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  • InterpretIng

    the hIstorIcal books

  • Handbooks for old TesTamenT exegesis David M. howard, series editor

    Interpreting the Pentateuch: An Exegetical Handbook (forthcoming) peter t. Vogt

    Interpreting the Historical Books: An Exegetical Handbook robert b. chisholm Jr.

    Interpreting the Wisdom Literature: An Exegetical Handbook (forthcoming) richard l. schultz

    Interpreting the Psalms: An Exegetical Handbook (forthcoming) Mark D. Futato

    Interpreting the Prophets: An Exegetical Handbook (forthcoming) Michael a. grisanti

    Interpreting Apocalyptic Literature: An Exegetical Handbook (forthcoming) richard a. taylor

  • InterpretIng

    the hIstorIcal books

    an exegetical handbook

    H a n d b o o k s f o r o l d T e s Ta m e n T e x e g e s i s

    robert b. chisholm Jr.

    david m. Howard Jr. s e r i e s e d i t o r

  • Interpreting the Historical Books: An Exegetical Handbook

    © 2006 by robert b. chisholm Jr.

    published by kregel publications, a division of kregel, Inc., p.o. box 2607, grand rapids, MI 49501.

    all rights reserved. no part of this book may be repro- duced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise—without written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations in printed reviews.

    scripture taken from the net bible® copyright ©1996– 2005 by biblical studies press, l.l.c. http://www.bible .org/. scripture quoted by permission. all rights reserved.

    scripture quotations marked niv are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International bible society. Used by permission of Zondervan publishing house. all rights reserved.

    scripture quotations marked nrsv are from the new revised standard Version bible, copyright © 1989, by the Division of christian education of the national council of the churches of christ in the U.s.a., and are used by permission. all rights reserved.

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data chisholm, robert b. Interpreting the historical books: an exegetical handbook / by robert b. chisholm Jr. p. cm. (handbooks for old testament exegesis; 2) Includes bibliographical references. 1. bible—o.t. historical books—criticism, interpre- tation, etc. I. title. bs1205.52.c45 2006 222'.06—dc22 2006028902

    Isbn 0-8254-2764-9

    printed in the United states of america

    06 07 08 09 10 / 5 4 3 2 1

  • To my brother, Douglas Chisholm,

    with whom I have had many spirited and stimulating discussions

    about biblical and theological issues.

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  • 9

    contents In brIeF

    series preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

    1. What Is narrative literature?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 2. primary themes of the historical books. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89 3. preparing for Interpretation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 4. Interpreting narrative texts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 5. proclaiming narrative texts . . . . . . . . . . . . . .