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The Book Of Kings And Ancient Near Eastern Historiography

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Chapter Summary

The Book of Kings is a narrative of historiographic nature. This chapter discusses the basic structure of the book belongs to the so-called Deuteronomistic History, which is variously dated between the 7th and the 5th centuries BCE, and constitutes the earliest recorded achievement of a historical narrative in Israelite literature. The basic idea of a parallel treatment of the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel is to be found in some Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles dealing with the parallel history of Assyria and Babylonia. The influence of royal inscriptions on various passages of The Book of Kings has been the subject of various recent studies and debates. Finally, the chapter discusses the case of ancient Near Eastern historiography that can shed light on the procedures for reconstructing the most ancient history of a kingdom or a nation.

Keywords: ancient near eastern historiography; Assyrian Chronicles; Babylonian chronicles; Israel; Judah; royal inscriptions; The Book of Kings



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