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United in Exile, Reunited in Restoration: The Chronicler’s Agenda

Published: May 2019
£50.00
The books of 1 —2 Chronicles, though ostensibly a history work recounting the past, is in reality a challenge to its fourth-century Jewish audience in Babylonia to make a vital decision about their future. They are presented with the choice of remaining in exile, where they have been born, or of uprooting themselves and travelling to their ancestral but unknown land. By introducing unique accounts of exile, such as that of the Reubenite leader Beerah (1 Chron. 5), and by reinterpreting familiar accounts of forced migration, such as the Babylonian exile of 'all Israel', the Chronicler reveals the current state of Israel in exile. As he looks into the future, he inserts pleas for restoration on the lips of Hebrew heroes such as David and Hezekiah, along with stories of transformation, like Manasseh's return from humiliating captivity, to educate his readers about their role in completing the process of restoration for all Israel. Since the exile meant Jerusalem's reduction, the end of the Davidic monarchy, and the scattering of tribal Israel, restoration would mean 'all Israel' reunited in Jerusalem under the levitical priesthood in worship at the rebuilt temple. Cyrus's decree, inspired by Yahweh, had commanded that all God's people 'go up', but Second Temple Israel had stalled somewhere between exile and restoration. Therefore, the Chronicler urges all Diaspora Israel to return home. Previous studies of the exile —restoration theme in segments of Chronicles (mainly 2 Chron. 36) and in Chronicles —Ezra —Nehemiah have led to the distorted view that the Chronicler is proclaiming victory over exile. Heard on his own terms, the Chronicler is rather dissatisfied with Israel's current state of restoration, optimistic that reunion in Jerusalem will conclude the exile, and adamant that 'all Israel' must take responsibility for the nation's sin and judgment —and restoration.
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United in Exile, Reunited in Restoration: The Chronicler’s Agenda

£50.00
The books of 1 —2 Chronicles, though ostensibly a history work recounting the past, is in reality a challenge to its fourth-century Jewish audience in Babylonia to make a vital decision about their future. They are presented with the choice of remaining in exile, where they have been born, or of uprooting themselves and travelling to their ancestral but unknown land. By introducing unique accounts of exile, such as that of the Reubenite leader Beerah (1 Chron. 5), and by reinterpreting familiar accounts of forced migration, such as the Babylonian exile of 'all Israel', the Chronicler reveals the current state of Israel in exile. As he looks into the future, he inserts pleas for restoration on the lips of Hebrew heroes such as David and Hezekiah, along with stories of transformation, like Manasseh's return from humiliating captivity, to educate his readers about their role in completing the process of restoration for all Israel. Since the exile meant Jerusalem's reduction, the end of the Davidic monarchy, and the scattering of tribal Israel, restoration would mean 'all Israel' reunited in Jerusalem under the levitical priesthood in worship at the rebuilt temple. Cyrus's decree, inspired by Yahweh, had commanded that all God's people 'go up', but Second Temple Israel had stalled somewhere between exile and restoration. Therefore, the Chronicler urges all Diaspora Israel to return home. Previous studies of the exile —restoration theme in segments of Chronicles (mainly 2 Chron. 36) and in Chronicles —Ezra —Nehemiah have led to the distorted view that the Chronicler is proclaiming victory over exile. Heard on his own terms, the Chronicler is rather dissatisfied with Israel's current state of restoration, optimistic that reunion in Jerusalem will conclude the exile, and adamant that 'all Israel' must take responsibility for the nation's sin and judgment —and restoration.
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Troubling Women and Land: Reading Biblical Texts in Aotearoa New Zealand

Published: Apr 2014
£60.00
What do women have to do with land? Biblical women such as Rahab, Achsah, and the daughters of Zelophehad have a great deal to do with Israel's land concerns, and their roles are indeed found troubling. And there are also questions to be asked of Miriam's role in the move from Egypt towards the 'promised' land; of Deborah, involved in a battle with a Canaanite commander; and of Huldah, whose troubling role in Josiah's reform is exposed in a queer-critical reading. Reading such land-focused narratives from the context of Aotearoa New Zealand brings to the surface disturbing connections with that country's own quite particular experience of colonialism. Such findings call for feminist postcolonial scrutiny. Here, in response, the critical scope is widened by reading these texts contrapuntally with others concerning New Zealand's colonial and postcolonial experiences, both past and present. Troubling Women and Land has a personal edge, with the author's voice frequently intruding, without apology, sometimes even holding imaginary conversations with characters and scholars, complementing the use of more traditional critical approaches. What underlies the book is a conviction that reading biblical texts matters in the politics of today's world.
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Troubling Women and Land: Reading Biblical Texts in Aotearoa New Zealand

£60.00
What do women have to do with land? Biblical women such as Rahab, Achsah, and the daughters of Zelophehad have a great deal to do with Israel's land concerns, and their roles are indeed found troubling. And there are also questions to be asked of Miriam's role in the move from Egypt towards the 'promised' land; of Deborah, involved in a battle with a Canaanite commander; and of Huldah, whose troubling role in Josiah's reform is exposed in a queer-critical reading. Reading such land-focused narratives from the context of Aotearoa New Zealand brings to the surface disturbing connections with that country's own quite particular experience of colonialism. Such findings call for feminist postcolonial scrutiny. Here, in response, the critical scope is widened by reading these texts contrapuntally with others concerning New Zealand's colonial and postcolonial experiences, both past and present. Troubling Women and Land has a personal edge, with the author's voice frequently intruding, without apology, sometimes even holding imaginary conversations with characters and scholars, complementing the use of more traditional critical approaches. What underlies the book is a conviction that reading biblical texts matters in the politics of today's world.
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Poverty, Charity and the Image of the Poor in Rabbinic Texts from the Land of Israel

Published: Feb 2014
£75.00
In the rabbinic literature from the land of Israel the poor are depicted not as passive recipients of gifts and support, but as independent agents who are responsible for their own behaviour. Communal care for the needy was expected to go beyond their basic needs for food, clothing and shelter; the physical safety of the poor and the value of their time as well as their dignity and self-worth were also included in the scope of charity. In this monograph, Yael Wilfand offers a comprehensive and contextual analysis of major rabbinic texts on poverty and charity composed during the first five centuries of the Common Era in the land of Israel, principally the Mishnah, the Tosefta, the Palestinian Talmud and midrashim. She shows that, for the rabbis, the poor were not necessarily considered outsiders; indeed, some students and rabbis in Palestine may have personally experienced poverty. Wilfand claims that such socio-economic diversity contributed to the thinking of these rabbis, who rarely saw poverty as a result of transgression (in contrast to the Babylonian Talmud). This book presents a number of contrasting viewpoints held by Palestinian rabbis over such questions as: Must communal administrators ensure applicants' eligibility for alms? Should the newly indigent from wealthy families receive exceptional levels of support? Might neighboring gentiles qualify for economic assistance from Jewish communal sources? By examining Palestinian rabbinic sources within the contexts both of the hegemonic Greco-Roman milieu (later, Christian) and of the biblical heritage this volume offers an absorbing account of some ancient approaches to timeless social challenges.
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Poverty, Charity and the Image of the Poor in Rabbinic Texts from the Land of Israel

£75.00
In the rabbinic literature from the land of Israel the poor are depicted not as passive recipients of gifts and support, but as independent agents who are responsible for their own behaviour. Communal care for the needy was expected to go beyond their basic needs for food, clothing and shelter; the physical safety of the poor and the value of their time as well as their dignity and self-worth were also included in the scope of charity. In this monograph, Yael Wilfand offers a comprehensive and contextual analysis of major rabbinic texts on poverty and charity composed during the first five centuries of the Common Era in the land of Israel, principally the Mishnah, the Tosefta, the Palestinian Talmud and midrashim. She shows that, for the rabbis, the poor were not necessarily considered outsiders; indeed, some students and rabbis in Palestine may have personally experienced poverty. Wilfand claims that such socio-economic diversity contributed to the thinking of these rabbis, who rarely saw poverty as a result of transgression (in contrast to the Babylonian Talmud). This book presents a number of contrasting viewpoints held by Palestinian rabbis over such questions as: Must communal administrators ensure applicants' eligibility for alms? Should the newly indigent from wealthy families receive exceptional levels of support? Might neighboring gentiles qualify for economic assistance from Jewish communal sources? By examining Palestinian rabbinic sources within the contexts both of the hegemonic Greco-Roman milieu (later, Christian) and of the biblical heritage this volume offers an absorbing account of some ancient approaches to timeless social challenges.
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The Politics of Israel’s Past: The Bible, Archaeology and Nation-Building

Published: July 2013
£60.00
It is not uncommon that historical images —presented as simply given, self-evident and even indisputable —are employed in political readings of the past and used as a legitimizing tool. For that reason, the authors of this volume, biblical scholars, archaeologists, anthropologists and historians, undertake a deconstruction of modern biblical discourses on the Bible's production and the history of ancient Israel, enabling the exploration of critical approaches to ancient Palestine's past, to the history of the peoples of the region, to the history of the biblical text(s) and, last but not least, to the modern political uses of biblical narratives as legitimizing land ownership and nationalisms. Among the topics treated are the appearance of Judaism and its connection to the production of biblical literature, the politics of archaeological practice in Israel, the role of archaeology in the production of nationalist narratives of the past, the relationship between genetic studies and Jewish nationalism, and the prospects for writing critical histories of ancient Palestine beyond biblical images and religious and political aspirations. Each article illustrates the close relationship between the Bible, archaeology and processes of nation-building in the State of Israel. The Politics of Israel's Past concerns itself both with the ways in which contemporary politics affects the knowledge of the past and with the processes by which constructions of an ancient past legitimate modern political situations.
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The Politics of Israel’s Past: The Bible, Archaeology and Nation-Building

£60.00
It is not uncommon that historical images —presented as simply given, self-evident and even indisputable —are employed in political readings of the past and used as a legitimizing tool. For that reason, the authors of this volume, biblical scholars, archaeologists, anthropologists and historians, undertake a deconstruction of modern biblical discourses on the Bible's production and the history of ancient Israel, enabling the exploration of critical approaches to ancient Palestine's past, to the history of the peoples of the region, to the history of the biblical text(s) and, last but not least, to the modern political uses of biblical narratives as legitimizing land ownership and nationalisms. Among the topics treated are the appearance of Judaism and its connection to the production of biblical literature, the politics of archaeological practice in Israel, the role of archaeology in the production of nationalist narratives of the past, the relationship between genetic studies and Jewish nationalism, and the prospects for writing critical histories of ancient Palestine beyond biblical images and religious and political aspirations. Each article illustrates the close relationship between the Bible, archaeology and processes of nation-building in the State of Israel. The Politics of Israel's Past concerns itself both with the ways in which contemporary politics affects the knowledge of the past and with the processes by which constructions of an ancient past legitimate modern political situations.
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Hosea, Second Edition

Published: May 2011
£15.00£35.00
This reading of Hosea explores the book from a feminist, psychoanalytical and poetic perspective. What is God doing with a prostitute? How does the theme of prostitution relate to the abjection of the woman as the other, and the fantasy of sexual ecstasy, precisely because she escapes patriarchal order? Where is the prophet situated in the dialectic of rage and desire that both seduces and condemns Israel? The prophet's voice is both masculine and feminine, and poetically embodies the sensuality of wayward Israel. The ambiguity of voice is also that of the prophet's role, which is both to nurture Israel, as on its Exodus from Egypt, and to be the trap that destroys it. The problematic of voice and prophetic function is evident in the vivid dissection of Israel's social institutions, whose disintegration is inversely related to the centrality of the discussion in the structure of the book, and in the violent swings from despair to impossible hope. The focus on immediate and uncontrollable entropy, manifest in extended tangled metaphors, that occupies the centre of the book, is framed in the outer chapters by intertextual references to Israel's primordial vision, and the romantic distantiation of the Song of Songs, in which the erotic and poetic contradictions of the book find their perhaps ironic resolution. This is an extensive revision of the 1995 edition.
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Hosea, Second Edition

£15.00£35.00
This reading of Hosea explores the book from a feminist, psychoanalytical and poetic perspective. What is God doing with a prostitute? How does the theme of prostitution relate to the abjection of the woman as the other, and the fantasy of sexual ecstasy, precisely because she escapes patriarchal order? Where is the prophet situated in the dialectic of rage and desire that both seduces and condemns Israel? The prophet's voice is both masculine and feminine, and poetically embodies the sensuality of wayward Israel. The ambiguity of voice is also that of the prophet's role, which is both to nurture Israel, as on its Exodus from Egypt, and to be the trap that destroys it. The problematic of voice and prophetic function is evident in the vivid dissection of Israel's social institutions, whose disintegration is inversely related to the centrality of the discussion in the structure of the book, and in the violent swings from despair to impossible hope. The focus on immediate and uncontrollable entropy, manifest in extended tangled metaphors, that occupies the centre of the book, is framed in the outer chapters by intertextual references to Israel's primordial vision, and the romantic distantiation of the Song of Songs, in which the erotic and poetic contradictions of the book find their perhaps ironic resolution. This is an extensive revision of the 1995 edition.
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Constructing the Other in Ancient Israel and the USA

Published: Mar 2011
£70.00
Always spoken for, never speaking. Always the object of discourse, never the subject. Constant focus upon Israel in the biblical texts by the interpretative tradition in the modern context has resulted, whether consciously or not, in the eclipse of voices of Israel's Palestinian neighbors. Interpretations reinforce the liminality of ethnic groups like the Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, and Samaritans effected initially through re-presentation. Stereotyping becomes an ethno-typing strategy that establishes the presumed superiority of 'Israel', the identity construction of the 'others' as anything but superior, and the placement of each group stereotyped on the 'border'. A postcolonial perspective, however, reveals that the focus of the commentary tradition extends liminality beyond the temporal. This study brings to speech the constructed voices of marginalized ethnic groups by juxtaposing those of fifth-century Yehud with those of nineteenth-century America placed there by stereotypic re-presentations. The examination of these re-presentations, though they intend to establish separation through an identity of difference, reveal instead a reflection of the identity of 'self' within 'other' despite efforts by an ethnic group identifying itself as 'Israel'.
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Constructing the Other in Ancient Israel and the USA

£70.00
Always spoken for, never speaking. Always the object of discourse, never the subject. Constant focus upon Israel in the biblical texts by the interpretative tradition in the modern context has resulted, whether consciously or not, in the eclipse of voices of Israel's Palestinian neighbors. Interpretations reinforce the liminality of ethnic groups like the Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, and Samaritans effected initially through re-presentation. Stereotyping becomes an ethno-typing strategy that establishes the presumed superiority of 'Israel', the identity construction of the 'others' as anything but superior, and the placement of each group stereotyped on the 'border'. A postcolonial perspective, however, reveals that the focus of the commentary tradition extends liminality beyond the temporal. This study brings to speech the constructed voices of marginalized ethnic groups by juxtaposing those of fifth-century Yehud with those of nineteenth-century America placed there by stereotypic re-presentations. The examination of these re-presentations, though they intend to establish separation through an identity of difference, reveal instead a reflection of the identity of 'self' within 'other' despite efforts by an ethnic group identifying itself as 'Israel'.
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The Emergence of Early Israel in Historical Perspective

Published: Feb 2010
£20.00
This highly original study takes a panoramic view of history in order to set the emergence of Israel in the broadest possible perspective. It begins with a study of the nature of history writing and the increasing problems involved in utilizing the biblical text for historical reconstruction. The authors suggest an alternative approach which assigns priority to interpreting archaeological data within a broad interdisciplinary framework. The book provides a broad overview of settlement patterns and social relations throughout Palestinian history from the middle of the third millennium BCE to the present day in order to illustrate how the emergence of Israel in the early Iron Age fits into the march of time. Archaeological evidence for the appearance of dispersed settlements in the highlands and steppes of Palestine at the beginning of the early Iron Age followed by the rapid centralization of this area suggests that Israel emerged within Palestine in response to the decline in east Mediterranean trade at the end of the Late Bronze Age. The development of an Israelite monarchy is seen as being inextricably linked to the factors involved in Israel's emergence-as distinct from much previous research which has presented the monarchy as alien to the origins of Israel. This volume is a reprint of the 1987 edition with a new preface by Robert B. Coote and Keith W. Whitelam setting the work in the context of recent debates on the history of ancient Israel.
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The Emergence of Early Israel in Historical Perspective

£20.00
This highly original study takes a panoramic view of history in order to set the emergence of Israel in the broadest possible perspective. It begins with a study of the nature of history writing and the increasing problems involved in utilizing the biblical text for historical reconstruction. The authors suggest an alternative approach which assigns priority to interpreting archaeological data within a broad interdisciplinary framework. The book provides a broad overview of settlement patterns and social relations throughout Palestinian history from the middle of the third millennium BCE to the present day in order to illustrate how the emergence of Israel in the early Iron Age fits into the march of time. Archaeological evidence for the appearance of dispersed settlements in the highlands and steppes of Palestine at the beginning of the early Iron Age followed by the rapid centralization of this area suggests that Israel emerged within Palestine in response to the decline in east Mediterranean trade at the end of the Late Bronze Age. The development of an Israelite monarchy is seen as being inextricably linked to the factors involved in Israel's emergence-as distinct from much previous research which has presented the monarchy as alien to the origins of Israel. This volume is a reprint of the 1987 edition with a new preface by Robert B. Coote and Keith W. Whitelam setting the work in the context of recent debates on the history of ancient Israel.
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To Break Every Yoke: Essays in Honor of Marvin L. Chaney

Published: Oct 2007
£50.00
Marvin L. Chaney (San Francisco Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union, 1969 to 2006) enjoys international recognition for his seminal role in defining and developing a social-historical approach to the Hebrew Scriptures. Among the 20 papers in this Festschrift, Phyllis Bird writes on Israelite women's religious activity outside the household, Robert Coote on the dating of J, William Dever on archaeology and the social world of Isaiah, Patricia Dutcher-Walls on queen mothers and royal politics in late-monarchic Judah, John H. Elliott on the semantics of envy, jealousy, and zeal in the Bible, Frank Frick on sexual imagery in Hosea 1 —3, Norman Gottwald on the interplay of religion and ethnicity in biblical Israel, Ron Hendel on the anthropology of food in the priestly Torah, David Hopkins on agricultural labor in ancient Palestine, Richard Horsley on the political roots of early Judean apocalyptic texts, Carol Meyers on Iron II Judean pillar figurines, Richard Rohrbaugh on Zacchaeus as defender of Jesus' honor, Katharine Sakenfeld on postcolonial perspectives on Rahab, Ruth, and Jael, Luise Schottroff on the notions of world rule and serving God in traditions about Jesus, Keith Whitelam on mapping ancient Israel, Antoinette Wire on the God of Jesus in Mark, and Gale Yee on recovering marginalized groups in ancient Israel.
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To Break Every Yoke: Essays in Honor of Marvin L. Chaney

£50.00
Marvin L. Chaney (San Francisco Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union, 1969 to 2006) enjoys international recognition for his seminal role in defining and developing a social-historical approach to the Hebrew Scriptures. Among the 20 papers in this Festschrift, Phyllis Bird writes on Israelite women's religious activity outside the household, Robert Coote on the dating of J, William Dever on archaeology and the social world of Isaiah, Patricia Dutcher-Walls on queen mothers and royal politics in late-monarchic Judah, John H. Elliott on the semantics of envy, jealousy, and zeal in the Bible, Frank Frick on sexual imagery in Hosea 1 —3, Norman Gottwald on the interplay of religion and ethnicity in biblical Israel, Ron Hendel on the anthropology of food in the priestly Torah, David Hopkins on agricultural labor in ancient Palestine, Richard Horsley on the political roots of early Judean apocalyptic texts, Carol Meyers on Iron II Judean pillar figurines, Richard Rohrbaugh on Zacchaeus as defender of Jesus' honor, Katharine Sakenfeld on postcolonial perspectives on Rahab, Ruth, and Jael, Luise Schottroff on the notions of world rule and serving God in traditions about Jesus, Keith Whitelam on mapping ancient Israel, Antoinette Wire on the God of Jesus in Mark, and Gale Yee on recovering marginalized groups in ancient Israel.
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