Contemporary biblical studies is populated by ‘comparativists’ and ‘theological interpreters’: scholars who read the Bible in the context of ancient artefacts, and scholars who read it in the context of Christian theology, respectively. These camps relate to one another mostly by feuding – or by mutual avoidance. The Old Testament theologian Brevard Childs is usually taken as a champion in the cause of theological interpretation, and so also as reinforcing one side of the disciplinary division. But under certain conditions, Childs also authorised the use of ancient artefacts (‘the treasures of darkness’) for reading scripture theologically. This article reactivates the latter possibility within Childs’ interpretive programme, especially through two cases studies: the first by Childs himself, when he uses the Sargon Legend to interpret Exodus 2; and the second a reprise of Childs’ procedure, using the Mesha Inscription to interpret 1 Kings 22.