The Retroactive Re-Evaluation Technique With Pharaoh’s Daughter And The Nature Of Solomon’s Corruption In 1 Kings 1-12 -- By: Yong Ho Jeon

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 62:1 (NA 2011)
Article: The Retroactive Re-Evaluation Technique With Pharaoh’s Daughter And The Nature Of Solomon’s Corruption In 1 Kings 1-12
Author: Yong Ho Jeon


The Retroactive Re-Evaluation Technique With Pharaoh’s Daughter And The Nature Of Solomon’s Corruption In 1 Kings 1-121

Yong Ho Jeon

Summary

In the Solomon narrative in Kings (1 Kgs 1-12), Solomon’s faults are explicitly criticised only in 1 Kings 11, in relation to his marriage with foreign women. However, his intermarriage with Pharaoh’s daughter appears in earlier parts of the narrative (1 Kgs 3:1; 7:8; 9:16, 24) without any explicit criticism. Using a ‘reader-sensitive’ approach, which presumes that the author of the narrative tries to exploit the reader’s reading process and prior knowledge, we show that the writer is using a ‘retroactive re-evaluation technique’ in his reference to ‘Pharaoh’s daughter’ (the technique means that the author guides his reader to re-evaluate previous passages in light of new information). Additionally, through a theological reading of the narrative, the nature of Solomon’s corruption is revealed as his ‘return to Egypt’. This fits well with the ‘retroactive re-evaluation technique’, explaining why the

references to ‘Pharaoh’s daughter’ are arranged in the way that they are.

1. Introduction

Our understanding of the Solomon narrative in Kings (1 Kgs 1-12) has been increased considerably in recent years. Since Parker’s observation (1988) of the literary structure and its implication triggered the discussion on the narrative, many scholars have added their insights into the narrative. The increasing interest in the narrative eventually produced two monographs on the narrative, by J. J. Kang and E. A. Seibert in 2003 and 2006, respectively.

This article will give a brief survey of recent studies of the Solomon narrative in Kings, including the most recent two monographs’ views. After discussing the merits and weaknesses of those interpretations, and exploiting their insights, a new understanding of the narrative concerning Solomon’s corruption will be proposed. Approaching the narrative, special concern will be given to the narrative’s presentation of the nature and process of Solomon’s corruption. One would expect to detect a didactic lesson implanted in the narrative, concerning Solomon’s turning from a pious king to an apostate, when one considers that the work is not a mere work of ...

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