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The House of David: Between Political Formation and Literary Revision
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The House of David: Between Political Formation and Literary Revision

Author: Mahri Leonard-Fleckman
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Current scholarly debate over the historical character of David's rule generally considers the biblical portrait to represent David as king of Judah first, and subsequently over 'all Israel.' The ninth-century Tel Dan inscription, which refers to the 'House of David' (byt dwd), is often taken as evidence for the dynasty of Judah.

In The House of David Mahri Leonard-Fleckman argues that references to Judah in the story of David as king do not suffice to constitute a coherent stratum of material about Judah as a political entity. Comparing the 'house of . . .' terminology in the ninth-century Tel Dan inscription with early first-millennium Assyrian usage, then giving close examination to the 'house of David' materials in 2 Samuel and 1 Kings, she understands the 'house of David' as a small body politic connected to David, but distinct from any Judean dynastic context. The equation of Judah with a later southern kingdom resulted from the redactional creation of a Davidic coterie.


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