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The Literary Structure Of Kings

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Chapter Summary

Literary structure refers to the relationships of the various parts of the book to each other and to the whole and the literary means by which those relationships are achieved. Literary structure is to be distinguished from what older biblical studies called literary criticism, the identification of the antecedent written sources. Prophecy plays the most central role in the center of Kings, the period of the Omride dynasty. The stories of Elijah and Elisha dominate and overshadow the careers of the kings who are their contemporaries. The primacy of the prophetic word in directing the action in Kings is given special structural representation in the story of Elisha's inheriting, both literally and figuratively, the prophetic mantle of Elijah (2 Kgs 2). The chain of tales about Elisha and the concatenation of traditions about Solomon are, perhaps, the clearest examples.

Keywords: Elijah; Elisha; Kings; literary criticism; Omride dynasty; Solomon



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