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Books And Writing In Kings

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Chapter Summary

The writers of The Books of Kings expected their work to be read and their readers to be aware of other books, perhaps, even, to be able to gain access to them. None of the texts named in Kings is extant today, so the question arises, 'Did those books and documents really exist, or are they fictions of the writers of Kings?' This question is addressed in this chapter. The 'state' of Israel is a modern concept; 'kingdom' was the term applied to ancient Israel and Judah. For the 7th c. BCE the recovery of ostraca from a considerable number of small sites, military garrisons and settlements well away from Jerusalem, is evidence for the presence of someone who could read, at least, in those places.

Keywords: ancient Israel; ancient Judah; Jerusalem; The Books of Kings



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