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

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

"The King Lifted up His Voice and Wept": David's Mourning in the Second Book of Samuel
Niu, Zhixiong

Rome: Gregorian and Biblical Press, 2013 pp. 312. €25,00

Series Information
Teologia, 200

Description: This study is the first monograph that subjects to investigation all the pericopes relating Davis’s mourning connected with human death in 2 Sam 3,26-39, for the infant born of Bathsheba in 2 Sam 11,27b-12,25, for the princes/Amnon in 2 Sam 13,23-39 and for Absalom in 2 Sam 18,19-19,9. Another unique feature of this project is that these stories are read and interpreted primarily through the lens of the Hebrew mourning rituals – an approach that has been hitherto rarely embraced. This thematic study, adopting a synchronic approach and focusing on its literary world, first conducts a close reading of each aforementioned text and then takes a collective look at them in the end. Besides allowing new meanings to surface in the reading of the individual stories, it has yielded at least the following general insights: 1 The primarily ceremonial mourning acts are not to be taken as Literal expressions of the mourners’ genuine emotions – an insight that is of paramount importance in the interpretation of certain figures at various places in the text. 2 The arrangement of the texts betrays a concentric design which strongly favors the reading of 2 Sam as one integral unit. 3. The study of the mourning texts also supports the view - noted as well by other scholars – which sees the portrait of David as a dynamic one, evolving and developing with the progress of the narrative plot of 2 Sam.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Historical Books, Literature, Methods, Literary 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. RBL’s login procedure is now synched to SBL’s. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBL’s Terms of Use.

I don’t remember my SBL password.

Join SBL or renew your membership to read the review(s).

Email Address
SBL Password

Review by David G. Firth
Published 11/3/2014
Citation: David G. Firth, review of Zhixiong Niu, “The King Lifted up His Voice and Wept”: David’s Mourning in the Second Book of Samuel, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2014).

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