From “a shepherd boy” to “The Shepherd”: a biography of an eschatological motif according to the story of King David Cover Image
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От овчарчето до Пастира: биография на един есхатологичен мотив според разказа за библейския цар Давид
From “a shepherd boy” to “The Shepherd”: a biography of an eschatological motif according to the story of King David

Author(s): Milena Kirova
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Институт за литература - BAN
Keywords: Shepherd; eschatological motif; King David

Summary/Abstract: The paper explores a problem from the premises of biblical hermeneutics while making use of literary studies devices. There is one major question which it pursues: Why was King David, the most prominent character of Hebrew Biblical history, depicted as a shepherd boy in 1 Samuel 16-17? How to read the implications of shepherd symbolism in his story? In order to find answers, the paper first discusses some problems of biblical authorship, especially of the kind, most often called “The Deuteronomistic Historian”. It then goes to other shepherd characters among the patriarchs and to their interpretation by the rabbinic sages and Josephus in “Jewish wars”, proceeding to the New Testament and the figure of Jesus Christ. Gradually it becomes clear that the answers are to be found not in the field of some (more or less) historical reality but in relation to the legendary imagination which fueled the very creation of biblical history, and then continued to reproduce itself in Western arts and popular culture – up to the present day.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 18-36
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Bulgarian