The Prophetic Stories in two stages:

I

A good deal of the narrative material, beginning in I Kings 17 and ending II Kings 15 is part of an independent composition by a northern author chronicling the miracles of two of the major prophets of the time Elijah and Elisha.

According to the stories, which can be quite easily isolated from the surrounding material, Elijah was a miracle worker who was active during the reign of Ahab the king of Israel. The focus of these narratives is Elijahís miracles, and they do not depict Ahab as the evil monarch par excellence (his evil ways are the focus of every other source chronicling his reign). The short episodes begin and end with Elijah promising that rain would only come when God wished it. In the interim he saves his benefactor by providing her food and saving her sonís life.

The second part of the prophetic stories focuses on Elisha, a miracle worker active in the days of an unnamed Israelite king active militarily among the Arameans and the Israelites. He cures Naaman the Aramean general, predicts the ascension of Hazael the king of Aram, and helps the Israelite king defeat the Arameans.

The reason it is quite easy to isolate these stories is that they are short coherent episodes which depict the miracle worker as acting independently of god without resort to prayer or prophetic  pronouncements. More strikingly, their depiction of the Israelite kings are not negative, as in all later material. Since these short narratives do not try to defend the monarchs either, it is a sound assumption that they are the earliest material one can isolate in the Book of Kings.

II

These two short bodies of stories were expanded by at least one subsequent author with a very different theological agenda. His first order of business was to make the two bodies more similar and to connect between them. With this in mind Elisha becomes Elijahís apprentice, and stories are added to both sections of the prophetic narratives which serve to make the prophets into similar figures. According to this source both Elijah and Elisha are involved in an ongoing struggle against Baal worship in Israel propagated by the evil house of Ahab and his wife Jezebel. Both Elijah and Elisha are transformed into Mosaic authority figures - Elijah makes a trek to mount Sinai, and Elisha splits the Jordan. The struggle culminates in the appointment of Jehu as king, and the extermination of Ahab and all Baal worshippers from Israel.

III

Following this anti Baal Crusader transformation of these prophetic narratives, D2 uses it as his main source of information regarding the Northern Kingdom of Israel, adding it to his short chronological outlines of the reign of the Northern kings and D1ís history of the Judean monarchy.

 
 
Source Divisions by Tzemah Yoreh, 2010. All rights reserved.
For Questions, Comments and Suggestions Please email: biblecriticism@gmail.com
 
 
Source Divisions by Tzemah Yoreh, 2010. All rights reserved.
For Questions, Comments and Suggestions Please email: biblecriticism@gmail.com
 
 
For Questions, Comments and Suggestions Please email: biblecriticism@gmail.com