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The Road to Kingship
1-2 Samuel
PAPERBACK; Published: 3/3/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7744-4
Price: $ 30.99
416 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5
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Ancient stories invoking contemporary questions and providing insight for an uncertain future

The Road to Kingship is the second volume in the A People and a Land trilogy and presents a chapter-by-chapter interpretation of 1–2 Samuel, based on the author’s translation. Johanna van Wijk-Bos reacquaints readers with familiar stories like David and Goliath while also introducing them to lesser-known biblical personalities like Doeg the Edomite and the wily servant Ziba. She offers guidance along the path taken by the Israelites during the rise of the united monarchy. 

The books of Samuel unfold before us with multiple voices. One voice endorses a spontaneous charismatic form of leadership, alongside another that argues for hereditary kingship. In listening to the different voices, we will prefer some rather than others; we may turn our backs on texts that sing a melody we are no longer able to join. As readers, we enter into the text with our questions and in our very questioning tentatively find a way forward and draw closer to the presence of the Most Holy.

Table of Contents


Cycle I: The Last Judge: 1 Samuel 1:1-12:25

Cycle II: A King on His Throne: 1 Samuel 13:1-31:13

Cycle III: Ascent to Kingship: 2 Samuel 1:1-8:18

Cycle IV: A King and His People: 2 Samuel 9:1-20:26

Cycle V: Hazards, Heroes, and Poetry: 2 Samuel 21:1-24:25

The Expository Times
“Translations are [van Wijk-Bos’s] own and, reinforced by her commentary, deftly illuminate the elusive artistry of the Hebrew text.”
Review of Biblical Literature
“A worthwhile literary study that will well benefit present-day readers of Samuel, just as Samuel benefited those of the past.”
“The volume largely succeeds in its endeavor to be accessible to non-specialists, including both clergy and laity. . . . It is likely to produce spirited discussions in many seminary classrooms.”