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Saturday, April 29, 2017

1 Chron. 7-10

So, lots of dumb genealogy followed by a retelling of 1 Samuel 31, i.e. the death of Saul.  The weird thing is that the genealogies don't even match the earlier genealogies.  The genealogies even include a reference to the exile, and a somewhat mysterious book, the Book of Kings, which evidently included lists of battle-aged Israelites.

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We're about to return the main narrative.  Or actually, about to start the more reliably historical telling.  It has been convincingly suggested by Karen Armstrong, and others, that there were three waves of immigration into the land called the Promised Land.  Around 1850 BCE a group from Mesopotamia immigrated.  This group is represented by Abraham who tellingly worshiped El Shaddai (Ex. 6:3) and settled near Hebron.  The second group held up Jacob as their primary hero, into Shechem.  Perhaps these people are represented by the Elohimist authors.  The third group, holding up YHWH as their god (Ex. 6:3) and Moses as their hero came from Egypt in approximately 1200 BCE.  The scripture has woven together these three groups.  The events that we are about to investigate, the reign of David is dated two centuries after the final immigration.  Both the Yahewist (J) and Elohimist (E) components of the Torah were likely written around this time.

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