The persuasive portrayal of Solomon in 1 Kings 1-11 and the Josianic redaction theory
This present research is motivated by observing the diversity of views held in understanding the portrayal of Solomon in 1 Kgs 1-11, its importance in resolving the problem of the composition of DtrH, and especially by a certain doubt about the pervasive Josianic understandings of Solomon. The main concern of the present study is to establish a sound understanding of Solomon as portrayed in I Kgs 1-11 in relation to the theories of the composition of Kings, especially the Josianic redaction theory. This study seeks to understand Solomon in 1 Kgs 1-11 from the perspective of the text's persuasive function in relation to the reader. Chapter one surveys modem researches on Kings in general and the Solomon narrative (1 Kgs 1-11) in particular. It shows that the essential question in studies of Kings and the Solomon account is the understanding of the thematic tensions in relation to their composition. This chapter also argues that a rhetorical approach is methodologically relevant in solving the question. Chapter two defines what rhetorical criticism is, and in relation to the definition, shows how a rhetorical approach will be applied to our study of 1 Kgs 1-11. Rhetorical criticism is a methodology concerned with determining the means of persuasion employed in the communication, through an analysis of the text in its final form. This chapter also establishes four practical steps for discovering the argumentative or persuasive function of the Solomon text: the rhetorical unit, arrangement (dispositio) and style (elocutio), argumentation (inventio), and finally the rhetorical situation and the original reader. Following these steps, chapter three identifies 1 Kgs 1-11 as a rhetorical unit by showing 1 Kgs 1-2 as the true beginning of the narrative through the structural and rhetorical connections between 1 Kgs 1-2 and 3-11. Chapter four examines how 1 Kgs 1-11 as a persuasive narration has been arranged in order to have an impact on the reader's apprehension of the Solomon narrative. It shows the concentric structure of 1 Kgs 1-11 based on the function of repetition, which guides the reader to the picture of Solomon's incapacity in his 'covenant relationship' with Yahweh. Chapter five examines I Kgs 1-11 from the point of view of argumentation or invention, and deals with the understanding or evaluation of the issue in I Kgs 1-11. The narrator in 1 Kgs 1-11 shows the reader Solomon's failure in the relationship with Yahweh based on his ethical and rational, and emotional, appeal. Chapter six defines the rhetorical situation which causes the existence of 1 Kgs 1-11. It shows that Kings would be a fitting response to the rhetorical situation of the Jewish exilic community in Babylon. The community may have held very different views about their past, their identity, or the continuity of the covenant relationship with Yahweh in the exilic or post-exilic period. Our conclusion in this study of 1 Kgs 1-11 is that the subtle portrayal of Solomon in 1 Kgs 1-11 does not display a Josianic standpoint, but an exilic view, persuading the Babylonian exiles to recover their covenant relationship with Yahweh or to find a new understanding of this through the portrayal of Solomon in the light of his inevitable failure in relationship with Yahweh.