War in the Hebrew Bible: A Study in the Ethics of Violence / Edition 1

War in the Hebrew Bible: A Study in the Ethics of Violence / Edition 1

by Susan Niditch
     
 

Texts about war pervade the Hebrew Bible, raising challenging questions in religious and political ethics. The war passages that readers find most disquieting are those in which God demands the total annihilation of the enemy without regard to gender, age, or military status. The ideology of the "ban," however, is only one among a range of attitudes

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Overview

Texts about war pervade the Hebrew Bible, raising challenging questions in religious and political ethics. The war passages that readers find most disquieting are those in which God demands the total annihilation of the enemy without regard to gender, age, or military status. The ideology of the "ban," however, is only one among a range of attitudes towards war preserved in the ancient Israelite literary tradition. Applying insights from anthropology, comparative literature, and feminist studies, Niditch considers a wide spectrum of war ideologies in the Hebrew Bible, seeking in each case to discover why and how these views might have made sense to biblical writers, who themselves can be seen to wrestle with the ethics of violence. The study of war thus also illuminates the social and cultural history of Israel, as war texts are found to map the world views of biblical writers from various periods and settings. Reviewing ways in which modern scholars have interpreted this controversial material, Niditch sheds further light on the normative assumptions that shape our understanding of ancient Israel. More widely, this work explores how human beings attempt to justify killing and violence while concentrating on the tones, textures, meanings, and messages of a particular corpus in the Hebrew Scriptures.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195098402
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
06/29/1995
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,054,222
Product dimensions:
8.25(w) x 5.56(h) x 0.53(d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Introduction3
1The Ban as God's Portion28
2The Ban as God's Justice56
3The Priestly Ideology of War in Numbers 3178
4The Bardic Tradition of War90
5The Ideology of Tricksterism106
6The Ideology of Expediency and Biblical Critique123
7Toward an Ideology of Nonparticipation134
Conclusions150
References157
Additional Readings171
Index of Biblical Citations173
General Index178

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