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Biblical Narratives of Israelites and Their Neighbors : Strangers at the Gate (Hardcover) (Adrianne
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Throughout the Hebrew Bible, strangers are indispensable to the formation of a collective Israelite identity. Encounters between the Israelites and their neighbors are among the most urgent matters explored in Biblical narratives, yet relatively little scholarly attention has been paid to them. This book corrects this imbalance by carrying out close readings of the accounts of Israel’s myriad interactions with the surrounding nations.
The book follows the people of Israel from leaving Egypt to inhabiting Canaan and ultimately creating the nation of Israel. The introduction lays the groundwork for a literary reading, and each chapter that follows highlights a distinct people group and the issues that they create. For example, Jethro, father-in-law of Moses and a Midian priest, provides a model of collaboration, while Samson sexually desires Philistine women and triggers a cycle of violent retribution. These engaging stories illustrate the perceived dangers of intermarriage, idolatry and military oppression, but also convey lessons in governance, cultural innovation and the building of alliances.
This book is vital reading for Bible scholars that want to deepen their understanding of the Israelites’ relationship with neighboring people groups. It will also be of keen interest to academics with an interest in ancient history and culture.