Description: This study deals with the most important king of the Aramaean kingdom of Damascus, Hazael, and the impact he had on biblical literature. The extra-biblical sources reveal that Hazael managed to create a large kingdom and to expand his authority over the whole of Syria-Palestine, including the Kingdom of Israel and the House of David, during the second half of the ninth century BCE. The Bible presents Hazael as an oppressor, yet the biblical writers elaborated a much more nuanced portrait of Hazael than first meets the eye. In the Elijah-Elisha cycles, Hazael provides a theological interpretative paradigm, the Elisha-Hazael paradigm, which, in the Book of Kings and in the Book of the Twelve, provides the key to explaining Godís mysterious dealings with Israel and Israelís enemies. Hazael is presented as a faithful agent of YHWH, who fulfils the divine plan. Beyond the power Hazael yielded across the Levant in his lifetime, the Elisha-Hazael paradigm reveals his enduring influence in Judah and in biblical literature.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Ancient Near East, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches
Review by Aren M. Maeir
Citation: Aren M. Maeir, review of Hadi Ghantous, The Elijah-Hazael Paradigm and the Kingdom of Israel: The Politics of God in Ancient Syria-Palestine, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).
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