The chief business of women in the reigns of Kings Saul and David seems to have been to rescue men from the craft and greed of each other.
——Elizabeth Cady Stanton The Woman’s Bible (1898)
David, as a man who is sincere but hardly a saint, has through the ages provided a powerful model for repentance…He emerges from Samuel as a humble and humbled king, who points the way to the possibilities of genuine change.”
——Everett Fox Give us a King
He is also, from the start, quite calculating, and it can scarcely be an accident that until the midpoint of his story every one of his utterances, without exception, is made on a public occasion and arguably is contrived to serve his political interests.” He is “constantly prepared to do almost anything in order to survive.”
——Robert Alter The David Story
To seek clearly circumscribed definitions in this text is to be frustrated at every turn. What is a king, a priest, a military leader, and what is the difference? That question is the story of Samuel and Saul. What is an assassin, what is a politician, and what is the difference? That is the story of David.
——Regina Schwartz in “Not in Heaven”