Contesting Claims and Divine Inscrutability in 2 Samuel 16: 5-14
It is my contention that diachronic reading strategies (i.e., historical criticism in its various incarnations) limit interpretive possibilities of biblical texts. What I have proposed and have attempted to model in this present work instead is an intertextual method of reading the text canonically that focuses on the process of meaning-making within the reader, rather than on an attempt to recover what may have happened, although the approach I have used in no way mitigates against the historical-critical method. To do this, I have demonstrated how such a reading strategy might proceed, particularly with reference to characterization and point of view as expressed by both the dialogue and narration of the scene of 2 Sam 16:5-14. In reading this passage intertextually, I have endeavored to connect it with other related texts not only within the cycle of narratives that treat Saul and David but with the broader textual world of the Hebrew Bible as well, piecing together phrase by phrase how a reader might understand it in fresh perspective.
As I argued in Chapter One in my discussion of intertextuality, it is important that interpretations that utilize a synchronic approach, which values imagination as much as it does information, should advance our understandings of a given text rather than just producing novelty for novelty’s sake. In this book I have striven to meet that important standard. The success of this approach can be seen most clearly in the ways in which my reading of Shimei, Abishai and...
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