THE ONE WHOM THE LORD HAS CHOSEN: MONARCHY IN THEOCRACY, I SAMUEL 8: 1-16: 13

MARGARET H ERON BROWN, Marquette University

Abstract

The first book of Samuel has been studied extensively in search of an explanation for the ambiguities, contradictions, and doublets which are found upon its pages. Previous scholarship has concentrated upon delineation of the early sources of the material comprising I Samuel, or upon reasons for the ambiguity of attitudes toward Saul as found in I Samuel 8:1-16:13, but has come to no consensus in explaining the problems which are to be found in the unit. It is also difficult to see that a theological principle binds the material together and forms the various traditions contained in I Samuel 8:1-16:13 into a unified theological statement. This dissertation argues that the material encountered in I Samuel 8:1-16:13 is shaped theologically by the Deuteronomistic editors, through careful and extensive use of chiasmus. Recognition of the chiastic structure enables discernment of a positive statement about monarchy which is in accord with the general tone of the Royal Psalms. I Samuel 8:1-16:13 states that although Yahweh is king in Israel, monarchy may still function with the restriction that people and king fear the Lord and obey the commandments of Yahweh. Although directed specifically at kingship in Israel, the overall structure of I Samuel 8:1-16:13 addresses the larger matter of authority under Yahweh. In I Samuel 8:1-16:13, the entire authority question is placed within the context of the Mosaic covenant which legitimates the proper use of authority, and reaffirms the convenantal obligations of Israel in Yahweh's regard. It also provides an entrance into the idea of the unconditional Davidic covenant through the idea of the spirit of Yahweh which rests upon the Lord's anointed. The dissertation concludes that the Deuteronomistic editors saw that prophecy and monarchy were new institutions in Israel, and sought to legitimate the proper use of authority, as well as to reaffirm the convenantal obligations of Israel toward Yahweh. At all times, the central affirmation of the unit is that Yahweh is king of Israel.

Recommended Citation

MARGARET H ERON BROWN, "THE ONE WHOM THE LORD HAS CHOSEN: MONARCHY IN THEOCRACY, I SAMUEL 8: 1-16: 13" (January 1, 1986). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. Paper AAI8618708.
http://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI8618708

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