Paul Sanders, «So May God Do To Me!», Vol. 85 (2004) 91-98
In the Hebrew Bible we find the self-imprecation "So may God do to me and more also!" (2 Sam 3,35, 1 Kgs 2,23, etc.). In many cases, the phrase is immediately conditioned: "So may God do to me and more also, if you will not be the commander of the army" (2 Sam 19,14). God may punish the speaker, if the latter fails his promise. Ancient Mesopotamian sources suggest that the word "So" in the Hebrew expression originally referred to a gesture in use when taking an oath: the touching of the throat. The biblical passages where the expression occurs do not display any resistance to the use of the formula as such, even though it was often pronounced inconsiderately. However, the textual alteration in 1 Sam 25,22 shows that there was opposition to the idea that the pious king David failed a promise that he had reinforced using the self-imprecatory phrase.