“The Shape of Hope in the Book of Kings: The Resolution of Davidic Blessing and Mosaic Curse” by NATHAN LOVELL
ABSTRACT: The issue of hope in the book of Kings has long been a focal point of debate. This paper approaches the question from the standpoint of the final form of the book, rather than attempting to discern the voice of the Deuteronomist(s) within the text. I argue that the message of hope is exposed by a central theological tension within the book: that Yahweh has promised both blessing to David and curse for Mosaic breach. I conclude that in the resolution of this tension the book encourages hope in its exilic readership, but precludes a return to the monarchy as it was formerly. Rather, the purpose of Kings as it now stands is to reshape exilic hope towards a different type of kingdom, and to demonstrate to the exiles the new shape that this kingdom will take through the prophetic ministry amongst the powerless to gather a remnant. Messianic and nationalistic hope in Kings is shaped by the exile, which represents a new beginning for Yahweh’s people.
KEYWORDS: 1–2 Kings, Davidic promise, Mosaic covenant, Messianic hope, Remnant, Exile, Solomon, Hezekiah, Josiah, Elijah, Elisha, Jehoiachin