Kings, First and Second Books of
Kings, First And Second Books Of, the second of the series of Hebrew royal annals, the books of Samuel forming the introductory series, and the books of Chronicles being a parallel series. In the Hebrew Bible the first two series alone form part of " the Former Prophets," like Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. SEE BIBLE. In the Authorized English Version it is added to their titles: "commonly called the Third [and the Fourth] Book of the Kings." SEE SAMUEL, BOOKS OF.
I. Number and Title. — The two books of Kings formed anciently but one book in the Jewish Scriptures, as is affirmed by Origen (apud Euseb. Prep. Evang. 6:25, Βασιλείων τρίτη, τετάρτη, ἐν ἑνὶ Οὐαμμέλεχ Δαβίδ), Jerome (Proloy. Gal.), Josephus (Cont. Apion. i, 8), and others. The present division, following the Septuagint and Latin versions, has been common in the Hebrew Bibles since the Venetian editions of Bomberg.
The old Jewish name was borrowed, as usual, from the commencing words of the book (והִמֶּלֶך דָּוַד), Graecized as in the above quotation from Eusebius. The Septuagint and Vulgate now number them as the third and fourth books of Kings, reckoning the two books of Samuel the first and second. Their present title, מלָכַים, Βασιλέων, Regum, in the opinion of Havernick, has respect more to the formal than essential character of the composition (Einleitung, § 168); yet under such forms of government as those of Judah and Israel the royal person and name are intimately associated with all national acts and movements, legal decisions, warlike preparations, domestic legislation, and foreign policy. The reign of an Oriental prince is identified with the history of his nation during the period of his sovereignty. More especially in the theocratic constitution of the Jewish realm the character of the monarch was an important element of national history, and, of necessity, it had considerable influence on the fate and fortunes of the people.
II. Independent Form.-The question has been raised and minutely discussed whether the books of Kings (1 and 2) constitute an entire work of themselves, or whether they originally formed part of a larger historical work embracing the principal parts of the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, out of which these several books, as we now have them, have been formed. Ewald regards the books of Judges (with Ruth), 1 and 2 Samuel, and I and 2 Kings, as forming parts of one whole work, which he calls " The great book of the Kings." The grounds on which this supposition has been built are partly the following:
(1.) These books together contain one unbroken narrative, both in form and matter, each portion being connected with the preceding by the conjunctive 5, or the continuative (וִיהַי. The book of Judges shows itself to be a separate work from Joshua by opening with a narration of events with which that book closes; the work then proceeds through the times of the Judges, and goes on to give, in Ruth, the family history and genealogy of David, and in Samuel and Kings the events which transpired down to the captivity.
(2.) The recurrence in Judges of the phrases, "And in those days there was no king in Israel" (Jg 17:6; Jg 18:1; Jg 21:25); " It came to pass in those days when there was no king" (Jg 19:1); and in Ruth (Ru 1:1), "Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled," shows that this portion of the work was written in the times when there were kings in Israel. The writer therefore was in a position to pass under review the whole period of the times of the judges, and we find that he estimates the conduct of the people according to the degree of their conformity to the law of the Lord, after the manner of the writer of Kings (Jg 2:11-19; 2Ki 17:7-23).
Again, in Jg 1:21, it is said that the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day; and in 2Sa 24:16, mention is made of Araunah the Jebusite as an inhabitant of Jerusalem, from which it is inferred that the writer intended these facts to explain each other. (But see Jos 15:63.) So there is a reference in Jg 20:27 to the removal of the ark of the covenant from Shiloh to Jerusalem; and the expression "in those days" points, as in 17:6, etc., to remote times. There is thought to be a reference in Jg 18:30 to the captivity of Israel in the days of Hoshea, in which case that book must have been written subsequently to that time, as well as the books of Kings.
(3.) The books of Kings take up the narrative where 2 Samuel breaks off, and proceed in the same spirit and manner to continue the history, with the earlier parts of which the writer gives proof of being well acquainted (comp. 1Ki 2:11 with 2Sa 5:4-5; so also 2Ki 17:41 with Jg 2:11-19, etc.; 1Sa 2:27 with Jg 13:6; 2Sa 14:17-20; 2Sa 19:27, with Jg 13:6; 1Sa 9:21 with Jg 6:15, and Jg 20; 1Ki 8:1 with 2Sa 6:17; 2Sa 5:7,9; 1Sa 17:12 with Ru 4:17; Ru 1:1 with Jg 17:7-9; Jg 19:1-2 [Bethlehem-Judah]). Other links connecting the books of Kings with the preceding may be found in the comparison, suggested by De Wette, of 1Ki 2:26 with 1Sa 2:35; 1Ki 2:3-4; 1Ki 5:17-18; 1Ki 8:18-19,25, with 2Sa 7:12-16; and 1Ki 4:1-6 with 2Sa 8:15-18.
(4.) Similarity of diction has been observed throughout, indicating identity of authorship. The phrase "Spirit of Jehovah" occurs first in Judges, and frequently afterwards in Samuel and Kings (Jg 3:10; Jg 6:34, etc.; 1Sa 10:6, etc.; 1Ki 22:24; 2Ki 2:16, etc.). So " Man of God," to designate a prophet, and "God do so to me and more also," are common to them; and "till they were ashamed" to Judges and Kings (Jg 3:25; 2Ki 2:17; 2Ki 8:11).
(5.) Generally the style of the narrative, ordinarily quiet and simple, but rising to great vigor and spirit when stirring deeds are described (as in Jg 4; Jg 7; Jg 11, etc.; 1Sa 4; 1Sa 17; 1Sa 31, etc.; 1Ki 8; 1Ki 18; 1Ki 19, etc.), and the introduction of poetry or poetic style in the midst of the narrative (as in Judges 5:1Sa 2; 2Sa 1:17, etc., 1Ki 22:17, etc.), constitute such strong features of resemblance as lead to the conclusion that these several books form but one work.
But these reasons are not conclusive. Many of the resemblances may be accounted for in other ways, while there are important and wide differences.
(1.) If the arguments were sufficient to join Judges, Samuel, and Kings together in one work, for the same reasons Joshua must be added (Joshua i, 1; 15:63; xxiii and xxiv; Jg 1:1).
(2.) The writer of Kings might be well acquainted with the previous history of his people, and even with the contents of Judges and Samuel, without being himself the author of those books.
(3.) Such similarity of diction as exists may be ascribed to the use by the writer of Kings of earlier documents, to which also the writer of Samuel had access.
(4.) There are good reasons for regarding the Kings as together forming an entire and independent work, such as the similarity of style and language, both vocabulary and grammar, which pervades the two books, but distinguishes them from others-the uniform system of quotation observed in them, but not in the books which precede them -the same careful attention to chronology-the recurrence of certain phrases and forms of speech peculiar to them. A great number of words occur in Kings, which are found in them only; such are chiefly names of materials and utensils, and architectural terms. Words, and unusual forms of words, occur, which are only found here and in writers of the same period, as Isaiah and Jeremiah, but not in Samuel or Judges. See § 5, below.
III. Contents, Character, and Design.-The books of Kings contain the brief annals of a long period, from the accession of Solomon till the dissolution of the commonwealth. The first chapters describe the reign of Solomon over the united kingdom, and the revolt under Rehoboam. The history of the rival states is next narrated in parallel sections till the period of Israel's downfall on the invasion of Shalmanezer. Then the remaining years of the principality of Judah are recorded till the conquest of Nebuchadnezzar and the commencement of the Babylonian captivity. SEE ISRAEL; SEE JUDAH. For an adjustment of the years of the respective reigns in each line, SEE CHRONOLOGY.
There are some peculiarities in this succinct history worthy of attention. It is summary, but very suggestive. It is not a biography of the sovereigns, nor a mere record of political occurrences, nor yet an ecclesiastical register. King, Church, and State are all comprised in their sacred relations. It is a theocratic history, a retrospective survey of the kingdom as existing under a theocratic government. The character of the sovereign is tested by his fidelity to the religious obligations of his office, and this decision in reference to his conduct is generally added to the notice of his accession. The new king's religious character is generally portrayed by its similarity or opposition to the way of David, of his father, or of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, " who made Israel to sin." Ecclesiastical affairs are noticed with a similar purpose, and in contrast with past or prevalent apostasy, especially as manifested in the popular superstitions, whose shrines were on the " high places." Political or national incidents are introduced in general for the sake of illustrating the influence of religion on civic prosperity; of showing how the theocracy maintained a vigilant and vengeful guardianship over its rights and privileges-adherence to its principles securing peace and plenty, disobedience to them bringing along with it sudden and severe retribution. The books of Kings are a verification of the Mosaic warnings, and the author of them has kept this steadily in view. He has given a brief history of his people, arranged under the various political chiefs in such a manner as to show that the government was essentially theocratic; that its spirit, as developed in the Mosaic writings, was never extinct, however modified or inactive it might sometimes appear. Thus the books of Kings appear in a religious costume, quite different from the form they would have assumed either as a political or ecclesiastical narrative. In the one case legislative enactments, royal edicts, popular movements, would have occupied a prominent place; in the other, sacerdotal arrangements, Levitical service, music, and pageantry, would have filled the leading sections of the treatise. In either view the points adduced would have had a restricted reference to the palace or the temple, the sovereign or the pontiff, the court or the priesthood, the throne or the altar, the tribute or tithes, the nation on its farms, or the tribes in the courts of the sacred edifice. But the theocracy conjoined both the political and religious elements, and the inspired annalist unites them as essential to his design. The agency of divinity is constantly recognised, the hand of Jehovah is continually acknowledged. The chief organ of theocratic influence enjoys peculiar prominence. We refer to the incessant agency of the prophets, their great power and peculiar modes of action as detailed by the composer of the books of Kings. They interfered with the succession, and their instrumentality was apparent il the schism. They roused the people, and they braved the sovereign. The balance of power was in their hands; the regal dignity seemed to be sometimes at their disposal. In times of emergency they dispensed with usual modes of procedure, and assumed an authority with which no subject in an ordinary state can safely be intrusted. executing the law with a summary promptness which rendered opposition impossible, or at least unavailing. They felt their divine commission, and that they were the custodians of the rights of Jehovah. At the same time they protected the interests of the nation, and, could we divest the term of its association with unprincipled turbulence and sedition, we would, like Winer (Real Vortearb . s.v. Prophet), style them the demagogues of Israel. The divine prerogative was to them a vested right, guarded with a sacred jealousy from royal usurpation or popular invasion; and the interests of the people were as religiously protected against encroachments, too easily made under a form of government which had not the safeguard of popular representation or aristocratic privilege. The priesthood were in many instances, though there are some illustrious exceptions, merely the creatures of the crown, and therefore it became the prophetical office to assert its dignity and stand forth in the majestic insignia of an embassy from heaven. The truth of these sentiments, as to the method, design, and composition of the books of Kings, is confirmed by ample evidence.
(1.) Large space is occupied with the building of the Temple-the palace of the divine Protector-his throne in it being above the mercy-seat and between the cherubim (ch. v-viii). Care is taken to record the miraculous phenomenon of the descent of the Shekinah (viii. 10). The prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the house is full of theocratic views and aspirations.
(2.) Reference is often made to the Mosaic law, with its provisions, and allusions to the earlier history of the people frequently occur (1Ki 2:3; 1Ki 3:14; 1Ki 6:11-12; 1Ki 8:58, etc.; 2Ki 10:31; 2Ki 14:6; 2Ki 17:13,15,37; 2Ki 18:4-6; 2Ki 21:1-8). Allusions to the Mosaic code are found more frequently towards the end of the second book when the kingdom was drawing near its termination, as if to account for its decay and approaching fate.
(3.) Phrases expressive of divine interference are frequently introduced (1Ki 11:31; 1Ki 12:15; 1Ki 13:1-2,9; 1Ki 20:13, etc.).
(4.) Prophetic interposition is a very prominent theme of record. It fills the vivid foreground of the historical picture. Nathan was occupied in the succession of Solomon (1Ki 1:45); Ahijah was concerned in the revolt (1Ki 11:29-40). Shemaiah disbanded the troops which Rehoboam had mustered (1Ki 12:21). Ahijah predicted the ruin of Jeroboam, whose elevation he had promoted (1Ki 14:7). Jehu, the prophet, doomed the house of Baasha (1Ki 16:1). The reigns of Ahab and Ahaziah are marked by the bold, rapid, mysterious movements of Elijah. Under Ahab occurs the prediction of Micaiah (1Ki 22:8). The actions and oracles of Elisha form the marvellous topics of narration under several reigns. The agency of Isaiah is also recognised (2Ki 19:20; 2Ki 20:16). Besides, 1 Kings 13 presents another instance of prophetic operation; and in 20:35, the oracle of an unknown prophet is also rehearsed. Huldah the prophetess was an important personage under the government of Josiah (2Ki 22:14). Care is also taken to report the fulfilment of striking prophecies, in the usual phrase, "according to the word of the Lord" (1Ki 12:15; 1Ki 15:29; 1Ki 16:12; 2Ki 23:15-18; 2Ki 9:36; 2Ki 24:2). So, too, the old Syriac version prefixes, "Here follows the book of the kings who flourished among the ancient people; and in this is also exhibited the history of the prophets who flourished during their times."
(5.) Theocratic influence is recognised both in the deposition and succession of kings (1Ki 13:33; 1Ki 15:4-5,29-30; 2Ki 11:17, etc.). Compare, on the whole of this view, Huvernick, Einleit. § 168; Jahn, Introduct. § 46; Gesenius, Ueber Jes. i, 934. It is thus apparent that the object of the author of the Books of Kings was to describe the history of the kingdoms, especially in connection with the theocratic element. This design accounts for what De Wette (Einleit. § 185) terms the mythical character of these books.
As to what has been termed the anti-Israelitish spirit of the work (Bertholdt, Einleit. p. 949), we do not perceive it. Truth required that the kingdom of Israel should be described in its real character. Idol-worship was connected with its foundation; moscholatry was a state provision; fidelity obliged the annalist to state that all its kings patronized the institutions of Bethel and Dan, while eight, at least, of the Jewish sovereigns adhered to the true religion, and that the majority of its kings perished in insurrection, while those of Judah in general were exempted from seditious tumults and assassination.
IV. Relation of Kings to Chronicles. — The more obvious differences between the books of Kings and of Chronicles are,
(1.) In respect of language, by which the former are shown to be of earlier date than the latter.
(2.) Of periods embraced in each work. The Chronicles are much more comprehensive than Kings, containing genealogical lists from Adam downwards, and a full account of the reign of David. The portions of the Chronicles synchronistic with Kings are 1Ch 28; 2Ch 36:22.
(3.) In the Kings greater prominence is given to the prophetical office; in Chronicles, to the priestly or Levitical. In the books of the Kings we have the active influence of Nathan in regard to the succession to the throne; and the remarkable lives of Elijah and Elisha, of whom numerous and extraordinary miracles are related, of which scarcely the slightest mention is made in Chronicles, although in Kings about fourteen chapters are taken up with them. Besides these, other prophets are mentioned, and their acts and sayings are recorded; as, 1 Kings 13, the prophet who came to Bethel from Judah in the reign of Jeroboam, and his predictions; and in 2 Kings 23, the fulfilment of them in the days of Josiah; 1 Kings 13, the old prophet who lived at Bethel with his sons. Ahijah the prophet, also, in the days of Jeroboam, 1 Kings 14; Jehu, the son of Hanani, 1 Kings 16; Jonah, in the time of Jeroboam, 2Ki 14:25; and Isaiah in relation to the sickness of Hezekiah, 2 Kings 20. Of these there is either no mention, or much slighter in Chronicles,. where the priestly or Levitical element is more observable; as, for example, the full account, in 2 Chronicles 29-31, of the purification of the Temple by Hezekiah; of the services and sacrifices then made, and of the names of the Levites who took part in it, and the restoration of the courses and orders of the priesthood, and the supplies for the daily, weekly, and yearly sacrifices; also, the circumstantial account of the Passover observed by command of Josiah, 2Ch 35:1-19. In this way we may account not only for the omission of much that relates to the prophets, but also for the less remarkable prominence given to the history of Israel, and the greater to Judah and Jerusalem; and for the frequent omission of details respecting the idolatrous practices of some of the kings, as of Solomon, Rehoboam, and Ahaz; and the destruction of idolatry by Josiah, showing that the books of Chronicles were written in times in which the people less needed to be warned against idolatry; to which, after the captivity, they had ceased to be so prone as before.
For further information on the relation between Kings and Chronicles, SEE CHRONICLES, BOOKS OF.
V. Peculiarities of Diction.
1. The words noticed by De Wette (Einl. § 185) as indicating their modern date are the following: אִתּי for אִתּ, 1Ki 14:2. (But this form is also found in Jg 17:2; Jer 4:30; Eze 36:13, and not once in the later books.) אוֹתו for אַתּו, 2Ki 1:15. (But this form of אֵת is found in Le 15:18,24; Jos 14:12; 2Sa 24:24; Isa 59:21; Jer 10:5; Jer 12:1; Jer 19:10; Jer 20:11; Jer 23:9; Jer 35:2; Eze 14:4; Eze 27:26.) יַשֹּׂם for יָשֹׁם, 1Ki 9:8. (But Jer 19:8; Jer 49:17, are identical in phrase and orthography.) רָצַין for רָצַים, 2Ki 11:13. (But everywhere else in Kings, e.g. 2Ki 11:6, etc., רָצַים, which is also universal in Chronicles, an avowedly later book; and here, as in צַדֹנַין, 1Ki 11:33, there is every appearance of the וbeing a clerical error for the copulative ו; see Thenius, 1. c.) מדַינוֹת, 1Ki 20:14. (But this word occurs in La 1:1, and there is every appearance of its being a technical word in 1Ki 20:14, and therefore as old as the reign of Ahab.) כֹּר for חֹמֶר, 1Ki 4:22. (But כֹּר is used by Ezekiel xlv, 14, and homer seems to have been then already obsolete.) חֹרַים, 1Ki 21:8,11. (Occurs in Isaiah and Jeremiah.) רִב, 2Ki 25:8. (But as the term evidently came in with the Chaldees, as seen in Rab-shakeh, Rab-saris, Rab-mag, its application to the Chaldee general is no evidence of a time later than the person to whom the title is given.) שָׁלֵם, 1Ki 8:61, etc. (But there is not a particle of evidence that this expression belongs to late Hebrew. It is found, among other places, in Isa 38:3, a passage against the authenticity of which there is also not a shadow of proof, except upon the presumption that prophetic intimations and supernatural interventions on the part of God are impossible.) הַשׂכַּיל, 2Ki 18:7. (On what grounds this word is adduced it is impossible to guess, since it occurs in this sense in Joshua, Isaiah, Samuel, and Jeremiah: see Gesenius.) בַּטָּחוֹן, 2Ki 18:19. (Isa 36:4; Ec 9:4.) יהוּדַית, 2Ki 18:26. (But why should not a Jew, in Hezekiah's reign as well as in the time of Nehemiah, have called his mother-tongue "the Jews' language," in opposition to the Aanzcean ? There was nothing in the Babylonian captivity to give it the name if it had it not before, nor is there a single earlier instance-Isa 19:18 might have furnished one-of any name given to the language spoken by all the Israelites, and which, in later times, was called Hebrew: ῾Εβρϊστί, Prolog. Ecclus.; Lu 23:38; Joh 5:2, etc.) דַּבֵּר אֵת מַשׁפָּט, 2Ki 25:6. (Frequent in Jer 4:12; Jer 39:5, etc.) Theod. Parker adds פֶּחָה (see, too, Thenius, Einl. § 6), 1Ki 10:15; 1Ki 20:24; 2Ki 18:24, on the presumption, probably, of its being of Persian derivation; but the etymology and origin of the word are quite uncertain, and it is repeatedly used in Jeremiah 51, as well as Isa 36:9. With better reason might בָּדָא have been adduced, 1Ki 12:33. The expression עֵבֶר הִנָּהָר, in 1Ki 4:24, is also a difficult one to form an impartial opinion about. It is doubtful, as De Wette admits, whether the phrase necessarily implies its being used by one to the east of the Euphrates, because the use varies in Nu 32:19; Nu 35:14; Jos 1:14 sq.; 5:1; 12:1, 7; 22:7; 1Ch 26:30; De 1:1,5, etc. It is also conceivable that the phrase might be used as a mere geographical designation by those who belonged to one of "the provinces beyond the river" subject to Babylon; and, at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, Judaea had been such a province for at least 23 years, and probably longer. We may safely affirm, therefore, that, on the whole, the peculiarities of diction in these books do not indicate a time after the captivity, or towards the close of it, but, on the contrary, point pretty distinctly to the age of Jeremiah. It may be added that the marked and systematic differences between the language of Chronicles and that of Kings, taken with the fact that all attempts to prove the Chronicles, in the main, later than Ezra, have utterly failed, lead to the same conclusion. (See many examples in Movers, p. 200 sq.)
2. Other peculiar or rare expressions in these books are the proverbial ones: מִשׁתַּין בּקַיר, found only in them and in 1Sa 25:22,34; "slept with his fathers," "him that dieth in the city the dogs shall eat," etc.; כֹּה יִעֲשֶׂה אלֵ, 1Ki 2:23, etc.; also קַריָה, 1 Kings i,4 4, 45; elsewhere only in poetry and in the composition of proper names, except De 2:36; זֹחֶלֶה, 1:9. Also the following isolated terms: בִּרבֻּרַים, "fowl," 4:23; אֻרָוֹת, "stalls," 5:6; 2Ch 9:25; הֶעֵָלה מִס, 5:13; 9:15, 21; מִסִּע, "a stone-quarry" (Gesenius), 6:7; לַפנָי, 6:17; לתַתֵּן, 19; פּקָעַים and פִּקֻּעוֹת, " wild cucumbers," 6:18; 7:24; 2Ki 4:39; מַקיֵה, 10:28; the names of the months, אֵתָנַים, 8:2; בּוּל זַו, 6:37, 38; K3, בָּדָא to invent," 12:33; Ne 6:8, in both cases joined with מַפלֶצֶת ַָמלֵּב, " an idol," 15:13; , בַּעֵר and הַבעַיר, followed by אִחֲרֵי, "to destroy," 14:10; 16:3; 21:21; דּבָקַים, "joints of the armor," 22:34; שַׂיג, "a pursuit," 18:27; גָּהִר, "to bend one's self," 18:42; 2Ki 4:34-35; שַׁנֵּס, "to gird up," 18:46; אֲפֵר, "a head-band," 20:38, 42; שָׂפִק, " to suffice," 20:10; חָלִט, uncert. signif., 20:33; עָשָׁה מלוּכָה, ' to reign," 21:7; צלֹחַית, "a dish," 2Ki 2:20; גָּלִם, "to fold up," ib. 8; נֹקֵד, " a herdsman," 3:4; Am 1:1; אָסוּך, " an oil-cup," 4:2; חָרִד אֶל, "to have a care for," 13; זֹרֵר, "to sneeze," 35; צַקלוֹן, "a bag," 42; חָרַיט, "a money-bag," 5:23; תִּחֲנוֹת, "a camp" (?), 6:8; כֵּרֵָה, "a feast," 23; נחַתַּים, "descending," 9; קִב,"a cab," 25; חֲרֵי יוֹנַים, "d dove's dung," ib.; מִכבֵּר, perhaps " a fly-net," 8:15; גֶּרֶם (in sense of " self," as in Chald. and Samar.), 9:13; צַבּוּר,"a heap," 10:8; מֶלתָּחָה,' "a vestry," 22; מָחֲרָאָה, "a draught-house," 27; כָּרַי. " Cherethites," 11:4, 19, and 2Sa 20:23 (kethib); מִסָּח, "a keeping off," 11:6; מִכָּר, "an acquaintance," 12:6; the form יוֹר, from יָרָה, "to shoot," 13:17; בּנֵי הִתִּעֲרֻבוֹת. "hostages," 14:14; 2Ch 25:24; בֵּית הִחָפשַׁית, "sick-house," 15:5; 2Ch 26:21 ; קָבָל, before," 15:10; דוּמֶשֶׂק, " Damascus," 16:10 (perhaps only a false reading); מִרצֶפֶת. "a pavement," 16:17; מוּסִך or מֵיסִך,"a covered way, 16:18; חָפָא, in Piel "to do secretly," 17:9; אֲשֵׁירָה, with י, 16, only besides De 7:5; Mic 5:14; נָדָא, i. q. נָדָה, 17:21 (kethib); שֹׁמֵֹרנַים, " Samaritans," 29; נחֻשׁתָּן, "Nehustan," 18:4; אֹמנָה, " a pillar," 16; עָשָׂה ברָכָה, "to make peace," 31; Isa 36:16; סָחַישׁ, " that which grows up the third year," 19:29; Isa 37:30; בֵּית נכֹת, "treasure-house," 20:13; Isa 39:2; מַשׁנֶה, part of Jerusalem so called, 21:14; Zep 1:10; Ne 11:9; מִזָּלוֹת, "-signs of the zodiac," 23:5; פִּרוָר, "a suburb," 23:11; גּבַים, "ploughmen," 25:12 (kethib); שַׁנָּא for שַׁנָּה, "to change," 25:9; אֵיכהֹ for אֵיכוֹ, 2Ki 6:13; אֲכַילָה, "meat," 1Ki 19:8; אִלמֻגַּים "'almug trees," 1Ki 10:11-12; גָּהִר, "to stretch one's self," 1Ki 18:42; 2Ki 4:34-35; אֲפֵר, a "turban" (" ashes"), 1 Kings 20, 38, 41; דֹּברוֹת, "floats," 1Ki 5:9; יָצַיע "chambers," 1Ki 6:5-6,10; מִעֲבֶה, "clay," 1Ki 7:46; נשַׁר, "debt," 2Ki 4:7; סִר, "heavy," 1Ki 20:43; 1Ki 21:4-5; כּתֶֹרֶת, "chapter," only in Kings, Chronicles, and Jeremiah; מזִמּרוֹת, "snuffers," only in Kings, Chronicles, and Jeremiah; מכוֹנָה, "base," only in Kings, Chronicles, Jeremiah, and Ezra. To these may be added the architectural terms in 1Ki 6:7:and the names of foreign idols in 2 Kings xvii. The general character of the language is most distinctly that of the time before the Babylonian captivity.
VI. Variations in the Septuagint.-These are very remarkable, and consist of transpositions, omissions, and some considerable additions, of all which Thenius gives some useful notices in his Introduction to the book of Kings.
1. The most important transpositions are the history of Shimei's death, 1Ki 2:36-46, which in the Sept. (Cod. Vat.) comes after 3:1, and divers scraps from ch. 4, 5, and 9, accompanied by one or two remarks of the translators. The sections 1Ki 4:20-25,2-6,26,21,1, are strung together and precede 1Ki 3:2-28, but many of them are repeated again in their proper places. The sections 1Ki 3:1; 1Ki 9:16-17, are strung together, and placed between 4:34 and 5:1. The section 1Ki 7:1-12, is placed after 7:51. Section 8:12, 13, is placed after 53. Section 9:15-22, is placed after 10:22. Section 11:43, 12:1, 2, 3, is much transposed and confused in Sept. 11:43, 44, 12:1-3. Section 14:1-21, is placed in the midst of the long addition to Chronicles 12 mentioned below. Section 22:42-50, is placed after 16:28. Chap. 20 and 21 are transposed. Section 2Ki 3:1-3, is placed after 2Ki 1:18.
2. The omissions are few. Section 1Ki 6:11-14, is entirely omitted, and 37, 38 are only slightly alluded to at the opening of chap. 3. The erroneous clause 1Ki 15:6, is omitted; and so are the dates of Asa's reign in 16:8 and 15; and there are a few verbal omissions of no consequence.
3. The chief interest lies in the additions, of which the principal are the following. The supposed mention of a fountain as among Solomon's works in the Temple in the passage after 1 Kings ii, 35; of a paved causeway on Lebanon, 3:46; of Solomon pointing to the sun at the dedication of the Temple, before he uttered the prayer, ' The Lord said he would dwell in the thick darkness." etc., 8:12, 13 (after 53, Sept.), with a reference to the βίβλιον τῆς ᾠδῆς, a passage on which Thenius relies as proving that the Alexandrian had access to original documents now lost; the information that " Joram his brother" perished with Tibni, 16:22; an additional date " in the twenty-fourth year of Jeroboam," 15:8; numerous verbal additions, as 11:29, 17:1, etc.; and, lastly, the long passage concerning Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, inserted between 12:24 and 25. There are also many glosses of the translator, explanatory, or necessary in consequence of transpositions, as 1Ki 2:35; 1Ki 8:1; 1Ki 11:43; 1Ki 17:20; 1Ki 19:2, etc. Of the above, from the recapitulatory character of the passage after 1Ki 2:35, containing in brief the sum of the things detailed in 1Ki 7:21-23, it seems far more probable that ΚΡΗΝΗΝ ΤΗΣ ΑΥΛΗΣ is only a corruption of ΚΡΙΝΟΝ ΤΟΥ ΑΙΛΑΜ, there mentioned. The obscure passage about Lebanon after 3:46 seems no less certainly to represent what in the Heb. is 9:18, 19, as appears by the triple concurrence of Tadmor, Lebanon, and δυναστεύματα, representing מֶמשִׁלתּו. The strange mention of the sun seems to be introduced by the translator to give significance to Solomon's mention of the house which he had built for God, who had said he would dwell in the thick darkness; not therefore under the unveiled light of the sun; and the reference to "the book of song" can surely mean nothing else than to point out that the passage to which Solomon referred was Ps 97:2. Of the other additions, the mention of Tibni's brother Joram is the one which has most the semblance of an historical fact, or makes the existence of any other source of history probable. See, too, 1Ki 20:19; 2Ki 15:25.
There remains only the long passage about Jeroboam. That this account is only an apocryphal version, made up of the existing materials in the Hebrew Scriptures, after the manner of I Esdras, Bel and the Dragon, the apocryphal Esther, the Targums, etc., may be inferred on the following grounds. The framework of the story is given in the very words of the Hebrew narrative, and that very copiously, and the new matter is only worked in here and there. Demonstrably, therefore, the Hebrew account existed when the Greek one was framed, and was the original one. The principal new facts introduced, the marriage of Jeroboam to the sister of Shishak's wife, and his request to be permitted to return, is a manifest imitation of the story of Hadad. The misplacement of the story of Abijah's sickness, and the visit of Jeroboam's wife to Ahijah the Shilonite, makes the whole history out of keeping-the disguise of the queen, the rebuke of Jeroboam's idolatry (which is accordingly left out from Ahijah's prophecy, as is the mention at 5:2 of his having told Jeroboam he should be king), and the king's anxiety about the recovery of his son and heir. The embellishments of the story, Jeroboam's chariots, the amplification of Ahijah's address to Ano, the request asked of Pharaoh, the new garment not washed in water, are precisely such as an embellisher would add, as we may see by the apocryphal books above cited. Then the fusing down the three Hebrew names, צרֵדָה, צרוּעָה, and תַּרצָה, into one, Σαριρά, thus giving the same name to the mother of Jeroboam, and to the city where she dwelt, shows how comparatively modern the story is, and how completely of Greek growth. A yet plainer indication is its confounding the Shemaiah of 1Ki 12:22 with Shemaiah the Nehelamite of Jer 29:24,31, and putting Ahijah's prophecy into his mouth; for, beyond all question, Ε᾿νλαμί (1 Kings 12) is only another form of Αἰλαμίτης (Jer 36:24, Sept.). Then, again, the story is selfcontradictory; for, if Jeroboam's child Abijam was not born till a year or so after Solomon's death, how could " any good thing toward the Lord God of Israel" have been found in him before Jeroboam became king? The one thing in the story that is more like truth than the Hebrew narrative is the age given to Rehoboam, sixteen years, which may have been preserved in the MS. which the writer of this romance had before him. The calling Jeroboam's mother γυνὴ πόρνη instead of γυνὴ χήρα was probably accidental.
On the whole, then, it appears that the great variations in the Sept. contribute little or nothing to the elucidation of the history contained in these books, nor much even to the text. The Hebrew text and arrangement is not in the least shaken in its main points, nor is there the slightest cloud cast on the accuracy of the history, or the truthfulness of the prophecies contained in it. But these variations illustrate a characteristic tendency of the Jewish mind to make interesting portions of the Scriptures the groundwork of separate religious tales, which they altered or added to according to their fancy, without any regard to history or chronology, and in which they exercised a peculiar kind of ingenuity in working up the Scripture materials, or in inventing circumstances calculated, as they thought, to make the main history more probable. The story of Zerubbabel's answer in I Esdras about truth, to prepare the way for his mission by Darius; of the discovery of the imposture of Bel's priests by Daniel, in Bel and the Dragon; of Mordecai's dream in the apocryphal Esther, and the paragraph in the Talmud inserted to connect 1Ki 16:34 with 17:1 (Smith's Sacr. Ann. ii, 421), are instances of this. The reign of Solomon, and the remarkable rise of Jeroboam, were not unlikely to exercise this propensity of the Hellenistic Jews. It is to the existence of such works that the variations in the Sept. account of Solomon and Jeroboam may most probably be attributed.
VII. Another feature in the literary condition of our books must be noticed, viz., that the compiler, in arranging his materials, and adopting the very words of the documents used by him, has not always been careful to avoid the appearance of contradiction. Thus the mention of the staves of the ark remaining in their place " unto this day" (1Ki 8:8) does not accord with the account of the destruction of the Temple (2Ki 25:9). The mention of Elijah as the only prophet of the Lord left (1Ki 18:22; 1Ki 19:10) has an appearance of disagreement with 20:13,28,35, etc., though 18:4, 19:18 supply, it is true, a ready answer. In 1Ki 21:13 only Naboth is mentioned, while in 2Ki 9:26 his sons are added. The prediction in 1Ki 19:15-17 has no perfect fulfilment in the following chapters. 1Ki 22:38 does not seem to be a fulfilment of 21:19. The declaration in 1Ki 9:22 does not seem in harmony with 11:28. There are also some singular repetitions, as 1Ki 14:21 compared with 31; 2Ki 9:29 with 8:25; 14:15, 16, with 13:12, 13.
But it is enough just to have pointed these out, as no real difficulty can be found in them.
VIII. As regards the sources of information, it may truly be said that in the books of Kings we have the narrative of contemporary writers throughout. It has already been observed, SEE CHRONICLES, that there was a regular series of state annals both for the kingdom of Judah and for that of Israel, which embraced the whole time comprehended in the books of Kings, or at least to the end of the reign of Jehoiakim (2Ki 24:5). These annals are constantly cited by name as " the Book of the Acts of Solomon" (1Ki 11:41); and, after Solomon, " the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Judah, or Israel" (e.g. 1Ki 14:29; 1Ki 15:7; 1Ki 16:5,14,20; 2Ki 10:34; 2Ki 24:5, etc.); and it is manifest that the author of Kings had them both before him while he drew up his history, in which the reigns of the two kingdoms are harmonized, and these annals constantly appealed to. (Similar phraseology is used in Es 10:2; Es 6:1, to denote the official annals of the Persian empire. Public documents are spoken of in the same way in Ne 12:23). But, in addition to these national annals, there were also extant, at the time that the books of Kings were compiled, separate works of the several prophets who had lived in Judah and Israel, and which probably bore the same relation to the annals as the historical parts of Isaiah and Jeremiah bear to those portions of the annals preserved in the books of Kings, i.e. were, in some instances at least, fuller and more copious accounts of the current events, by the same hands which drew up the more concise narrative of the annals, though in others perhaps mere duplicates. Thus the acts of Uzziah, written by Isaiah, were very likely identical for substance with the history of his reign in the national chronicles; and part of the history of Hezekiah we know was identical in the chronicles and in the prophet. The chapter in Jeremiah relating to the destruction of the Temple (ch. 52) is identical with that in 2Ki 24; 2Ki 25. In later times some have supposed that a chapter in the prophecies of Daniel was used for the national chronicles, and appears as Ezra 1. (Comp. also 2Ki 16:5 with Isa 7:1; 2Ki 18:8 with Isa 14:28-32). As an instance of verbal agreement, coupled with greater fulness in the prophetic account, see 2 Kings 20 compared with Isaiah 38, in which latter alone is Hezekiah's writing given.
These other works, then, as far as the memory of them has been preserved to us. were as follows (see Keil's Apolog. Vers.). For the time of David, the book of Samuel the seer, the book of Nathan the prophet, and the book of Gad the seer (2 Samuel 21-24 with 1 Kings 1, being probably extracted from Nathan's book), which seem to have been collected-at least that portion of them relating to David-into one work called " the Acts of David the king" (1Ch 29:29). For the time of Solomon, "the Book of the Acts of Solomon" (1Ki 11:41), consisting probably of parts of the " Book of Nathan the prophet, the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and the visions of Iddo the seer" (2Ch 9:29). For the time of Rehoboam, " the words of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies" (2Ch 12:15). For the time of Abijah, " the story (מַדרָשּׁ) of the prophet Iddo" (2Ch 13:22). For the time of Jehoshaphat," the words of Jehu, the son of Hanani" (2Ch 20:34). For the time of Uzziah, "the writings of Isaiah the prophet" (2Ch 26:22). For the time of Hezekiah, " the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz" (2Ch 32:32). For the time of Manasseh, a book called " the sayings of the seers," as the A.V., following the Sept., Vulg., Kimchi, etc., rightly renders the passage, in accordance with ver. 18 (2Ch 33:19), though others, following the grammar too servilely, make Chozai a proper name, because of the absence of the article. For the time of Jeroboam II, a prophecy of " Jonah, the son of Amittai the prophet, of Gath-hepher," is cited (2Ki 14:25); and it seems likely that there were books containing special histories of the acts of Elijah and Elisha, seeing that the times of these prophets are described with such copiousness. Of the latter Gehazi might well have been the author, to judge from 2Ki 8:4-5, as Elisha himself might have been of the former. Possibly, too, the prophecies of Azariah, the son of Oded, in Asa's reign (2Ch 15:1), and of Hanani (2Ch 16:7) (unless this latter is the same as Jehu, son of HIanani, as Oded is put for Azariah in 15:8), and Micaiah, the son of Imlah, in Ahab's reign; and Eliezer, the son of Dodavah, in Jehoshaphat's; and Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, in Jehoash's; and Oded, in Pekah's; and Zechariah, in Uzziah's reign; of the prophetess Huldah, in Josiah's, and others, may have been preserved in writing, some or all of them. These works, or at least many of them, must have been extant at the time when the books of Kings were compiled, as they certainly were extant much later when the books of Chronicles were put together by Ezra. But whether the author used them all, or only those duplicate portions of them which were embodied in the national chronicles, it is impossible to say, seeing he quotes none of them by name except the acts of Solomon and the prophecy of Jonah. On the other hand, we cannot infer from his silence that these books were unused by him, seeing that neither does he quote by name the Vision of Isaiah as the chronicler does, though he must, from its recent date, have been familiar with it, and seeing that so many parts of his narrative have every appearance of being extracted from these books of the prophets, and contain narratives which it is not likely would have found a place in the chronicles of the kings. See 1Ki 14:4, etc.; 16:1, etc., 11; 2 Kings 17, etc.
With regard to the work so often cited in the Chronicles as " the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah" (1Ch 9:1; 2Ch 16:11; 2Ch 27:7; 2Ch 28:26; 2Ch 32:32; 2Ch 35:27; 2Ch 36:8), it has been thought by some that it was a separate collection containing the joint histories of the two kingdoms; by others, that it is our books of Kings which answer to this description; but by Eichhorm, that it is the same as the Chronicles of the kings of Judah so constantly cited in the books of Kings; and this last opinion seems to be the best founded. For in 2Ch 16:11, the same book is called " the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel," which in the parallel passage, 1Ki 15:23; is called " the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Judah." So, again, 2Ch 27:7, comp. with 2Ki 15:36; 2Ch 28:26, comp. with 2Ki 16:19; 2Ch 32:32, comp. with 2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 35:27, with 2Ki 23:28; 2Ch 36:8, with 2Ki 24:5. Moreover, the book so quoted refers exclusively to the affairs of Judah; and even in the one passage where reference is made to it as "the Book of the Kings of Israel" (2Ch 20:34), it is for the reign of Jehoshaphat that it is cited. Obviously, therefore, it is the same work which is elsewhere described as the Chronicles of Israel and Judah, and of Judah and Israel. Nor is this an unreasonable title to give to these chronicles. Saul, David, Solomon, and in some sense Hezekiah (2Ch 30:1,5-6), and all his successors, were kings of Israel as well as of Judah, and therefore it is very conceivable that in Ezra's time the chronicles of Judah should have acquired the name of the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. Even with regard to a portion of Israel in the days of Rehoboam, the chronicler remarks, apparently as a matter of gratulation, that "Rehoboam reigned over them" (2Ch 10:17); he notices Abijah's authority in portions of the Israelitish territory (2Ch 13:18-19; 2Ch 15:8-9); he not unfrequently speaks of Israel, when the kingdom of Judah is the matter in hand (as 2Ch 12:1; 2Ch 21:4; 2Ch 23:2, etc.), anti even calls Jehoshaphat " king of' Israel" (2Ch 21:2), and distilnguishes '"Israel and Judah" from "Ephraim and Manasseh" (30:1); he notices Hezekiah's authority from Dan to Beersheba (2Ch 30:5), and Josiah's destruction of idols throughout all the land of Israel (34:6-9), and his Passover for all Israel (35:17,18), and seems to parade the title "king of Israel" in connection with David and Solomon (35:3, 4), and the relation of the Levites to " all Israel" (ver. 3); and therefore it is only in accordance with the feeling displayed in such passages that the name, " the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah," should be given to the chronicles of the Jewish kingdom. The use of this term in speaking of the " kings of Israel and Judah who were carried away to Babylon for their transgression" (1Ch 9:1) would be conclusive if the construction of the sentence were certain. But though it is absurd to separate the words " and Judah" from Israel, as Bertheau does (Curzgef Exeg. Handb.), following the Masoretic punctuation, seeing that the " Book of the Kings of Israel and Judath" is cited in at least six other places in Chronicles, still it is possible that Israel and Judah might be the antecedent to the pronoun understood before הָגלוּ. It seems, however, mulch more likely that the antecedent to אֲשֶׁר is מִלכֵי יש8 ויה8. 0n the whole, therefore, there is no evidence of the existence in the time of the chronicler of a history, since lost, of the two kingdoms, nor are the books of Kings the work so quoted by the chronicler, seeing he often refers to it for "the rest of the acts" of Kings, when he has already given all that is contained in our books of Kings. He refers, therefore, to the chronicles of Judah.
From the above authentic sources, then, was compiled the history in the books under consideration. Judging from the facts that we have in 2Ki 17; 2Ki 19; 2Ki 20 the history of Hezekiah in the very words of Isaiah, 36-39; that, as stated above, we have several passages from Jeremiah in duplicate in 2 Kings, and the whole of Jeremiah 52 in 2Ki 24:18, etc., 25; that so large a portion of the books of Kings is repeated in the books of Chronicles, though the writer of Chronicles had the original Chronicles also before him, as well as from the whole internal character of the narrative, and even some of the blemishes referred to under the second head-we may conclude with certainty that we have in the books of Kings, not only in the main the history faithfully preserved to us from the ancient chronicles but most frequently whole passages transferred verbatim into them. Occasionally, no doubt, we have the compiler's own comments, or reflections thrown in. as at 2Ki 21:10-16; 2Ki 17:10-15; 2Ki 13:23; 2Ki 17:7-41, etc. We connect the insertion of the prophecy in 1 Kings 13 with the fact that the compiler himself was an eye-witness of the fulfilment of it. and can even see how the words ascribed to the old prophet are of the age of the compiler. We can perhaps see his hand in the frequent repetition, on the review of each reign, of the remark," The high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burnt incense on the high places" (1Ki 22:43; 2Ki 12:3; 2Ki 14:4; 2Ki 15:4,35; comp. 1Ki 3:3), and in the repeated observation that such and such things, as the staves by which the ark was borne, the revolt of the ten tribes, the rebellion of Edom, etc., continue " unto this day," though it may be perhaps doubted in some cases whether these words were not in the old chronicle (2Ch 5:9). See 1Ki 8:8; 1Ki 9:13; 1Ki 21; 1Ki 10:12; 1Ki 12:19; 2Ki 2:22; 2Ki 8:22; 2Ki 10:27; 2Ki 13:23; 2Ki 14:7; 2Ki 16:6; 2Ki 17:23,34,41; 2Ki 23:25. It is remarkable, however, that in no instance does the use of this phrase lead us to suppose that it was penned after the destruction of the Temple: in several of the above instances the phrase necessarily supposes that the Temple and the kingdom of Judah were still standing. If the phrase, then, is the compiler's, it proves him to have written before the Babylonian captivity; if it was a part of the chronicle he was quoting, it shows how exactly he transferred its contents to his own pages.
IX. Author and Date. — The authorship and age of this historical treatise may admit of several suppositions. Whatever were the original sources, the books are evidently the composition of one writer. The style is generally uniform throughout (Dr.Davidson, in Horne's Introd., new edit., ii, 666 sq.). The same forms of expression are used to denote the same thing, e.g. the male sex (1Ki 14:10, etc.) ; the death of a king (1Ki 11:43, etc.); modes of allusion to the law (1Ki 11:13); fidelity to Jehovah (1Ki 8:63, etc.; see De Wette, Eizleit. § 184, a; Hivernick, Einleit. § 171). Similar idioms are ever recurring, so as to produce a uniformity of style (Hivcrnick, i. c.). See § ii, above.
1. With regard to the time when the author lived and wrote there are the following arguments:
(1.) The style and diction indicate the later age of the Hebrew language, but not the latest. Attempts to prove a more modern date than the middle of the captivity have signally failed. Nearly all the words which De Wette and others have selected (see § 5, above) are shown- to have been in use, either by the prophets who flourished before the captivity and at its commencement, or by still earlier writers; but words and phrases abound which were in common use by the writers of the concluding period of the kingdom of Judah, who did not go into captivity, especially by Isaiah and Jeremiah. In this respect there is a manifest difference between Kings and Chronicles. Though neither work is free from Chaldaic forms, they are rare in Kings, but numerous in Chronicles. Their occurrence at all in Kings is sufficiently accounted for from the contiguity of Judah to Syria, and from the frequent intercourse with Assyria which commerce and war involved.
(2.) With the evidence which the language affords, the internal evidence of the contents agrees. The history is carried down to the captivity in detail; and, by way of supplement, to the reign of Evil-merodach, king of Babylon. The closing verse implies that the writer survived Jehoiachin, but gives no hint whatever of the termination of the captivity, which he surely would have done had he written after the return from Babylon. We may therefore safely conclude that the work was composed before the end of the captivity, but after the , twenty-sixth year of its continuance.
2. Calmet ascribes the authorship to Ezra; but there are no decided indications of his authorship, and the names Zif and Bul (1Ki 6:1,37-38) were not in use after the captivity. The general opinion, however, that Jeremiah was the author is adopted by Grotius, Carpzov, and others, and is lately revindicated by IHaverInick, as also by Graf (De libror. Sram. et Reguum comnositione, p. 61 sq.), but is opposed by Keil, Davidson, asnd others. In favor of it are the following strong arguments:
(1.) The work is attributed to Jeremiah by ancient tradition. There is a reference to Jeremiah as the author in the Talmud (Baban Bathra, fol. 15, 1), and with this notice the common opinion of the Jews agrees.
(2.) The style and language of Kings resemble those of the acknowledged writings of Jeremiah. In both works there is an unusual number of ἃπαξ λεγόμενα; and also of words peculiar to each work, though used more than once. What is still more to the purpose, there are words and forms of words used in both works, but in them only; as, בִּקבּוּק, a "cruse" (1Ki 14:3, and Jer 19:1,10); יָגִב, a "husbandman" (2Ki 25:12; Jer 52:16; and יגֵבַים, Jer 39:10); חָבָה, to "hide," used in Niphal only in Kings (1Ki 22:25; 2Ki 7:12) and in Jeremiah (Jer 49:10); עָוִר, to "blind," used in the sense of putting out the eyes only in 2Ki 25:7, and Jer 39:7; Jer 52:11, etc. See § V above.
(3.) The habit of referring to the Pentateuch, pointed out as characteristic of the books of Kings, is equally so of Jeremiah; and this habit in both is thought to be accounted for on the ground of the discovered copy of the law in the days of Josiah, in which Jeremiah took great interest, traces of which are discoverable in Jer 11:3-5 (De 27:26); 32:18-21 (Ex 20:6; Ex 6:6); 34:14 (De 15:12). The same general spirit of solemnity, the same modes of thought and illustration, and the same political principles, are thought to mark the two works.
(4.) Some portions of Kings and of Jeremiah are almost identical, particularly 2Ki 24:18-2 Kings 25, and Jeremiah 52. The two passages are so much alike, though differing in some respects, as to appear like two narrations of the same event by the same person, in each of which some points are related with more fulness than in the other, for some particular purpose. Parts of this narrative are also contained in nearly the same words in Jer 39:1-10; Jer 40:7-41:10.
(5.) The impression produced on the reader is that the writer of Kings was not taken away into captivity either in the days of Jehoiachin or of Zedekiah, as the writer of Chronicles appears to have been; and this circumstance agrees with the supposition that Jeremiah was the writer. We know that, after being carried away as far as Ramah with the captives from Jerusalem, he was set free, and permitted to return to his own land with Gedaliah. He was afterwards taken away to Tahpanhes, in Egypt, where we obtain the last certain view of him. Besides this, many other points of agreement, more or less striking, present themselves to the careful reader- the book of Jeremiah serving more than any other part of Scripture to illustrate and explain the contemporaneous portions of the Kings, and the events recorded in Kings serving as a key to many portions of the prophet. In this way a number of undesigned coincidences appear between the supposed and the acknowledged writings of Jeremiah, as the following:
2Ki 25:1-3, comp. with Jer 38:1-9. 2Ki 25:11-12,18-21, " Jer 39:10-14; Jer 40:1-5. 2Ki 24:13, " Jer 27:11-20; Jer 28:3-6. 2Ki 24:14, " Jer 24:1. 2Ki 22:20: " Jer 7:15; Jer 15:4; Jer 19:3.
(6.) The absence of all mention of Jeremiah in the history, although he was so prominently active in the four or five last reigns, both in the court and among the people, is only explicable on the supposition that Jeremiah was himself the writer. Had it been the work of another, he must, as in Chronicles, have had very distinct mention.
(7.) The events singled out for mention in the concise narrative are precisely those of which Jeremiah had personal knowledge, and in which he took special interest. The famine in 2Ki 25:3 was one which had nearly cost Jeremiah his life (Jer 38:9). The capture of the city, the flight and capture of Zedekiah, the judgment and punishment of Zedekiah and his sons at Riblah, are related in 2Ki 25:1-7, in almost the identical words which we read in Jer 39:1-7. So are the breaking down and burning of the Temple, the king's palace, and the houses of the great men, the deportation to Babylon of the fugitives and the surviving inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judaea. The intimate knowledge of what Nebuzar-adan did, both in respect to those selected for capital punishment and those carried away captive, and those poor whom he left in the land, displayed by the writer of 2Ki 25:11-12,18-21, is fully explained by Jer 39:10-14; Jer 40:1-5, where we read that Jeremiah was actually one of the captives who followed Nebuzar-adan as far as Ramah, and was very kindly treated by him. The careful enumeration of the pillars and of the sacred vessels of the Temple which were plundered by the Chaldaeans tallies exactly with the prediction of Jeremiah concerning them (Jer 27:19-22). The paragraph concerning the appointment of Gedaliah as governor of the remnant, and his murder by Ishmael, and the flight of the Jews into Egypt, is merely an abridged account of what Jeremiah tells us more fully (Jer 40:1-43:7), and are events in which personally he was deeply concerned. The writer in Kings has nothing more to tell us concerning the Jews or Chaldees in the land of Judah, which exactly agrees with the hypothesis that he is Jeremiah, who we know was carried down to Egypt with the fugitives. In fact, the date of the writing and the position of the writer seem as clearly marked by the termination of the narrative at 5:26, as in the case of the Acts of the Apostles. It may be added, though the argument is of less weight, that the annexation of this chapter to the writings of Jeremiah so as to form Jeremiah lii (with the additional clause contained in vs. 28-30) ib an evidence of a very ancient, if not a contemporary belief, that Jeremiah was the author of it. Again, the special mention of Seraiah the high-priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, as slain by Nebuzar-adan (v, 18), together with three other priests, is very significant when taken in connection with Jer 21:1; Jer 29:25-29, passages which show that Zephaniah belonged to the faction which opposed the prophet, a faction which was headed by priests and false prophets (Jer 26:7-8,11,16). Going back to the 24th chapter, we find in verse 14 an enumeration of the captives taken with Jehoiachin identical with that in Jer 24:1; in verse 13 a reference to the vessels of the Temple precisely similar to that in Jer 27:18-20; Jer 28:3,6, and in verse 3, 4, a reference to the idolatries and bloodshed of Manasseh very similar to those in Jer 2:34; Jer 19:4-8, etc., a reference which also connects chap. 24 with 21:6,13-16. In verse 2 the enumeration of the hostile nations, and the reference to the prophets of God, point directly to Jer 25:9,20-21, and the reference to Pharaoh-necho in verse 7 points to verse 19, and to Jer 46:1-12. Brief as the narrative is, it brings out all the chief points in the political events of the time which we know were much in Jeremiah's mind; and yet, which is exceedingly remarkable, Jeremiah is never once named (as he is in 2Ch 36:12,21), although the manner of the writer is frequently to connect the sufferings of Judah with their sins and their neglect of the Word of God (2Ki 17:13 sq.; 24:2, 3, etc.). This leads to another striking coincidence between that portion of the history which belongs to Jeremiah's times and the writings of Jeremiah himself. De Wette speaks of the superficial character of the history of Jeremiah's times as hostile to the theory of Jeremiah's authorship. Now, considering the nature of these annals, and their conciseness, this criticism seems very unfounded as regards the reigns of Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. It must, however, be acknowledged that, as regards Jehoiakim's reign, and especially the latter part of it, and the way in which he came by his death, the narrative is much more meagre than one would have expected from a contemporary writer living on the spot. But exactly the same paucity of information is found in those otherwise copious notices of contemporary events with which Jeremiah's prophecies are interspersed. Let any one open, e.g. Townsend's Arrangement or Geneste's Parallel Histories, and he will see at a glance how remarkably little light Jeremiah's narrative or prophecies throw upon the latter part of Jehoiakim's reign. The cause of this silence may be difficult to assign, but, whatever it was, whether absence from Jerusalem, possibly on the mission described in Jeremiah 13, or imprisonment, or any other impediment, it operated equally on Jeremiah and on the writer of 2 Kings xxiv. When it is borne in mind that the writer of 2 Kings was a contemporary writer, and, if not Jeremiah, must have had independent means of information, this coincidence will have great weight.
It has been argued on the other side
(1.) That the concluding portion of the book of Kings could hardly have been written by Jeremiah, unless we suppose him to have written it when he was between eighty and ninety years old. To this it may be replied that the last four verses, relative to Jehoiachin, are equally a supplement, whether added by the author or by some later hand. There is nothing impossible in the supposition of Jeremiah having survived till the thirty- seventh year of Jehoiachin's captivity, though he would have been between eighty and ninety. There is something touching in the idea of this gleam of joy having reached the prophet in his old age, and of his having added these few words to his long-finished history of his nation (see Havernick, Ueber Daniel, p. 14).
(2.) That the resemblance of style and diction may be accounted for on the supposition of Jeremiah's familiarity with the ancient records to which the writer of Kings had access, while the similarity of 2Ki 24:1-18, etc., and Jeremiah 39, might arise from the writer of Kings using that portion of Jeremiah's work. The identity of Jeremiah 52 with the same portion of Kings is probably owing to its being an altered extract from Kings, appended as a supplement to Jeremiah by some later hand. Neither of the suppositions, however, seriously militates against the general authorship of Jeremiah as to the book of Kings. SEE JEREMIAH.
X. Place of these Books in the Canon, and References to them in the New Testament. — Their canonical authority having never been disputed, it is needless to bring forward the testimonies to their authenticity which may be found in Josephus, Eusebius, Jerome, Augustine, etc., or in Bp. Cosin, or any other modern work on the Canon of Scripture. SEE CANON. They are reckoned, as has already been noticed, among the Prophets, in the threefold division of the Holy Scriptures; a position in accordance with the supposition that they were compiled by Jeremiah, and contain the narratives of the different prophets in succession. They are frequently cited by our Lord and by the apostles. Thus the allusions to Solomon's glory (Mt 6:29); to the queen of Sheba's visit to Solomon to hear his wisdom (12:42); to the Temple (Ac 7:47-48); to the great drought in the days of Elijah, and the widow of Sarepta (Lu 4:25-26); to the cleansing of Naaman the Syrian (ver. 27); to the charge of Elisha to Gehazi (2Ki 4:29, comp. with Lu 10:4) ; to the dress of Elijah (Mr 1:6, comp. with 2Ki 1:8); to the complaint of Elijah, and God's answer to him (Ro 11:3-4); to the raising of the Shunammite's son from the dead (Heb 11:35); to the giving and withholding of the rain in answer to Elijah's prayer (Jas 5:17-18; Re 11:6); to Jezebel (Re 2:20)are all derived from the books of Kings, and, with the statement of Elijah's presence at the Transfiguration, are a striking testimony to their value for the purpose of religious teaching, and to their authenticity as a portion of the Word of God.
On the whole, then, in this portion of the history of the Israelitish people to which the name of the Books of Kings has been given, we have (if we except those errors in numbers which are either later additions to the original work, or accidental corruptions of the text) a most important and accurate account of that people during upwards of four hundred years of their national existence, delivered for the most part by contemporary writers, and guaranteed by the authority of one of the most eminent of the Jewish prophets. Considering the conciseness of the narrative and the simplicity of the style, the amount of knowledge which these books convey of the characters. conduct, and manners of kings and people during so long a period is truly wonderful. The insight they give us into the aspect of Judah and Jerusalem, both natural and artificial, into the religious, military, and civil institutions of the people, their arts and manufactures, the state of education and learning among them, their resources, commerce, exploits, alliances, the causes of their decadence, and, finally, of their ruin, is most clear, interesting, and instructive. In a few brief sentences we acquire more accurate knowledge of' the affairs of Egypt, Tyre, Syria, Assyria, Babylon, and other neighboring nations, than had been preserved to us in all the other remains of antiquity up to the recent discoveries in hieroglyphical and cuneiform monuments. The synchronisms with these, if they create some difficulties, yet furnish the only real basis for dates of these contemporaneous powers; and if we are content to read accurate and truthful history, substantially with an exact though intricate net-work of chronology, then we shall assuredly find it will abundantly repay the most laborious study which we can bestow upon it.
But it is for their deep religious teaching, and for the insight which they give us into God's providential and moral government of the world, that these books are above all valuable. Books which describe the wisdom and the glory of Solomon, and yet record his fall; which make us acquainted with the painful ministry of Elijah, and his translation into heaven; and which tell us how the most magnificent temple ever built for God's-glory, and of which he vouchsafed to take possession by a visible symbol of his presence, was consigned to the flames and to desolation for the sins of those who worshipped in it, read us such lessons concerning both God and man as are the best evidence of their divine origin, and make them the richest treasure to every Christian man.
XI. Commentaries. — The following are the exegetical helps specially on the two books of Kings, to the most important of which we prefix an asterisk: Ephraem Syrus, Explanatio (in Syriac, in his Opp. 4:439); Theodoret, Qutstiones (in Greek, in his Opp. i, edit. Halle, 1769); Procopius of Gaza, Scholia- [including Chronicles] (from Theodoret, edit. Meursius, Lugd. Bat. 1620, 4to); Eucherius [falsely attributed to him], Commentarii (in the Max. Bibl. Vet. Patr. 6:965 sq.); Rashi [i.e. Rab. Sol. Jarchi], Commentarius [Joshua-Kings] (trans. by Breithaupt, Gotha, 1714, 4to); Bafolas, פֵּרוּשּׁ [Joshua-Kings] (with Kimchi's Commentary, Seira, 1494, folio; and in the Rabbinical Bibles); Alscheich, מִראוֹת, etc. [Joshua- Kings] (Venice, 1601, fol., and later); Bugenhagen, Adptationes (Basil. 1525, 8vo); Weller, Commentarius (Francof. 1557, Norib. 1560, fol.); Borrhaus, Commentarius [Joshua-Kings] (Basil. 1557, folio); Sarcer, Commentarius (Lips. 1559, 8vo); Martyr, Commentarius (Tigur. 1666,1581, Heidelb. 1599, fol.); Strigel, Commentarius [Samuel- Chronicles] (Lips. 1583,1591, fol.); Serarius, Commentaria [Joshua- Chronicles] (Mogunt. 1609, 1617, 2 vols. fol.); Leonhardt, Ilypomnenmta [Samuel -Chronicles] (Erfurt, 1608, 1614, 8vo; Lips. 1610, 4to); De Mendoza, Commentaria [including Samuel] (Lugd. 1622-1631,3 vols. fol.); Sanctius, Commentarii [Samuel-Chronicles] (Antwerp, 1624, Lugd. 1625, fol.); Crommius, Illustrationes [RuthChronicles] (Lovan. 1631,4to); De Vera, Commentaria [ includ. Samuel] (Limbe, 1335, fol.).; *Bonfrere, Commentaria [Samuel-Chronicles] (Tornaci, 1643, 2 vols. fol.; also with his other commentaries, Lugd. 1737); Caussinus, Dissertationes [includ. Samuel] (Par. 1650, fol.; Colon. 1652, 4to); *Schmidt, Adnotationes (Argent. 1697, 4to); Calmrct, Commentaire (Par. 1711, 4to); A Lapide, Commentarius [Joshua-Kings] (Antw. 1718, fol.); Brentano and Dcreser, Erklarung (F. a. MI. 1827, 8vo); Tanchur-Jerusalami, Commentarius [includ. Samuel] (from the Arabic, by Haarbrucker, Lips. 1844, 8vo);
*Keil, Commentar (Moskau, 1846, 8vo; tr. Edinb. 1857, 8vo, different from that in Keil and Delitzsch's Commentary); *Thenius, Erklarung (in the Kurzgef. Exeg. Hdbk. Lpz. 1849, 8vo); Schlisser, Einleitung in die Biicher der Konige (Halle, 1861,8vo). For monographs on particular passages, see Danz, Worterbuch, p. 555. SEE COMMENTARY.