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Unfulfilled Prophecy or Divine Deception? A Literary Reading of 2 Kings 3

Jesse C. Long, Jr.
Professor of Old Testament and Syro-Palestinian Archaeology
Lubbock Christian University

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A literary reading of 2 Kings 3 suggests that what appears to be an unfulfilled prophecy of the prophet Elisha is better understood as “divine deception,” in the sense that the better-than-his-parents but unrepentant king Jehoram of Israel, through pretext, is enticed to go up to defeat against Moab. In opening up this problematic passage, literary analysis also exposes the inspired storyteller’s strategy for validating the word of Yahweh’s prophet and calls attention to his overall theological concerns, highlighting both the justice and mercy of Yahweh for the house of Ahab.

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Volume 26 Issue 1

Current Issue:
VOLUME 26, No. 1
Spring 2023



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