[b-hebrew] Regnal resume variation in Kings

Heard, Christopher Christopher.Heard at pepperdine.edu
Thu Jul 14 16:25:46 EDT 2005

Hello all.

I've been working verse by verse through 2 Kings recently and noticed  
something peculiar about the regnal resumes that I've never noticed  
before. At the end of each king's reign, as you know, there is a  
reference to "the book of the annals of the kings of Israel" or "the  
book of the annals of the kings of Judah." (I am not sure whether  
"annals" is the best translation for דברי הימים, but I think  
that it fits.)

In any event, I noticed that in most cases, the wording is in the  
form of a rhetorical question beginning with הלא כתובים, "are  
they not written ...?" (1 Kings 11:41; 14:29; 15:7, 23, 31; 16:5, 14,  
20; 22:39, 46; 2 Kings 1:18; 8:23; 10:34; 12:20; 13:8, 12; 14:15, 18,  
28; 15:6, 21, 36; 16:19; 20:20; 21:17, 25; 23:28; 24:5). Yet in a  
very few cases, the phrasing is as a declarative beginning with  
הנם כתובים, "behold them written!" (1 Kings 14:19; 2 Kings  
15:11, 15, 26, 31).

I suppose this is more of an exegetical, form-critical, or text- 
critical question than a linguistic one, but does anyone on the list  
know of any particular reason why these five cases should depart from  
the "standard" (meaning "more frequently attested") formula?
R. Christopher Heard
Assistant Professor of Religion
Pepperdine University
Malibu, California 90263-4352

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