This research is an investigation into the charismatic leadership of Saul, David, and Solomon. Regarding methodology the study is a synchronic reading and is keen to demonstrate the theology explicit or implicit in the text. This study assumes that charismatic leaders emerge in crisis situations and in order to resolve the crisis by the charisma granted by God. In regard to Saul, the book argues that Saul proved himself a charismatic leader as long as acting resolutely and independently from Samuel, his mentor. He failed, however, because in Samuel's shadow he could not establish himself as a charismatic leader.
David was successful because of his autonomy and resolution. Also, he was a successful charismatic leader as long as he remained independent. King David, however, was gradually sidelined by Joab. Another major theme of the David narrative is the clash between the concepts of charismatic military leadership and that of oriental kingship. David's military leadership and the charisma related to it are constantly challenged by the concept of oriental kingship.
Although at his emergence he had lacked charisma, Solomon wisely chose the leadership skills needed to lead Israel. Attention is, however, drawn to the tensions between Solomon's leadership benefiting Israel and the royal pretension manifest in royal projects.
The relationship of the new charismatic leader with the old leader is scrutinized: how the new leader is appointed, how he emerges, how the old persists--in short the transition and succession in leadership. An evaluation of the activity of the charismatic follows; could he resolve the crisis from which he emerged and for which he was granted God's spirit? To what extent were these leaders charismatic?