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David: Portrayal of power

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Chapter Summary

Numerous oaths are taken about David, to David and by David during the course of his career. This chapter analyzes these oaths and illustrates the central role that they play in the characterization of David throughout the lengthy biblical narrative which describes his career. The oaths in the chapter seem to underscore the power structure within the relationship between Jonathan and David and focuses on the imminent threat posed to the powerless David by the reigning king. David's first oath offers a portrait of the biblical notion of the ideal king: all-powerful, but judicious and conscious of his subordination to God. The second oath, taken by David's men, portrays David in his powerlessness. Finally, the last oath tenders a profound and rich perspective on the dangers of power and on the ability to overcome those dangers.

Keywords: David's oath; God; Jonathan



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