The Hebrew Story of David's Throne Wars

Dr. Robert Alter

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The whole David story is one of the greatest narratives of man as a political agent. Prof. Robert Alter


Robert Alter (Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley) is one of the best-known names in Biblical Studies. Among many other works, he has authored The Art of Biblical Narrative and produced a complete translation of the Hebrew Bible. In the words of Dr. Gary A. Rendsburg, the latter represents "a landmark achievement" that should be read by "everyone."

In this conversation with Dr. Yeshaya Gruber of the Israel Bible Center, Dr. Alter analyzes a text from 2 Samuel 3 that describes a key episode in the war for the throne between the house of Saul and the house of David. As Dr. Alter has written, "The story of David is probably the greatest single narrative representation in antiquity of a human life evolving by slow stages through time, shaped and altered by the pressures of political life, public institutions, family, the impulses of body and spirit, the eventual sad decay of the flesh.” 

See also Dr. Alter's Roundtable Talk on "The Rhythm and Emotion of the Hebrew Bible."


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Dr. Robert Alter

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