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The Untold Story of the Kingdom of Judah

(D3) The Untold Story about Why Saul went to War against Nahash the Ammonite

Prof. Oded Lipschits

In this chapter of the podcast, I argue that the main reason why the people sought to appoint Saul as king was omitted from the Biblical description in the book of Samuel, and the short text that was omitted was preserved in a scroll discovered in a cave in Qumran, near the Dead Sea. In order to substantiate this claim, I give a brief introduction to the composition and content of the Book of Samuel, to the processes of its composition and editing, and then I focus on the case of Saul’s anointing in 1 Samuel 8-12 and on the verses that were omitted from the Biblical text. This is a very different testimony to the other untold stories about the history of the kingdom of Israel, since in this chapter we do not deal only with what the biblical historiographer knew and told or left out, but rather with the further incarnations of the biblical text, the circumstances of its copying over hundreds of years, and the omissions and changes that occurred in this text, including intentional and unintentional disruptions, which affected the way we read and understand the description to this day.

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