By J. Andrew Dearman, M. Patrick Graham
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Additional info for The Land that I Will Show You: Essays on the History and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East in Honor of J. Maxwell Miller
Chronicles does not recognize the northern kings as legitimate kings of Israel, or their polity as YHWH's kingdom and house (contrast 2 Chron. 14). The removal of the reports about the northern kings in Chronicles—which in Kings suggest that the two kingdoms are at least potentially comparable—and the lack of explicit temporal synchronisms between the Judahite and Israelite kings (except in 2 Chron. 1) indicate that the kingdoms of Judah and Israel are not similar from YHWH's perspective—and should not be from that of the Chronicler or subsequent rereaders.
The legitimization of the second temple and its worship was dependent on its being a continuation of the first. There is the wholly expected emphasis on the Mosaic basis for the first (and second) temple and its worship, but Chronicles construes a past in which the Davidic king par excellence, David, organized its worship in detail. The result is that David, rather than a Persian king, becomes the actual founder of the temple—first and second—at the symbolic and theological level. See E. Ben Zvi, 'What Is New in Yehud', forthcoming in a volume edited by Bob Becking and Rainer Albertz on 'Yahwism after the Exile'.
Japhet wrote, 'Chronicles presents a different view of history: the dimensions of the Babylonian conquest and exile are reduced considerably, the people's settlement in the land is portrayed as an uninterrupted continuum, and, in the same way, the constitutive force of the exodus from Egypt is eliminated. '44 These words had an important impact in the study of Chronicles. From the perspective of the endeavor taken up in this paper, several relevant questions may be raised. Were the intended and primary rereaders of Chronicles supposed to construe their past as one characterized by an uninterrupted settlement in the land?