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Altes Testament


Zalewski, Ulrich


Gott, König und Volk. Eine synchrone und diachrone Auslegung von 2 Sam 24.


Würzburg: Echter Verlag 2014. XXXV, 203 S. = Erfurter Theologische Studien, 103. Kart. EUR 24,00. ISBN 978-3-429-03494-8.


Klaus-Peter Adam

Intense debates in Old Testament theology deal with David’s census and his subsequent punishment, namely why the census could incur guilt upon David. This five part study of 2Sam 24, the reworked 2010 Erfurt Ph.D. thesis (advisor G. Hentschel), combines a close reading of the text with text-critical, source-critical, biblical-theological and historical considerations.
Part I is a text-critical study that by and large confirms M as the basis for his analysis, though at the same time respects the independence of the versions, pointing out their respective conceptual frame of reference (3–17).
Part II offers an outline and detailed numbering system of the clauses of the Hebrew text (19–23; references follow this system), and considers relevant lexicography, such as swt »to make so. do something against their intention/to seduce so.« in 2Sam 24:1,15 (cf. 1Sam 26:19), which poses the question of whether David has indeed been »seduced« to trespass a law (25). Other terms include »to muster« pqd (26–27); conjunctions (27–28); hpz (28–30); place names such as Aroer and Jaser (30–32); ntn vv. 9a.15a.23a (32); Israel (32–33); ‘lf (33); lb (34–35); ‘br (35–37); the idiom »and the word of Yahweh happened« (37–38); dbr (38–39); »from the morning until a set time« (v. 15a), along with other critical terms (43–56); the lexicographic fields of Israel, Judah, and the people/the land; the military draft; the altar and of-fering; and, finally, themes and structure of the narrative. These reflections fuel a distinction into a four-fold thematic structure: the military draft v. 1–10; sin and punishment v. 1,10–17.21e.25c.d; altar and offering v. 18–25; and the purchase of the threshing floor v. 21–24. The thematic structure partly overlaps with a tri-partite story-line: the census v. 2–9, the choice of punishment v. 11–15, and the building of the altar v. 18–25 (53–56). A detailed analysis of structures in the narrative follows: repetitions, motifs, places (56–60), the plot (61–68), and its narrow and wide context including alternative positions after 2Sam 6 (Budde) or 2Sam 9 (Eissfeldt, 69–83). The narrative specifically relates to 2Sam 21:1–14 in which David functions as a mediator and humans loose their lives with his agreement.
Part III (85–171) presents source-critical readings, identifying omissions and additions in 1Chr 21:1–22, namely omissions in 2Sam 24:3c.5–7.10ab.11a.13b.21ab.23bc, and additions that clarify or fill lacuna in 1Chr 21:2d.3ce.6.7.15a.16.17h.20.22d.26c–1Chr 22:1b (85–92). LXX equally clarifies, harmonizes and adds connections between less coherent narrative strands of M, e. g. an explicit reference to the plague (lit.: death) rather than leaving David’s choice open v. 14–15 (93–99). The midrash-like additions in 2Sam 24:16.20 in 4QSam a are later than the tradition of M (103–104); Josephus AJ VII 318–334 extends the text through many variations and adaptations of the biblical source, such as explanations for David’s guilt AJ VII 318b–3 (110); also Josephus sees David’s supplication as the reason for Yahweh’s ending of the plague AJ VII 329a.
Instead of intertwined narrative strands, Z. suggests two simple narrative units (111–116) at the core of six total source–critical layers: The census v. 2–3a.3d.4*.8*.9a–b.15* ending with the death of 70,000 (129) and the building of the altar v. 18a*.18b–19a.20a–21d.22.24–25b (130). Z. interprets the remainder of the chapter as additions from various backgrounds: the messenger v 15a*.16.18* (132); the more complex language about guilt and punishment, e. g. Joab’s opposi-tion against the census v. 3b–c; the Gad-episode; David’s first and second confessions of guilt v. 10–14.17; declaring Gad’s command to build an altar as a command of Yahweh v. 19b (133–134); additions about offering and reconciliation v. 21e; 25:c–d (135); and final additions which highlight the greatness and power of Israel (136).
Z. describes the major motifs of the core narratives, such as the census/draft and parallels in Exod 30; 2Chr 2:16; 8:9, which presuppose 2Sam 24; a comparison with the religious census of Num 1–4; and refers to a general criticism of military strength Ps 46:10; 76:4; as well as the themes of the building of the altar and the purchase of the threshing floor (136–151), while also reflecting on hypothetical oral stages and redaction criticism (152–172).
In Part IV (173–191), Z. evaluates the biblical-theological themes of the image of God; the relationship between God and King; and guilt and punishment.
Fifth (193–197), Z. suggests that the earliest allusions to the Davidic or Solomonic time in 2Sam 24 form the historical backdrop of the first stages; the gentilic yebusi are not an archaizing fiction (reference to Josh 15:8; 18:16); and, likewise, the supposed origin of Arauna is in the Hittite arauan[n]I »free«, pointing to this individual’s inherited social status reminiscent of Hittite nobility.
Z. presents an impressive array of topics, insights and methodological competence and a valid demonstration of how and why 2Sam 24 is of relevance for such different areas as, for instance, source-criticism and biblical-theological studies.