Converting the Past
Klaas A.D. Smelik
This book contains partly sections that have never previously been published, and partly earlier contributions that have been thoroughly revised. They are concerned with the use of texts from the Hebrew Bible for historical research. The first chapter offers a general introduction, in which a new method of establishing the historical value of biblical texts is described and elucidated. The second chapter concerns the Ark Narrative (I Sam. iv-vi; II Sam. vi) in its historical context. In the third chapter, the relationship between the literary structure and the historical value of the Moabite inscription of king Mesha is investigated. In the fourth chapter, problems relating to the Hezekiah narratives (Isa. xxxvi-xxxix; II Kings xviii-xx) are discussed, to wit, the primacy of the Isaiah version, the literary unity and historicity of the story; the theological purpose of the speeches and Sennacherib's letter. The last chapter focuses on the representation of king Manasseh in II Kings xxi and II Chronicles xxxiii.