Henceforth, the nation is rent with civil strife, and the prophet who guaranteed that David's house would be forever secure now prophesies that the sword will never be far from David's House. It seems that a House is a bad idea after all. Conflicts like these are frequent because this text is not simply about the people, the nation, or its king amassing power, but because instead these narratives express ambivalence about power. Even as the story of Israel depicts an effort to become "like the nations," it depicts that very project as pernicious, for Israel depends for its identity on its distinctiveness, on being drawn "from the nations." These conflicting approaches to power are symptomatic of Israel's conflicting self-definitions: conflicting, because if the Bible is anything, it is the site of struggle, struggles that took place between widely different factions with different political and religious interests over hundreds ofyears.