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King Josiah of JudahThe Lost Messiah of Israel$
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Marvin A. Sweeney

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195133240

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195133242.001.0001

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The Regnal Evaluation of Josiah in 2 Kings 22:1–23:30

The Regnal Evaluation of Josiah in 2 Kings 22:1–23:30

(p.40) 2 The Regnal Evaluation of Josiah in 2 Kings 22:1–23:30
King Josiah of Judah

Marvin A. Sweeney (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The present form of Josiah's regnal account in 2 Kings 22–23 clearly presupposes the death of Josiah insofar as it presents an oracle by the prophetess Huldah that states that Josiah will die before he sees the judgment decreed by YHWH against Jerusalem, Judah, and the house of David. Analysis of this oracle indicates that it is formulated in relation to a similar oracle concerning King Ahab of Israel by the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 21:17–29). Nevertheless, literary tension in the presentation of this oracle and the superlative evaluations of Josiah throughout these chapters concerning his righteousness in following the example of King David and in observing Mosaic Torah indicate that an original narrative concerning Josiah's righteous rule has been reworked to account for his death and the upcoming Babylonian exile.

Keywords:   2 Kings 22–23, Elijah, Huldah's Oracle, Israel, King Ahab, King David, Mosaic Torah

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