1 kings 16.30…33
Keeping in mind that my slant on all this is what Donald seems to consider apostasy, let’s break down and look at just a select part of the Kings passage I quoted earlier. This disconnects into two natural places that make it fairly obvious to me what’s going on.
And what were Jeroboam’s sins?
It sure sounds like the Judean writers, looking back two and half centuries, are identifying Ahab’s apostasy with idol worship, doesn’t it? In that in Ahab’s time idol worship would probably not have been that big a deal. Child slavery and sacrifice, probably would have been to the YHWHists. But not idol worship per se.
But the Deuteronomists wouldn’t have known that. But by the time we get to the Babylonian Captivity idolatry has become a real big deal. What’s going on in the background of this chronicle as it’s being set down is that the Deuteronomists are part of a political project in their own time to bring the focus of the now-state religion of YHWH to a focal point in Jerusalem. The new temple there is going to be, effectively, the Vatican, the central hub of the revised version of the Israelite religion. Part of accomplishing this is ending the importance of local temples elsewhere. That’s the bigger picture going on in the historical prophets who all condemn the loosy-goosy attitude of their northern cousins towards monolatry.
Ahab’s big sin (I think!?!) is not just tolerating those non-YHWHist gods as Jeroboam did, but actually encouraging them. Making room for them in his very capital for Pete’s sake!
What would have been over the top for the YHWHists of Ahab’s time would have been stuff like the human sacrifices. What would have been over the top for the writers of Kings writing about Ahab would have been that altar to a foreign god right there in the vestibule of the palace.
This whole take is just off the top of my head. I haven’t sourced any of this stuff to write this reply, but i will and will correct anything I’ve gotten wrong here. But that’s what I think is going on.
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Don’t know if that’s what you were looking for or not?
I did go back and look at how modern biblical historians reconstruct all this, and the idea is pretty much as I described. Consensus is that the Deuteronomy chronicle was collected, collated and written down at the behest of Josiah, long after the events they historicize and with the purpose of consolidating the YHWHist position. One writer says this is likely the product of many hands condensing several lines of oral tradition to a written account.
These writers could not – in all probability – have known that in Ahab’s time Baal was still an Israelite god, as was Asherah. They were part of Josiah’s program to consolidate the Yahweh-only camp and make them the law and the exclusive faith. So Ahab and Jezebel became moral voodoo dolls to be pinned again and again.
I guess this is kind of beneath your question though. There are actually two things going on at the same time. 1) How did Ahab’s story come to be? 2) Within that story, what is Ahab’s moral failing? In the framework of that second question, I think the answer is as I laid it out in my first reply. When you look at Jeraboam’s sin, what Ahab added to it was encouraging foreign beliefs to be practiced on the grounds of Israelite holy places.
Is that what you saw in it?