David: The Divided Heart
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David: The Divided Heart

Yale University Press / 2017 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW230740


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Product Description

In David: The Divided Heart, David Wolpe wrestles with the challenges that many commentators encounter when they are faced with the biblical David. On the one hand David is presented as someone who was a mighty warrior loved by all, a unifying king, a poet/musician, a servant of God, and father of the Messianic kingly line. Yet, David is also depicted as an adulterer, a schemer, a plotter of murder, and a negligent father.

Drawing from the book of Samuel and a variety of other sources, Wolpe attempts to bring coherence to these seemingly contradictory actions and impulses. As he analysis David’s entire life, the overarching question that he raises is, “Why does David maintain such an exalted and enduring presence in history and religious tradition?” Wolpe asserts that it is actually these flawed characteristics and sinful actions that show him to be human but at the same time loved by God. Despite his many flaws, David never succumbed to idolatry or relinquished his faith in God, things that many both before and after him did throughout history.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.75 (inches)
ISBN: 0300230745
ISBN-13: 9780300230741
Series: Jewish Lives

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Publisher's Description

A reexamination of the biblical David, legendary warrior, poet, and king, by one of America’s most respected rabbis

Of all the figures in the Bible, David arguably stands out as the most perplexing and enigmatic. He was many things: a warrior who subdued Goliath and the Philistines; a king who united a nation; a poet who created beautiful, sensitive verse; a loyal servant of God who proposed the great Temple and founded the Messianic line; a schemer, deceiver, and adulterer who freely indulged his very human appetites.
 
David Wolpe, whom Newsweek called "the most influential rabbi in America," takes a fresh look at biblical David in an attempt to find coherence in his seemingly contradictory actions and impulses. The author questions why David holds such an exalted place in history and legend, and then proceeds to unravel his complex character based on information found in the book of Samuel and later literature. What emerges is a fascinating portrait of an exceptional human being who, despite his many flaws, was truly beloved by God.

Author Bio

David Wolpe is the rabbi of the Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. He is the author of seven books, including the national bestseller Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Editorial Reviews

"This is an excellent study of the most fascinating character in the Old Testament."—Wall Street Journal

"How can a man who murders his lover's husband in order to cover up an adulterous affair be fit to be king? . . . Wolpe gently and gracefully explores the many facets—king, sinner, father, lover, and husband, among others—that together create David's outsized personality . . . In the end, the author observes, contemporary readers identify with David so well because he is full of contradictions, and he is great because of this complexity, not in spite of it."—Publishers Weekly

"Engaging . . . Boring has no place in David’s story, or in this lively and thoughtful appreciation of that story."—Los Angeles Review of Books

"A portrait of David that is vibrant and nuanced, full of the complications that marked his life."—Jewish Week

"A lovely book (whose) power is in its artistry."—Walter Brueggemann, Christian Century

"David Wolpe’s fascination with his namesake brings to life in stunning clarity why King David is the most beloved man in the Bible."—Moment

"An estimable book brimming with insight, and an excellent short reworking of the story of the biblical David in a way that both educates and instructs. This book deserves a space in every Jewish library."—Association of Jewish Libraries

Finalist for the 2014 National Jewish Book Awards sponsored by the Jewish Book Council in the Biography, Autobiography and Memoir category

"A sensitive and utterly unsparing reading of the most attractive and least edifying character in the Hebrew Bible."—Jack Miles

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