A strenuously speculative biography of a cherished Biblical figure, equated here to Saddam Hussein.
Bible scholar McKenzie (The Hebrew Bible Today, not reviewed) attacks King David with a vehemence worthy of St.
Paul—after his vision on the road to Damascus. He gleefully points out David’s recorded and fictional stains, as if the Bible were
not already long-established as a clothesline of dirty laundry pinned up for moral lessons in personal responsibility and divine
karma. McKenzie refuses to consider David's sexual misconduct, unplanned self-incrimination, loss of sons, courageous admission
of guilt, and ascent to the throne as simply the second bookend of the Judah epic of Genesis. On the contrary, after deeming
David historical enough to malign, McKenzie uses a “Deuteronomistic History” theory to date a hodgepodge writing of the David
saga centuries later than previously supposed for political reasons of his own. Among the accusations McKenzie levies against
the psalmist-king are these: he was a soldier, his failed coup earned Saul's enmity, his outlaws plundered and annihilated Judean
villages, he “murdered Nabal and seized his wife, Abigail, and his property,” he was responsible for King Saul's death, and he
iced a dozen other political threats. Much of the guilt behind these assertions is thoroughly circumstantial and based upon
McKenzie’s estimations of what David stood to gain from such enormities. David is called a mafioso, a terrorist, and worse, while
positive Biblical depictions are deemed “unlikely.” To McKenzie, the ark is “a northern artifact” and the northern tribes were
“a conquered people.” After 18 pages of notes there is a bibliography of over 340 works by other secular scholars not known for
empathy or familiarity with ancient Semitic religious texts.
McKenzie might well place David on the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963. He should be credited for providing an imaginative
work in the conspiracy school of Biblical criticism.