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Understanding the bible - Essay Example

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Renowned as the most zealous of all the Lord’s prophet’s, Elijah’s meeting with the widow of Zarephthah called in the New Testament as Sarepta stands out as one of the milestones in the Old testament. Our Lord refers to it in the New Testament in Mark 4/25. The episode…
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Understanding the bible
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Download file to see previous pages The books of Kings were originally written by many people from the oral as well as the written traditions. In the written tradition, we should also include the palace annals including the Book of the Acts of Solomon, the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel. An extended narrative called the Succession Narrative about David’s reign might have contributed heavily towards the first two chapter of the beginning of the book. The story of Elijah, as well as that of his disciple Elisha, was originally oral. The book must have taken its form mainly during the eighth century BC and late seventh century BC. The book of Kings may be considered to be a part of the Deuteronomical history, including books of Joshua, Judges and Samuel. This is because the style of writing followed in the book is mainly as that of Deuteronomy.
The book of kings is narrative, historiographical and didactical in nature. It tells the story, not the complete history and also tries to teach us its version of the Truth. The story gives importance on how and when such and such a monarch ruled, how he failed or succeeded in following the path of Israel [and Judah] as the chosen people of God, how they fought and won or faced defeat . The didacticism lies in reiterating that The Lord God of Israel is the only God and he controlled the weather, the whole of creation and history. The prophets describe the future before God brings it about. It is He and not the kings, or prophets or even the gods that the kings worship who is in control. This is the main theme of the two books of Kings (Coogan, Brettler, Newsom, & Pheme, 2007.).
Another repeating theme in the book is that the wrongdoer is always punished. The image of God here is that of a judge and crimes are always punished. Even though the judgment may get held up but in time, without repentance it gradually comes upon the sinner [I kings 21. 25-28.]
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