This paper explores the intersections between two approaches to biblical interpretation: iconographic and gendered approaches. Focusing on the ways that visual images from the ancient Near East have been incorporated in studying gender in the Hebrew Bible, I identify four intersections. These examples demonstrate that participating in an iconographic turn is an important way that gender studies in the Hebrew Bible can develop. I also seek to show that the interactions can be mutually fruitful. In other words, including gender as an area of inquiry is a way that the iconographic turn itself can develop in biblical studies.
LeMon“Iconographic Approaches” pp. 150-51. For some recent examples see Bonfiglio “Archer Imagery;” Joel M. LeMon “Yahweh’s Hand and the Iconography of the Blow in Psalm 81:14-16” JBL 132 (2013) pp. 865-82; Brent A. Strawn “Whence Lionine Yahweh? Iconography and the History of Israelite Religion” in Martti Nissinen and Charles E. Charter (eds.) Images and Prophecy in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean (FRLANT 233; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2009) pp. 51-85.
See Austen Henry LayardMonuments of Nineveh from Drawings Made on the Spot (London: J. Murray1849). For the larger visual context the full image is available online at http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dc-46f6-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99. See also Yigael Yadin The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands in the Light of Archaeological Study (New York: McGraw-Hill 1963) vol. 2 p. 388; Schroer “Gender and Iconography” p. 16 pl. 1; Julian Reade Assyrian Sculpture (Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1983) p. 30 fig. 35; Winfried Orthmann Der Alte Orient (Berlin: Propyläen Verlag 1975) pl. 202b.
See Othmar KeelThe Symbolism of the Biblical World: Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Book of Psalms (trans. Timothy J. Hallett; New York: Seabury1978) p. 102 fig. 132. Used with permission. For photographs of this artifact see Orthmann Der Alte Orient pl. 214; Dominique Collon Ancient Near Eastern Art (Berkeley: University of California Press 1995) p. 141 fig. 115; Richard David Barnett The Sculptures of Aššur-Nasir-Apli II 883-859 BC Tiglath-Pileser III 745-727 BC [and] Esarhaddon 681-669 BC from the Central and South-West Palaces at Nimrud (London: British Museum 1962) pl. XL; Yadin The Art of Warfare vol. 2 pp. 406-407)
See Gordon LoudThe Megiddo Ivories (Chicago: University of Chicago Press1939) pl. 4: 2a and 2b. Courtesy of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. See also LeMon “Iconographic Approaches” p. 153 fig. 7; Keel and Uehlinger Gods Goddesses and Images of God in Ancient Israel fig. 65; James B. Pritchard The Ancient Near East in Pictures Relating to the Old Testament (Princeton: Princeton University Press 1969) p. 111 fig. 332
See David Stronach“Early Achaemenid Coinage: Perspectives from the Homeland,”Iranica Antiqua24 (1989) fig. 1 [1-3 7]. Used with permission. See also Ryan P. Bonfiglio “Archer Imagery” fig. 1 4-6; Mark B. Garrison “Archers at Persepolis: The Emergence of Royal Ideology at the Heart of Empire” in John Curtis and St. John Simpson (eds.) The World of Achaemenid Persia: History Art and Society in Iran and the Ancient Near East (New York: I.B. Tauris 2010) p. 338 fig. 32.1