ISRAEL STORY 07 – Age of David in Kings and Chronicles

SPRING 2015 BIBLE STUDY RESOURCES:

Albertz, Rainer.  A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period.  Volume I: From the Beginnings to the End of the Monarchy.  Translated by John Bowden in 1994.  Part of the Old Testament Library series edited by James L. Mays, Carol A. Newsom, and David L. Petersen.  (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 1994).

Albertz, Rainer.  A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period.  Volume II: From the Exile to the Maccabees.  Translated by John Bowden in 1994.  Part of the Old Testament Library series edited by James L. Mays, Carol A. Newsom, and David L. Petersen.  (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 1994).

Boling, Robert G.  Judges.  Part of the Anchor Bible series, W.F. Allbright and David Noel Freedman general editors.  (Doubleday, Garden City, 1975).

Bright, John.  A History of Israel, second edition.  (Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1972).

Campbell Jr., Edward F..  Ruth.  Part of the Anchor Bible Series, W.F. Allbright and David Noel Freedman general editors.  (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1975).

Cohn, Robert L.   2 Kings.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative & Poetry series, edited by David W. Cotter.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2000).

Cotter, David W.  Genesis.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative & Poetry series, edited by David W. Cotter.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2003).

Creach, Jerome F. D..  Joshua.  Part of the Interpretation Bible commentary series edited by James L. Mays.  (John Knox Press, Louisville, 2003).

De Vaux, Roland.  The Early History of Israel.  Translated by David Smith. (Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1978).

Gordon, Cyrus H. and Gary A. Rendsburg.  The Bible and the Ancient Near East, fourth edition.  (W. W. Norton, New York, 1997).

Hayes, John H. and J. Maxwell Miller.  Israelite and Judaean History.  Part of the Old Testament Library series edited by John H. Hayes and J. Maxwell Miller.  (Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1977).

Hawk, L. Daniel.  Joshua.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, David W. Cotter editor.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2000).

Jensen, Joseph.  Ethical Dimensions of the Prophets.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2006).

Jobling, David.   1 Samuel.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, David W. Cotter editor.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 1998).

LaCocque, Andre.  Ruth.  Part of the Continentl Commentary series.  Translated by K. C. Hanson.  (Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 2004).

Linafelt, Tod.  “Ruth” in Ruth & Esther.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, David W. Cotter Editor.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 1999).

Macintosh, A.A..  Hosea.  Part of the International Critical Commentary series edited by J.A. Emerton, C.E.B Cranfield, and G. N. Stanton.  ( T & T Clark: Edinburgh, 1997).

Mazar, Amihai.  Archaeology of the Land of the Bible : 10,000 – 586 B.C.E.  Part of the Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library edited by David Noel Freedman.  (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1990).

Morrison, Craig E.   2 Samuel.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, Jerome T. Walsh editor.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2013).

Myers, Eric M. and Mark A. Chancey.  Alexander to Constantine: Archaeology of the Land of the Bible.  Volume 3 of the Anchor Bible Reference Library edited  by John Collins.  (Yale University Press, New Haven, 2012)

Niditch, Susan.  Judges.  Part of the Old Testament Library series, editorial advisory board Brown, Newsome, Petersen. (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 2008).

Propp, William H. C..  Exodus 1-18: A new translation with introduction and commentary.  Volume 2 of the Anchor Yale Bible, William F. Albright and David Noel Freedman General Editiors.  (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1999).

Provan, Iain, V. Philips Long, and Tremper Longman III.  A Biblical History of Israel.  (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 2003).

Sakenfeld, Katherine Doob.   Ruth.  Part of the Interpretation Biblical commentary series, James L. Mays series editor.  (John Knox Press, Louisville, 1999).

Sarna, Nahum M.  Genesis.  Part of The JPS Torah Commentary, edited by Nahum M. Sarna.  (The Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia, 1989).

—————–.  Exodus.  Part of The JPS Torah Commentary, edited by Nahum M. Sarna.  (The Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia, 1991).

Scherman, Rabbi Nosson.  The Prophets: Joshua / Judges: The early prophets with  commentary anthologized from the Rabbinic writings.  (Mesorah Publications, New York, 2000).

Scherman, Rabbi Nosson and Meir Zlotowitz, editors.  The Mishnah: Seder Zeraim vol. IIa PEAH.   A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources.  Part of the Artscroll Mishnah series.  (Mesorah Publications, New York, 1990).

Scherman, Rabbi Nosson and Meir Zlotowitz, editors.  The Mishnah: Seder Zeraim vol. 1a SEDER MOED.   A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources.  Part of the Artscroll Mishnah series.  (Mesorah Publications, New York, 1982).

Schneider, Tammi J.  Judges.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, David W. Cotter editor.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2000).

Silver, Daniel Jeremy.  A History of Judaism: Volume 1, From Abraham to Maimonides.  (Basic Books Inc., New York, 1974).

Stern, Ephraim.  Archaeology of the Land of the Bible.  Volume II: The Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Periods (732 – 332 B.C.E.).  Part of the Anchor Bible Reference Library edited  by David Noel Freedman.  (Doubleday, New York, 2001)

Tuell, Steven S..  First and Second Chronicles.  Part of the Interpretation Bible commentary series, edited by James L Mays.  (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 1989).

Walsh, Jerome T.   1 Kings.  Part of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, David W. Cotter editor.  (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 1996).

 

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Tuell p. 1: “To many readers, Chronicles seems little more than a dull rewrite of Samuel and Kings, biased in favor of David and his descendants.”

Saul is only briefly mentioned – for Chronicles the kingship begins with David.

Tuell points out on page 4 that 1 and 2 Chronicles is quite parallel to Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings.  This suggests the dependence of one textual tradition on the other (as is true of the parallelism between Matthew, Mark, and Luke).  Tuell holds that 1 and 2 Chronicles are the dependent texts.   The Chronicler includes both good and bad about the Davidic kings and does not whitewash the history.  He also skips over good and bad incidents (Bathsheba) either presuming that the reader is already aware of them or simply out of disinterest in them.

Tuell p. 9: “The assumption of this commentary is that Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah should be read together as a single, intentional narrative.”  Focus on the importance of the temple, its functions, and restoration after the Babylonian exile.  Chronicles dates to the time of the return to Jerusalem from Babylon.

Tuell p. 11: “All of this suggests that the Chronicler’s History was originally intended, like the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah, to legitimate both the second temple and the Davidic descendant charged with its rebuilding.”

 

KINGS OF JUDAH FROM DAVID TO THE FALL OF JERUSALEM

David   (1 Chronicles)

  • consolidates power and centers it in Jerusalem,
  • promise of eternal dynasty
  • Wants to build temple but is told not to
  • is organized and efficient compared to Saul
  • took a census (considered evil act) likely in order to conscript men into the army.  God punishes by pestilence over the land.
  • David gives 3 goodbye speeches
  • Tuell p. 113: for the Chronicler “David stands, together with Moses, as the founder of Israel’s worship; he is the author of Israel’s liturgy, and the architect of Israel’s temple.”  Not the way we normally think of David.   For the Chronicler David is the first and best king, a reminder for all generations to come of what could have been.

Solomon ***TEXT   (2 Chronicles)

  • there is no drama in Chronicles as Solomon becomes king, at a young age
  • Even before the Temple is built Jerusalem becomes the central shrine
  • Chronicles interrupts the narrative of the kings to lay out in detail the duties and structures and rules for the shrine / levites / priests
  • The text, for the most part, ignores Solomon the man with faults and strengths, to focus on Solomon as builder of the Temple.  About 5 chapters.
  • Once the Temple is built the text selects the story of the Queen of Sheba to illustrate Solomon’s wisdom, riches, and power.
  • Tuell p. 153: “Solomon’s reign marks the end of David’s united kingdom; after this, the descendants of David would rule only over the southern kingdom of Judah.  Still, despite this great failure, Solomon had fulfilled his calling, as laid forth in Nathan’s oracle.  The temple had been built; the priests and Levites were in place; David’s dream was now a reality.  How the descendants of David dealt with this precious legacy will be the subject of the remainder of Chronicles.”

Rehoboam  ***TEXT (chapters 2 Chronicles 10, 11, 12)

  • Tuell p. 155: the Chronicler will only mention the northern kingdom when there is a direct impact on the southern one.  The overall concern is for right worship in the right temple in the right place – so why talk about the north?
  • With the rebellion of the north Tuell says p. 158: “The true, faithful Israel  now became the southern kingdom of Judah, where Solomon’s temple stood and David’s descendants reigned.”
  • For the Chronicler the revolt is illegitimate – there is no forced labor mentioned.  The shrines in the north were staffed by non-Levites, the gods worshipped there were “goat demons”
  • Tuell p. 161: a theme of scripture – don’t forget God when things are going well, the penalty will be that God will remind you and punish you for it.  Rehoboam’s kingdom is invaded by Shishak – who takes enormous tribute from the temple and Jerusalem.  The Chronicler credits God with deliverance, all goes well after.  But bronze things replace the gold things of Solomon that are now gone.

Abijah   2 Chronicles 13

  • During his reign there was constant war between the northern and southern kingdoms. 
  • One great battle story is told, on the slopes of Mt Zemaraim in Benjaminite territory.
  • Both sides apparently claimed “God is on our side”.  Tuell notes, on p.165, that the better question is “are we on God’s side?”
  • The south defeats the north.  The statement that they inflicted 500,000 casualties is absurdly exaggerated.

Asa  ***TEXT 2 Chronicles 14, 15, 16

  • A reformer – removed the altars of foreign religions / gods – even the one installed by his own mother
  • Also a strong military leader.  Renews the army and its equipment, especially chariots.  Built up Judah’s defenses.
  • 2 Chronicles 15:2 “Hear me Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The LORD is with you, while you are with him.  If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you abandon him, he will abandon you.”

Jehoshaphat 2 Chronicles 17 through 21

  • Following in the footsteps of his father he continued reforms, strengthened defenses against the military strength of the northern kingdom but also its religious practices
  • Empowers 16 people, priests and Levites and lay people to go throughout Judah teaching the people about the law
  • But later his successes and wealth lulled him into a false sense of security and lack of humility toward God.  He ended up making a military alliance with the north against a common enemy, this trusting in alliances instead of solely relying on the LORD.   He repents at the very last moment and is rescued.

Jehoram 2 Chronicles 21

  • He, and the two following, are totally condemned by the Chronicler.  They follow the ways of the north into idolatry.  All three die shameful deaths and do not receive burial among the graves of David and his true descendants.
  • Tuell p. 185: he puts his own brothers to death to eliminate any viable rivals
  • He “walked in the ways of the kings of Israel”, partly because he married the daughter of one (Ahab)
  • He even built shrines and altars (“high places”) in the outer regions of the kingdom
  • In punishment God allows the Philistines to successfully invade, kidnap his family, steal his wealth.  Jehoram dies a painful death (disease), is NOT buried in the place of kings.

Ahaziah  2 Chronicles 22 

  • Jehoram’s only surviving son
  • Ahaziah makes an alliance with the north also, goes into battle with them.
  • He is killed along with the king of the north (Ahab) and all of Ahab’s descendants.

Athaliah / Jehoiada’s coup 2 Chronicles 22 and 23

  • Judah’s first and only queen.
  • She is the wife of Jehoram and mother of Ahaziah
  • She kills all those in line (mostly children) for the throne but one (Joash) eludes her by being taken into the household of Jehoida the priest.  She builds a temple to Baal.
  • After 6 years or so the military and the priests revolt, gaining the support of all of Judah by bringing him out of hiding when Jerusalem was crowded on a Sabbath.
  • Joash is anointed and crowned and the people approve.  Only then does Athaliah realize what is happening and comes running.  She is executed.

Joash 2 Chronicles 24

  • He is faithful during the remainder of the priest Jehoiada’s life, unfaithful afterwards.
  • Like the 3 unfaithful kings above, he is not buried in the place of kings.
  • He restored the practices of the temple which had fallen into disarray during the time of Queen Athaliah while Jehoiada was alive, when he dies other advisors come along and sway him into neglect of the temple and God.

Amaziah  2 Chronicles 25

  • Faithful early, unfaithful later
  • He listens to a prophet and releases from service in the army 100,000 mercenaries – God will fight with you.  He wins.
  • He brought back from the victory the gods of the other side, which makes God angry
  • Went into battle against King Joash of Israel and lost.  Joash plundered Jerusalem.
  • Is assasinated

Uzziah  2 Chronicles 26

  • Ruled for 52 years
  • Was a leper (as punishment for daring to offer sacrifice in the Temple)
  • Under him Judah was secure and prosperous, victorious in battles – especially enemies to the south.

Jotham  2 Chronicles 27

  • A pious king praised in the text
  • Repaired the Temple
  • Strengthens the defenses of all of Judah and particularly of Jerusalem
  • Allied with the Assyrians, who were about to invade the northern kingdom

Ahaz  2 Chronicles 28

  • The poster-child “bad-king”
  • Child sacrifice of his own sons, offerings to Baal, even vandalizes the Temple
  • The northern kingdom waged war against the south during his reign causing much destruction and death in the territory, though not successful in taking Jerusalem
  • During this time Judah sinks to the level of the northern kingdom
  • Tuell p. 209: Ahaz allies with Assyria.  “So, despite emptying his treasury, bankrupting his nobles, and even robbing the house of the LORD to pay tribute, Ahaz finds no deliverance.  This account of the reign of Ahaz as the beginning of Assyrian oppression is doubtless a reflection of hindsight.”

*****                          Hezekiah  2 Chronicles 29 – 32

  • Tuell p. 211 – most information here in 2 Chronicles is unique and not in Kings etc.  He is portrayed as a great reformer king.
  • 4 units:
    • Levitical purification of the Temple following Ahaz’s death.  Ahaz had actually closed it and the sacrifices etc. stopped.  Hezekiah re-centralized sacrifices in Jerusalem, to the dismay of some.
    • Hezekiah’s Great Passover.  Was held one month late this first time restarted (not enough priests to handle the anticipated crowd and their sacrifices.)
    • The divisions of the priests and Levites during his time
    • The military and economic accomplishments during his time.  He first hid the water supply of Jerusalem and then dug a tunnel to be able access it from inside the walls – Hezekiah’s tunnel.  This tunnel has been rediscovered and excavated.    Hezekiah then revolts against the new king of Assyria – Sennacherib (705 – 681BC).  Sennacherib invades, sets siege around Jerusalem, but eventually goes away without entering it.
    • Tuell p. 212: “Ahaz had closed the doors of the temple, and so closed his heart to God’s presence and purpose.  But Hezekiah, in contrast, has opened the doors, and declares his intention to seek and serve the LORD.”

Manasseh  2 Chronicles 33

  • Tuell p. 230: “Manasseh reigned longer (fifty-five years) than any other king in Judah’s history.  Yet, despite being blessed with health, peace, and stability, he was far from a model of righteousness.  In both Chronicles and Kings, Manasseh’s reign represents a serious slide backward from the reforms of Hezekiah.”  He rebuilt and restored what Hezekiah had demolished.
  • Asherah = sacred poles or pillars dedicated to pagan goddesses
  • Manasseh also participated in child sacrifices, witchcraft etc.
  • He was taken captive by the Assyrians but repented his sins and was later restored to the throne.

Amon 2 Chronicles 33

  • Like his father Manasseh he was unfaithful to the covenant and instead pursued idols.  Unlike his father Manasseh he did not repent late in his life.
  • He was assassinated.

*****            Josiah 2 Chronicles 34, 35

  • Came to the throne at age of 8, probably had regents until he came of age.
  • Tuell p. 234: “Josiah is significant as the last of the reformers, the last good king, and the last king to be spared the penalty of exile; however, he otherwise stands as one among others.”  To the Chronicler Hezekiah was THE reformer.
  • Under Josiah a book of the Law was discovered in the temple and led to reforms.  Most likely an early version of Deuteronomy.
  • Because Assyria has begun its decline as an empire, Josiah is able to reclaim control over most of what had been the northern kingdom of Israel.  In both the north and south he reformed religious practices and destroyed the idols, their priests and temples.
  • Josiah dies in battle at a fairly young age, the reforms he began to institute founder after him.  The temporary reunification of the land of the north with southern king ends

INDEPENDENCE OF SOUTH ENDS HERE.  FIRST EGYPT, THEN BABYLON, THEN THE PERSIANS.  LATER THE GREEKS AND THEN THE ROMANS.

Jehoahaz 2 Chronicles 36:1-4

  • Youngest son of Josiah
  • Rules only 3 months, deposed and sent to Egypt

Jehoiakim 2 Chronicles 36:5-8

  • Appointed by Pharaoh, older brother to Jehoahaz
  • Died during the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians (Kings) or in exile (Chronicles)

Jehoiachin 2 Chronicles 36:9-10

  • Taken into exile in Babylon
  • Very short reign

Zedekiah (Fall of Jerusalem)

2 Chronicles 36:11-21

  • Put in place by ruler of Babylon, he unwisely chooses to rebel
  • Tuell p. 245: “The people are slain, the temple is destroyed, the walls and palaces of Jerusalem are toppled and burned.  However, a note of hope is found in 36:20-21.  The exile will not be forever.”

 

 

 

Tuell p. 13, the “golden text” of Chronicles: “If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will abandon you forever.”  1 Chron. 28:9 and        2 Chron. 15:2

The histories reflect conflict within and about priesthood.  One tradition (we are most familiar with) was that priests were exclusively descended from Aaron, while the rest of the tribe of Levi were “Levites” who assisted at the Temple but not at the altar.   Another tradition was that early on there were TWO high priests – one descended from Moses and the other from Aaron – and all priests serving at the altar were from these families.  Which eventually became ones who ministered at northern shrines (before Jerusalem) and the others at southern shrines.  When David centralized things in Jerusalem and sought to quash the shrines and sacred places throughout the country he opted to bring both high priests and their descendants  (Abiathar and Zadok) to Jerusalem to serve.  But as David died Abiathar sided with Adonijah while Zadok did not.  So Solomon had Abiathar killed (with Adonijah) and only 1 high priest from there, descended from Aaron and coming from the south.  Shortly thereafter, with Solomon’s death, the north splits away and again has their own high priest.  On return from Babylon descendants of Zadok (loyal to King David and Solomon) asserted full control over the temple.

 

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