The ten essays in this volume all deal with various aspects of the interpretation of the Book of Kings. The author tries to set a course between Scylla and Charibdis. Both ‘minimalism’ and ‘maximalism’ are avoided by trying to apply a variety of methods: narratology, historical criticism and theological analysis. This implies that extra-biblical evidence – the Tell Dan inscription, Assyrian royal inscriptions, West Semitic seal inscriptions – are taken into account.
Selected texts from this biblical book are read on the basis of a three-dimensional matrix: (1) the narrative character of the story/stories; (2) the value and function of extra-biblical material, be it of an epigraphical or an archaeological character; (3) the art of history-writing both ancient and modern. The essays are arranged according to the order in which the relevant texts or their main characters figure in the Book of Kings. Originally published between 1987 and 2005, they have been updated for publication in the present collection.