Nadav Na'aman, «New Light on Hezekiah's Second Prophetic Story (2 Kgs 19,9b-35)», Vol. 81 (2000) 393-402
The article re-examines some elements in Account B2 (2 Kgs 19,9b-35) in an effort to shed more light on the date and place in which the story was composed. It is suggested that the list of cities mentioned in vv. 12-13 reflects the conquests of Nabopolassar and Nebuchadrezzar in the late seventh century BCE. It is also suggested that vv. 17-18 may reflect the Babylonian practice of destroying cult statues during their conquest of Assyria. The author of Account B2 was probably a descendant of a Judean deportee who lived in eastern Babylonia in the second half of the sixth century BCE. It is further suggested that the Deuteronomist combined chronistic and narrative early texts (Accounts A and B1) and integrated them into his composition of the history of Israel.
The biblical story of Sennacheribs campaign to Judah has been discussed in a great number of books, articles and commentaries. The list of publications is so long that we may well wonder whether it is still possible on the basis of the extant sources to significantly advance our understanding of any aspect of the story.
The majority of scholars agree that the text of Isaiah had its original context in Kings1. B. Stade suggested that the account of Sennacheribs campaign was built of two sources: a chronistic record (18,13-16) and two prophetic stories (18,1719,9a.37; 19,9b-20.30-37)2. His arguments were accepted by some early scholars (A. anda is an exception)3. B.S. Childs revised this suggestion and proposed that the first prophetic story (Account B1) included 18,1719,9a.36-37 and the second story (Account B2) included 19,9b-354. Most scholars adopted this revision, and scholarly disagreements have been confined largely to the problem of the original scope of the two prophetic stories, and in particular to the scope of Account B25.
It is the purpose of this article to re-examine some elements in Account B2 which have not been satisfactorily explained by scholars, in an effort to shed more light on the date and place in which it was composed. The results of this re-examination will also be applied to the discussion of Account B1. I will not discuss the complicated problem of the original scope of the two stories, since it is external to this discussion. I will also try to avoid repetition of what has already been said by other scholars, and concentrate on some new suggestions that I should like to present.