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Using 2 Kings 18-19 In Historical Reconstruction

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on questions of the literary structure of the Hezekiah narrative in 2 Kings with specific focus on the Hezekiah-Sennacherib narrative. It determines how the various sections of the narrative relate to each other with particular attention paid to matters of internal coherence. In light of this literary analysis, the text itself was then re-evaluated as to what events it purports to describe. Analyzing the Hezekiah-Sennacherib narrative for historical purposes is very different from analyses demanded for literary reasons. The historical question is concerned with how one might use this text in a historical reconstruction of Sennacherib's invasion. The chapter assesses 2 Kings 18-19 and their appropriateness for use in historical reconstruction. It compares the Hezekiah- Sennacherib narrative to other texts from the ancient Near East that were roughly contemporary with the events. It also notes incidental confirmation by other texts and note near parallels that strengthen plausibility.

Keywords: 2 Kings 18-19; Hezekiah-Sennacherib narrative; historical reconstruction

10.1163/ej.9789004175969.i-230.22
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