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Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 229 Reviews HEZEKIAH AND THE BOOKS OF KINGS: A CONTRIBUTION TO THE DEBATE ABOUT THE COMPOSITION OF THE DEUTERONOMISTIC HISTORY. By lain W. Provan. BZAW 172. Pp. xiii + 218. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. 1988. Cloth. In the last few decades. the analysis of Deuteronomy and the Fonner Prophets has been more controversial in rhetoric than in reality. Martin Noth's vision of a unified exilic history, a Deuteronomistic History (DtrH). remains a centerpiece of all mainstream theories. From this basis. recent scholarship begins, discerning earlier editions, histories of redaction. and soon. Noth's theory was that an exilic historian had composed DtrH whole (using diverse, earlier written sources). Additions, mostly minor, then accrued in transmission. Today there are essentially four schools of thought on the matter. Some scholars (as J. Van Seters and H. D. Hoffmann) adhere to the thesis of a single (exilic) edition with additions but not reeditions (they also tend to deny that the historian. here H[Dtr], was restricted by written sources). Continental scholars, for the most part. follow Rudolf Smend in isolating editions (Prophetic. Nomistic) of-rather than scribal additions to-Noth's unified original (e.g., W. Dietrich, T. Veijola, T. D. M. Mellinger). Most Albrightians (such as R. G. Boling. R. E. Friedman, R. D. Nelson. and others, including A. D. H. Mayes and A. G. Auld) follow Frank Moore Cross. Cross resuscitated a nineteenth-century hypothesis that a history written to sustain Josiah's refonns was updated by an exilic editor (here. E[Dtr]x). Typically. passages assigned to the "Nomistic" redactor by Smend's followers coincide with those attributed by Cross to E(Dtr)x. The fourth school of thought began from an article (since expanded in other studies) by Helga Weippert. These scholars (A. Lemaire, A. F. Campbell. this reviewer) discern behind the Josianic historian (H[Dtr]jos) an Hezekian edition of the history. Again, there is no serious conflict with Cross's view. Since 1983 J. B. Peckham has argued, in a book and several articles. that fonnal features-such as sequences of verbal fonns-indicate only two editions of DtrH. namely. the Hezekian and the exilic (the latter is inescapable, since the last events reported date to 561-560 B.C.E.). Provan attempts an improvement on this economical approach. He defends the thesis that the "Hezekian" history covered the period from the United Monarchy down through Hezekiah, but he dates this history to Josiah's period. Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 230 Reviews To respond to Provan's discussion in detail would require a monographic treatment (which testifies to the quality of his argument). It is worthwhile, however, to indicate his points d'appui, chiefly thematic. He begins soundly by reassessing Weippert's arguments for authorial fluctuation in the regnal evaluation formulary of kings before Hezekiah and correctly infers that these evaluations ("he did evil/he did right" in YHWH's sight, with expansions) are of a piece (Rehoboam's excepted). He then examines the treatment of the "high places" in Kings, defending the important conclusion that the early historian (H[Dtr]hez) recognized them as Yahwistic, while the later E(Dtr)x regarded them as "idolatrous" (Le., apostate, since Provan identifies the two). Provan's third investigation concerns the status of David in Kings. With Cross, he concludes that the various references to a perpetual Davidic fief in Jerusalem must be preexilic-David as a "promissory figure" is Josianic (i.e., the references to YHWH's forbearance toward evil kings "for the sake of David" end before Hezekiah's regnal account). Nearly all evaluative comparisons of Judahite kings to David are also preexilic-the only one after Hezekiah's regnal account comes in 2 Kgs 22:2 in connection with Josiah. Finally, Provan considers the regnal formulae which clearly punc tuate at Hezekiah (although he does miss the fact that Kings changes its formulary for naming queen-mothers after Hezekiah). He fmishes by contemplating the exilic redaction and by attempting to ascertain just where the Josianic-Hezekian edition took up the history (namely, with Samuel, not Judges). For a dissertation (it was directed by the gifted British scholar, H. G. M. Williamson) this...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 229-233
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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