On the Text that Trumps the King

“The book is thus, in our pair of narratives, similar in meaning and function to the king, but more important – more powerful – than the king, because the book rules over the king.” Grottannelli (1999:189; Sanders 2009:154)

Grottannelli is discussing the two Temple Discoveries in 2 Kings 11 (Josiah) and 2nd Kings 22 (Deuteronomy) (and Sanders is discussing Grottannelli). He draws attention to the parallels between the discovery and the enthronement of the two, in that both are discovered in the Temple and both are recognized by Israel as authoritative. Yet, it is the text which was saved when the dynasty died shortly thereafter. That text many believe was Deuteronomy. In this book was the covenanting material that kept Israel alive through exile.

Seth Sander’s book has provided a key insight into the creation of the biblical text, which acted much in the same way as the Tyndale/King James did for the English people. My review is coming shortly, but while Sanders sees the politics of the creation of the Hebrew Language, which gave the world the first ‘you’ as an addresses, bypassing a king who was only as legitimate as God allowed him to be, many could see still a divine hand which touched history in this regard. This touch created a text which has changed the entire world. It trumped not only the national, tribal king, but the great ‘universal kings’ such as the Assyrians.

It is the text, the biblical – the political – text, which trumps a king, because the text is what has shaped the people, of which the king is only a part.

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