[b-hebrew] Regnal resume variation in Kings

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Fri Jul 15 19:13:57 EDT 2005


I don’t put much into this difference. Basically, both say the 
same thing, that the author was summarizing what the official 
chronicles recorded, but most of the times he mentioned his 
sources, he words it as a question in order to emphasize that 

>From the simple Hebrew used and the content of the final 
chapter, I date the composition to post exile anyways, and the 
fact that there is no author listed doesn’t rule out a 
collaborative effort. It is these references to sources that 
complete the case that these are not original records with 
pre-exile authorship, rather a summary of the official records 
with an emphasize on the spiritual health of the people.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Heard, Christopher" <Christopher.Heard at pepperdine.edu>
> 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
> http://faculty.pepperdine.edu/cheard
> http://www.iTanakh.org
> http://www.semioticsandexegesis.info

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