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The Two Prostitutes or the Two Kingdoms? A Critical Reading of King Solomon’s Wise Ruling (1 Kgs 3:16-28)

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image of Horizons in Biblical Theology

The familiar story of King Solomon and the two prostitutes is often assumed to showcase the wise arbitration of King Solomon through the help of the divinely—endowed wisdom of Yahweh. In this standard reading of the passage, there is a quick intellectual fixation to show the relationship between the passage and the preceding divine encounter at Gibeon. Against the limitations of these traditional readings, the paper resituates the ideological/theological importance of the two prostitutes beyond its immediate literary landscape to encompass the entirety of the Deuteronomistic History (DtrH). Through verbal resonance and symbolic connections to the rest of the DtrH, the work underscores that the presence of these two prostitutes, at the opening of the book of Kings, is a significant prelude to the Dtr’s narratives on the subsequent demise of the two kingdoms.

Affiliations: 1: Old Testament Department, Stellenbosch UniversitySouth


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