Boundaries without Judah, Boundaries within Judah: Hybridity and Identity in Nahum

In: Horizons in Biblical Theology

Abstract

This article examines the use of boundaries and the related phenomenon of hybridity in the book of Nahum through a variety of postcolonial optics. Moving beyond the essentialist/interactivist dichotomy, it explores the various kinds of difference between Judah and Neo-Assyria that Nahum articulates, their reuse as a means of critiquing Assyria, and the intriguing similarity between Judah and all nations but Assyria. The article also suggests that an inner-Judahite distinction coexists alongside the book’s response to empire, and that Nahum’s stereotypes are crucial to its varied uses of hybridity.

  • 6)

    A. Smith, “Migrancy, hybridity, and postcolonial literary studies,” The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies (ed. N. Lazarus; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

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  • 8)

    Bedford, “Empire and Exploitation,” 30-31.

  • 9)

    Bhabha, The Location of Culture, 108.

  • 10)

    See V. Kalra, R. Kalhon, and J. Hutynuk, Diaspora and Hybridity (London: Sage, 2005), 8-50.

  • 11)

    P. Wade, “Hybridity Theory and Kinship Thinking,” Cultural Studies 19 (2005) 602-20 (602-606).

  • 12)

    Wade, “Hybridity Theory,” 613.

  • 13)

    Wade, “Hybridity Theory,” 610.

  • 14)

    Wade, “Hybridity Theory,” 607, 617.

  • 19)

    M. Rautenberg, “Stereotypes and Emblems in the Construction of Social Imagination,” Outlines—Critical Practice Studies 2 (2010) 126-37 (133).

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  • 24)

    See the discussion in V. Westhelle, “Margins Exposed: Representation, Hybridity and Transfiguration,” in Still at the Margins: Biblical Scholarship Fifteen Years after Voices from the Margin (ed. R. S. Sugirtharajah; London: T & T Clark, 2008), 69-87 (82-87).

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  • 25)

    See G. H. Johnston, “Nahum’s Rhetorical Allusions to the Neo-Assyrian Lion Motif,” BibSac 158 (2001) 287-307.

  • 27)

    Johnston, “Nahum’s Rhetorical Allusions,” 299.

  • 32)

    T. Abusch, “Ishtar,” DDD, 452-53; cf. I. E. Reigner, The Vanishing Hebrew Harlot: the adventures of the Hebrew stem ZNH (Studies in Biblical Literature 73; New York: Peter Lang, 2009), 32.

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  • 33)

    Abusch, “Ishtar,” 453.

  • 36)

    Cf. M. Cogan, “The Capture and Destruction of Babylon (2.119E),” in The Context of Scripture, vol. 2, Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World(ed. W. W. Hallo and K. L. Younger; Leiden: Brill, 2001), 305.

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  • 38)

    S. Engler, “Umbanda and Hybridity.” Numen 56 (2009) 545-77 (565-66).

  • 39)

    Engler, “Umbanda and Hybridity,” 566.

  • 41)

    Wade, “Hybridity Theory,” 617.

  • 42)

    See T. B. Dozeman, Exodus (Eerdmans Critical Commentary; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009), 469-72.

  • 43)

    See Dozeman, Exodus, 735-36.

  • 46)

    P. Raabe, “The Particularizing of Universal Judgment in Prophetic Discourse,” CBQ 64 (2002) 652-74.

  • 47)

    Fabry, Nahum (HThKAT; Freiburg: Herder, 2006), 139.

  • 51)

    Also noted by T. Renz, “Nahum, Book of,” Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible (ed. K. Vanhoozer; London and Grand Rapids: SPCK and Baker Academic, 2005), 527-28 (527).

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  • 52)

    V. P. Hamilton, “Jacob/Israel (person),” New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (ed. T. D. Alexander and B. S. Rosner; Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2000), 587-89 (588); J. G. Wenham, Genesis 16-50 (WBC 2; Dallas: Word, 1994), 296-97. H.-J. Fabry differs, arguing that the comparison with Israel allows only for a negative sense, since Israel has already fallen to Assyria (Nahum, 168-69).

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  • 53)

    Engler, “Umbanda and Hybridity,” 567.

  • 55)

    P. C. Johnson, “Migrating Bodies, Circulating Signs: Brazilian Candombl窠the Gariguna of the Caribbean, and the Category of Indigenous Religions,” History of Religions 41 (2002) 301-27 (308), cited in Engler, “Umbanda and Hybridity,” 551.

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  • 56)

    Engler, “Umbanda and Hybridity,” 566.

  • 58)

    M. A. Sweeney, “Concerning the Structure and Generic Character of the Book of Nahum,” ZAW 104 (1992) 364-77, here 371.

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