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Covenant in the Persian Period
From Genesis to Chronicles
Edited by Richard J. Bautch and Gary N. Knoppers
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The 22 essays in this new and comprehensive study explore how notions of covenant, especially the Sinaitic covenant, flourished during the Neo-Babylonian, Persian, and early Hellenistic periods. Following the upheaval of the Davidic monarchy, the temple's destruction, the disenfranchisement of the Jerusalem priesthood, the deportation of Judeans to other lands, the struggles of Judeans who remained in the land, and the limited returns of some Judean groups from exile, the covenant motif proved to be an increasingly influential symbol in Judean intellectual life. The contributors to this volume, drawn from many different countries including Canada, Germany, Israel, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United States, document how Judean writers working within historiographic, Levitical, prophetic, priestly, and sapiential circles creatively reworked older notions of covenant to invent a new way of understanding this idea. These writers examine how new conceptions of the covenant made between YHWH and Israel at Mt. Sinai play a significant role in the process of early Jewish identity formation. Others focus on how transformations in the Abrahamic, Davidic, and Priestly covenants responded to cultural changes within Judean society, both in the homeland and in the diaspora. Cumulatively, the studies of biblical writings, from Genesis to Chronicles, demonstrate how Jewish literature in this period developed a striking diversity of ideas related to covenantal themes.
Publication date: 2015
Bibliographic info: Pp. vii + 452
Trim Size: 6 x 9 inches
Prior to this study, no attempt at a comprehensive presentation of the term "covenant" in this period has appeared, and the volume discussed here in fact closes a glaring gap. . . . The main merit of this book is its concentration on the rather underexposed Persian period to consider the variety of usages of and growth of ideas around the concept of "covenant" in the post-exilic period. . . . All in all, we must thank Bautch and Knoppers for a volume that provides an excellent foundation and a wealth of suggestions for further study. — Joachim J. Krause, Orientalistische Literaturzeitung 2016
The main interest of the book lies in the very broad scope of the biblical corpus it covers: all parts of the Tanakh are discussed, and we can be grateful to the contributors for having made such an interesting assessment of what each of their areas of study brings to the understanding of the covenant in ancient Israel. . . . The scope of the subject matter and the high quality of the chapters will certainly make this book a reference for anyone interested in the subject.—M. Richelle in Transeuphratène 48 (2016) 143–46
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