Time to begin my next book, a biography and afterlife of King Solomon. What is unclear now is how much of his father David I will include. Initially the idea was to write a Lives and Afterlives of David and Solomon, following the way in which the Chronicler (and later Eupolemus) views them as a ‘single, unified event’ (Williamson, ‘The Accession of Solomon in the Books of Chronicles’, 356). I don’t know how much ‘afterlife’ I’ll be able to include, but it was suggested to me I could write either one huge book or two volumes: the first on the ‘lives’, and thus only the Samuel-Kings material; the second on the ‘afterlives’, and thus everything from Chronicles to Josephus. But I hesitate, since even what we have in the completed books of Sam-Kgs is difficult to separate from any authentic biography. The Deuteronomistic History is engaged in a not too dissimilar project to the Chronicler’s, at least in the way in which the biographies are remade both for glorification and condemnation of these kings.
But one thing you learn writing books: the finished product is rarely, if ever, what you think it will be when you begin. So let’s just begin.