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The intention of the prophetic literature is, of course, to present the word of Yahweh concerning Israel and the nations. It is not concerned with personal disputes between individual Israelites. Even the opponents of the prophets themselves come into view solely on the basis of their standing with regard to the word of Yahweh. Israel's historical writings are concerned to interpret Israel's story by reference to Yahweh, his word and deed. Individual Israelites come under consideration when they are necessary to tell Israel's story.

This is precisely the reason that the doublet of David's sparing of Saul appears. It is not concerned to teach how one should treat personal enemies. Its concern is to offer explanations of how it came about that David sup- planted Saul's house. The reason is given in Saul's response to David:

And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established, in your hand. Swear to me therefore by Yahweh that you will not cut off my descendants after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father's house.

I Samuel 24:21-22

Blessed be you, my son David! You will do many things and will succeed in them. I Samuel 26:23

The relative absence of this attitude in Israel's law codes is likewise due to their intention. The most explicit treatment of personal enmity, Exodus 23:4-5, probably aims to

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