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Political Loyalty in the Biblical Account of 1 Samuel XX-XXII in the Light of Hittite Texts

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image of Vetus Testamentum

The historicity of the Book of Samuel has been critically denied, but comparison with Ancient Near Eastern documents may show that some of its stories can be placed in the context of its historical background. Hittite documents from the late second millennium BCE show striking similarities in the legal systems on which the concepts of royalty and loyalty are based. The relations between David and Jonathan (1 Sam. xx) are compared with the relations among the royalty described in the Hittite Bronze Tablet, while the execution of the priests of Nob (1 Sam. xxii) is interpreted as a justifiable reaction to the violation of the loyalty oath by the king's servants as prescribed in CTH 264.

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/content/journals/10.1163/1568533053741919
2005-04-01
2016-12-11

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