Good Kings and Bad Kings: The Kingdom of Judah in the Seventh Century BCE

Overview

According to the Bible, among the last kings of the kingdom of Judah was one of the most notorious kings-Manasseh-and one of the most righteous-Josiah. Are the accounts of their contrasting reigns anything more than the ideological creations of pious writers and editors? Does this juxtaposition of a 'good king' and a 'bad king' provide good historical information or only theological wishful thinking? In this volume the on-going discussions in the European Seminar on Methodology in Israel's History have tackled ...

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Overview

According to the Bible, among the last kings of the kingdom of Judah was one of the most notorious kings-Manasseh-and one of the most righteous-Josiah. Are the accounts of their contrasting reigns anything more than the ideological creations of pious writers and editors? Does this juxtaposition of a 'good king' and a 'bad king' provide good historical information or only theological wishful thinking? In this volume the on-going discussions in the European Seminar on Methodology in Israel's History have tackled the history of Judah in the seventh century BCE, with a focus on the reign of Josiah. Some essays survey the history and archaeology of Judah from Sennacherib to Nebuchadnezzar. Several examine the reign of Manasseh and address the question of whether it is ripe for re-evaluation. Others ask what we know of the reign of Josiah and, especially, what form his famous cult reform took or even whether it was historical. As always, the editor gives an introduction to the topic, with summaries of the contributions, plus a concluding summary of and personal perspective on the discussion. Contributors include such internationally known scholars as Rainer Albertz, Philip Davies, Axel Knauf, Nadav Na'aman, Marvin Sweeney, and Christoph Uehlinger. JSOTS 393

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Lester L. Grabbe is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism at the University of Hull. He is founder and convenor of the European Seminar in Historical Methodology. A recent book is Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know it?

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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Why a reform like Josiah's must have happened 27
Josiah and the prophetic books : some observations 47
Josiah and the law book 65
The kingdom of Judah from Sennacherib's invasion to the fall of Jerusalem : if we had only the Bible ... 78
King Josiah in the climax of the deuteronomic history (2 Kings 22-23) and the pre-deuteronomic document of a cult reform at the place of residence (23.4-15) : criticism of sources, reconstruction of literary pre-stages and the theology of history in 2 Kings 22-23 123
The glorious days of Manasseh 164
Josiah and the kingdom of Judah 189
The blackballing of Manasseh 248
King Manasseh of Judah and the problem of theodicy in the deuteronomistic history 264
Was there a cult reform under King Josiah? : the case for a well-grounded minimum 279
The importance of the archaeology of the seventh century 317
Reflections on the discussion 339
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