Form and Content in the Story of Asa in 2 Chr 13:23b-16:14: A Diachronic-Synchronic Reading

In: Vetus Testamentum

Abstract

In contrast to the brief and positive Deuteronomistic description of Asa’s reign (1 Kgs 15:9-24), the Chronicler provides us with a complex, lengthy account (2 Chr 13:23b-16:14). The first part of his rule is depicted as good, the second as bad. This formulation creating various thematic, chronological, linguistic, and theological problems. Analyzing these both diachronically and synchronically, the complementary approach adopted herein reveals the unit’s constitutive components, together with the central themes shaping it. Hereby, we gain a broader and deeper picture of the way in which Asa is portrayed, particularly in comparison with of his predecessors, Rehoboam and Abijah on the one hand and Jehoshaphat on the other.