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Susan Niditch


A number of scholars have pointed to the ways in which Zechariah 9 convincingly functions as a literary and conceptual whole. Approaching Zechariah 9 as a unity, however, raises important questions concerning a recurring motif in the chapter that has especially deep cultural connotations: blood.Blood is forbidden as food and unclean-rendering in Zech 9:7, blood is intimately involved in the covenantal relationship between Yahweh and Israel in 9:11 and it is part of the Israelites’ post-victory feast in several important Septuagintal traditions in 9:15. A study of the blood motif in Zechariah 9 through the lenses of a variety of anthropological and literary approaches reveals the ways in which blood operates as a symbolically rich, multivalent motif not only in this chapter but in the larger Israelite tradition.