“A Man after God’s Own Heart”

I’ve written an article for the Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament (JESOT 2.2) titled, ‘“A Man after God’s Own Heart’: David and the Rhetoric of Election to Kingship’. Here’s the abstract:

The anticipation of David as a “man after Yahweh’s own heart” in 1 Sam 13:14 is to be understood as a statement about Yahweh’s election of David to kingship, rather than about David’s own moral qualities. Comparison of similar phrases in Akkadian texts shows that the phrase is part of the rhetoric of divine election to kingship. The focus on divine election does not mean David has no positive attributes. On the contrary, he is depicted as a man with clear leadership qualities. The phrase serves the Davidic apologia in distinguishing David from Saul as Yahweh’s personal choice for king.

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4 thoughts on ““A Man after God’s Own Heart”

  1. O, how rude of me! I just wanna thank everyone contributing to JESOT for free. I’ve published a couple of light materials on 1 Corinthians and I’m also an EFL/ESL/EAP writing teacher. The writing task is a super work and to make it available to everyone for free is super grace. Merry Christmas. I will share this site to my students and colleagues back in the Philippines. Learned it from you first, George. Again, a BIG THANKS!

  2. Wonderful! A great many thrusts of the Saul-David narrative is contrast. This is detailed and has support from ancient texts. The implication for proclamation is clear: Israel chose Saul, but YHWH chose David. The focus of 13:13-14 is clear as an apologia, and it seeks to legitimize through narrative the appointment (ICC/AB) of David over Saul, and their respective houses, of course. George, notwithstanding this type of rhetoric in parallels, and Davidson’s Syntax had been cited in ICC, its lack of its discussion in your paper is a question of mine that lingers. I don’t know much about Hebrew syntax, but its absence makes me wonder about that aspect, whether it is a critical factor strengthening your reading or the fact that you did not makes it irrelevant. Thank you for your article. Very suggestive for pastoral preaching, Bible study, and personal conversation.

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