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First and Second Kings (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary) Hardcover – January 1, 1987
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About the Author
- ASIN : 0804231095
- Publisher : John Knox Press; 1st edition (January 1, 1987)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 273 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780804231091
- ISBN-13 : 978-0804231091
- Item Weight : 1.02 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.75 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,564,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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On the other hand, he also affirms that I and II Kings mirror the Book of Deuteronomy as testaments and guidebooks to a scattered and oppressed people (in exile) to formalize and encourage their loyalty to Yahweh, their identity, their purpose, and their calling as the “chosen” people. The Books of Kings calls out to a fallen and distanced people and invites them to return home in a spiritual sense.
Further, if the book is used a means to interpret the meaning of the scriptures for teaching and/or preaching, beware that the author explicitly states, “This commentary does not provide pat answers or attempt to dictate what the text ‘means’. Instead it intends to draw the reader into an intimate engagement with the text itself.”
As a result, the book excels in extrapolating some practical theological implications behind the stories of kings in Ancient Israel and Judah, and highlights the relevance to contemporary Christians. I found many new insights on old stories exceptionally enlightening. In particular, Nelson’s analysis of the story of Naboth’s vineyard and how that relates to modern complacency and/or permissive silence is brilliant.
The book falters by devoting such a large amount of space to structural and chronological analysis that I find did not add much value to theological interpretation. The author subsequently spends much time actually recanting what actually happened in the text—information that can gained simply by reading the Bible itself.
In short, the book remains an adequate reference to extract some meaning and significance from two books of the Old Testament, but one would have to wade through some superfluous academic and historical analysis before reaching the core of “Interpretation.”