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Title: Putting Elisha in his place : genre, coherence, and narrative function in 2 Kings 2-8
Author: Aucker, W. B.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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Argues that, against the contexts of confused royal identities, the co-mingling of the northern and southern kingdoms, and the anonymity of the weak king of Israel, the prophet Elisha in 2 Kings 2-8 is portrayed in a manner both royal and divine, performing deeds more typical of the king and YHWH. These deeds include the provision of food, healing, restoration, protection and security. As the final northern prophet in Kings. Elisha holds out the promise of YHWH's presence in a series of stories in which we find no direct speech from YHWH. The answer to the question raised in 2 Kgs 2.14, 'Where now is YHWH God of Elijah?' is answered in 2 Kgs 8.1-6: the great deeds of Elisha are the great deeds of YHWH. The portrayal of this prophet with divine and royal characteristics provides textual coherence to a set of narratives often viewed as disparate, based on the wide variety of form and content which they manifest. Part I (chapters 1-2) establishes the need for the present study. Chapter 1 argues that an examination of literary coherence in the Elisha narratives is overdue. Literary studies have run into some trouble in the book of Kings and the Elisha narrative has proved particularly difficult in this regard. It is asserted that the recent scholarly re-appraisal of Legende as a narrative category, the indistinct borders between Sage, Legende and historical narrative, the uncertainty of oral transmission given the presence of a written text, and the placing of the northern prophetic narratives at the heart of a book ostensibly about kings, pave the way for the present investigation. Chapter 2 provides a theoretical examination of coherence. While the use of the term 'coherence' has increased in biblical studies over the last twenty years, the field has not reflected adequately upon the question, 'What is coherence?' Therefore, chapter 2 looks to the fields of textlinguistics and poetics to provide tools for reflection upon this important question. We conclude that coherence may be viewed variously as 'discourse topic', 'global intention', or 'mental representation'. The chapter closes with the adoption of a model for reading the Elisha narrative.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available