14 , or the interpolation to Abigail's speech at 1 Sam 25:28–31 with its anticipation of some sections in Nathan's oracle. 1 Sam 12 is certainly Deuteronomistic, for Samuel's speech is reckoned to be one of the orations included by the Deuteronomist to mark one of the important milestones in Israelite history. A review of Israel's past history, when God performed some of his mighty acts on behalf of his people, serves to emphasize that the monarchy was an unwelcome development. Other annotations are very brief and have been inserted in order to incorporate material into the Deuteronomistic History, such as YHWH's reply in 1 Sam 8:8 or notices about Saul's kingship at 1 Sam 13:1–2; 14:47–51 . Similarly in 2 Samuel, some interpolations are more significant than others, such as the ones in the report of Nathan's prophecy (2 Sam 7:12b–13a , 22–4 ), which make the prohibition of a temple only temporary and typically occur on an important historical occasion. Less significant ones are in the form of formulaic introductions to the reigns of kings, such as 2 Sam 2:10a , 11; 5:4–5 .

3.

Deuteronomistic editing, although only slight, served to give expression to some theological themes which were important in the eyes of the Deuteronomists. Among these are the primacy of the Jerusalem temple and the Davidic covenant, which stands out in contrast to the earlier period of disobedience to God's will and the later period which similarly deserved an unfavourable judgement. The Deuteronomists had a very positive view of the dynastic promise to David; on its basis they held out a hope for the restoration and renewal of the Davidic dynasty in the future. Connected with this hope was their emphasis on repentance; a return to God would save them from Philistine oppression (2 Sam 7:3 ), and the real basis for future security was a confession of wrong and the continuation of their relationship with YHWH (1 Sam 12:19–24 ). The presence of these themes in 1–2 Samuel is sufficient evidence of some Deuteronomistic editing.

  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result
Oxford University Press

© 2020. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice