Alison Joseph deposited Manasseh the Boring: Lack of Character in 2 Kings 21 in the group Bible and the History of Biblical Interpretation on AJS Commons 1 month ago
King Manasseh of Judah is blamed for the destruction of Jerusalem and the Babylonian exile, a heavy mantle to carry. But as a character, Manasseh is boring—he looks like the other ordinary bad kings, even described as a “cardboard cutout,” that Kings has little literary use for. Wouldn’t we expect a more colorful villain? Is there anything in the character of Manasseh that would attract the heavy weight of the blame? Or do we just have to attribute the blame to a later editor, unconcerned with characterization? Or is his lack of character what gives Dtr a “blank slate” for this theological reading of historical-political events?