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The Old Testament > 1 Kings > Chapter 18
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 Lexical notes
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 Verse 15: Elijah's succinctness vs. Obadiah's verboseness
Robert Alter (in The Art of Biblical Narrative p. 73) uses this succinct response by Elijah contrasted with Obadiah's verbose response as an example of a common literary technique of contrasting dialogue. In this case Alter explains, "The contrastive form of the dialogue, which has a certain element of grim comedy, dramatizes the profound difference in character between the two speakers: the one, a God-fearing person who has taken certain chances because of his conscience but who is, after all, an ordianry man with understandable human fears and hesitations; the other, a fiercely uncompromising agent of God's purpose, impelled by the imperative sense of his own prophetic authority."
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