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Old Testament Essays

versão On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versão impressa ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.21 no.2 Pretoria  2008


David and Shimei: Innocent victim and perpetrator?1



Gerrie Snyman

University of South Africa





Feeding on the current social anxiety in the country that is defined by racial lines, the paper suggests the possibility of a theology for the 'retributed', i.e. those who undergo justice in terms of affirmative action or land repossession. Employing Ndebele's thoughts on the folktale The lion and the rabbit and the issue of justice in Lars von Trier's Dogville as its matrices, the paper enquires into the roles of perpetrator or victim Shimei and David play to each other in Samuel-Kings in order to see whether Shimei's death constitutes retributive justice or whether there is some social benefit in turning him into a purificatory sacrifice in a Girardian sense.



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Gerrie Snyman
Department of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
University of South Africa, P.O. Box 362, Pretoria, 0003



1 The basis of this essay can be found in a paper with the title 'Decentering whiteness and doing justice: innocent victims, perpetrators and the biblical text' presented at a conference on Bible and Justice at the University of Sheffield in May/June 2008. Appreciation towards Unisa for a grant to attend the latter conference is hereby expressed

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