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date: 26 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the phenomenal cluster of interpretations around Saul, and his relationship with David, taking its texts from a single year, 1643, when the Civil Wars had begun in earnest and many British writers found scriptural events a useful lens through which to comment on the political and military situation. Authors cited David’s resistance, and its relationship to contemporary rebellion, or his refusal to harm an anointed king, to diverse ends. Writers dealing with such biblical tales were required to assess the relevance of Saul’s story and actions to questions of modern kingship and to the limitations, if any, on modern royal behaviour. The chapter is thus a snapshot of how a biblical story might justify—or condemn—armed resistance to an increased royal absolutism.

Keywords: King David, King Saul, 1643, political Bible, constitution, armed resistance

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