Cephas Tushima provides a thorough analysis of the fate of Saul’s heirs, focussing on whether their tragedies were due to continuing divine retribution, coincidence, or Davidic orchestration. He concludes that David was unjust and calculating in his dealings with the Saulides and, like other Near Eastern usurpers, perpetrated heinous injustices against the vanquished house of Saul.
Traditionally readers saw Saul as evil and David as a hero; but more recently scholars have written about Saul as a tragic character and David as a villain, turning the book of Samuel into deeply contested interpretive territory. Tushima provides analysis of the critical literature surrounding this contentious issue and contributes his own study that will prove important to the continuing debate. He assesses David’s character by analysing how he treats the surviving children of his predecessor, drawing upon the provisions for justice in the covenant community in the book of Deuteronomy. He demonstrates a connection between Samuel and the Torah through themes and motifs, and develops theological conclusions from them on such issues as the impact of human conduct on the environment, marriage, monarchy and Zion theology.
List of Tables
Foreword by Tremper Longman III
List of Abbreviations
2. A Survey of the Interpretive History of 1-2 Samuel
3. Narrative Criticism
4. The Contest for the Succession to the Throne of Saul (2 Samuel 2-4)
5. David and Michal
6. David and Mephibosheth
7. An Integrative Reading of Research Findings
8. Conclusion: Truths from David’s Dealings with the Saulides
Endorsements and Reviews
Dr Tushima presents a bold, comprehensive, and penetrating study of the other side of King David who is usually depicted as hero by biblical writers and scholars. The author argues that David orchestrated with ruthless details in undermining and effecting the eventual demise of Saul’s dynasty. In my opinion, this book is a must read for all Bible teachers and students.
Samuel Waje Kunhiyop, South African Theological Seminary
… a valuable addition to research on the books of Samuel and the person of David … It would be a beneficial resource for the advanced student or scholar interested in David, the books of Samuel, or the use of narrative criticism within Old Testament studies.
Daniel S. Diffey, in Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament, Vol 2.1
This published dissertation aims to fill a void in Samuel studies, providing a systematic overview of the fate of Saul’s house during David’s reign. … Tushima’s work is a thought-provoking contribution to academic discussions, even for readers who may disagree with his conclusions.
Greg Church, Westminster Seminary California, in Theological Book Review , Vol 25, No 1
… the work is well written with very clear summaries and introductions to each section … This is a substantial contribution to studies on David and the narratives of 1-2 Samuel.
Benjamin J.M. Johnson, in Reviews in Religion & Theology, Vol 22, Issue 1
Cephas Tushima argues against the long-standing tradition that David was a hero, and shows how instead he acted unjustly and villainously against the house of Saul, whose power he usurped.
Church Times, December 2014
This inspiring and well executed work is with no doubt an important contribution to the discussion of the picture of David.
W.Z., in Zeitschrift fuer die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, Band 215, Heft 3