The Sword of Goliath: David in Heroic Literature


The Sword of Goliath offers a fresh view of the biblical story of David, shifting the focus from historicity to issues of genre and popular culture. Isser compares the biblical stories of David with other heroic literature, including the Greek heroes of Homer, King Arthur, and Robin Hood. He suggests that the David stories, most of them now lost, originated in popular heroic literature that continued to grow during the later monarchy and into the Persian period. Isser engages a wide array of biblical scholarship to illuminate the complexity of ascertaining the historicity of much of the David traditions. Readers will find here a new perspective on the biblical David that moves beyond the current historical debate in biblical studies. Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Boston
Publication year:
  • 2003


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