At the Hands of Foreign Kings: Divine Endorsement of Foreign Rulers in the Hebrew Bible in the Memory of Persian and Hellenistic Yehud
Leadership, Social Memory and Judean Discourse in the Fifth - Second Centuries BCE - Diana V. Edelman
Thomas Bolin [+]
St. Norbert College
Biblical texts from the Persian and Hellenistic periods view Yahweh's attitude toward foreign kings to be, on the one hand, a continuation of pre-exilic texts' portrayal of these kings as tools used by Yahweh to punish the disobedient Israelites and Judeans. Social memories also shape traditions to remove any ambiguity about the role of Yahweh in Israel's dealing with foreign kings. So the death of Josiah in 2 Chronicles is expanded to resolve the ambiguity of his death at the hands of Necho in 2 Kings, At the same time, post-exilic texts use traditional fol tale types to portray foreign kings as pawns of Yahweh, most notably in the depiction of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel.