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R.D. NELSON, The role of the priesthood in the Deuteronomistic History

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Chapter Summary

Beneath the surface of the OT remain traces of competition among rival priestly families, but the Deuteronomistic History (Dtr) demonstrates little partisan interest in these controversies. Solomon's temple dedication, for example, includes some priestly theology within its predominantly Deuteronomistic presentation (1 Kings viii 10-11). The sacrifice list of 2 Kings xvi 15 shows some acquaintance with priestly lore. Priests appear throughout Dtr from beginning (Deut. xxxi 9) to end (2 Kings xxv 18), and not always as completely peripheral figures. It seems appropriate, therefore, to investigate Dtr's assumptions about priests and Levites, to re-examine the critical passages 1 Sam. ii 27-36 and 2 Kings xxiii 5-9, and to trace how Dtr used priests to shape his theological plot. The priesthood is certainly not limited in Dtr's view to the descendants of Aaron. Dtr must have picked up a distinctly anti-Aaronide attitude from Deuteronomy.

Keywords: Abiathar; Deuteronomistic History (Dtr); Levites; priesthood; Zadok



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