[b-hebrew] qetseph in 2Ki 3:27

B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Thu Jul 3 15:16:06 EDT 2003

Hi Yigal, you wrote:

> At 01:56 PM 7/3/2003 -0400, B. M. Rocine wrote:
> >If we can explain the text within the constraints of a Deuteronomistic
> >ideolgy, we should. It is not difficult, after all, to imagine the
> >having a consistent perspective because of this little verse, is it?
> >
> >Much simpler than the Freudian interpretation is the "political"
> >that I offered in my last post.  Again: Israel was simply unwilling to
> >tribute from a king for whom paying tribute was so odious as to
> >the sacrifice his son and the heir to the throne.  Israel remains noble
> >rather than paganly money-grubbing.  The Deuteronomist narrator remains
> >mentally and emotionally whole.  ;-)
> >
> >
> Bryan,
> Where in the DH do you find an ideal by which conquest and extraction of
> tribute is "paganly money-grubbing" or in any other way negative? Look at
> David's exploits in 2 Sam.! His treatment of the Moabites, Ammonites an
> Edomites would hardly earn him a Nobel Peace Prize. Throughout the DH,
> "good" kings are conquerors, and "bad" kings like Ahab, who were also
> powerful, are downplayed. To the Deuteronomist, being "good" means being
> loyal to Yahweh, nothing more. Which is why I insist that the only reason
> for Israel's defeat here would be that they ticked Him off. However, I
> admit that the text does not say so, hence the question.
> Yigal

First, I don't think we can view the Deu ideal as void of history and
development.  The later version is "kinder and gentler." David is gentler
than Joshua.  We can allow that Yehoram is kinder than David.  The very
reason why there is development is because the ideal pushes on the history
as much as the "facts" push on the history.

However, we may make some generalizations about the ideal.  I would say, for
the Deuteronomist, that all and any means are not justified, e.g. the book
of Judges.

If any thematic line exists in the Deu ideology it's a democratic ideal.
The house of Samuel is voted out.  David is the people's king.  Israel comes
to David in Henron and make him their king.  Even while David was a
conqueror, he was also popular with some of those he conquered like the
Philistines.  Wherever he rules it is because the conquered love him, admire
him, or at least tolerate him.  Essentially, for the Deu narrator, rule must
be accepted or at least tolerated by the ruled ones.  This is relevant to
our discussion because we see in 2 Ki 3 that Mesha (if I may call him that)
is utterly and desperately resistant to submission. Moab will not tolerate
the tribute, to the degree that he will boldly and publically sacrifice the
kingdom's future in resistance.  Mesha is the only opponent of Israel who
resists in this extreme.  Insisting on a tribute in such a case is
distasteful to the Deu ideal; in fact, such a tribute would be no tribute at


B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

ph: 315.437.6744
fx: 315.437.6766

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