Introduction to the Second Volume of the Hermeneia Chronicles Commentary

From: 2 Chronicles

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1 1 See Klein, 1 Chronicles, 1–50, for my introduction to the Books of Chronicles. See also now Knoppers, 12A, 47–137. 2 Klein, 1 Chronicles, 31–32; cf. Knoppers, 13A, 66–68. 3 Person, Deuteronomic History and the Book of Chronicles . 4 Person prefers to call this the Deuteronomic­ History. 5 Person, Deuteronomic History and the Book of Chronicles , 21, 163, 167, 168. 6 See Ian Young, ed., Biblical Hebrew: Studies in Chronology and Typology (JSOTSup 369; London: T&T Clark, 2003). 7 Person, Deuteronomic History and the Book of Chronicles , 49. 8 Ibid., 152. 9 Per contra Person, Deuteronomic History and the Chronicler’s History, 154: “When we allow for a certain degree of multiformity in the tradition, these two accounts of Jehoshaphat’s reign differ in the amount of material preserved but not in any significant way in their theological portrayal of his reign.” 10 In Deuteronomic History and the Chronicler’s History, 120, he quotes Julio Trebolle’s proposal that 1 Kings 17–22 were late insertions in Kings “based primarily on the observation that these narratives are lacking tors.7 Because of what he calls the multiformity of the text of Samuel–Kings, he minimizes the significance of differences between Chronicles and its Vorlage and argues that Auld should have omitted even more from his shared text. While the authors of the Deuteronomistic and Chronistic Histories were clearly monotheistic Yahwists , I find them disagreeing profoundly on the reasons for the exile and surely in their muted (Deuteronomistic History) or more enthusiastic (Chronicles) theological expectations of the future. Person’s stress on the multiformity of Samuel–Kings threatens to undercut many of the observations made in this commentary and the significance of the Chronicler’s history. Let me respond therefore to a couple examples of his methodology. Person, of course, admits that 2 Chr 17:2-19; 19:111 ; and 20:1-30 are material added to the account of Jehoshaphat in Chronicles, but he holds that “this unique [additional] material is consistent with the portrayal of Jehoshaphat in the synoptic passages and more broadly with the portrayal of kings in general. Therefore we should not overemphasize this difference based on the amount of material in the Chronistic account of Jehoshaphat.”8 I find these conclusions incredible in view of the teaching mission instituted by Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 17; the oracle of Jehu son of Hanani in 2 Chr 19:1-3; Jehoshaphat’s appointment of judges in 2 Chr 19:4-11; the victory over eastern enemies in 2 Chronicles 20, including Jehoshaphat’s speech (vv. 6-12), the oracle of the Levite Jahaziel (vv. 14-17), and the role of the singers in the Holy War that finishes the chapter (vv. 19-30).9 Person’s attempt to reconstruct a shared common source for Jehoshaphat is also not convincing.10 He believes that 1 Kgs 22:41-52 (51) and 2 Chr 20:31—21:1 While I stand by the positions maintained in the introduction to the first volume of this commentary, I would like to take account of two ensuing monographs and provide other supplementary introductory material. Raymond F. Person’s Revision of the Auld­ Hypothesis In the introduction to volume 1 of this commentary, I responded critically to the hypothesis of A. G. Auld that Samuel–Kings and Chronicles were based on a common source. Auld had argued that where one history, Samuel– Kings or Chronicles, lacks an account, it was lacking in the common source.2 Raymond F. Person Jr. has now published a monograph that supports and modifies the Auld proposal.3 Person believes that the Deuteronomistic History4 and the Chronicler’s History were contemporaneous and competing historiographies that do not necessarily differ significantly from each other theologically .5 In his view, the authors of the Deuteronomistic History returned to Palestine under Zerubbabel, and the Chronistic authors returned with Ezra and Nehemiah, but both were based on a common source in Babylon. This wide-ranging proposal dates the ongoing revision of the Deuteronomistic History well into the Persian period, based in part on a challenge to the distinction between Early Biblical Hebrew and Late Biblical Hebrew.6 Since my dating of the Deuteronomistic History is based on factors other than the date of its Hebrew, I will leave the evaluation of the linguistic evidence to others. Person also discusses at length the implications of orality for written documents, concluding that what we may perceive as a conscious or intentional...