Chapter 22 in Kings I tells of the death of Ahab in the battle that was waged with the Arameans at Ramoth-Gilead. The death of Ahab at the hands of the Arameans shortly after the two kingdoms fought together in an alliance against the Assyria near Karkar in central Syria (853 BCE) raises difficult historical problems. Furthermore, according to verse 40, Ahab died peacefully in his bed (“so Ahab slept with his fathers”), which contradicts the detailed description of his death in battle.
These grave inconsistencies have led many scholars to conclude that the entire episode described in verses 1-37 is not historic, in the wake of which they have offered sundry solutions explaining how the story came about.
In the lecture I will critically examine the story of the death of Ahab and will evaluate its structure, content and the messages it contains. Taking into account the assumption that the story underwent a long process of oral transmission prior to being written down, I will try and offer a solution to how it arose and was fashioned by its author and I will also attempt to reconstruct the place of the episode presented in Chapter 22 in the history of the Kingdom of Israel.