War in Chronicles
Temple Faithfulness and Israel's Place in the Land
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 224
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
Taking on the established view of Chronicles, which uses retribution theology - the view that the author of Chronicles re-worked the texts in Samuel-Kings to demonstrate that Yahweh rewards the good and punishes the wicked - Troy Cudworth argues that this cause-effect relationship is maintained primarily through the treatment of the themes of war and temple-faithfulness. Cudworth identifies a division of kings into categories, with the immediate exception of David, who belongs in his own category as he pioneered the two most foundational elements of the temple cult. For this reason, he also won many battles to secure Israel's place in the land. The next two groups of kings can be dichotomised in the following way: those who show faithfulness to the temple cult and its practices, and those who neglect it. Based on their attitude to the temple, the Chronicler illustrates how the kings either prosper in the land through military victory or suffer attack. Although many kings begin as faithful in supporting orthodox temple practices, and thus prosper on the battlefield, none of these kings are consistent and persevere in their faithfulness and so their success either stops immediately, or they suffer attack. Conversely, other kings are illustrated who, despite committing some of the worst sins in Israel's history, repent immediately after their swift punishment. Across all of these cases, it is shown how temple faithfulness always ultimately guarantees peace and security for Israel.