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A Time for Everything: Dating the Deuteronomistic History

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Chapter Summary

The difficult and controversial issue in the study of the Deuteronomistic History (DH) is that of determining its date, or more precisely, the date of its primary edition (DtrH). The date that one accepts for this level fairly well determines one's understanding of the work's purpose and method of composition. This chapter focuses on the central questions in the debate and sets the issue in its proper perspective in the context of concern with the model of the DH's composition. It is a summary and critique of the three settings that are most frequently proposed for the composition of DtrH: the reign of Hezekiah, the reign of Josiah, and the exile. The observations about the distinctiveness of the 2 Kings account following Josiah's death and the associations between Josiah and the earlier DH are accommodated within the model of an exilic history work as envisioned by Van Seters and Long.

Keywords: Deuteronomistic History (DH); DH's composition; exilic history work; Long; reign of Hezekiah; reign of Josiah; Van Seters; work's purpose



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