The present article argues that 1 Kgs 20-22 are not well-suited as historical sources for the Aramean wars, but are of considerable importance in the reconstruction of the world of ideas of that time. It is shown how animals and plants can be used as codes in the narrative. The use of lions, dogs and birds in 1 Kgs 20-22 illustrates one and the same theme: killing and devouring. Yahweh can appear as a lion or send a lion, but even though the lion kills, it does not "devour" the disobedient prophets of Yahweh. Yahweh is also behind the treatment of Ahab, Jezebel and the prophets of Baal, but Yahweh leaves it to dogs and birds to devour them. The king of animals is connected to Yahweh's prophets and the unclean animals to the apostate royal house. Through the codes we gain insight into certain basic modes of thought in Old Testament cosmo-ontology. For linguistic expressions acquire their meaning not only from the narrative sequence in which they are used, but also from the system in which they are included.
Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament, 2007, Issue 2, p. 218-227
konstruktion af tekster løver fugle 1 Kong 20-22; construction of texts lions birds 1 Kings 20-22