According to Which “Law of Moses”? Cult Centralization in Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles

In: Vetus Testamentum
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  • 1 Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, Department of Theology, LCC International University, Klaipėda, South Africa
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The Chronicler, as an early interpreter of Samuel and Kings, alerts us to the diverse understandings of (or emphases in) cult centralization that are represented in these texts and in the Pentateuch. Recent studies demonstrate the Chronicler’s apparent desire to bring his source narratives into compliance with both Deuteronomic and Levitical understandings of Law. In light of this observation, reading backward from the Chronicler’s opinion on centralization may help us evaluate the model of centralization represented in the final form of Samuel and Kings. Such a reading will demonstrate that Samuel is in fact a “Deuteronomistic” book, exhibiting the precise view of cult centralization that one would expect from a book that advances the Deuteronomistic narrative in the way that it does—that is, the “discovery” of “the place which yhwh will choose to set his name to dwell there.”

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