Intimations of Jacob, Judah, and Joseph in the Stories of King David: The Use of Narrative Analogy in 1 Samuel 16–1 Kings 2
Kline, Joanna Greenlee
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CitationKline, Joanna Greenlee. 2018. Intimations of Jacob, Judah, and Joseph in the Stories of King David: The Use of Narrative Analogy in 1 Samuel 16–1 Kings 2. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThe subject of this study is the use of narrative analogy in the biblical story of King David (1 Samuel 16–1 Kings 2), especially the parallels between this material and the stories of the patriarch Jacob and his family (Genesis 25–50). Narrative analogy in the Hebrew Bible, which is related to the broader phenomena of allusion and inner-biblical interpretation, involves a series of parallels between biblical texts that function to draw comparisons between characters and events. My analysis focuses on several narratives in the books of Samuel that exhibit especially strong connections with stories in the book of Genesis. First, I discuss 1 Samuel 16–18, in which the early career of David shows parallels with the story of Joseph in Genesis 37 and 39. Next, I examine the analogical structure found in 1 Samuel 18–19 and 24–25 that compares David’s relationship with his father-in-law Saul to Jacob’s relationship with his father-in-law Laban. I then explore the many points of resemblance between the story of David’s daughter Tamar in 2 Samuel 13 and the story of Jacob’s daughter Dinah in Genesis 34. Finally, I analyze the complex analogical parallels exhibited by the narratives of 2 Samuel 11–13 and the Joseph story of Genesis 37–50, including the story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38.
For all of these narratives, I identify possible parallels and connections with other biblical texts, classifying them according to whether the similarities are exhibited in plot, structure, language, motif, or theme. I then explore the functions and purposes of the analogical links. This analysis demonstrates that narrative analogy in the David story functions to develop characterization and to reinforce significant themes of the narrative, including sibling rivalry and reconciliation, measure-for-measure punishment, and divine election and providence. In addition to discussing the function of narrative analogy on the synchronic level, I also use text-critical data and analyze the diachronic development of each text in order to determine the genetic relationship between analogically connected narratives. In some cases, the evidence shows that the Genesis narratives influenced the Samuel texts; in other cases, the direction of influence appears to be the reverse. I argue that that this mutual textual influence led to a strengthening of the analogical links between David and Jacob as the narratives about them were composed and transmitted.
Through its focus on narrative analogy, this project provides insights about the characterization of David, the portrayal of the institution of the kingship, and the depiction of divine providence in the books of Samuel. The study of analogical links between the narratives of Genesis and Samuel also provides evidence for a model of the diachronic relationship between these books, which appear to have influenced each other over the course of their development. Furthermore, this work contributes to a better understanding of the phenomenon of narrative analogy in the Hebrew Bible more broadly, showing how analogical parallels are constructed, identifying the literary and theological functions of these parallels, and highlighting the importance of narrative analogy as a compositional technique that serves to unite originally independent narratives of the Hebrew Bible.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41121240
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