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Historical persons or literary characters: Prophets in the book of chronicles

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Chapter Summary

The majority of the prophets and inspired messengers that are met in the Book of Chronicles have been ?invented' by the Chonicler and should therefore be characterized as ?literary personage' rather than historical persons. During the last thirty years or so, Biblical scholars have investigated a lot of aspects dealing with the Chronicler's view of prophet and prophecy. There is one particular aspect, however, which appears to be neglected. Looking at the impressive list of publications one could get the impression that the Chronicler did not make use of what we term ?the Latter Prophets'. This chapter emphasizes that the Chronicler never uses marked formulae to introduce quotations. By creating the literary character of Azariah who with the help of a possession formula speaks with divine authority, the Chronicler puts himself into a position to select and transform canonical prophetic texts for his own purpose.

Keywords: Azariah; Biblical scholars; Book of Chronicles; historical persons; inspired messengers; Latter Prophets; literary character; literary personage; marked formulae; possession formula

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