Portrait of the Kings: The Davidic Prototype in Deuteronomistic Poetics

By :  Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary Posted On Oct 15, 2015 / 5776 | Author Conversations: Between the Lines

A discussion with author Dr. Alison L. Joseph, adjunct assistant professor of Bible at JTS and visiting assistant professor at Towson University. Dr. David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, JTS, served as moderator.

Much of the scholarship on the Books of Kings has focused on questions of the historicity of the events described. Dr. Alison L. Joseph, however, turns her attention to the literary characterization of the kings. By examining the narrative techniques used in the Deuteronomistic History, Dr. Joseph shows that the Deuteronomist in the days of the Josianic Reform constructed David as a model of adherence to the covenant and Jeroboam, conversely, as the ideal opposite of David. The result is a deepened understanding of the worldview and theology of the Deuteronomistic historians.