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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.25 n.2 Pretoria  2012


Reading the Pentateuch's genealogies after the exile: The Chronicler's usage of Genesis 1-11 in negotiating an All-Israelite identity



Louis C. Jonker

University of Stellenbosch





From the first nine chapters of Chronicles it becomes clear that not only Samuel-Kings were used as sources by the Chronicler, but also the Pentateuch. The Chronicler was certainly one of the earliest readers of the Pentateuch (in whatever form) after the exile. The peculiarity of the Chronicler's version of Israelite history starting with "Adam" has been noted by many scholars. It seems as if the Chronicler particularly found the genealogies in Gen 1-11 useful to legitimize a universal context for negotiating the identity of All-Israel in the late Persian Period. This contribution will examine some of the Chronicler's genealogies in synoptic comparison with the genealogies of the Urgeschichte in order to determine how and why this exilic literature was used in Chronicles at a later stage in the literary history of the Hebrew Bible, as well as to establish what we can learn about the literary history of the Pentateuch from the Chronicler's usage.



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Prof. Louis Jonker
Discipline Group Old & New Testament
Faculty of Theology, University of Stellenbosch South Africa



1 This paper was first presented at the ProPent meeting of 2009 organised by Prof. Jurie le Roux of the University of Pretoria. I hereby express my gratitude for the invitation to take part in this annual Pentateuch conference, as well as for the critical engagement with my views of fellow conference participants during the discussion. This contribution already appeared in Norwegian translation in a Festschrift for Magnar Kartveit, cf. Louis C. Jonker, "Kronistens etter-eksilske lesning av Pentateukens genealogier," in Jerusalem, Samaria og jordens ender: Bibletolkninger tilegnet Magnar Kartveit, 65 ár, 7. oktober 2011 (ed. Knut Holter and Jostein Adna; Trondheim: Tapir Academic Press, 2011), 33-46. I hereby thank the publisher for granting permission to publish the original English version. I also thank my assistant, Helen de Wet, for the formal-technical preparation of the manuscript.

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