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From: 1 Chronicles

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Preface A little more than twenty-six years ago I received a letter from Frank Cross inviting me to write the Hermeneia commentary on Chronicles. My doctoral dissertation at Harvard had dealt with the text-critical implications of 1 Esdras, a translation of2 Chronicles 35-36, Ezra 1-10, and Nehemiah 8 from the canon, in addition to narrative materials in 1 Esdras, and I had written a Forschungsbericht on Ezra and Nehemiah for the G. Ernest Wright memorial volume, Magnalia Dei (1976). Still that letter came as a great surprise and with significant affirmation. I knew much about the Chronicler, but still had (have) much to learn. In the last quarter century the landscape of Chronicles research has shifted a great deal. I organized the Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah Section of the Society of Biblical Literature, which remains a vibrant and ever-growing cadre of scholars who have offered me much encouragement and frequent new insights. During the early 1980s I did the usual kinds of preparatory work for writing a commentary, including the articles on Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah for the Anchor Bible Dictionary. Especially stimulating to my development have been graduate seminars at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. About the time I was ready to write, I became dean at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, a term that lasted from 1988 to 1999. I kept up on the literature during this period, but undertaking a major writing project was out of the question. My life after the deanship has been preoccupied by writing this commentary, a work that has been significantly improved, I would hope, by the delay. Of necessity this commentary deals at length with the genealogies in 1 Chronicles . Readers wishing to see "the big picture" of genealogical relationships may review the comprehensive charts available online at the Fortress Press website under the Genealogies tab: www.fortresspress.com/ 1chronicles. Libraries and librarians are a scholar's lifeblood, and I have been immeasurably helped by the resources and the places to write offered by thejesuit-KraussMcCormick Library at my home institution, by the library of the Albright Institute and the Ecole Biblique et Archeologique in jerusalem, by the University Library and by Tyndale House in Cambridge, England, and by the library of Philipps Universitat in Marburg, where the first volume in this project was brought to an end and the second was given a great beginning. It is hard to know where to stop in naming people who welcomed us or who advanced this project through their own fresh insights and/ or hospitality, but I need to mention at least Peter R. Ackroyd, Klaus Peter Adam, Leslie C. Allen, Roddy L. Braun, Frank Moore Cross, Katharine]. Dell, Raymond B. Dillard, john Emerton, Tamara Eskenazi, Erhard S. Gerstenberger, Seymour Gitin, Robert Gordon, M. Patrick Graham, Sarajaphet,Jorgjeremias, Isaac Kalimi, Magnar Kartveit, Rainer Kessler, Gary N. Knoppers,Jack Lundbom, Steven L. McKenzie, Mark Throntveit, Peter Welten, Thomas Willi, H. G. M. Williamson, and john Wright. My deepest apologies to the many others whom I leave out for lack of space or for failing memory. Thomas Kruger of the University of Zurich edited the manuscript with skill and great empathy. Primus Vannutelli left to all of us a synopsis of Samuel/Kings and Chronicles without equal. Since 1983 I have been on the faculty of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and it has been generous in granting leave time to facilitate my scholarxi Xll ship. Hearty thanks to Presidentjames Kenneth Echols, Dean Kathleen D. (Kadi) Billman, and the Board of the seminary. Financial assistance for recent leaves came from the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung in Germany and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in the United States. This project could not have come this far without the support and encouragement of my wife, Marilyn, who, while I was solving text-critical problems or untangling genealogies, was pursuing her own calling as a volunteer at the Victoria Augusta Hospital and the Peace Center for the Blind in jerusalem, as a caregiver for a three-year-old, wheelchair-bound boy in Marburg, and as the person who held open the door to the full panoply oflife. Marilyn is a networker par excellence , and most of the people I met during our stays abroad resulted from her contacts. Most recently Marburg provided an ideal setting for writing, and for both of us to visit sites in Germany and Austria from...


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