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King Saul: A re-examination of his reign and its effects on Israel down to the schism

Brooks, Simcha Shalom; (1998) King Saul: A re-examination of his reign and its effects on Israel down to the schism. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The subject of this thesis is King Saul of Israel. Though Saul is depicted negatively in the biblical narrative, careful examination of the Books of Samuel and part of the Book of Judges will not only reveal new clues suggesting a more favourable image of Saul, but will also provide a new insight into his reign as well as its effect on Israel long after his death. In contrast to his biblical image, such clues show Saul to have been a strong ruler who successfully united the various Israelite groups, a unity which was not to be achieved by any later leader. Examination of the relationship between Saul and David reveals that Saul's position was threatened by David, not because David was more successful but because he was ambitious and coveted Saul's throne. While David was pursued by Saul he made a treaty with the Philistines, the Israelites' enemy. I suggest, not only that David was responsible for the Philistines' initiation of the battle at Gilboa, in which Saul died, but also that he himself took part in that battle. Even though David eventually became king of Israel, the people continued to support the House of Saul. The hostility associated with the fragile relationship between David and the people continued under Solomon and contributed to the schism. Using original methods of research, this thesis re-examines the period from the eve of the rise of monarchy, through the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon; events relating to David and Solomon are dealt with only within the context of their application to Saul. Not only is Saul shown to have been a more positive figure than portrayed in the biblical narrative, but also a new, more realistic account of the history of the period from Saul to the schism is provided.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: King Saul: A re-examination of his reign and its effects on Israel down to the schism
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097953
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