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1Ki 12:1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king.
2 Chr 10:1 And Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king.

1Ki 12:2 So it happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard it (he was still in Egypt, for he had fled from the presence of King Solomon and had been dwelling in Egypt),
1 Chr 10:2 So it happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard it (he was in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon), that Jeroboam returned from Egypt.

1 Ki 12:3 that they sent and called him. Then Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying,
2 Chr 10:3 Then they sent for him and called him. And Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying,

The similarities, often word for word, are many throughout Kings and Chronicles. I assume this means that one used the other as a source, or, less likely, that they both relied heavily on the same source.

My question is: Who copied from who, and how do we know?

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1 Answer 1

The evidence, and the consensus of critical scholars, is that the Deuteronomic History (Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings and 2 Kings), written before the Babylonian Exile, was the main source for the Book of Chronicles (now 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles), but that the author of Chronicles probably had other material available as well.

Chronicles followed a post-Exilic political and theological agenda. For example it places less emphasis on the role of David in history, in part to emphasise the priestly role, and entirely omits his defeat of Goliath. Whereas the Deuteronomic History says that David was on his death bed when nominated Solomon as his heir, and did so in order to forestall a coup, Chronicles says that while still in full health, David stood and told the people that God had chosen Solomon as his successor.

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Interesting! But couldn't the political agenda be explained other ways as well? Perhaps the person/group responsible for Chronicles had other reasons to downplay David's role? Is there any textual evidence like insertions/omissions or changes that would indicate that Chronicles used Kings as a source? –  Niobius Oct 24 '13 at 8:25
    
As the Question above points out, there is definitely a literary dependency between the two histories. Therefore it comes down to which was written first. I have, over time, read several books that discuss the evidence for the date of each. Critical scholars are confident that the Deuteronomic History, along with the Book of Deuteronomy, were written in the seventh century BCE, almost certainly during the reign of Josiah. With the same level of confidence, Chronicles is dated during or, more probably, after the Babylonian Exile. –  Dick Harfield Oct 24 '13 at 20:58
    
Hermeneutics is a complex discipline, but it is also possible to establish that changes were made from the D History to Chronicles, not the reverse. –  Dick Harfield Oct 24 '13 at 21:00

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