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2 - The Body and the Earth (1 Kings 17–19)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 November 2020

Daniel J. D. Stulac
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
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Summary

Chapter 2 presents a detailed study of the first major leg in the Elijah cycle in relation to its immediate context, 1 Kings 12–16. It begins by observing that Elijah functions as a theological icon rather than as a complete psyche on par with the protagonists of modern histories and novels. An agrarian hermeneutic applied to this same material illumines the text’s holistic interest in physiological healing (1 Kings 17), agroecological renewal (1 Kings 18), and social health (1 Kings 19). As a result, Elijah the Tishbite emerges as the prototypical ancestor of Yhwh’s preserved remnant, a prophetic community that the implied reader, too, is encouraged to join. In contrast to the political and theological disaster that the larger book of Kings narrates, 1 Kings 17–19 suggests that Yhwh raises the dead in multiple dimensions.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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