Re: SV: [ANE-2] Re: Origins of the Book of Kings
What good would a catalogue of first manuscripts of Kings do you? I can't
give you one off hand, but I have a pretty good feeling that it will start
4Q something. So what? Even you won't suggest that that is the editio
princips of the Book of Kings, or of Reigns or of the Enneateuch (a term
Spinoza would have certainly endorsed). To date a text you must establish
the extent and full content of that text and then determine the date of
its latest element. You know this. The date of a manuscript is of no value
for this quest apart from establishing a latest possible date, not a date
of composition. If this is lacking you are forced to date by other
means, which is what biblical scholarship has been about for two
centuries. So please desist from putting forward this specious type of
On Fri, 3 Jul 2009, Niels Peter Lemche wrote:
> This long discussion suffers from the usual thing about biblically based
> historical studies: there is so little we know, and so many assumptions.
> What kind of facts do we really have -- including the presence of the
> first manuscripts of Kings? A nice catalogue would be a good starter.
> Then an explanation must be sought that covers all factual evidence in
> our possession, biblical as well as Mesopotamian and Egyptian and
> information relating to other quarters.
> When Berossos gets in, we have another problem: we have so very little
> of Hellenistic historiography preserved that it is rather difficult to
> get a proper impression of it. Fragments here and there, quotes, etc.
> but no history like Herodotus, nothing really from the third century.
> (That's why I sometimes have said that the biblical historical narrative
> has more in common with Titus Livius than with Herodotus, Livius having
> read those lost Greek historiographers).
> This means that it is quite a hard job to access the way a person like
> Berossos worked.
> Preservation of tradition is another matter. Whose memories? The
> Assyrians began this habit (relating to Palestine and the rest of the
> Levant) in the 8th century, meaning that there were people of western
> origins in Mesopotamia before 700. Again we know very little about them,
> and little about how they assimilated, about their memories of the past
> and lost "Heimat." And very little about their receptions of new groups
> of deported people. We do not know about relations with the homeland, if
> there were any.
> However, when we turn to Palestine itself, and look at the consequences
> of the Babylonian conquest, the country was simply devastated, and
> especially the Jerusalem area lay forsaken. However, north of Jerusalem
> much was left intact. A tradition about "Israel" may have survived there
> because the population there remained quite untouched by the events
> following 597 (587 if we also accept that date as historical).
> I could continue in this way for a long time, but the point is that we
> know so little. It would be especially nice to know more about relations
> between people living in Palestine in the Persian Period, and people
> living in Mesopotamia and Egypt. There are definitely remembrance of
> Mesopotamia included in biblical literature, but also of Palestine, and
> Egypt. The problems is_ when did such traditions merge into one
> consistent narrative as found in Kings, or better the DtrH and the
> Pentateuch -- if not the Enneateuch as becoming a more and more popular
> expression of the historical narrative from Genesis to 2 Kings. I object
> to any simplistic solution being related to Mesopotamia or to Jerusalem.
> Niels Peter Lemche
- The episodes you mention predate the Babylonian Chronicles and do not
involve the Mesopotamian empires.
There may be historical material in Kings not derived from the Babylonian
Ahab was described as going to fight the King of Aram in Ramath Gilead
east of the Jordan River (Ramath Gilead was supposed to be the birthplace of
Elijah the Tishbite). This would have been near the land of the Moabites.
Ahab was killed in the battle.
The Moabite stela claimed Mesha killed the son of Omri and took land from
Israel. Mesha of Moab may have sided with Aram at Ramath Gilead and used
the Aramaen victory to temporarily displace Israel as claimed in his stela.
2Kings 1:1 After Ahab's death, Moab rebelled against Israel.
In Kings 3 Israel claimed Mesha and Moab who used to be subservient had
rebelled and afterward Israel entered Moab with a large force attacking from
the direction of Edom to the south instead of Aram to the north put down
Was this history in Kings II not from Berossus?
David Q. Hall
**************Can love help you live longer? Find out now.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]