Gary Edward Schnittjer
Gary Edward Schnittjer (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is professor of Old Testament at Cairn University. He is author of The Torah Story (Zondervan).
Abstract: It has long been argued that exilic and postexilic biblical writers shift from a model of collective accountability to that of individual accountability. The most notable example of this interpretation of Chronicles, exemplified by the Chronicler’s ideology of exile, comes from Sara Japhet’s work. Did the Chronicler “democratize” identity and responsibility to redefine the justice of God? Did the Chronicler follow some of the prophets before him, like Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and reframe retribution in terms of individual responsibility? Who is being punished in the Chronicler’s version of the exile? This study evaluates the most important evidence for retributive culpability in 2 Chronicles 36. The evidence does not support an individualistic model of retribution but a complex view featuring deferred judgment and cumulative culpability.
Key Words: 2 Chronicles 36, Leviticus 26, Jeremiah’s seventy years, exile, retribution