Across the pages of 2 Chronicles a colorful cast of characters passes in breathless parade before the reader. The tales of the kings of Judah are told in sequence, from Rehoboam “the Enlarger” (who on the contrary shrinks the kingdom) to Zedekiah “the Righteous” (who equally contrariwise profanes the divine name). These motley monarchs are preceded by the unparalleled King Solomon of all Israel and succeeded by the imperial King Cyrus of Persia, and all the while the tellers of the tales weave an insistent ideological thread through the fabric of their stories. John Jarick’s reading of Chronicles brings out the fascination and discomfort of handling an ancient scroll that presents itself as the authoritative account of how things were and how they ought to be.
John Jarick is Old Testament Tutor at St. Stephen’s House, Oxford.
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