Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The scene of the cave in 1 Samuel 24

As we noted when reading Genesis and Exodus, elaborate descriptions of landscape and topography are conspicuously absent from much Old Testament narrative. So in 1 Samuel 24, the scene of Saul and David in and then outside of the cave, it might pay to consider why this scene occurs in a cave. What is suggested by the curious tale of the king being exposed, as Alter notes, in a double sense, to David, the future king?

Twice in this book, David has the opportunity to kill a very vulnerable Saul from a position of nearly total invulnerability, a quasi invisibility. Does this parallel with the Greek tale of Gyges seem relevant?

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