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Sight and Insight in Genesis: A Semantic Study

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Sight and Insight shows how prominent are terms from the semantic field of sight in the book of Genesis.

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Sight and Insight shows how prominent are terms from the semantic field of sight in the book of Genesis. They are constantly found in openings, at turning points, and as constituents in place-names and personal names. Because of their presence at strategic points in the plot of Genesis, words of sight enhance cohesion among the narratives of the book.

From the beginning of time, according to Genesis, there have been numerous instances of seeing on the part of both God and humans. But as Genesis progresses, God gradually becomes more hidden and his seeing gives place to human perception.

These observations are built upon a sound theoretical foundation, outlined in the opening chapter, which provides a clear definition of the concept of ‘semantic field’ and an explanation of related semantic terms such as ‘frames’ and ‘prototypes’.

Subsequent chapters identify the words that can be assigned to the ‘sight’ field, examine the deployment of the sight field in individual narratives in Genesis, and study the sight field over larger sections of the book.

This is the sixth volume of the Amsterdam Studies in the Bible and Religion (ed. Athalya Brenner), a sub-series of the Bible in the Modern World and Hebrew Bible Monographs.

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table of contents

1. Introduction 1.1 Some Points Concerning Methodology and Concepts 1.2 The Structure of the Sight Field 1.3 Literary Aspects of the Semantic Field 1.4 Plot and Key-Points 1.5 The Quantitative Aspect: The Frequency of r’h and Other Sight Related Lexemes in Genesis 2. The Constituents of the Sight Field: A Discussion of Meanings and Positions in the Field 2.1 The Nucleus of the Sight Field 2.2 The Centre of the Sight Field 2.3 Lexemes of the First Circle: Lexemes Linked Semantically to the Centre 2.4 Symbols in the Sight Field 2.5 Lexemes which Participate Both in the Sight Field and in the Field of Cognitive Perception 2.6 Lexemes from Nearby Fields 2.7 Peripheral Lexemes 2.8 Place Names, Personal Names, Words Denoting Time and the Heavenly Bodies 3. The Deployment of the Sight Field in the Individual Narratives 3.1 The Primeval History 3.2 The Abraham Narrative 3.3 The Jacob Narrative 3.4 The Joseph Narrative 4.The Theme of Sight Unifies the Sections of Genesis 4.1 Diachronic Aspects of Genesis: The Division of the Book into its Parts 4.2 Synchronous Aspects in the Book of Genesis: Discerning Coherence 4.3 Levels of Sight 4.4 The Primeval History 4.5 The Abraham Narrative 4.6 The Jacob Narrative 4.7 ʻSeeing the Face’: A Unifying Phrase in the Jacob and Joseph Narratives 4.8 The Joseph Narrative 5. Conclusions: Divine Sight Gives Way to Human Sight in Genesis

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Book information

Talia Sutskover
List Price
£60 / $95 / €70
Hebrew Bible Monographs, 56
Scholars' Price
£30 / $47.50 / €35
ISBN 13 hardback
Page Extent
xiii + 206
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