This book is concerned with ascertaining the value of having two versions of the same monarchic history of Israel within the Hebrew Bible (focusing on the books of Kings and Chronicles). It is furthermore concerned with how the book of Chronicles is read in relation to the book of Kings as Chronicles is so often considered to be a later rewritten text drawing upon an earlier version of the Masoretic Text of Samuel and Kings.
The predominant scholarly approach to reading the book of Chronicles is to read it in light of how the Chronicler emended his source texts (additions, omissions, harmonizations). This approach has yielded great success in our understanding of the Chronicler's theology and rhetoric. However, Cook asserts, it has also failed to consider how the book of Chronicles can be read as an autonomous and coherent document. That is, a diachronic approach to reading Chronicles sometimes misses the theological and rhetorical features of the text in its final form. This book shows the great benefit of reading these narratives as autonomous and coherent by using the Solomon narratives as a case study. These narratives are first read individually, and then together, so as to ascertain their uniqueness vis-à-vis one another. Finally, Cook addresses questions related to the concordance of these narratives as well as their purposes within their respective larger literary contexts.