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ON THE ADDITIONAL MATTER IN CHRONICLES,
By S. R. DRIVER, D.D.,
REGIUS PROFESSOR OF HEBREW, AND CANON OF CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD.
T does not fall within the province of the present work to examine the
except so far as may serve to illustrate the method or point of view of the compiler. The following general remarks must therefore suffice. It does not seem possible to treat the additional matter in Chronicles as strictly and literally historical. In many cases the figures are incredibly high?: in others, the scale or magnitude of the occurrences described is such that, had they really happened precisely as represented, they could hardly have been passed over by the compiler of Samuel or Kings; elsewhere, again, the description appears to be irreconcilable with that in the earlier narrative; while nearly always the speeches assigned to historical characters, and the motives attributed to them, are conceived largely from a point of view very different from that which dominates the earlier narrative, and agreeing closely with the compiler’s. The peculiarities of the historical representation which prevails in the Chronicles are to be ascribed, no doubt, to the influences under which the author lived and wrote. The compiler lived in an age when the theocratic institutions, which had been placed on a new basis after the return from Babylon, had long been in full
1 Reprinted, by permission, from “ An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament” (Edinburgh, T. & T. Clark, 1891).
? It is illegitimate to explain these as due to textual corruption ; the numbers in the Chronicles are systematically higher than in other parts of the O. T.; and no reason exists for supposing the text of these books to have been specially subject to error in transmission. Besides, numbers written in full would not be readily corrupted : the supposition that letters were used for numerals in the sacred autographs is destitute of foundation.
operation, and when new religious interests and a new type of piety-of course with points of contact with the old, but, at the same time, advancing beyond it—had been developed, and asserted themselves strongly. The Chronicler reflects faithfully the spirit of his age. A new mode of viewing the past history of his nation began to prevail : pre-exilic Judah was pictured as already in possession of the institutions, and governed-at least in its greater and better men-by the ideas and principles, which were dominant at a later day; the empire of David and his successors was imagined on a scale of unsurpassed power and magnificence; the past, in a word, was idealised, and its history (where necessary) rewritten accordingly. Thus the institutions of the present, which, in fact, had been developed gradually, are represented as organised in their completeness by David : the ritual of the Priests' Code is duly observed ; the Passovers of Hezekiah and Josiah (the former of which is not mentioned in the Book of Kings at all, the latter only briefly) are described with an abundance of ceremonial detail, suggested no doubt by occasions which the compiler had witnessed himself; David organises a vast military force, and amasses for the Temple enormous treasures ; his successors have the command of huge armies, and are victorious against forces huger even than their own. In these and similar representations there is certainly much that cannot be strictly historical : but the Chronicler must not on this account be held guilty of a deliberate perversion of history; he and his contemporaries did not question that the past was actually as they pictured it, and the Chronicler simply gives expression to this persuasion. It is not necessary to deny-on the contrary, it is highly probable—that a traditional element lies at the basis of his representations; but this element has been developed by him, and presented in a literary form, with the aim of giving expression to the ideas which he had at heart, and of inculcating the lessons which he conceived the history to teach.
THE DIVIDED MONARCHY.
1 Kings 12. 1.
2 Chronicles 10. I.
The Revolt of Israel. And Rehoboam went to 10 And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him
come to Shechem to make him 2 king. And it came to pass, when 2 king. And it came Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard when Jeroboam the son of Nebat of it, (for he was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he whither he had fled from the Egypt, whither he had fled from
presence of king Solomon, and the presence of king Solomon,) 3 Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt, and that Jeroboam returned out of
they sent and called him ;) that 3 Egypt. And they sent and called Jeroboam and all the congrega- him; and Jeroboam and all Israel
tion of Israel came, and spake came, and they spake to Reho4 unto Rehoboam, saying, Thy 4 boam, saying, Thy father made
father made our yoke grievous : our yoke grievous: now therefore now therefore make thou the make thou the grievous service grievous service of thy father, of thy father, and his heavy yoke and his heavy yoke which he which he put upon us, lighter, and
put upon us, lighter, and we we will serve thee. 5 will serve thee. And he said
5 And he said unto them, Come unto them, Depart yet for three again unto me after three days.
days, then come again to me. 6 And the people departed. And 6 And the people departed. And king Rehoboam took counsel
king Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, that had stood with the old men, that had stood before Solomon his father while before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel he yet lived, saying, What coun- give ye me to return answer to
sel give ye me to return answer 7 this people? And they spake 7 to this people? And they spake unto him, saying, If thou be
unto him, saying, If thou wilt be kind to this people, and please a servant unto this people this them, and speak good words to day, and wilt serve them, and them, then they will be thy answer them, and speak good 8 servants for ever. But he for
words to them, then they will sook the counsel of the old 8 be thy servants for ever. But men which they had given him,
he forsook the counsel of the old and took counsel with the young men which they had given him, men that were grown up with and took counsel with the young men that were grown up with
9 him, that stood before him. And
he said unto them, What counsel give ye, that we may return answer to this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the
yoke that thy father did put upon 10 us lighter? And the young men
that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou say unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou speak unto them,
My little finger is thicker than If my father's loins.
And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke : my father chastised
you with whips, but I will chas12 tise you with scorpions. So
Jeroboam_and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king bade, saying,
Come to me again the third day. 13 And the king answered the
people roughly, and forsook the
counsel of the old men which 14 they had given him; and spake
to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I
will chastise you with scorpions. 15 So the king hearkened not unto ✓ the people; for it was a thing
brought about of the LORD, that he might establish his word, which the LORD spake by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to
Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 16 And when all Israel saw that
the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David ? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse : to your tents, O Israel : now see to thine own house, David. So
9 him, that stood before him. And
he said unto them, What counsel give ye, that we may return
to this people, who have spoken to
me, saying, Make the yoke that thy father 10 did put upon us lighter? And
the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou say unto the people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us ; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little
finger is thicker than my father's 11 loins.
And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke : my father chastised you with
whips, but I will chastise you 12 with scorpions. So Jeroboam
and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the
king bade, saying, Come to me 13 again the third day. And the
king answered them roughly;
and king Rehoboam forsook the 14 counsel of the old men, and
spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto: my father chastised you with whips, but I
will chastise you with scorpions. 15 So the king hearkened not unto
the people; for it was brought about of God, that the LORD might establish his word, which he spake by the hand of Ahijah
the Shilonite to Jeroboam the 16 son of Nebat. And when all
Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to your tents, O Israel : now see to thine own house, David. So all Israel de
The Prophecy of Shemaiah. And when Rehoboam was And when Rehoboam come to Jerusalem, he assembled come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, and the the house of Judah and Benjatribe of Benjamin, an hundred min, an hundred and fourscore and fourscore thousand chosen thousand chosen men, which men, which were warriors, to were warriors, to fight against fight against the house of Israel, Israel, to bring the kingdom to bring the kingdom again to again to Rehoboam. Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
But the word of God came V 2 But the word of the LORD unto Shemaiah the man of God, came to Shemaiah the man of 23 saying, Speak unto Rehoboam 3 God, saying, Speak unto Reho
the son of Solomon, king of boam the son of Solomon, king Judah, and unto all the house of of Judah, and to all Israel in
Judah and Benjamin, and to the Judah and Benjamin, saying, 24 'rest of the people, saying, Thus 4 Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall
saith the LORD, Ye shall not go not go up, nor fight against your up, nor fight against your breth- brethren: return every man to ren the children of Israel : return his house ; for this thing is of every man to his house; for this me. So they hearkened unto the thing is of me. So they hear- words of the LORD, and returned kened unto the word of the from going against Jeroboam. LORD, and returned and went their way, according to the word of the LORD.
1 See ver. 17.