2.1 Introduction

The history books or also called “anterior prophets.

Why?: Because it’s less about chronology but about the (dis)obedience of the people. The history books: Joshua to 2 Kings were originally probably one book. Their content is the history from entering the land to leaving it in exile, their center is the emergence of kingship with the kingdom of David.

In the history books, two lines go parallel throughout: 

  • The stories of the prophets and 
  • The history of kings

They also reflect the disputes about the establishment of a kingship in Israel:

  • For e.g.: Judges. 19, shameful deed of Gibeah in the land without a king
  • In contrast e.g.: Judges. 9 (Jotham’s tree-fable)

As well as the dispute about the building of a temple: e.g., 2.Sam.7 (Nathan corrects himself). After the division of the kingdom there is a chronistic – synoptic presentation of both kingdoms. 

The clear center is David, later also Solomon. Half of the work refers only to these two kings, the other half to the 42 other kings. The focus on David makes this part of the bible more significant for us Christians through the David-Christ typology. 

It is typical of all historiography that it focuses particularly on accounts of armed conflict. This leads also in the history books to the appearance of a constant state of war. The settling of the 12 tribes, however, probably took place more peacefully than one suspects from reading. The history books of the OT also clearly depict the time before Christ. 

 

The work of Chronicles including 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther…

Chronicles differs from Kings in the following: 

  1. Greater emphasis on the interpretation of history as opposed to the writing of history.
  2. Exodus and land-grabbing are missing. 
  3. Theological center is even more the temple and David
  4. The negative sides of David and Solomon are underweighted, e.g.: Cession of 20 cities Solomon – Tyros: 1.Kg.9 different from 2.Chr.8I
  1. The northern kingdom after Solomon is hardly mentioned anymore

 

Ezra and Nehemiah: 

Offer a chronicle of the 100 years after the return from exile

Centered Upon: The Temple and faithfulness to the law

Ezra is in Ezra 7,12 the “Teacher of the law of the God of Heaven” many assume in it the source “P”: priestly writing.