Rereading Texts of “Targeted Killings” in the Hebrew Bible: An Indigenous Knowledge Systems Perspective

31 Oct 2019

The biblical text is replete with narratives of targeted killings (TKs), although it is not stated as such. For example, David is depicted as “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sm 13:14). However, when David was on his deathbed, he summoned his son Solomon to kill his enemies, namely Joab son of Zeruiah (1 Ki 2:5) and Shimei son of Gera (1 Ki 2:8). From an indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) perspective, this essay analyses David’s killings in view of TKs in the following eras: the apartheid era in South Africa; the post-apartheid period in South Africa; colonial Rhodesia; during the liberation struggle for Zimbabwe’s independence; and in the post-independence Zimbabwean era. It is explored that for the majority of African cultures, the spirit of a killed person will always return as ngozi (“avenging spirit”) to afflict the killer or a blood relative of the guilty person with various curses, illnesses or deaths