The author argues that the narrative of 1 Samuel may be read as a riddle propounding the complex story of Israel/Judah's experience with kings as an instruction for those pondering leadership choices in the sixth century. The work is an extended reflection on what went wrong with kings and why new leadership must be attempted. The extended riddle of Saul works to show how the life of the king is fundamentally destructive, not because any is malicious but because of many factors of weakness and inadequacy that will be familiar to readers.
This book marries the several elements:
Barbara Green is Professor of Biblical Studies at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley.