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King David

Product no.: 0-345-43505-2
David, King of the Jews, possessed every flaw and failing of which a mortal is capable, yet men and women adored him, and God showered him with many blessings.

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Publisher's Synopsis

A charismatic leader, exalted as "a man after God’s own heart," he was also capable of deep cunning and bloodthirsty violence. Weaving together biblical texts with centuries of interpretation and commentary, as well as the startling discoveries of modern biblical archaeology and scholarship, bestselling author Jonathan Kirsch brings King David to life with extraordinary freshness, intimacy, and vividness of detail, revealing him in all his glory and fallibility.


"He fully accepts the historicity of David and the United Kingdom but argues that the record we have is the product of court propagandists followed by other court editors and then 'spin doctors' who attempted to sanitize David. This is an old approach followed by many critical scholars; however, the only characteristics that Kirsch adopts from the text for David are thoroughly Machiavellian.

He portrays David as a 'bloodthirsty fiend of hell' who combined a strong political savvy with a ruthless suppression of all opposition. One must recognize that, even if we do not judge him by modern mores, as Kirsch does, David's life and reign was full of actions that provided abundant opportunities for his famous readiness to repent."         ~Library Journal

"A biographical narrative, in which lawyer, journalist, and amateur Bible student Kirsch (Moses, 1998) aims to strip away the pious gloss that later editors have allegedly added to the Bible. What he manages instead is to reduce one of the most complex of figures to the constricted dimensions of a rather unsavory third-world politico: David as thug and sexual predator."      ~Kirkus Reviews

"David is shown to be a liar and a trickster, as when, threatened by an enemy king, he feigns madness to save his own life. He is an outlaw and an extortionist, as when he uses the threat of violence to solicit a gift from a rich man with a beautiful wife and ends up with both the bounty and the woman. He is an exhibitionist, as when he performs a ritual dance in such spiritual frenzy that his tunic flies up and reveals his genitalia to the crowd. He is even a voyeur, a seducer, and a murderer, as when he peeps at the naked Bathsheba, recruits her for sexual service in the royal bedchamber, and then contrives to kill her husband when she is inconveniently impregnated with a bastard. David, whose very name means 'beloved,' attracts both men and women, inspiring sometimes a pristine love but more often a frankly carnal one. Some Bible critics, in fact, insist that David’s famous declaration of love for his friend Jonathan—a love 'passing the love of women'—ought to be understood as an expression of his bisexuality."

Author Kirsch, Jonathan
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 368 pp.
Publisher Ballantine Books 2001
Browse these categories as well: Biblical Exegesis and Pseudepigrapha, Torah, Talmud and Midrash, Judaism: Prophets and Patriarchs, Spiritual Biography and Autobiography, Noteworthy Releases 2001

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