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Law In Kings

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Chapter Summary

The ancient authors used their audience's familiarity with contemporary law as part of their scheme of tacit references, to make hints and allusions that one can recapture through the law. The king had a constitutional role as judge (1 Kgs 3:9; 8:32; 2 Kgs 15:5), a function emphasized in the account of Solomon's palace, which had a throne from which he judged cases situated in a "courtyard of judgment". The king's jurisdiction could be invoked, however, at any place, for example, as he was walking along the city wall (2 Kgs 6:26) or returning from a campaign (1 Kgs 20:39). Some scholars have argued that Naboth's refusal was based on the illegality of the transaction. The Israelite kings, in seeking to extend their own landholdings, purchased land under the Canaanite system.

Keywords: Canaanite system; king's jurisdiction; Naboth; Solomon's palace

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