David and the Reign Lecture Series Figures from the Old and New Testaments

David and the Reign

  1. The event took place on
Joaquín Sanmartín

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  1. Joaquín SanmartínJoaquín Sanmartín

    (Zaragoza, 1941) Realizó estudios de Hebraística, Asiriología, Egiptología, Hititología y Teología en Roma, Innsbruck y Münster.
    Es catedrático emérito de Filología Semítica de la Universidad de Barcelona y, en la misma Universidad, coordinador del Grupo Consolidado de Excelencia “Lingüística Oriental” y miembro del Instituto Universitario de Estudios del Próximo Oriente Antiguo, el cual dirigió durante doce años. Sus líneas de investigación son la filología semítica comparada, y la morfología y lexicografía de las lenguas paleosemíticas y semíticas medias (especialmente acadio, ugarítico, fenicio, hebreo). Ha dedicado su atención a los aspectos culturales del Próximo Oriente Antiguo (religión, sociedad y economía) y publicado más de 200 títulos entre artículos científicos y libros, entre ellos la edición, traducción y estudio de los Códigos legales de tradición babilónica (1999) y la Epopeya de Gilgameš, Rey de Uruk (2005, 2 eds. 2010). Es coautor de Keilalphabetische Texte aus Ugarit con Manfried Dietrich y Oswald Loretz (1976, 3 eds. 2013) y del Diccionario de la lengua ugarítica I y II con Gregorio del Olmo (2 vols. 1996 y 1998, traducido al inglés en 2004) .

When speaking of History, we always refer to the "construction" of a history. The texts over which the History of ancient "Israel" is currently built -the figure of David and his Kingdom in this case-, can be addresses from several perspectives. Some through the sacralization of the text as a source of truth, while others, more critical with the value of the "sources", prefer to question the sense that the authors of those tales wanted to give them, as well as the ideological objectives they sought. Lastly, in many cases, all historical curiosity has been removed in one sense or another, and the characters have been projected into the heaves of art (like Michelangelo) or the hells of literature (like Faulkner).

Everything seems to point towards the fact that the sources do not give us access to a series of past "events" (historical reality), but initially refer to the "sense of history" -or perception of the historical truth- that the authors of the texts had. If this was so, the result of this study would be that the painting of David and his Kingdom offered by the biblical texts is basically an artificial construction motivated by theological and political interests of the authors of those tales, and the expectations of the audience.

David and his Kingdom is yet another version of the great myth of History. Its study requires addressing the major structures of the biblical narrative in the "historical" books, reviewing this way the Davidian tradition. In this sense, the figures of the "king" (malk) in the framework of Ancient Middle East and the deuteronomic vision of Judaism are basic. The historical-critical vision also obliges us to closely examine the mental models of the "biblical" archaeology and literature.

David and his Kingdom is also the history of a myth. The figure of David is the motor of an entire political theology and theological policy. The "House of David" and "Judah" summarize the essence of the late Judaism and of the messianism which lies at the roots of Christianity. Two thousand years later, the "shield of David", dressed in the shape of a star, is the symbol of Judaism and the State of Israel.