The most extensive royal accounts in the Hebrew Bible are those of kings David (the "Succession Narrative, " usually identified as 2 Sam 9-20 and 1 Kgs 1-2) and Solomon (the "Solomon Story, " 1 Kgs 3-11). Yet, even though Solomon immediately follows David in the Deuteronomistic History, little has been done to correlate these accounts. But what if these passages were meant to be read together? Utilizing the "Double Redaction" theory, Herbst proposes that an exilic "Deuteronomist" inserted the Succession Narrative into the Deuteronomistic History, then revised the Solomon Story in light of this addition. His key contribution was 1 Kings 1-2, a passage designed to connect the two larger sections, highlighting the similarities and differences of the two kings.
Interpreting the composition history of 2 Samuel and 1 Kings in this way gives new insight into the Deuteronomist's views regarding kings and kingship. This approach also solves many of the problems of the Solomon story, in which the narrator appears to simultaneously praise and criticize Solomon. And along the way, Herbst offers new insights into individual passages, further enhancing our understanding of the message of the Deuteronomistic History.
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