Download King Manasseh and Child Sacrifice: Biblical Distortions of by Francesca Stavrakopoulou PDF

By Francesca Stavrakopoulou

The Hebrew Bible portrays King Manasseh and baby sacrifice because the such a lot reprehensible individual and the main objectionable perform in the tale of 'Israel'. This monograph means that traditionally, neither have been as deviant because the Hebrew Bible seems to be to insist. via cautious old reconstruction, it really is argued that Manasseh was once certainly one of Judah's such a lot winning monarchs, and baby sacrifice performed a valuable function in old Judahite spiritual perform. The biblical writers, encouraged by way of ideological issues, have hence intentionally distorted the reality approximately Manasseh and baby sacrifice.

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33:6). As van Keulen observes {Manasseh, 57), the 1 has probably been lost by haplography. Π Ί ϋ Κ , "which he had made" is not reflected in LXX. Or, "to be removed"; see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 11; Garden City: Doubleday, 1988), 268; Eynikel, "Portrait of Manasseh", 247. This idiom occurs only here (cf. 2 Chr. 33:8). MT • ' t r i m literally, "by the hand of his servants the prophets". 2. Reading, with Versional support, Q HUBE) (K I'UQB).

77 The explicit comparison of Manasseh and Ahab in 2 Kgs 21:3 and their implicit comparison in 21:13 are certainly suggestive of the Kings Writer's intention to encourage such a view. Van Keulen notes that the formula "he did evil in the eyes of YHWH", which is frequently applied to the Northern monarchs, is not only applied to Manasseh in verse 2 (cf. v. 6), but also occurs in the regnal evaluations of the Judahite kings Jehoram and Ahaziah, whose wickedness is attributed to their 7Ä relationship with the House of Ahab (2 Kgs 8:18, 27).

However, in verse 2, Manasseh is compared not with a previous king, but with the foreign nations who inhabited the land before the Israelites. This is striking, for it sets Manasseh apart from all his predecessors and successors, even the particularly sinful ones. Thus the accession formula deviates from the norm in two significant ways, each preparing the reader for a regnal account unlike any other within Kings. The list of Manasseh's cult crimes (21:2-9) is the longest of any in Kings. Given that other Israelite and Judahite monarchs are accused of some of these cultic mispractices, the Kings Writer endeavours to present Manasseh as the worst of all royal cultic offenders by intensifying his crimes.

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