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David’s census and Ornan’s threshing-floor a close reading of 1 chronicles 21

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Chapter Summary

Reading the Book of Chronicles, one is almost spontaneously inclined to take into account the parallel narratives as handed down in 2 Samuel or 1-2 Kings. In actual practice, it appears rather difficult therefore to approach the narrative of 1 Chronicles 21 with an open mind. In order not to miss the specific point(s) of 1 Chronicles 21, this chapter first exclusively concentrates on the Chronicler's text, pretending not to know the existence of its parent text. It then focuses on the most important differences with 2 Samuel 24. Next, the chapter discusses the presence of angels in the Book of Chronicles. The narrative in 1 Chronicles 21 has been shaped in a well-built way. With respect of the main agents it is marked by three episodes: (1) David's initiative towards a census in Israel (21:1-6); (2) God's reaction (21:7-14); (3) The scene at the threshing-floor of Ornan (21:15-22:1).

Keywords: 1 Chronicles 21; 1-2 Kings; 2 Samuel 24; angels; Book of Chronicles; Chronicler's text; David's census; Israel; Ornan's threshing-floor



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