Crises & Kings Episode 29: The Struggle Over Succession

Posted by Michael Hattin on October 7, 2021
Topics: Neviim & Ketuvim, Tanakh, Crises & Kings, Pardes from Jerusalem

The Book of Samuel II

Episode 29: The Struggle Over Succession

Podcast Overview: Shaul is dead but David will not become king over all of Israel immediately. (Samuel II 2:1-3:1)

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A special note to the listener: In general, listeners are encouraged to independently prepare the primary material from one podcast to the next, preferably in a havruta learning dynamic. However, the podcasts will also be accessible and meaningful to listeners who do not prepare ahead of time. For more information about this podcast series or to get more information about the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies please email

Host: Rabbi Michael Hattin
Rabbi Michael Hattin teaches Bible and Halakha at Pardes. To learn more with Michael, click here.
Producer: Amira Mintz-Morgenthau
Podcast Editor: Evan Feist
Lead Consultant: Rabbi Adam Titcher

Crises & Kings explores the Book of Samuel, which recounts a tumultuous period in Biblical history. The Israelites have settled in their new land but tribal rivalries weaken them against the ascendant Philistines. Saul, the first king, brings hope but his reign is marred by missteps, leading to his downfall.

David, arguably the most famous character in Jewish tradition, succeeds Saul and strategically lays the foundations for an empire. His exploits, including some spectacular moral failures, are unrivaled.

The dramatic narrative of Sefer Shmuel introduces us to themes still relevant today: divine destiny vs. human initiative, faith vs. misplaced religious devotion, and good leadership vs. corrosive and self-serving rule.

This series is a production of Pardes North America in partnership with The Koren Podcast Network and is lovingly sponsored by the Neustein family in memory of Rabbi Dr. Joseph Neustein, on the occasion of his 4th yahrzeit.

About Michael Hattin

Michael teaches Bible and Halakha at Pardes. He holds a professional degree in Architecture from the University of Toronto and rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He teaches Chumash and Prophets as well as Halakha at the Pardes Institute. You can find books written by Michael by clicking here For many years Michael authored the weekly online publications Introduction to Parasha and Lessons on Prophets for the Virtual Beit Midrash of Yeshivat Har Etzion, reaching a combined readership of several thousand. Click here to read more.

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