In contrast to literary and historical skepticism about the accounts of Israel and Judah in the divided kingdom, Provan examines 1 and 2 Kings as a unified and historical narrative. He helps the reader see that these books provide insight into the kings and prophets—and teach about God and his ways.
“If the spectacular has not produced final victory, that is no reason for despair. For the overall strategy was always more long term and more subtly conceived than Elijah imagined. From the beginning it had involved the gentle but devastating whisper as well as the all-consuming fire, the quiet ways of God’s normal providence as well as the noiser ways of miraculous intervention. Elijah must be content with being part of the plan and not the plan itself. Where he has run south in despair to the desert of Beersheba, he must now go north in obedience to the Desert of Damascus (v. 15).” (Page 147)
“It is significant here that the names Elisha and Joshua are so similar in meaning (‘God saves’; ‘the Lord saves’). We are meant to read the one story against the background of the other.” (Page 173)
“Feeling let down, he goes off in a rage (v. 12). To Naaman, the Lord is only a local deity at the beck and call of the prophet. It is the prophet who is the healer, not the god. Why has he refused to do his job?” (Page 192)
“The food in the wilderness was a gentle reminder of the past, for Elijah seems to have forgotten the past—miraculous provision, resurrection, mighty acts of God on mountaintops.” (Page 145)
“The whole implication of all this is that Solomon has recognized and God is confirming that the ‘wisdom’ of chapter 2 was of a highly unenlightened, self-serving sort, which must now be replaced with a higher sort, in order that the king may rule justly and well over his subjects (3:9, 11).” (Page 48)
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