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The Preservation of Prophecy in the Jewish Antiquities: Josephus’s Account of Elisha’s Prophecy during the Campaign against Moab

In: Journal for the Study of Judaism
Author: Will Briggs1
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This project builds on the observations of Begg and Feldman by examining how Josephus ensures prophetic accuracy in his account of 2 Kings 3 in Antiquities 9.3.29-44. It examines the questions of Josephus’s source material for this account and the significant issues in the biblical account Elisha’s prophecy of victory before tracing the steps that Josephus takes to ensure its accuracy in Antiquities for his audience. Josephus slightly alters his Hebrew source in order to allow for the campaign’s final retreat and strengthens the connection between 2 Kings 3 with 1 Kings 22:1-40 by adding the concepts of true and false prophecy and rendering Elisha’s address to Joram in 2 Kings 3:13 as sarcasm. These steps, designed to persuade his audience to believe his apologetic account of Jewish history, allow Josephus to preserve the connection between prophecy and history that he makes throughout Antiquities.

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