BIB 7350: Book of Kings

Bernard Revel Graduate School

Spring 2003: B. L. Eichler

Items in gray are optional

  Syllabus & Assignments

  I.   History and Historiography  

II.  Sources for Mesopotamian History

Assignment One: 

I.  Peruse the text of the Book of Kings, noting the following information:  

  1. outline the content and note the extent of coverage of particular sections of the book;

  2. the different types of subject matter discussed in the book and possible sources of such data;

  3. the various sources explicitly, mentioned in the book to which the reader’s attention is directed;

  4. the length of reigns, the synchronization of the kings with each other and with foreign kings.  

III. Sources of the Book of Kings

Assignment Two: 

  1. On the basis of readings on chronology, present a comparative chart of the relative and absolute dates given for the kings of Judah. Explain reasons for the differences.

IV.  Chronology in the Book of Kings (Feb 17)

V.  Reign of Hezekiah (727-698 BCE)  

  1. Prepare 

  2. Compare II Chr 29-32 and Isaiah 36-39 with the above text from Kings    

  3. Read history of period in 

  4. Extra-biblical textual sources:

  5. Historical Studies

  VI. Reign of Manasseh (698-642 BCE) -  

  1. Prepare II K 21:1-18    

  2. Compare II Chr 33:1-20 with above text from Kings 

  3. Read history of period in Bright, Hayes & Miller, or WHJPL D. Redford, Egypt & Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times, pp.430441.    

  4. Extra-biblical sources:  

  5. E. Archaeological Sources:

  6. F. Menasseh’s Apostacy

  7. Historical Studies

VII. Reign of Amon (641-640 BCE)  

  1. A. Prepare II K 21:19-26    

  2. B. Compare above text with II Chr 33:21-25    

  3. C. Read historical background  

    1. A. Malamat, “The Historical Background of the Assassination of Amon King of Judah,” IEJ3 (1953) 26-29.

    2. E. Nielsen, “Political Conditions and Cultural Developments in Israel and Judah During the Reign of Menasseh,” Proceedings of the Fourth WCJS, Papers (1967) 103-6   

  4.  Define the terms:

  5. Assignment Three:

VIII.     Reign of Josiah (63 9-609 BCE)

  1. Prepare II Kings 22:1-23:30    

  2. Compare the above text with II Chr 34:1-35:27  

  3. Compare above texts with Hezekiah’s Reform (II Kings 18:3,4 and II Chr 29 -31) and Manasseh’s apostasy (II Kings 2 1:3-7)    

  4. Political, historical and geographical considerations:


Biblical Historiography

Ishida, T., History and Historical Writing in Ancient Israel .~ Studies in Biblical Historiography (Leiden: Brill, 1999).

Amit, Y., History and Ideology: An Introduction to Historiography in the Hebrew Bible (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999).

Kraus C. S., ed., The Limits of Historiography .~ Genre and Narrative in Ancient Historical Texts (Leiden: Brill, 1999).  

II.    Book of Kings

Migra’ot Gedolot (Rashi, Ralbag, Radaq).

Abarbanel, D. I., Perush ‘al Nevz7im Rishonim.

Malbim, Sefer Miqra ‘e Qodesh, vol. 3.

Kil, Y., Sefer Melakhim, Mosad ha-Ray Kook, 1989.

Cogan, M. and Tadmor, H., II Kings (Anchor Bible), 1988.

Robinson, J., The Second Book of Kings (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ Press, 1976).

Provan, I. W., 1 and 2 Kings ( Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997).

Gray, J. I & II Kings (Old Testament Library), 3rd ed, 1979.  

Montgomery, J. A., The Book of Kings (ICC), 1951.

Bendavid, A. Maqbilot Bammiqra’.

Endres, J. C., Millar, W. R., Burns, J. B., eds., Chronicles and its Synoptic Parallels in Samuel, Kings, and Related Biblical Texts (Collegeville, Minn. : Liturgical Press, 1998).  

III.   Chronicles

Japhet, S., I & II Chronicles .~ A Commentary (Louisville, Ky. : Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993).

De Vries, S. J., 1-2 Chronicles (Grand Rapids, Mich. : W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1989). Kil, Y., Sefer Divre ha-Yamim (Yerushalayim: Mosad ha-Ray Kuk, 1986).

Graham, M. P., Hoglund, K. G., and McKenzie. S. L., The Chronicler as Historian (Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997).

Japhet, S., The Ideology of the Book of Chronicles and its Place in Biblical Thought [Emunot ve-de ‘ot le-sefer divre ha-yamimyu mekoman le-’ Olamuha-mahashavat ha-mukra’ it. English translation] (Frankfurt am Main:

New York: P. Lang, 1997).

Dyck, J. E., The Theocratic Ideology of the Chronicler (Leiden: Brill, 1998). Peltonen, K., History Debated .~ The Historical Reliability of Chronicles in Pre-critical and Critical Research (Helsinki : Finnish Exegetical Society. Göttingen : Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1996).

McKenzie, S. L., The Chronicler~ Use of the Deuteronomistic History (Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1985).

Noth, M. The Chronicler’s History [Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien. Ch. 14-25  translated by H.G.M. Williamson with an introduction], (Sheffield : JSOT Press, 1987).

Kalimi, I., Sefer Divre ha-yamim: bibliyografyah memuyenet (Yerushalayim, 1990).

IV.       General Historical and Geographical Background

Bright, J., A History of Israel (3rd ed, 1981), Chapter 8, pp. 310-39.

Hallo, W. W., and Simpson, W. K., The Ancient Near East: A History, pp. 138-149.

Hayes, J. H., and Miller, J. M., Israelite and Judean History, Chapter 8, pp. 435488 (435-441, 452476).

Malamat, A. The Age of the Monarchies: Political History (WHIP 4) Chapters 9 & lO,pp. 193- 221.

Coogan, M., The Oxford History of the Biblical World, Chapter 7, pp. 32 1-365.

Hallo, W. W., BiblicalArchaeologist 23 (1960) 34-61 (esp. pp. 59-61).

Malamat, A., “The Twilight of Judah in the Egyptian-Babylonian Maelstrom,” Vetus Testamentum Supplement 28 (1975) 123-145.

Kitchen, K. A., The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100-650 B. C) 2nd ed. with supplement (Warminster : Aris & Phillips, 1986).

Redford, D. B., Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times (Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1992).

Spalinger, A., “Esarhaddon and Egypt,” Orientalia 43 (1974) 295-326.

Spalinger, A., “Assurbanipal and Egypt,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 94 (1974) 3 16-328.

Spalinger, A. , “Egypt and Babylonia: A Survey (c.620 -550 BC),” Studien zur aegyptischen Kultur 5 (1977) 22144.

Aharoni, Y. and Avi-Yonah, M., The Macmillan Bible Atlas [Completely rev. 3rd ed. by Rainey, A.F. and Safrai Z.], (Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada, 1993).

V. Chronology

Shulman, E., Seder ha-korot ba-Tanakh, pp. 124-129; 140-146; ;[translated by Lederhendler S., The Sequence of Events in the Old Testament, 1987].

Tadmor, H.,”Chronology of the First Temple Period,” WHJP 4, pp. 44-60.

De Vries, S. J. “Chronology of the OT,” Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible 1, pp. 584-599.

Cogan M., “Chronology,” Anchor Bible Dictionary 1, pp.1005-lOll. Tadmor, H., “crwnwlwgyh,” Encyclopedia Miqra ‘it 4, pp. 252-304;

Hayes, J. and Hooker, P., A New Chronology for the Kings of Israel and Judah, pp. 68-98.

Barnes, W. H., Studies in the Chronology of the Divided Monarchy of Israeh (HSM 48), pp. 137-58.

Thiele, E., Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (3rd ed, 1983). Gaul, G., The Chronology of the Kings of Israel and Judah (1996).

Yeshiva University BRGS, Spring 2003, Dr. Barry Eichler

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