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Understanding the History of Ancient Israel$
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H. G. M. Williamson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264010

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264010.001.0001

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Reading Kings on the Divided Monarchy: What Sort of Narrative?

Reading Kings on the Divided Monarchy: What Sort of Narrative?

(p.337) 16 Reading Kings on the Divided Monarchy: What Sort of Narrative?
Understanding the History of Ancient Israel


British Academy

Marc Brettler examined the complex issue of genre, noting that the texts most relevant to an historian of Israel and Judah in the ninth century BCE are to be found within 1 Kings 15 to 2 Kings 13. For heuristic purposes, this chapter takes Samuel-Kings as the larger context of which 1 Kings 15–2 Kings 13 is a part. Rather than explore further the theoretical issue (to which in any case Brettler has provided several references), it draws out some implications of points he has made in his paper. In his preliminary remarks on method, Brettler discusses some psalms, including 78, as examples of didactic narrative; and the books of Jonah, Job, and Ruth as instances of symbolic narrative. It is surprising that more attention has not been paid to the apparent patterning of the lists of kings of Judah and Israel which, though not presented as lists, can be (re-)assembled from the books of Kings.

Keywords:   Marc Brettler, Israel, Judah, ninth century, psalms, didactive narrative, symbolic narrative, Kings, Samuel

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