A Review of
The Beginning of Politics:
Power in the Biblical Book of Samuel.
Moshe Halbertal and Stephen Holmes.
Reviewed by James Honig
My Sunday School memories of the David stories are full of heroics. David, the cheeky adolescent who slew a giant. David, the brilliant warrior who pillaged the pagan Philistines. David, the great King who made God’s people into a great power. David the poet who wrote so many of the psalms, giving testimony to his strong and reliable faith.
In seminary, while David was still an icon of godly leadership, his dalliance with Bathsheba was also used as a cautionary tale for would-be pastors “not to get yourselves in trouble.” I still remember the lessons from David’s life and leadership that Eugene Peterson extracted from the pages of First and Second Samuel in Leap Over a Wall. In all of it, David was lifted up as a godly man after whom one could model one’s life.