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The Valley Of Elah Battle And The Duel Of David With Goliath: Between History And Artistic Theological Historiography

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Chapter Summary

The description of the battle between the Philistines and the Israelites in the Valley of Elah, with its focus on the combat between David and Goliath (1 Sam 17), is one of the high points of artistic biblical historiography included in the Book of Samuel. The story of the Elah Valley battle, for instance, belongs, in their view, to a hypothetical ancient corpus of collected traditions defined as "The History of David's Rise" (= HDR). The Philistine army probably took the route alongside the Elah Brook that flows all the way from the mountain range north of Bethlehem westward, and encircles Mount Azekah going towards the hill of Gath on its way to the Mediterranean. The ancient story of the duel between David and Goliath was developed to represent in a symbolic way the bitter confrontation between the Israelites and the Egyptians of the late 7th century B.C.E.

Keywords: artistic biblical historiography; David; Elah Valley battle; Goliath; Israel; Philistine army



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