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Punishment and Forgiveness in the Second Book of Samuel

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Chapter Summary

Modem literary criticism of 2 Samuel acknowledges three main generic strands: historical writing, wisdom literature, and narrative. The Second Book of Samuel contains a great deal of ancient historical material, often assigned to the Solomonic period. David's loyalty to Saul, shown especially by his refusal to take vengeance or exact satisfaction for Saul's attempts upon his life (cf. 1 Sam 16:1-31:l3), persisted to the last. David was kind and usually left judgment to God when ordinary matters of justice were at stake. David's choice of penitence instead of accession to the demands of the strict law of retribution is suggested not only by reflection on theological principles but also by the situation. It is striking that David was the only one who fully adopted the ultimate rule of the wisdom of patience by placing full reliance upon God's providence.

Keywords: David; God's providence; Saul; Second Book of Samuel

10.1163/9789004276031_012
/content/books/b9789004276031s012
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