1 and 2 Chronicles is a book that solicits many questions and on which neither research nor debate is complete. The reason for this is the discrepancies between the book compared to other books with similar content. The purpose of this dissertation is to: - -- identify the differences between Chronicles and source writings; -- determine which selections were made from the source material, what has been nuanced, omitted, added and emphasized; -- study these selections contextually and determine what its function or purpose would have been; -- determine the Chronicler’s ideology and against this background determine whether the text functioned as discourse of power. The book 1 and 2 Chronicles forms the study field of this dissertation. This book is mainly a narrative that pretends to be a narration of history and covers the period from Adam until after the Babylonian exile. The temple and cult in Jerusalem form the focal point of this narrative. A comparison of the book 1 and 2 Chronicles with the source documents the author(s) used (namely Genesis, Joshua, 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings) clearly shows that the Chronicler worked extremely selectively when using the source documents and that he retells the history of Israel and Juda through omissions and additions with his own particular emphasis. The narrative offers a negative judgment of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and all the tribes that lived in that area. On the other hand the Southern Kingdom and the tribes Juda, Levi and Benjamin are described extensively and are judged positively. David is presented as the ideal king. Bar one, all his wayward deeds that are comprehensively reported in the source documents are concealed. The purpose is evidently to create an extremely positive image of him. He is inter alia depicted as the founder of the cult in Jerusalem. In this manner the cult is also legitimized and given the stamp as the only true place of worship of the living God. To have a close connection with the cult in Jerusalem or not thus becomes the criterion to judge all kings after David. The study clearly reveals that 1 and 2 Chronicles functioned as a discourse of power that was aimed at promoting the interests of the post-exilic temple personnel in Jerusalem and legitimizing their control over the cult. As a discourse of power it sets boundaries and excludes different groups that were traditionally part of the people of YHWH. The destruction of the temple in 70 AD and the ending of the cult also meant the end of the purpose of this text as a discourse of power and created the possibility that it could become part of the collection of sacred writings known as the Old Testament.
Thesis (PhD (Old Testament Studies))--University of Pretoria, 2007.