Mother-Child Narratives And The Kingdom Of God: Authorial Use Of Typology As An Interpretive Device In Samuel–Kings -- By: Christopher Jero
Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 25:2 (NA 2015)
Article: Mother-Child Narratives And The Kingdom Of God: Authorial Use Of Typology As An Interpretive Device In Samuel–Kings
Author: Christopher Jero
BBR 25:2 (2015) p. 155
Mother-Child Narratives And The Kingdom Of God: Authorial Use Of Typology As An Interpretive Device In Samuel–Kings
Mars Hill Academy
This article seeks to demonstrate how the Samuel–Kings history uses mother-child narratives typologically both as a structural frame around which to present the history of the kingdom and as a guide to the reader in interpreting that history. The author’s use of structure, emphasis, tension, and selectivity leads the reader to recognize that the child in each narrative typifies Israel’s kingdom. The Hannah narrative (1 Sam 1) introduces the kingdom and nuances YHWH’s censure of Israel’s request for a king. Solomon’s judgment (1 Kgs 3) foreshadows the divided monarchy. It teaches that Jeroboam’s willingness to rebel exposes the illegitimacy of his dynasty. The Shunammite’s story (2 Kgs 4) anticipates the final fall of David’s kingdom. Through it, the author argues that the Babylonian Exile does not negate the Davidic covenant, but the faithful lean on YHWH who can and will resolve all impossible contradictions.
Key Words: typology, biblical narrative, Hannah, Shunammite, Solomon’s judgment, kingdom, Samuel–Kings, 1 Samuel 1, 1 Kings 3, 2 Kings 4
Distributed throughout Samuel–Kings are self-contained episodes that together represent a typological history of Israel. The purpose of these types is to aid readers in interpreting the course of Israel’s history and to guide the readers’ responses to their present circumstances and their expectations for the future. Scholars occasionally have noted typological connections between individual biblical stories and the larger history1 but have not drawn attention to the systematic and cohesive use of such typological episodes. Typological episodes are recognizable by a clustering of common
BBR 25:2 (2015) p. 156
features that include: (1) a self-contained plot with its own tension and resolution, (2) direct dialogue, (3) characters not mentioned elsewhere in Samuel–Kings, and (4) usually a representative of God such as a prophet or priest. Moreover, these episodes are not essential to the sequence of events in the history of the kingdom as presented by Samuel–Kings. I suggest that proper attention to each narrative’s structure, emphases, tensions, and selectivity of detail leads the reader to the theological and didactic purpose that drives the composition of ...
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