Kings I and II: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Books of Kings 9781472556226, 9780567050069

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Kings I and II: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Books of Kings
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PREFACE With Alice Through the Looking-Glass, " Tlle time has come," the Walrus said. " To talk of many things ; Of shoes-and s h i p s a n d sealing-waxOf cabbages-and kings."

Our book is of like category on the human side, from ships ' and ' seals ' and ' the hyssop that grows on the wall ' to ' kicgs ' arid queens, as well as ordinary folk. But the collection is inspired and dominated by the belief in a unity, which gives the clue to the seemingly crazy checkerboard pattern of human history. I t is a t once a book ' of the ways of God ' and ' of men.' Hence the extent and variety of subjectmatter involved in the following composition, which has gone beyond the bounds of the normal Commentary of the day. In English the last extensive Commentary on Kings is that of G. liawlinson in 1873, largely inspired by the fresh archaological discoveries in Egypt and Mesopotamia ; in German, the too little known but admirable work of the Catholic scholar, A. Sanda, of over a thousand pages, now almost thirty years old. Current interest has lain naturally in the more religiously inspiring books of the Iiebrew Bible, the Prophets and the Poets, or critically in the still vexed Pentateuchal problems, or those of many of the Prophetical books. hlany notable current histories indeed have included the materials of our book, as a source of history, yet only with indirect display of its character. But the equally divine and human aspect of this book, the compilation of which was inspired by the belief in the God of a people who is also God of human history, deserves attention as part of the catena of the earliest surviving attempt a t history in the large sense of the word, and that coming from a politically insignificant people, but unique among the ancients in its sense of a universal Providence, tending mistily to " One far-off divine event, To which the whole creation moves." In reviewing his work, the writer recognizes its limitations, vii

MODERN BIBLE TRANSLATIONS ESGLISH King James Bible (' Authorized Version '), 1611, current text [ A m . Revised Version, 1885 [RV]. American Revised Version (' Standard Version '), 1901 [RVAm]. The Holy Scriptures, Jewish Publ. Soc. of America, 1917 [JV]. The Holy Bible . . . a New Translation, by James Moffatt, New York, 1922 [Moff.]. The Bible, an American Translalion, O . T . ed. J . M. P. Smith Ki. tr. by L. Waterman ; Chicago, 1931 [Chic. B.]. FRENCH Ed. by J. E. Ostervald, ed. 3, Bienne and Neuchatel, r771 [FV]. GERMAN Luther's tr., current text [GV]. LATIN O.T. by E. Tremellius and I?. Junius, N.T. by T. Beza, Ziirich, 1673. In this book the chapter divisions and verse-numberings are those of JV, which follows the system of all Hebrew prints. The variations of numbering are given in the margin of the RVV.

CHRONOLOGY See Int., $16.

CARTOGRAPHY I n addition to the Palestine Exploration Fund Map of Western Palestine (1882). and the P E F Map of Palestine (1898), the Department of Lands and Surveys of Palestine has now published 14 sheets of Palestine, west of the Jordan, stretching northward from Beersheba to the Syrian frontier. The Palestine Survey has published a convenient folding poclcet map, Palestine of tho O.T. (print of 1938). In addition are to be noted the maps in G. A. Smith, HG, and his Historical Atlas of the Holy Land (ed. 2, 1936). and the rich collection in Abel, G P ; cf. also the ' Map of the Principal Excavated Sites of Palestine,' PEQ 1932, opp. 220. For Syria there are the detailed maps in Dussaud, TH. N.b. the very useful ' Baedekers ' for these lands. For the Bible Lands a t arge are to be noted Guthe's Bibelatlas, ed. 2, Leipzig, 1926, the map in the National Geographic Magazine, Dec. 1938, the Maps of Bible Lands published by the American Bible Society for inclusion in its edition of the Bible, edited by J. 0. Boyd and W. F. Albright, 1939, and the maps in T h e Westminster Historical Atlas to fhe Bible, edited by G. E. Wright and F. V. Filson, Philadelphia, 1945.

INSCRIPTIONS, EPIGRAPHS, ETC., COMMONLY CITED PALESTINE The Moabite Stone (hIesha stele) : see Con~m.,11. 3&*.,n. I. The Siloam inscription : see Comm., 11. 2oZ0. The tablet material : see Diringer, I A E , Torczyner's volumes. PHCENICIA Byblos Ahiram inscr. : Dussaud, Syria, 1924, 135 ff. ; Torrey, J A O S 46 (19261, 237 ff. Yehaurnilk : C I S I, no. I ; f I N E 416 ; N S I no. 3 ; A T no. 5 . Sidon Tabnith inscr. : H N E 417 ; N S I no. 4 ; A T no. 6. Eshmunazar inscr. : C I S I, no. 3 ; H N E 417 ; N S I no. 5 ; AT no. 7. SYRIA Afig (near Aleppo) Zakar inscr. : Pognon, Inscr. sdm., no. 86 ; Efih., 3, I ff. ; C A H 3, 375 ; -4 T B I, 443. Senjirli The Hadad, Panammuwa, Bar-Rkb inscriptions : Atisgvabungen in Sendschivli, vol. I, parts 3, 4 ; H N E 440 ff. ; N S I nos. 61-63. Kilammuwa inscr. : Ausgrabzrngen in Sendschivli, vol. 4, 374 ; E. Littmann, Sb., Berlin Academy, 45 ( I ~ I I )976 , ; Eph., 3, 218 ; Torrey, J A O S 1935, 364 Siljin (Sefireh) : see Comm., I. 18, n. I . Ugarit (Ras Shamra) : the texts published by C. Virolleaud, in Syria, rgzg seq., and subsequent vols., Danel, Keret, 1936 and in Rev. d'Ass., 1940-41. Compendia with introductions, glossaries, etc. : Montgomery and Harris, R S M T 1935 ; H. L. Ginsberg, T h e Ugarit Texts (in Hebrew), Jerusalem, 1936; H. Bauer, Die alphabetischen Keilschvijttente von R a s Schamra, 1936 ; D. Nielsen, Ras Samva Afyfhologie u . biblische Theologie, Abh. xxi, 4 (1936) of the Deutsche Morgenl. Gesellschaft; C. F. A. Schaeffer, The Cuneiform Texts of Ras Shamra-Ugaril, Schweich Lectures (1939)~ and Ugaritaca (Paris, 1939)~a full bibliography ; C. H. Gordon, Ugavitic Grammar, Rome, 1940. In the meanwhile Prof. Gordon has published a more extensive work, Ugaritic Handbook : I. Revised Grammar, Paradigms : 11. Texts in Transliteration ; 111. Comprehensive Glossary, lcornc, 1947, xl1

KEY T O -ABBREVIATIONS Omitted are abbreviations for Biblical books, grammatical and commonplace abbreviatio~s. A A S O R : Annual of American A T L A O : see Jeremias. A T R : Anglican Theological ReSchools of Oriental Research. view. A B : see Barton. AV : Authorized Version. Abh. : Abhandlung(en). Acta Or. : Acta Orientalia. AfO : Archiv fiir Orientforschung. Bat). : Babylonian. ,4fR : Archiv fiir Religionswisqen- B A : Biblical Arch~ologist. schaft. BASOR : Bulletin of American AHNE : see R. H. Hall. Schools of Oriental Research. A H R : American Ilistorical Re- BDB : see Brown-Driver-Briggs. view. HDD : Bible Dictionaries. A J A : American Journal of PJenz. : Benzinger. Arch~olo~y. Bergstr. : Bergstrasser. A J S L : American Jour1;al of BH : Kittel, BH3. Semitic 1,anguages and Litera- B J : Josephus, Bellum Judaicum. tures. BL : see Bauer-Leandcr. A J T : American Journal of The- BL : Biblisches Lexicon. ology. B R : see Galling. A K A T : see Jirku. Brock. : Brockelmann. Akk. : Akkadian. Burn. : Burney. Albr. : Albright. B W A (N)T : Beitrage zur WissenAnt. : Joscphus, Antiquities. schaft vom A.(u. N.)T. A 0 : der alte Orient. B Z A W :Beihefte to Z A W. Aq. : Aquila. A ~ :Asee Luckenbill. C A H : Cambridge Ancient History. Arab. : Arabic. C . A p . : Josephus, Contra ApioAram. : Aramaic. nem. Avch. : Archceology. Chic. B. : Chicago Bible. Arch. Ov. : Archiv Orientblnl. Chr.-Pal. : Christian-Palestinian A R E : see Breasted (dialect). Arm. : Armenian. CIOT : see Schrader. art(s.) : article(s). A R w : Archiv fiir Religions- C I S : Corpus inscriptionum Semiticarum. wissenschaft. Comm. : main text of this ComAss. : Assyrian. mentary. ast. : asterisk (Eusebian). comm. : commentator(s), conlA T : see Lidzbarski mcntary. -ies. A.T. : Altes Testament. C P : see Rogers. ATB : see Gressmann. xliii


SYMBOLS IN CRITICAL APPARATUS 14 : Arabic VS. & : Coptic VS. & : Ethiopic VS. : Old Greek (, Scptnagint ,,, QIL : the Lucianic Greek. Bn : the I-Iesaplnric Greek. @) : the Hebrew text. .%! : Old Latin texts.

: Masoretic apparatus of


the Occidental, Oriental forms respectively. B : Palestinian Aramaic. 9 : Syriac VS (Peshitta). BE: the Syro-Hexapla. & : Targum ; E L , de Lagarde's ed. ; pCw, Walton's ed. P : Vulgate. aOC,


The following symbols are also used :


indicates that all the cases in the Hebrew Bible are cited.

+ a critical plus.

Ij parallelism.

) etyrl?ological process toward.

< etymological process from. [ I in

the translation has hea,.in: on the text of p3 ; ( ) expresses an interpretative asterized plus in the IIexapla. 4 an obelized minus in the Hexrapla.




Kings is one of ' the Twenty-Four Books,' constituting the sacred canon of the Jews, and the fourth book of the Former Pr0phets.l I t is a continuation of the book of Samuel, but without clearly marked literary distinction. For the mechanical history of Sam.-Ki. must be postulated a series of rolls, which were divided for arbitrary convenience. In the Hebrew division Sam. and Ki. are of almost equal length, in B2rir's edition of respectively 91 and 93 pages. The Greek scribes with their smaller quires went further, and equally for convenience produced four volumes with the title, ai pnaiAriai, generally translated, ' The Kingdoms,' but Thackeray has observed (p. 363) that, following Hellenistic use, the Greek should be translated ' The Reigns.' There is variation as to the joint between Sam. and Ki. in the Greek texts, although there the major tradition followed the distinction of the Hebrew Bible. However, Lucian found another division, after I. 211, with the actual termination of David's reign, which for historiography might be preferred. And Josephus begins bk. viii of his Antiquities a t this point. But there is evidence for yet another division in the early Greek ; after I. 246a some supplementary material is collected, evidently assembled there a t the end of a tome (v. ad loc.). Indeed, after Hebrew syntax, a fresh section begins with the ensuing clause, " the kingdom being established in Solomon's hand." Cf. also remarks below on the literary ' break ' in the Greek in 420fl..a According to the Talmud, Baba Bathra, 15a, Jeremiah was the author of ' his own book and the book of Kings and Lamentations.' a Thackeray in his ' Greek Translators of the Four Books of Kings ' and in his Septuagint and Jewish Worship contends stoutly for Lucian's division between 2 and 3 Kgdms as original, also basing his argument

COMMENTARY I. 1-11. The regency and reign of Solomon. cf. Ant., viii, 1-7.



Ch. 1-9 ;

CC. I and 2 contiilue the intimate Court History of David, recorded in 2 Sam. 9-20 ; the initial conjunction expresses the c0nnexion.l As a piece of literature the section stands wholly apart from the rest of Ki., is sequel to the material peculiar to Sam. The story, although evidently written by an intimate of the court, and one sharing in the popular enthusiasm for the national hero David, is by no means a royal encomium, for the writer is possessed with the sense of the tragic motive that dominated the last years of the king, the darling of Israel. That tragedy began with the taking of his neighbour's wife, Bathsheba, and his foul murder of her husband, relieved only by his affection for the child of that union, whom God took away ; there follows in dire consequence his eldest son Amnon's outrage on his half-sister, the vengeance taken upon him by Absalom, and then the latter's revolt, relieved again by the father's bitter sorrow over the death of the unfilial son. And in the present sequel we read of the court cabal which desired to raise the presumptive heir-apparent to the regency, evidently a conspiracy against the favourite queen and her son Solomon, with the sequel in the death of Adonijah and the death or disgrace of the ancient ministers, Joab and Abiathar. As the tragedy 1 Summary reference for this Court History is made to the Commentaries on Sam. and the Introductions ; for the most recent analysis see Eissf., Kompusition der Samuelisbiicher (1931)) esp. pp. 48 ff. (cf. his Einl., 151 ff.), and for a recent discussion L. Waterman, " Some Historical and Literary Consequences of Probable Displacement in I Kings 1-2," JAOS 1940. 383 ff. The most elaborate treatment of the present section is that by L. Rost, Die UberIieferung von der Thronfolge Davids ( B W A N T 1926), insisting on its literary independence from the earlier narratives ; cf. Eissf.'~review, OLz., 1937, 657 ff. For the political background see W. Caspari, Thronbesteigungcn u. Thronfolge der israel. Kdnige (1917). 67

INDEXES I. SELECT VOCABULARY OF HEBREW WORDS AND PHRASES 378. 273. ax, 273. l l x , 244; cf. ltn. 15~11x,479, 506. i5niin, 479. 506. 21x, 522 ; 'db, 520. ~'EIW, 215. n'im, 463. tlW, 230. il'lW, 247. Bx, 335. kt'x, 291. 11233~.291. 9 % ~ 159. . In'x, 132. qw*%, 113-15, 118. a'pq5x, 552. puw*L, 569. n e n 5x, 425. IlDN, 522. *>w, 98. l l D X , 370. qon, 378. nnw, 132. IllK, roo. tinin, 290. m x , 289. XJWX (USna), 462. iwx, 98, 258, 504, 512, 568. 1')Vl h lW8, 413. niwx, 280. m,328. Achbor, 527. Adad-melek, 476. Adrammelek, 476, 498, 499. 'ci.2, 204 'AlZh, 196. Anammelek, 476. Asherah, 233, 268, 275, 300, 411, 469, 530. Ashima, 474-6. Ashlmat, 475. *3n, 13 'K

m2, 263. 1'2, 406. n ~ ~ zn93. i n 569. 5~952, 334. n1n2, 111.

Tim>, 512. Baal, 308. Baal-zebub, 349. Baladan, 509, 512. Bathsheba, 84. Beelzebnl, 349. Berodach-baladan, 509. Beth-El, 475, 476. Boaz, 170, 171. brr, 383. lnJ, 372. n5rS2, 456.

NU, 246. g2bbvdh. 267, 274. Gedaliahu Over-the-House, 566. -1,


111, 81. pwcii, 463. 291, 388. nam, 317. 113, 245, 280, 281. iin, 244, 280. m a , 456. la'n, 132. mui ctnn, apposition of thing and material, 463. nzi, 389. ail. 539. 7r11, 383. bt, 191, 192, 291. a'n nr, 272. riot, 289. iin, 124. an, 371, 372. mril, 138. m*, 527. 571


II. INDEX OF PLACES TREATED WITH ARCHEOLOGICAL COMMENT Hasor, 206, 207. Horeb, 313. Horses' Gate, 422.

Abel-beth-Maachah, 278. Adam, Adamah, 182. Aphek. 324. 328. Arubboth, 123. Awwa, 472. Baalath, 206. Baal-shalisha, 370. Ben-Hinnom, 532. Beth-eked, 409. Bethel, 257. Beth-haggan, 402. Beth-horon, 207. Beth-shean, 119. Beth-shemesh, 441.

Janoah, 451, 452. Jehoshaphat, Valley of, 530. Jericho, 287, 355. Jezreel, 330. Jibleam, 402. Job's Well, 73, 74. Kadytis, 537. Kebul (Cabul), 205, 213. Kedesh, 452. Kidron, 530, 531. king's garden, 562. Kinneroth, 278. Kir-hareseth, 363. Kir-heres, 363. Kue. 227, 459.

Carmel, 300. Cherith, 294. Corner Gate, 441. Dan, 278. David's City, go, 102. double-walls, 561, 562. Dragon Spring, 74. Elisha's Spring, 355. Eloth, 211, 212. En-rogel, 73. Entrance of Hamath, 200, 443. Ephraim Gate, 441. Esyon-geber, 211, 212, 270.



Kuthah* 472. Lachish, 442. Libnah, 396; cf. 398.

Maon, 239. Megiddo, 207, 226, 270, 511, 537. Midian, 246. Migdol, 537. Millo, 206, 243 ; cf. ~ 1 5 ~ 247. 3, Mispah, 276. Musri, 227, 228.

Gath. 430. 431. Gaza, 129. Gibeah, 276. Gibeon, 104. Gilgal, 353. Gozan, 467. Gur, 402. Habor, 467. Halah, 467. Hamath, 200, 443.

Netophah, 569. Ophir, 212.


Paran, 239. Penuel. 254. Pet=, 439,440.