1 and 2 Samuel
Publisher Cambridge University Press
In this commentary to 1–2 Samuel, Marvin Sweeney focuses on the qualities of leadership displayed by the major characters of the book. He reads 1–2 Samuel in relation to Machiavelli's The Prince and Sun Tzu's The Art of War, which provide a comparative evaluation of the qualities of leadership displayed by Eli, Samuel, Saul, David, Ish-Bosheth, Abner, Abshalom, Joab, and others. Additionally, Sweeney provides an analysis of the synchronic, literary structure of Samuel, as well as a new theory regarding its composition. He also re-evaluates the role of 2 Samuel 21–24 within the synchronic literary structure of the book, arguing that the so-called Succession Narrative in 2 Samuel 9–20 is a northern Israelite composition that stands as a component of the Jehu Dynastic History. Highlighting the geography and cities of the land of Israel, Sweeney's commentary enables readers to understand the role that the land of Israel plays in the narrative of the book of Samuel.