This groundbreaking volume presents a new translation of the text and detailed interpretation of almost every word or phrase in the book of Judges, drawing from archaeology and iconography, textual versions, biblical parallels, and extrabiblical texts, many never noted before. Archaeology also serves to show how a story of the Iron II period employed visible ruins to narrate supposedly early events from the so-called "period of the Judges." The synchronic analysis for each unit sketches its characters and main themes, as well as other literary dynamics. The diachronic, redactional analysis shows the shifting settings of units as well as their development, commonly due to their inner-textual reception and reinterpretation. The result is a remarkably fresh historical-critical treatment of 1:1-10:5.
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About the Author
Mark S. Smith is Helena Professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis at Princeton Theological Seminary and Skirball Professor Emeritus of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University. He is the author of over 120 articles, 17 books, and 5 co-authored books: most recently, Where the Gods Are: Spatial Dimensions of Anthropomorphism in the Biblical World (2016) and The Genesis of Good and Evil: The Fall(out) and Original Sin in the Bible (2019).
Elizabeth Bloch-Smith earned her PhD from the University of Chicago Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Over the last forty years she has dug in Israel, Cyprus, Tunisia, Turkey, and Connecticut, and currently teaches at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her publications, which focus on Israelite religion, ethnicity, archaeological method and theory, ancient Near Eastern goddesses, and the nexus between Bible and archaeology, include Judahite Burial Practices and Beliefs about the Dead and a forthcoming final publication on Tel Dor Area B.