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Edited by Louis Jonker, Gideon Kotzé and Christl M. Maier

This volume presents the main lectures of the 22nd Congress of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament (IOSOT) held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in September 2016. Sixteen internationally distinguished scholars present their current research on the Hebrew Bible, including the literary history of the Hebrew text, its Greek translation and history of interpretation. Some focus on archeological and iconographic sources and the reconstruction of ancient Israelite religion while others discuss the formation of the biblical text and its impact for cultural memory. The volume gives readers a representative view of the most recent developments in the study of the Old Testament.

Kristine Garroway


The current scholarly milieu has placed great interest in the topics of children and family household religion of ancient Israel; however, scholarship exploring the intersection of the two has not yet been undertaken. This article draws attention to children as vital participants in that domestic cult. Using theories of socialization and enculturation, the article explores how ancient Israelite children interact with the religion that surrounded them daily. This child-centered approach examines textual, archaeological, and ethnographical data and concludes that the process of enculturating ancient Israelite children with household religion produced children who were both passive and active participants in the domestic cult. In doing so, the article informs our knowledge of family household religion, while at the same time expanding our understanding of a child’s role within the Israelite household.

M. Richey


In an arrival formula that recurs throughout the Ugaritic epics Baˁlu and ˀAqhatu, the dwelling of the chief god, ˀIlu, is described as encompassing, among other things, a {dd}. Scholars have understood this term in various ways, chiefly as “field,” “mountain,” and “defense.” I argue that the etymological rationales grounding the first two semantic analyses are unsound, and that the case for the third understanding, by far the least commonly adopted, can be strengthened by observing a Sabaic cognate that occurs together with terms for land holdings. On these grounds, I offer the English translation “pasture” as the best approximation of the semantics of Ugaritic {dd}. This situates ˀIlu as a tent-dwelling pastoralist, for which there are suggestive parallels elsewhere in West Semitic texts, including the Hebrew Bible.

Shalom E. Holtz


In the Akkadian anti-witchcraft ritual Maqlû, the incantation in i.73–121 exemplifies the theme of conducting adjudicatory proceedings against the witch in the divine courtroom. In particular, the patient’s presentation of the witch in effigy and the demand for judgment accord well with similar features attested in Neo-Babylonian trial records. Study of the incantation in light of these court records reveals the incantation’s attention to the details of legal procedure.

Alexander Fantalkin


The article puts forward a new hypothesis concerning the origin of the goddess of Ekron, mentioned in Ekron’s royal dedicatory inscription from the early 7th century bce. Contrary to a widely held view, it is suggested that the origin of the Philistine Goddess of Ekron should not be sought in the Aegean world but rather in northern Syria.