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The just king: Fact or fancy? Some ugaritic reflections

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Chapter Summary

At the end of his book Kings without Privilege, in a short section headed 'The "Real" and the "Ideal"', Graeme Auld expressed the hope that 'One of the results of this study may be to encourage fresh scrutiny of the inter-relationships between more realistic and more idealised materials in the Hebrew Bible'. This chapter seeks to apply that scrutiny not primarily to the Hebrew Bible but to the presentation of the king in some of the texts from Ugarit. But it does so in a context where parallels can be drawn and which can perhaps legitimately be illuminated with reference to the Hebrew Bible and other important ancient Near Eastern texts such as the Law Code of Hammurabi. The underlying issue is the extent to which epic or legendary material in particular can be useful in reconstructing a picture of the society from which it emerged.

Keywords: Graeme Auld; Hebrew Bible; law code of Hammurabi; Ugaritic reflections



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