These books also went through various editions, but the general consensus is that for the “final edition” the language and outlook seems to point to a post exilic period of composition, that is after 586 BCE. Although overlaid with theological spin, much of I and II Kings is historical: thus, the fall of Israel (II Kings 17); the fall of Judah and the deportation of the Jews into exile in Babylon (II Kings 25)<span “mso-special-character:=”” footnote”=””><span “font-size:12.0pt;font-family:”times=”” roman”,serif;=”” mso-fareast-font-family:”times=”” roman”;mso-ansi-language:en-us;mso-fareast-language:=”” en-us;mso-bidi-language:ar-sa”=””>.
However, the rest is manufactured history designed to create a strict theology depicting the Jews as God’s chosen people and explaining why they had lost the land God had given them. The Scribal School of Deuteronomy who wrote it is identified as having its origins in Israel and the priests of Shiloh were its advocates. As in the case of Josiah, their message was that the people had worshipped other gods and failed to implement the covenant and obey the law. They therefore deserved punishment and the loss of their heritage, principally the land. The YHWH alone movement had been a minority tradition in the North, but it metamorphosed when the Shiloh priests moved south and interpreted their experience through the lens of the exile.
The Deuteronomic History emerges as a theological “history” of Israel and Judah as depicted in Joshua’s conquests: in particular, see II Kings and Jeremiah. But why was Ruth not included in this catalogue? Because she was a foreigner and Deuteronomy condemns marriages between Jews, Israelites and anyone else and Ruth was still considered a foreigner. In this way, Deuteronomy created an “other” class of people that the Jews could measure themselves against and distinguish themselves from.
In summary, the Joshua story of the conquest of Canaan was an invention that never happened. It is the creation of the scribes who wrote Deuteronomy. As we now know from concrete evidence, Israel had its genesis in Canaan, but this was irrelevant to the central message in Deuteronomy that you are only entitled to keep the land so long as you obey the Lord’s covenant and the law. This morality tale manufactured a history and a theology in which everyone who came out of servitude could participate.
 This material from Dr Susanne Glover’s WEA course, op cit, Lecture 7.
<span “font-size:10.0pt;font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”,serif;mso-fareast-font-family:”times=”” roman”;mso-ansi-language:=”” en-us;mso-fareast-language:en-us;mso-bidi-language:ar-sa”=””> See Tobin, The rejection of Pascal’s wager, op cit, 103.