“King and Cultus: The Image of David in the Book of Kings” by GREG GOSWELL

“King and Cultus: The Image of David in the Book of Kings” by GREG GOSWELL

ABSTRACT: The image of David in the book of Kings is of a cultically-observant king, who does not commit the sin of idolatry, and, as a result, David becomes the model of proper royal behaviour for all kings that follow. In the theology of Kings there is an essential link between kingship and the temple cultus, and the kings who were like David reformed the cult and suppressed deviant cultic expression. The author of Kings measures and assesses the perfor-mance of every king by the rule of whether he supported the primacy of the YHWH and his temple in Jerusalem (of which piety David is the exemplar). It is argued that the image of David found in Kings is not without connection to the memory of David preserved in the preceding book of Samuel. In terms of the fate of the Davidic house in exile and beyond, various features in Kings suggest that the book is at best ambivalent as to the long term future of kingship as an Israelite institution.

KEYWORDS: David, king, image, cult