AbstractThis article offers a detailed comparative study of the presentation of David's final measures just prior to his death as related by the Chronist (1 Chronicles 23-29) and Josephus (Ant. 7.363-382). The study uncovers (a limited number of) indications of Josephus' affinities with distinctive readings of both MT and LXX 1 Chronicles 23-29. It likewise identifies a range of rewriting techniques (omissions / abbreviations, amplifications, rearrangements, and other modifications) that the historian applies to the data of his Vorlage(n), thereby generating a version of events that is distinctive in many ways vis-Ã -vis its biblical parallel.
Boshoff, W. S., and J. S. Du Toit. “`The African Queen’ : The Queen of Sheba in Myth and Memory.” Journal for Semitics 13, no. 1 (2004): 1–10.
AbstractDespite the cursory mention afforded her in the biblical books of Kings and Chronicles, the Queen of Sheba gave rise to a vast yet much maligned typology of female empowerment in collective memory. B. and T.'s article focuses on the portrayal of the Queen of Sheba and her association with a mythical (and sometimes real) Africa, giving particular attention not only to her "demonisation" in religious tradition, but also to the numerous permutations of the Queen of Sheba and her mythical homeland in modern literature, art, and culture. [Abstracted by: Barbara Green] Abstract Number: OTA28-2005-OCT-1179
Cezula, Ntozakhe S. “The Chronicler as a Biblical Paradigm for a Theology of Reconstruction in Africa: An Exploration of 2 Chronicles 6:32.” Old Testament Essays 29, no. 2 (2016): 277–96.
AbstractThis article responds to a challenge posed by Jesse Mugambi to propose a biblical paradigm for the reconstruction process in Africa. It proposes Chronicles as a biblical paradigm for the reconstruction process in Africa vis-à-vis Nehemiah whom Mugambi proposes. To motivate its proposition, the article examines 2 Chr 6:32. However, to justify its conclusion about 2 Chr 6:32 the article needs to establish that this verse purports the Chronistic theology contrary to the theology of the Vorlage. To do this, the article examines the use of Psalm 132:8-10 in 2 Chr 6:40-42.
Cezula, Ntozakhe S. “Theocracy: Reflections of the Relationship between God and King in Samuel-Kings and Chronicles.” M. Div. Thesis, Stellenbosch University, 2006.
AbstractOne of the challenging questions for the religious people is whether theocracy is still relevant in a pluralistic society like the South African society. In this assignment I argue that theocracy is relevant for all times. It can just change form as the context changes to adapt to new circumstances.
To test this assertion, this study concentrates on the study of Old Testament views regarding theocracy in different contexts. This is done by comparing the narratives of kings Saul, David, Solomon and Rehoboam as told by the Deuteronomist and the Chronicler.
The focus is on how contextual influences are reflected in their telling of the stories of these kings and thereby also purport a certain form of theocracy befitting their particular contexts. The study then concludes that theocracy is relevant for all times but the change in context should be taken into consideration.
Een van die belangrike vrae vir godsdienstige mense is of die idee van teokrasie steeds tersake is in pluralistiese samelewings soos Suid-Afrika. In hierdie taak word geargumenteer dat teokrasie tersake is vir alle tye. Dit verander slegs van vorm om in veranderde kontekste aan te pas.
Om hierdie aanname te toets, fokus hierdie studie op Ou Testamentiese perpektiewe op teokrasie in veranderende kontekste. Dit word onderneem deur ‘n vergelyking van die narratiewe oor Saul, Dawid, Salomo en Rehobeam soos vertel deur die Deuteronomis en Kronieke-skrywer.
Die fokus is op hoe kontekstuele invloede en vorme van teokrasie wat by daardie kontekste pas, weerspieël word in hul vertelling van die stories van hierdie konings. Die studie konkludeer dat teokrasie relevant is vir alle tye, maar dat veranderinge in konteks in ag geneem moet word.
Chitando, Ezra. “‘If My People…’ A Critical Analysis of the Deployment of 2 Chronicles 7: 14 during the Zimbabwean Crisis.” In The Bible and Politics in Africa, edited by Masiiwa R. Gunda and Joachim Kügler, 274–89. Bamberg: University of Bamberg Press, 2012.
AbstractThis study compares Chronicles with its source documents. It is obvious that the authors of Chronicles omitted certain parts of the source documents on the other hand on the other emphasized certain aspects with a specific purpose. The result is that the Southern kingdom receives a positive evaluation, while the Northern kingdom is described in a negative light. David is presented as the ideal king and in contrast to Exodus is credited as the founder of the religious cult. The cult in Jerusalem is legitimized and proclaimed as the only true religion. In so doing the books of Chronicles without a doubt secured and legitimized the position and actions of the temple personnel. As long as the temple existed it functioned as a discourse of power within this community. As a discourse of power, it set boundaries and excluded different groups that were traditionally part of the people of YHWH. The destruction of the temple though, disempowered this text and opened up the way for it to become part of the Hebrew canon.
Geyser-Fouché, Ananda B., and Ebele C. Chukwuka. “Tradition Critical Study of 1 Chronicles 21.” HTS Theological Studies 77, no. 4 (2021): 1–7.
AbstractThe purpose of this article was to highlight the importance of tradition criticism as a significant aspect of the exegetical study of any Old Testament text. Different traditions existed in ancient Israel, and the Chronicler emphasised or underemphasised some of these in 1 Chronicles 21. The above-mentioned practices highlight the theology and ideology that the Chronicler wanted to promote. The Chronicler emphasised certain traditions and underemphasised others in such a way that both the theology and ideology of the Jerusalem Temple stood out. The Jerusalem Temple represented the Chronicler’s theology and his image of God – which was that Yahweh is only to be worshipped in the Jerusalem Temple, that he has chosen the site as the place for worship and that he is dwelling there. The findings of this research caution against reading and understanding a text outside its unique historical context. This is because the Old Testament does not have a central theme or one theology.
Geyser-Fouche, Ananda. “1 and 2 Chronicles as a Discourse of Power.” HTS Theological Studies 79, no. 1 (2023): 1–13.
AbstractThe book of Chronicles is a form of consensus-building literature. The Chronicler’s portrayal of Benjamin in relation to Judah reflects an inclusive vision of “all Israel” that walks a fine line: simultaneously valuing Benjamin as an equal partner with Judah (as his “right hand”), yet still protecting the primacy of David as YHWH’s chosen ruler, the Levites as the priestly tribe, and Jerusalem as the proper cultic center.
Chronicles’ portrait of Benjamin differs from that of the Deuteronomistic History, which portrays Benjamin’s relation to Judah as varied and complex. The Chronicler attempts to smooth over these difficulties by highlighting the historically close relationship between the two tribes. In this regard his goals and strategy differ from that of the Deuteronomist, who presents both the high and low points of Judah-Benjamin relations.
The Chronicler’s reconstrual of the Judah-Benjamin relationship reflects the socio-political situation of late Persian Yehud, in which the relatively poor Jerusalem cult struggled to gain material support from landed nobility in the region. Material evidence indicates that the historically Benjaminite regions prospered during the Neo-Babylonian and early Persian periods. The Jerusalem cult competed with historically Benjaminite and Josephite cultic locations for the support of wealthier Benjaminite landowners. The Chronicler rewrote Israel’s narrative partly in order to garner Benjaminite support for the Jerusalem cult.
This study attempts to synthesize both literary and historical observations: demonstrating a literary phenomenon—the divergent portraits of Benjamin in the Deuteronomistic History and Chronicles—and situating that phenomenon within the historical context of Persian Yehud. The study contributes to the understanding of Yehud during this period, elaborates an important motif in these two sections of the Hebrew Bible, and furthers the investigation of the so-called “Benjaminite substratum” in the Hebrew Bible.
Giffone, Benjamin D. “Sit At My Right Hand”: The Chronicler’s Portrait of the Tribe of Benjamin in the Social Context of Yehud. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016.
AbstractBenjamin is portrayed in Chronicles differently from how he is portrayed in the Deuteronomic History. In the latter, Benjamin's relation to Judah is shown as varied and complex, incorporating both highs and lows. The Chronicler, by contrast, smooths over these difficulties by emphasizing the historically close relationship between the two tribes.Benjamin D. Giffone sees in this evidence that the Judah-Benjamin relationship reflects the socio-political situation of late Persian Yehud, in which the relatively poor Jerusalem cult struggled to maintain material support from landed nobility in the region. Material evidence shows that the historically Benjaminite regions prospered during the Neo-Babylonian and early Persian periods. The Jerusalem cult competed with cultic locations known for their alliances with either Benjamin or Joseph for the support of wealthier landowners. It is within the context of this struggle for support that the Chronicler rewrote Israel's narrative - partly to garner Benjaminite support. Giffone synthesizes observations that are literary and historical to reveal a literary phenomenon - the differing portraits of Benjamin - and situate this within the historical context of Persian Yehud. In so doing, Giffone offers a new understanding of Yehud during this period, and elaborates an important motif in these two sections of the Hebrew Bible.
Hanekom, Jan. “An Afrikaans Reflection on 2 Chronicles 7:13–14.” In Heal the Land: A National Initiative for Reconciliation in South Africa, edited by Michael Cassidy. Monrovia: MARC, 1987.
AbstractMost archaeological scholarship accepts as historical the information of 2Ch xxxiii 14, which claims that Manasseh built a fortification wall in Jerusalem. However, there is no unanimity as to its identification, since recent archaeological publications indicate at least two walls. Concerning theological publications, 63% of them do not include archaelogical data in their discussions on that point. This article points out this lack of balance and suggests a possible solution.
Himbaza, Innocent. “Une femme étrangère a-t-elle assisté au sacrifice du roi? Un autre regard sur la visite de la reine de Saba dans le livre des Chroniques, Himbaza, Foi et Vie, Cahier biblique 49, 2010.pdf.” Foi et Vie 109 (2010): 35–48.
AbstractLe roi Manassé constitue l'un des personnages les plus contrastés de l'Ancien Testament. Alors que le livre des Rois le décrit comme le pire des souverains rétablissant le culte des dieux étrangers et se livrant à toutes sortes d'abominations, le livre des Chroniques le présente comme repentant et pardonné. Une telle différence d'interprétation suscite de nombreuses questions. Qui était Manassé ? De quelles sources dispose-t-on pour le décrire, voire l'authentifier ? Pourquoi a-t-il ce double visage dans la Bible ? Comment les générations de lecteurs, tant juives que chrétiennes, ont-elles perçu et compris la figure de Manassé ? Dans le rôle du " fils prodigue " de l'Ancien Testament, le roi Manassé nous offre une réflexion sur la culpabilité et le pardon.
Holter, Knut. “`A Negro, Naturally a Slave’ : An Aspect of the Portrayal of Africans in Colonial Old Testament Interpretation.” Old Testament Essays 21, no. 2 (2008): 373–82.
AbstractH.'s essay analyzes how OT references to black people--the so-called "Cushites"--are portrayed in colonial OT interpretation. The point of departure is a Scottish commentary of 1899 on the Books of Samuel, where a Cushite officer in King David's army (cf. 2 Samuel 18) is described as "a negro (naturally, a slave)." In light of a discussion of various hermeneutical approaches to the relationship between "Africa" and the OT, H. argues that the term "naturally" in this quotation reflects a late nineteenth century, colonial understanding of Africans. [Abstracted by: Jonathan S. Greer] Abstract Number: OTA33-2010-FEB-96
Jonker, Louis C. “‘My Wife Must Not Live in King David’s Palace’ (2 Chr 8:11): A Contribution to the Diachronic Study of Intermarriage Traditions in the Hebrew Bible.” Journal of Biblical Literature 135, no. 1 (Spring 2016): 35–47.
AbstractThe majority of Hebrew Bible studies that deal with the portrayal of intermarriage focus on pentateuchal texts and/or Ezra-Nehemiah. This contribution looks at the royal narratives of Chronicles in order to see whether another view of the phenomenon of intermarriage (compared to Ezra-Nehemiah) emerges there. Special attention is given to the indication in the Solomon narrative that the king did not let his Egyptian wife live in David's palace.
Jonker, Louis C. “‘The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord’ The Place of Covenant in the Chronicler’s Theology.” In Covenant in the Persian Period: From Genesis to Chronicles, edited by Richard Bautch and Gary Knoppers, 409–30. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2015.
AbstractThe concept “covenant” plays a prominent role in Old Testament literature. Although we have come a long way since Eichrodt’s Theologie des Alten Testaments (1961), in which the author suggested that “covenant” is the central concept that forms the key to the theology of the Old Testament, no biblical scholar would deny that the special relationship between two parties expressed with the Hebrew term ברית deserves dedicated study. The term ברית appears 284 times in the Hebrew Bible, expressing a variety of relationships between human agents, but particularly the relationship between Yahweh and the people of Israel.
Jonker, Louis C. “Agrarian Economy through City-Elites’ Eyes: Reflections of Late Persian Period Yehud Economy in the Genealogies of Chronicles.” In The Economy of Ancient Judah in Its Historical Context, edited by Marvin Miller, Ehud Ben Zvi, and Gary Knoppers, 77–101. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2015.
AbstractOver the past two decades, there has been an explosion of new commentaries on Chronicles. Scholars may justifiably ask whether there is anything new under the sun to investigate in another commentary on this book. Having been contracted to produce a commentary for the Old Testament Library series (as follow-up to Japhet's majestic commentary), I am investigating some new avenues for this endeavour. Three potential areas are discussed: utilizing Achaemenid royal inscriptions and written records for the interpretation of Chronicles; revisiting theories on the composition of Chronicles, and bringing Chronicles and Pentateuchal studies into conversation with one another.
Jonker, Louis C. “Chronicles in an (Un)Changing World: The ‘Persian Context’ in Biblical Studies.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 42, no. 3 (March 2018): 267–83.
AbstractRobert Rollinger argues that Cyrus's conquest of Babylon in 53 9 BCE does not necessarily mean that a new ‘Persian’ epoch started. Continuity and change rather appear side-by-side. As such, it is difficult to define what is uniquely ‘Persian’ in this era. With this view Rollinger captures the present state of consensus regarding the Persian Empire. Although the Persian Empire displays numerous unique features, one should not ignore the continuities with customs and peoples of former imperial regimes, as well as its incorporation of a diversity of ethnic and cultural identities. These insights warn against an ‘over-interpretation’ of the uniqueness of the Persian period, a tendency which often emerges in biblical scholarship.
Jonker, Louis C. “David’s Officials According to the Chronicler (1 Chronicles 23-27): A Reflection of Second Temple Self-Categorization?” In Historiography and Identity (Re)Formulation in Second Temple Historiographical Literature, edited by Louis C. Jonker, 65–91. Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies 534. London: T&T Clark, 2010.
Jonker, Louis C. “Engaging with Different Contexts: A Survey of the Various Levels of Identity Negotiation in Chronicles.” In Texts, Contexts and Readings in Postexilic Literature: Explorations into Historiography and Identity Negotiation in Hebrew Bible and Related Texts, edited by Louis C. Jonker, 63–94. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011.
AbstractThe Chronicler starts his historiographical work with nine chapters of family and name lists. Lay readers of the book often skip these “boring” chapters to get to the “real” narrative, starting with the death of Saul in chapter 10. Scholars have indicated, however, that these genealogies actually form a portal (“Vorhalle”) through which the Chronicler’s historiography should be approached. In the genealogies, we already find the basic themes of the book, and the ideologies operative in the book, introduced. A close study of the structure of the genealogies, as well as of the sources used in the genealogies, reveals that the family lists are not merely provided as a documentation of family relationships, but rather to give clear expression of the religious and identity ideologies which form the main focus of the whole book of Chronicles.
Jonker, Louis C. “From Paraleipomenon to Early Reader. The Implications of Recent Chronicles Studies for Pentateuchal Criticism.” In Congress Volume Munich 2013, edited by Christl Maier, 217–54. Leiden: Brill, 2014.
AbstractThis chapter discusses that the Chronicler's work is particularly important for Pentateuchal studies when viewed from the perspective of the early reception of the Pentateuch. The Chronicler, as an early reader of the "primary history" can shed valuable light on different aspects of Pentateuchal research, some of which is illustrated in the chapter. The chapter discusses some illustrations from Chronicles studies which may suggest some avenues for fruitful interaction with Pentateuchal research. These illustrations center around two questions, namely "What does the book of Chronicles reflect of the extent of the 'primary history'?" and "What does the book of Chronicles reflect of the negotiation of a new (All-Israelite) identity in Persian period Yehud? The chapter shows how the Chronicler as Early Reader interacted with the "primary history" in order to negotiate a new identity in the late Persian period.
Jonker, Louis C. “From Pentateuch to Chronicles. What Does the End (Chronicles) of the Hebrew Bible Canon Imply for the Understanding of Its Beginning (Pentateuch)?” Biblische Zeitschrift 59, no. 1 (2015): 39–53.
Jonker, Louis C. “Holiness and the Levites in MT and LXX Chronicles: An Avenue for Exploring the Theology of LXX Chronicles?” In Toward a Theology of the Septuagint, edited by Johann Cook and Martin Rösel, 179–200. Stellenbosch Congress on the Septuagint, 2018. The Society of Biblical Literature, 2020.
AbstractIn recent years, the study of Chronicles has moved from historiographical interests to rhetorical interests.¹ This means that researchers are no longer primarily asking what historiographical value the book holds, in comparison to other historiographies such as the Primary History and the Deuteronomistic History (or, more pointedly, the books of Samuel–Kings). One of the main foci in Chronicles research now is determining how the book communicated rhetorically by latching onto older traditions, while simultaneously contributing to the discourses of the late Persian or early Hellenistic periods.² A synoptic comparison with the (mainly biblical) sources used by the Chronicler assists
Jonker, Louis C. “Huldah’s Oracle: The Origin of the Chronicler’s Typical Style?” Verbum et Ecclesia 33, no. 1 (2012).
AbstractScholars of Chronicles normally emphasise that the Chronicler used typical words and phrases in those parts that belong to his Sondergut. Amongst these are phrases like ‘to humble yourself’, ‘to seek Yahweh’, and ‘not to forsake Yahweh’. The writer’s typical changes to the burial notices of the royal narratives also belong in this category. Something which is often overlooked, however, is that many of these features already occur in the narrative about Huldah’s oracle (2 Chr 34:19–28) which was taken over with only minor changes from the Deuteronomistic version (2 Ki 22:11–20). My paper investigates whether or not the Huldah oracle could have served as theological paradigm according to which the Chronicler developed his own unique style. If so, the investigation will prompt me to revisit the issue of how continuity and discontinuity, with the older historiographical tradition, characterise the identity negotiation process that we witness in this literature.
Jonker, Louis C. “Levites, Holiness and Late Achaemenid / Early Hellenistic Literature Formations: Where Does Ezra-Nehemiah Fit into the Discourse?” In Chronicles and the Priestly Literature of the Hebrew Bible, edited by Jeon Jaeyoung and Louis C. Jonker, 391–416. Beihefte Zur Zeitschrift f"ur Die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 528. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2021.
Jonker, Louis C. “Manasseh in Paradise? The Influence of ANE Palace Garden Imagery in LXX 2 Chronicles 33:20.” In Thinking of Water in the Early Second Temple Period, edited by Ehud Ben Zvi and Christoph Levin, 339–58. Wiesbaden: De Gruyter, 2014.
Jonker, Louis C. “Of Jebus, Jerusalem, and Benjamin: The Chronicler’s Sondergut in 1 Chronicles 21 against the Background of the Late Persian Era in Yehud.” In Chronicling the Chronicler: The Book of Chronicles and Early Second Temple Historiography, edited by Paul S. Evans and Tyler F. Williams, 81–102. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2013.
AbstractFrom the first nine chapters of Chronicles it becomes clear that not only Samuel-Kings were used as sources by the Chronicler, but also the Pentateuch. The Chronicler was certainly one of the earliest readers of the Pentateuch (in whatever form) after the exile. The peculiarity of the Chronicler's version of Israelite history starting with "Adam" has been noted by many scholars. It seems as if the Chronicler particularly found the genealogies in Gen 1-11 useful to legitimize a universal context for negotiating the identity of All-Israel in the late Persian Period. This contribution will examine some of the Chronicler's genealogies in synoptic comparison with the genealogies of the Urgeschichte in order to determine how and why this exilic literature was used in Chronicles at a later stage in the literary history of the Hebrew Bible, as well as to establish what we can learn about the literary history of the Pentateuch from the Chronicler's usage.
Jonker, Louis C. “Reflections on Leadership in Achaemenid Yehud: Case Studies from the Chronicler’s Imperial, Provincial, Tribal, and Cultic Rhetoric.” In Reflections on Leadership in Achaemenid Yehud: Case Studies from the Chronicler’s Imperial, Provincial, Tribal, and Cultic Rhetoric, 201–22. Beihefte Zur Zeitschrift Für Die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 518. De Gruyter, 2021.
AbstractReflections on Leadership in Achaemenid Yehud: Case Studies from the Chronicler’s Imperial, Provincial, Tribal, and Cultic Rhetoric was published in Transforming Authority on page 201.
Jonker, Louis C. “Refocusing the Battle Accounts of the Kings: Identity Formation in the Books of Chronicles.” In Behutsames Lesen. Alttestamentliche Exegese Im Inderdisziplinären Methodendiskurs, edited by Louis C. Jonker, Sylke Lubs, Andreas Ruwe, and Uwe Weise, 245–74. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2007.
AbstractDifferent views have been expressed in past scholarship about the nature of the Books of Chronicles. Some regard the Chronicler to be an exegete, others see the Chronicler as theologian, and still others see the Chronicler as a historian. The opinion expressed in this article is that Chronicles could be characterized as "reforming history". The ambiguity of this designation is intentional. The Books of Chronicles are an attempt to reformulate and sanitize the past. It is, however, simultaneously an attempt to reformulate the identity of God's people during the Second Temple period. Such a "reforming history" forms a unique bridge between past and present. The focus of this article is therefore on the hermeneutical significance of the Books of Chronicles.
Jonker, Louis C. “Revisiting the Saul Narrative in Chronicles: Interacting with the Persian Imperial Context?” Old Testament Essays 23, no. 2 (2010): 283–305.
AbstractIt is well-known among biblical scholars and other Bible readers that the Chronicler's presentation of King Saul of Israel differs significantly from the version in 1 Samuel. Many studies have been conducted on this and commentators normally dedicate extensive space to the peculiarity. In line with Knoppers's suggestions of how to approach this peculiarity, this article will investigate whether it could benefit our discussion of the Chronicler's portrayal of King Saul if the perspective of identity formation forms our interpretative key.
Jonker, Louis C. “Textual Identities in the Books of Chronicles: The Case of Jehoram’s History.” In Community Identity in Judean Historiography: Biblical and Comparative Perspectives, edited by Gary N. Knoppers and K. Ristau, 197–217. Winona Lake: Penn State University Press, 2009.
AbstractThe Chronicler was fond of mentioning and quoting prophetic voices. However, apart from Isaiah and Jeremiah, no other prophets of whom we have literary works in the Hebrew Bible feature in the Chronicler's version of history. Numerous other prophets, however, not known from the Hebrew Bible are mentioned and quoted. And this happens in a time when, according to some scholars, classical prophecy as an active phenomenon had ceased. Within this broader context, the present paper will focus on Jeremiah as authoritative prophet in the Books of Chronicles. Why is Jeremiah quoted as an authoritative source in the closing sections of the books? And how does this relate to the intricate history of the formation of the canonical book of Jeremiah? Prof. Hermann-Josef Stipp (LMU, Munich) provided valuable comments on a draft version of this article, particularly on the Jeremiah scholarship included here. I hereby acknowledge his input with gratitude, but also confirm that all misappropriations are the responsibility of the author.
Jonker, Louis C. “The Chronicler Singing Psalms: Revisiting the Chronicler’s Psalm in 1 Chronicles 16.” In My Spirit at Rest in the North Country” (Zechariah 6.8). Collected Communications to the XXth Congress of the IOSOT, Helsinki 2010, edited by H.-M. Niemann and M. Augustin, 115–30. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2011.
Jonker, Louis C. “The Chronicler’s Portrayal of Solomon as the King of Peace within the Context of the International Peace Discourses of the Persian Era.” Old Testament Essays 21, no. 3 (2008): 653–69.
AbstractIt has become customary to emphasise the influence of Greek historiography on the Books of Chronicles. Knoppers (2003a), for example, has argued that one should not underestimate the influence of classical Greek writers on the Chronicler. Although he argues his point from the genealogical analogies between the first part of Chronicles and classical writers, he convincingly shows that one could imagine Greek influence in biblical writings far earlier than the enigmatic date of 332 B.C.E., which is normally seen as a threshold for Greek influence on Judah. Traditional scholarship tended to interpret Chronicles exclusively within the cultic-religious conditions of the late-Persian/early Hellenistic province of Yehud - the Jerusalem community, in particular. With the acknowledgement of a wider sphere of influence during this time, it would make sense, however, to interpret the Books of Chronicles against the background of the international arena of the time. This article will therefore attempt to show that our understanding of King Solomon, the King of Peace, can be enriched when we view his portrayal in Chronicles within the international arena of the late post-exilic era. The theme of peace, so closely related to Solomon, will be examined against the background of the relationship between Greece and Persia, and the conditions within the Persian Empire.
Jonker, Louis C. “The Cushites in the Chronicler’s Version of Asa’s Reign: A Secondary Audience in Chronicles?” Old Testament Essays 19, no. 3 (2006): 863–81.
AbstractIn a previous contribution I have indicated that the Books of Chronicles could be described as "reforming history" which stands in the service of a process of identity construction in late-Persian Yehud. I have indicated there that the unique perspective of the Chronicler can especially be detected in those passages where the author has made significant changes to the Deuteronomistic version. In the present contribution I focus on the Chronicler's reinterpretation of the narrative about Asa's reign. The Chronicler's version (MT 2 Chron 13:23b-16:14) is much longer than the Deuteronomistic parallel (MT 1 Kgs 15:9-24). This narrative is studied in order to determine whether the Books of Chronicles were perhaps also directed toward a secondary audience - apart from the Jewish community in Yehud. The theory is advanced that these books were intended also to be overheard by the Persian officials in Jerusalem and Samaria.
Jonker, Louis C. “The Disappearing Nehushtan: The Chronicler’s Reinterpretation of Hezekiah’s Reformation Measures.” ADPV – Monograph Series of the German Society for Exploration of Palestine 37 (2008): 116–40.
AbstractIn 2 Chr 36:20-21 we find an interesting perspective on the length and end of the Exile. It is indicated there that the Exile continued until the establishment of the Persian Kingdom, but also that this happened in fulfilment of the word of Yahweh through his prophet Jeremiah who prophesied that they will serve the king of Babylon 70 years long (cf. Jer 25:11; 29:10). These seventy years are then interpreted by the Chronicler as a period of Sabbath rest for the land (most probably on account of Lev 26:34ff.). This contribution is an attempt to formulate a theory as to why the Chronicler altered his Vorlagen about the Exile so much.
Jonker, Louis C. “The Jeremianic Connection: Chronicles and the Reception of Lamentations as Two Modes of Interacting with the Jeremianic Tradition?” Scriptura 110 (2012): 176–89.
AbstractA connection is often made between Lamentations and Chronicles in terms of the
ancient Rabbinic tradition of Jeremianic authorship of Lamentations. Second
Chronicles 35:25 is normally quoted as the instigation of this tradition, since this
verse at the end of the Chronicler’s Josiah account connects Jeremiah to the singing
of laments (qînôt). Recent scholarship does not attempt to settle the authorship issue
in Lamentations, but rather shows how the later reception of Lamentations engages
the Jeremianic theology in order to explain some difficult passages in this book. My
contribution will be a comparative study in which the different modes of interacting
with the Jeremianic tradition by Chronicles and the Lamentations reception will be
investigated. The presence of Jeremiah as the most prominent of the classical
prophets in Chronicles (in 2 Chronicles 35 and 36) will be studied in comparison
with the more recent theories on the engagement of Jeremianic theology in the
reception of Lamentations in Persian and later periods.
Jonker, Louis C. “The Rhetorics of Finding a New Identity in a Multi-Religious and Multi-Ethnic Society: The Case of the Book of Chronicles.” Verbum et Ecclesia 24, no. 2 (November 2003): 396–416.
AbstractScholars generally agree that the Books of Chronicles are the products of certain Israelite (Levitical) groups in the Persian province of Jehud who struggled with the dissonance between their older historical and theological traditions on the one hand, and their present reality on the other hand. Within the totally different conditions under Persian rule (a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society) they had to find a new identity. The primary focus of this article is to examine the rhetorics of the intense struggle for a new identity presented to the reader in the Books of Chronicles. It is argued that this new identity represented a shift from a historically-defined identity that lasted from the monarchical period to the early post-exilic phase, to a cultic identity during the Persian era. The article also endeavours to relate the identity forming discourse of these biblical books to the present processes in post-apartheid South African society. The question is asked whether a similar shift can be observed in this modern situation.
Jonker, Louis C. “Was the Chronicler More Deuteronomic than the Deuteronomist? Explorations into the Chronicler’s Relationship with Deuteronomic Legal Traditions.” SJOT: Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 27, no. 2 (October 2013): 185–97.
AbstractAlthough there is general agreement among biblical scholars that Chronicles developed an own historiography in contradistinction to the Deuteronomistic History, some scholars have started emphasizing the commonalities between these histories. The present contribution is an attempt to contribute to this investigation in Chronicles studies. The investigation particularly focuses on a disputed example from Chronicles, namely the legal reforms of King Jehoshaphat, in order to establish what the relationship is between Chronicles and the Deuteronomic legal traditions.
Jonker, Louis C. “What Do the ‘Good’ and the ‘Bad’ Kings Have in Common? Genre and Terminological Patterns in the Chronicler’s Royal Narratives.” Journal of Semitics 21, no. 2 (2012): 332–65.
AbstractIn his reworking of the Deuteronomistic historical traditions the Chronicler made some significant stylistic changes. Some terminological patterns that belong to the Chronicler's Sondergut show the unique theological emphasisof this work, but also relate to the socio-historical context of the time of writing. This article investigates these patterns in order to enrich our description of this literature type, as well as to determine the rhetorical function of the royal narratives.
Jonker, Louis C. “Who Constitutes Society? Yehud’s Self-Understanding in the Late Persian Era as Reflected in the Books of Chronicles.” Journal of Biblical Literature 127, no. 4 (2008): 703–24.
AbstractBiblical scholarship suffers from over-specialisation and over-compartmentalisation. For many decades Pentateuch studies as the "queen" of biblical scholarship have dominated the field, and required high levels of specialisation. Although not as dominant as Pentateuch studies, other areas in OT scholarship have also reverted into sub-guilds of scholars only talking to themselves. Recent developments in Pentateuch studies and studies of Persian period literature (such as Chronicles) have resulted into different sub-guilds coming within hearing distance from one another. This article provides an overview of some of these developments.
Jonker, Louis C. 1 & 2 Chronicles. Understanding the Bible Commentary Series. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2013.
AbstractLouis Jonker's section-by-section commentary on 1-2 Chronicles is the newest volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series. This user-friendly commentary series helps readers navigate the sometimes difficult terrain of the Bible. These volumes offer solid research in an accessible way, breaking down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become clear to contemporary readers. The contributors tackle the task of interpretation using the full range of critical methodologies and practices, yet they do so as people of faith who hold the text in the highest regard. In this commentary, Jonker reads 1-2 Chronicles as literature which negotiates a new socio-religious identity in a period of political transition.
Jonker, Louis C. Defining All-Israel in Chronicles: Multi-Levelled Identity Negotiation in Late Persian-Period Yehud. Forschungen Zum Alten Testament 106. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016.
AbstractIn this book, Louis C. Jonker considers more sophisticated and nuanced models for applying the heuristic lens of "identity" in the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible book of Chronicles. Not only does he investigate the potential and limitations of different sociological models for this purpose, but the author also provides a more nuanced analysis of the socio-historical context of origin of late Persian-period biblical literature by distinguishing between four levels of socio-historic existence in this period. It is shown that varying power relations were in operation on these different levels which contributed to a multi-levelled process of identity negotiation. Louis C. Jonker shows the value of the chosen methodological approach in his analysis of Chronicles, but also suggests that it holds potential for the investigation of other Hebrew Bible corpora.
Jonker, Louis C. Reflections of King Josiah in Chronicles: Late Stages of the Josiah Reception in Ii Chr. 34f. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2003.
AbstractThe Hebrew Bible is the product of a continuous process of interpretaton and re-interpretation of historical and theological traditions in Ancient Israel. Biblical texts are rich in texture, giving us a glimpse of ancient life and belief: they are the products of belief in interaction with life. This volume presents some of the results achieved in a research project that investigated the methodological description of the relationship between the socio-historical processes of transformation and the re-interpretation of historical and theological traditions in Ancient Israel. This was done on two levels: on the level of literary history and on a hermeneutical level. The hypothesis tested in this investigation was that the text-pragmatic approach provides an adequate model for the description of this relationship.
Klein, Ralph W. “Africa and Africans in the Books of Chronicles.” Currents in Theology and Mission 31, no. 4 (August 2004): 274–81.
Linington, Silvia. “The Term TyrB in the Old Testament, Part V : An Enquiry into the Meaning and Use of the Word in 1-2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah.” Old Testament Essays 19, no. 2 (January 1, 2006): 671–93.
AbstractThis paper continues the study on the word tyriB] in the Old Testament in the Chronicler's history. The occurrences of the word in the books of 1-2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah are traced and examined in their context and in this order. A number of scriptures with parallels in 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings will be dealt with more briefly since the parallel verses have already been discussed in another article.
Loader, J. A. “Redaction and Function of the Chronistic ‘Psalm of David.’” In Studies in the Chronicler, by W. C. Van Wyk, 69–75. S.A. Society for the Study of the Old Testament. University of Stellenbosch, 19th Congress. Potchefstroom: Pro Rege, 1977.
Mitchell, Christine. “Otherness and Historiography in Chronicles.” In Historiography and Identity (Re)Formulation in Second Temple Historiographical Literature, edited by Louis C. Jonker, 93–109. Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies 534. London: T&T Clark, 2010.
AbstractThe very first work of “history” penned in the Western tradition begins its first paragraph with setting the context of the work as the conflict between Greek and Persian. Herodotus of Halicarnassus, an Ionian Greek from the fringes of the Persian Empire, constructed his historie as an account of the formation of Greek identity in relation to the Other. This tendency may also be found in the annals and royal inscriptions of the ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and eastern Mediterranean cultures that preceded the creation of historiography in the Persian period. We may also find this tendency in the biblical narratives of Kings and Ezra- Nehemiah. The book of Chronicles, however, has not been investigated from this perspective. Previous generations of scholarship were apt to see the Other in Chronicles as Samaritans, but this construction was based on the assumed common authorship of Chronicles and Ezra- Nehemiah. In this essay I will explore another possibility for the Other against whom Israel is constructed in Chronicles. One possibility that I raise further in the conclusion is that Chronicles is not a work of historiography at all, or, if it is, it is a radical innovation in the fundamental rules of the genre as understood in antiquity.
Nel, H. W. “Die Kronis se perspektief van God in 1 en 2 Kronieke.” Journal for Semitics 4, no. 1 (January 1992): 98–113.
AbstractThe premise of this paper is that the author of 1 and 2 Chronicles (hereafter referred to as ""the Chronicler"") based his perception of the quintessence of God on his understanding of certain traditions in the Old Testament. He could, therefore, be descriptionbed as a traditionalist who interpreted and adapted well-known traditions concerning the history of Israel, especially that of the Southern Kingdom and the Davidic dynasty to portray his view of one people, one land, ruled by one God - in other words, a theocracy which he regarded as the only polity that could effect a complete restoration of all levels of society. According to this hypothesis, the Chronicler regarded a theocracy as consisting of two core or main components: the God who rules his people and the people ruled by their God. The people as the changeable component of this theocratic relationship, while God, on the other hand, is the unchangeable component, the universal creator and ruler, God of the sabbath, the covenant and of his chosen people.
Nel, H. W. “Die Kronis se uitbeelding van die teokrasie in 1 en 2 Kronieke.” Ph.D. Thesis, University of South Africa, 1991.
AbstractIt is impossible to reach ultimate finality or consensus concerning any Old Testament book. This study represents an attempt to come to grips with the controversies surrounding 1 and 2 Chronicles. In an attempt to determine the reason(s) for the ongoing and the never-ending debate concerning the historical accuracy, the date, the authorship and the identity of the so- called Chronicler, a study has been made of the historically true picture of the historic period or the date of origin usually ascribed to this work, namely the final days of the Persian Empire.
Nel, H. W. “The Qahal in 1 and 2 Chronicles.” In Old Testament Society and Reality, edited by W. Wessels and E. Scheffler, 342–57. Pretoria: Verba Vitae, 1992.
AbstractJosiah was a young boy of eight years when he assumed the position of leadership over the Southern kingdom of Israel. Before his ascension to the throne, there were many structural defects in the kingdom. The immediate task before him was how to restructure and re-engineer the socio-religious decay he met on the ground, to which he responded promptly and with a record of success. This paper, therefore, through narrative analysis, identifies the leadership and followership qualities that assisted Josiah in his reform policy in Southern Israel and recommends, through content analysis, the imbibing of those qualities by the Nigerian leaders and citizenry in their quest for a sustained democracy.
Olojede, Funlola O. “Chronicler’s Women - a Holistic Appraisal.” Acta Theologica 33, no. 1 (2013): 158–74.
AbstractThis article attempts to fill, in part, the gap in scholarship on the role of women in the book of Chronicles by providing data to show that the Chronicler succeeded in highlighting the roles and status of women in ancient Israel, as he copiously employed materials that are otherwise unknown in the biblical text and modified his Vorlage. A relentless focus on kinship and familial ties is discernible in the analysis of the roles and positions of the women who are presented in a way that shows their affinities to the people (or land) of Israel. It is argued that the Chronicler was intent on showing that women - all kinds of women - were a solid part of Israel's story and of its identity that was being redefined and reconstituted. Besides affirming his concept of the Chronicler's presentation clearly reflects the changing sociocultural patterns of his time, especially in relation to exilic/post-exilic Israelite women.
Scheffler, Eben. “The Assaulted (Man) on the Jerusalem - Jericho Road: Luke’s Creative Interpretation of 2 Chronicles 28:15.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 69, no. 1 (March 2013): 1–8.
AbstractThe article takes as a point of departure that the parable of the Good Samaritan was inspired by Luke's reading of 2 Chronicles 28:15. After introducing the concept of Lucan creative interpretation by referring to other examples in the gospel, it will be argued that a comparison between the texts in question provides a relief for an even better understanding of the parable. Some hermeneutical conclusions will be drawn regarding the concept of 'creative interpretation' for the authority of the Bible and its use, the theodicy problem, and the ultimate purpose of the gospel's emphasis on the marginalised, taking Old Testament motif(s) of beauty into account.
Snyman, Gerrie F. “‘‘Tis a Vice to Know Him’. Readers’ Response Ability and Responsibility in 2 Chronicles 14 16.” Semeia 77 (1998): 91–113.
Snyman, Gerrie F. ““‘Utopia Where It Is to Be Hoped the Coffee Is a Little Less Sour’‒ Doctor Who’s ‘Utopia’ and Chronicles.” In Worlds That Could Not Be, edited by Steven Mackenzie and Frauke Uhlenbruch, 36–56. The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies. London: Bloomsbury, 2018.
Snyman, Gerrie F. “A Possible World of Text Production for the Genealogy in 1 Chronicles 2.3-4.23.” In The Chronicler as Theologian: Essays in Honor of Ralph W. Klein, edited by Patrick M. Graham, Steven L. McKenzie, and Gary N. Knoppers, 32–60. London ; New York: T&T Clark International, 2003.
AbstractSnyman discusses the genealogy of Judah in 1 Chr 2:3-4:23 in light of recent theoretical developments in anthropological studies on the formation of ethnicity and construction of power. The function of this genealogy constructed by the Judean elite for its own benefit is illuminated by a comparison with South African genealogical concerns in the post- apartheid era. Snyman further speculates on the social location of those who constructed, related, and advanced this genealogy of Judah in Persian period Yehud in light of this comparative evidence. [Abstracted by: Steven J. Schweitzer] Abstract Number: OTA27-2004-OCT-1808
Snyman, Gerrie F. “Fictionality and the Writing of History in 1 Chronicles 13.” Old Testament Essays (New Series) 3, no. 2 (1990): 171–90.
AbstractThis essay explores Manasseh’s vulnerability in both narratives in terms of the current reader’s own vulnerability. In 2 Kings 21:1-18 Manasseh appears to remain invulnerable over-against the inhabitants of Jerusalem’s vulnerability. In 2 Chronicles 33:1-20 Manasseh is turned fragile in captivity and physically rendered vulnerable. The essay is divided into three sections. It starts with a theoretical basis for the argument of vulnerability, following Levinas’ ethical moment, discussing the notion of vulnerability as a negative state, and constructing vulnerability as possibility on the basis of Erinn Gilson’s book, The Ethics of Vulnerability. A Feminist Analysis of Social Life and Practice. In the second part Manasseh’s story in 2 Kings 21:1-18 and 2 Chronicles 33:1-20 is analyzed and in the last part the author connects the notion of vulnerability to these two stories.
Snyman, Gerrie F. “The Ethics of Reading and the Quest for the Audience in the Book of Chronicles.” Old Testament Essays 23, no. 3 (2010): 804–21.
AbstractThis article will illustrate the validity of Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza's SBL Presidential address of 1987 on the topic of the ethics of interpretation, namely doing justice to the text in its historical originating context by inquiring, inter alia into the author's responsibility towards his audience. Firstly, Schüssler Fiorenza's ideas on the socio-political location of the reader will be stated, after which that specific location for Chronicles will be explored in terms of the power in the Persian Empire as well as a look at the Persian Empire through modern imperial eyes. The article will conclude with a few remarks on the identity of the author and audience.
Snyman, Gerrie F. “Wanneer Die Appels Ver van Die Boom Val: Juda Se Geslagsregister in 1 Kronieke 2:3-4:23.” In Die Skriflig 31, no. 4 (1997): 347–73.
AbstractThis article discusses the production of a genealogical text in Chronicles (1 Chr 2:3-4:23) which probably served as a key to membership within a collective community of the province of Yehud in the Persian period of the Second Temple era. The article starts with a discussion of how genealogies work in Southern Africa: firstly, within a particular church community ravished by racial tensions, secondly, within the African community during Nelson Mandela's presidential inauguration, and thirdly, albeit briefly, within the context of Swazi praise songs, where the ideological role of genealogies serves to bolster traditional values. On the presumption that in ancient societies writing directly relates to power, S. discusses the problem of elite groups in society before analyzing the text of 1 Chr 2:3-4:23. He treats this text with reference to Joel Weinberg's thesis of the bêt ʼabôt, the foreign women cited in Ezra and Nehemiah, and the influence of the Persian administration on the inhabitants of the ancient Near East. He concludes that the elite community of Yehud was a group of loyal Persian administrators, despite the fact they were (the) children of exiles. [Published abstract--Christopher T. Begg].] Abstract Number: OTA21-1998-OCT-1461
Snyman, Gerrie F. “Who Is Responsible for Uzzah’s Death? Rhetoric in 1 Chronicles 13.” In Rhetoric, Scripture & Theology: Essays from the 1994 Pretoria Conference, edited by Stanley E. Porter and Thomas H. Olbricht, 203–17. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996.
Snyman, Gerrie F. “Why Asa Was Not Deemed Good Enough. A Decolonial Reading of 2 Chronicles 14-16.” In Contexts and Readings: Explorations into Historiography and Identity Negotiation in Persian Period Yehud, edited by Louis C. Jonker, 241–69. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011.
AbstractPapers read at the 19th Congress of the Ou-Testamentiese Werkgemeenskap in Suider-Afrika, held at the University of Stellenbosch, 27th-28th April, 1976.
Weanzana, Nupanga. “1 and 2 Chronicles.” In Africa Bible Commentary: A One-Volume Commentary Written by 70 African Scholars, edited by Tokunboh Adeyemo, 467–530. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2010.
AbstractThe Africa Bible Commentary is a unique publishing event—the first one-volume Bible commentary produced in Africa by African theologians to meet the needs of African pastors, students, and lay leaders. Interpreting and applying the Bible in the light of African culture and realities, it furnishes powerful and relevant insights into the biblical text that transcend Africa in their significance. The Africa Bible Commentary gives a section-by-section interpretation that provides a contextual, readable, affordable, and immensely useful guide to the entire Bible. Readers around the world will benefit from and appreciate the commentary’s fresh insights and direct style that engage both heart and mind. Key features: · Produced by African biblical scholars, in Africa, for Africa—and for the world · Section-by-section interpretive commentary and application · More than 70 special articles dealing with topics of key importance in to ministry in Africa today, but that have global implications · 70 African contributors from both English- and French-speaking countries · Transcends the African context with insights into the biblical text and the Christian faith for readers worldwide
Weanzana, Nupanga. “The Theme of the ‘Kingdom of God’ in the Book of Chronicles.” Old Testament Essays 16, no. 3 (January 1, 2003): 757–65.
AbstractThis article investigates the place and the function of the theme of the 'kingdom of God' in the book of Chronicles. Although David remains the central figure in the book of Chronicles, the end of the Davidic dynasty after the Babylonian exile led the author of Chronicles to put an emphasis upon the 'kingdom of YHWH' instead of on the kingdom of David. The social, political and religious contexts of the small Yehud within the powerful Achaemenid Persian machinery determined such a perspective.
Weems, Renita J. “1-2 Chronicles.” In The Africana Bible: Reading Israel’s Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora, edited by Hugh R. Page, 286–90. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010.
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