Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Necessary King: A Postcolonial Reading of the Deuteronomistic Portrait of the Monarchy
Janzen, David

Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2013 pp. xii + 287. $130.00

Series Information
Hebrew Bible Monographs, 57

Buy this book now from SBL


The Necessary King explains why Israel needed a king according to the Deuteronomistic History, and why its exilic readers can expect no future except under Davidic rule. Given Israelís tendency to rebellion against its divine suzerain, the king is the necessary agent of Godís colonization of Israel, making and keeping it a loyal subject. Disqualifying prophets, priests, and judges as potential leaders of Israel, and presenting the people as far too sinful to live without leadership, the Deuteronomistic History portrays the Davidic monarchy as a necessity.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature, Methods, Ideological Critique, Postcolonial Approaches

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBLís login procedure is now synched to SBLís. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBLís Terms of Use.

Email Address
SBL Password
 Forgot Your Password
 Join SBL or Renew Membership

Review by Juliana Claassens
Published 7/14/2016
Citation: Juliana Claassens, review of David Janzen, The Necessary King: A Postcolonial Reading of the Deuteronomistic Portrait of the Monarchy, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2016).

Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.


Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us