According to the Bible, among the last kings of the kingdom of Judah was one of the most notorious kings-Manasseh-and one of the most righteous-Josiah. Are the accounts of their contrasting reigns anything more than the ideological creations of pious writers and editors? Does this juxtaposition of a 'good king' and a 'bad king' provide good historical information or only theological wishful thinking? This carefully compiled volume assesses the history of Judah in the seventh century BCE covering history and archaeology from Sennacherib to Nebuchadnezzar.Several examine the reign of Josiah, questioning the nature of his famous cult reform, and even its historicity. Others present new insights into the portrayal of Manasseh and address the question of whether his reign is ripe for re-evaluation. With contributions from internationally known scholars such as Rainer Albertz, Philip Davies, Ernst Axel Knauf, this incisive collection presents an illuminating view of the depictions of kindship in the Hebrew Bible. "A very helpful volume that delivers a candid shot of the debate on the history of seventh century BCE.
Of keen interest not only for commentators on the book of Deuteronomy but also for those working on a literary history of the Pentateuch or a history of a Yahweh religion." - Eckhart Otto, University of Munich, Germany.
Lester L. Grabbe, MA(Pasadena), PhD(Claremont), DD(Hull), is Professor Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism at the University of Hull, UK.