The Trouble with Kings

The Composition of the Book of Kings in the Deuteronomistic History


This book investigates the composition of the book of Kings and its implications for the Deuteronomistic History ( DH) of which it is a part.
McKenzie analyses Kings on the basis of Noth's model of a single author/editor behind the original DH. He contends that the Deuteronomist ( Dtr) wrote the series of oracles against the Northern royal houses without utilizing a prior, running prophetic document that some scholars have posited behind Samuel and Kings. He regards many other prophetic stories in Kings, including most of the Elijah and Elisha legends as later additions to the DH, in accord with Noth's recognition that the original DH was frequently supplemented by various writers. McKenzie illustrates Dtr's compositional techniques in a treatment of the accounts of Hezekiah and Josiah in Kings. He tentatively dates Dtr to Josiah's reign but believes that tensions among the many later additions to the work, including the report from Josiah's death on, suggest that they are not the result of systematic editing (e.g., Dtr2).
The book offers the most up-to-date survey of research on the DH and the most recent detailed analysis of the lengthy variant version of Jeroboam's reign in LXXB at 1 Kings 12:24a-z. It offers a fresh perspective on the original shape of the DH based on recent scholarship and the author's own critical investigation.
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EUR €89.00USD $130.00

Biographical Note

Steven L. McKenzie, Th.D (1983), Harvard University, is Associate Professor of Old Testament, Rhodes College. His publications include The Chronicler's use of the Deuteronomistic History (1985); Ramesses II and the Bible (1987), and many articles.

Review Quotes

' It is a valuable work...'
Leslie J. Hoppe, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 1994.
' ...his work is to be welcomed as one which must be taken into account in any future study of the subject.'
R.N. Whybray, J.S.S., 1994.
' ...McKenzie's work is a valuable aid to the study of the Deuteronomistic History.'
William Schniederwind, Religious Studies Review, 1996.


(post)graduates and scholars of the Old Testament and all those interested in the Ancient Near East.

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