Writing, Interpolating and Editing: 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21 as a Case Study
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In 2 Samuel 24, one finds contradictions concerning the duration of the plague. In addition, there is divergence about the etiology of the altar: angelophany or a command of the prophet? These points indicate that verse 16 is an interpolation. The verse aimed at emphasizing the Lord's compassion. One thus detects here a primary story and its interpolation. A later editor, whose work is present in 1 Chronicles 21 and in 4Q51, readjusted the congruence of the narrative. The literary history of this chapter can serve as a model for explaining other instances in the evolution of biblical literature.