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The fall of Samaria is narrated in 2 Kings 17. The cuneiform inscriptions dealing with this event are prima facie contradictory: the conquest is ascribed to both Shalmaneser V and Sargon II. The surmise of H. Tadmor that Samaria was conquered twice is investigated. At the same time the events are interpreted in their socio-historical framework.
Tadmor's assumption cannot be falsified, although his theory should be modified as regards the date of the first conquest: 723 B.C.E. The fall of Samaria can be interpreted as an inevitable result of the expansion of the Assyrian Empire in combination with internal struggles in Israel. Evidence of deportation reveals that deportees were treated as normal citizens.
Thorough discussion of the sources and their interpretation is a feature of this book.
Jeremiah's "Little Book of Consolation" is an intruiging text that provokes a series of interpretative difficulties. Is the text originally from Jeremiah? Can it be construed as a literary coherence or is a complex literary process of emergence to be accepted? What is meant by the 'New Covenant'?
In this monograph Jer. 30–31 is read applying a variety of methods. The text-critical chapter argues for the reinforcement of the editorial theory according to which MT and LXXJer. are to be construed as two different versions. Much attention is paid to the delimitation criticism of these two chapters leading to the assumption that they are composed of ten Sub-Cantos.
Five of these Sub-Cantos are interpreted taking into account Ancient Near Eastern textual material in order to understand the mental framework of the ancient reader. The final chapter pleads for the conceptual coherence of Jer. 30–31 which is seen as based on the idea of divine changeability.
Perspectives on Israelite Religion in the Persian Era
STAR - Studies in Theology and Religion, 5

Papers Read at the First Meeting of the European Association for Biblical Studies, Utrecht, 6-9 August 2000

The Persian era in Ancient Israel’s history is an intriguing period. The time span between Cyrus the Great and Alexander the Great was a theatre of shifts and changes. These changes are observable in daily life, in the organisation of society as well as in various religious phenomena. The essays in this volume originate from a seminar about developments and movements in the religion of Israel after the Exile, which was part of the first meeting of the European Association for Biblical Studies (Utrecht, 2000). The essays deal with questions like: How did religion help inhabitants of Yehud to cope with the new reality? How did this new reality influence the (re)formulation of Yahwism? What was the character of the existing Yahwism that was reformulated?

Rainer Albertz (PhD Heidelberg, 1972; Habilitation Heidelberg, 1977) is ordinary Professor of Old Testament Studies at the University of Münster (Westfalen, Germany). His most recent book is: Die Exilszeit 6. Jahrhundert v. Chr. (Biblische Enzyklopädie 7), Stuttgart 2001.

Bob Becking (PhD Utrecht, 1985) is ordinary Professor of Old Testament studies at Utrecht University. He was co-editor of the Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, Leiden 1995; 21998.

From the contents

Rainer Albertz & Bob Becking, Problems and Possibilities: Perspectives on Postexilic Yahwism
Rainer Albertz, The Thwarted Restoration
Bob Becking, Law as Expression of Religion (Ezra 7-10)
Ehud Ben Zvi, What is New in Yehud? Some Considerations
Mark J. Boda, Zechariah: Master Mason or Penitential Prophet?
Meindert Dijkstra, The Law of Moses: the Memory of Mosaic Religion in and after the Exile
William Johnstone, The Revision of Festivals in Exodus 1-24 in the Persian Period and the Preservation of Jewish Identity in the Diaspora
Antje Labahn, Antitheocratic Tendencies in Chronicles
Herbert Niehr, The Changed Status of the Dead in Yehud
Thomas Pola, Form and Meaning in Zechariah 3
Wolter Rose, Messianic Expectations in the Early Postexilic Period
Rüdiger Schmitt, Gab es einen Bildersturm nach dem Exil? - Einige Bemerkungen zur Verwendung von Terrakottafigurinen im nachexilischen Israel
Zipora Talshir, Synchronic Approaches with Diachronic Consequences in the Study of Parallel Redactions: First Esdras and 2 Chr 35-36; Ezra 1-10; Neh 8
David S. Vanderhooft, New Evidence Pertaining to the Transition from Neo-Babylonian to Achaemenid Administration in Palestine
Gender-Specific and Related Studies in Memory of Fokkelien van Dijk-Hemmes
The articles in this volume have been written in memory of the feminist biblical scholar, Fokkelien van Dijk-Hemmes, who died at the early age of 50. The authors endeavour to continue and advance the dialogue with her by evaluating and interacting with her scholarly legacy. Their concern is with various aspects of her work on the Hebrew Bible, and they respond in particular to the feminist hermeneutics she developed for reading biblical texts.
Several articles test her method in application to specific prophetic texts. Other contributions focus on aspects of the role of women in the cults of Ancient Israel. A third group of essays confronts Fokkelien van Dijk-Hemmes' approach with more traditional ways of biblical interpretation.
This book is an important contribution to the ongoing debate on feminist insights into aspects of the literature, culture and religion of Ancient Israel.
Papers Read at the Joint Meeting of the Society for Old Testament Study and Het Oud Testamentisch Werkgezelschap in Nederland en België, Apeldoorn August 2006
The essays in this volume focus on the interpretation of the Book of Psalms and comparable texts in the Hebrew Bible. A variety of methods is applied to the ancient texts. Some essays concentrate on composition and structure, others on redaction and context. It is of great interest to see that each approach has its strength and its limits: stressing the importance to read the Psalms with a multi-dimensional matrix of methods. By viewing the Psalms as prayers, and thus as expressions of both faith and despair, a perspective on the contents of the ancient hymns and their functions in daily life has been opened. This volume contains various incentives for future research.
A Selection of Papers Read at the 50th Anniversary Meeting of the Old Testament Society of South Africa OTWSA/OTSSA, Pretoria August 2007
At the fiftieth anniversary of the Old Testament Society of South Africa a conference was organized on the theme Exile and Suffering. This volume contains a selection of the papers presented. Focal questions are such themes as: What do we really know about the Exile? To what degree did suffering take place? How did the Ancient Israelites cope with the disaster? Where the ancinet traditions sufficient to deal with the Exile? Or did this period produce new forms of 'theology'? The significance of the Exile as a matrix for understanding suffering until this day is also dealt with.
Transformation of Religious Tradition in Exilic and Post-Exilic Times
Exile and Return have caused a crisis in Israelite religion. This crisis eventually gave the impetus for the emergence of Judaism. The papers in this volume, originally read at a Symposium organized by Utrecht University in April 1998, discuss the relevant aspects of this crisis and the shift from Yahwism to Judaism. The collection of papers is unique in presenting a multidimensional treatment of the problems involved. Biblical texts are read against their historical background with the question in mind: How did the author(s) of this text cope with the changed and shifting situation? Next to that the period under consideration is discussed from historical, religion-historical, archaeological and iconographic angles.
The volume underscores the significance of this period for Biblical studies and will certainly yield further discussion.
Second extensively revised edition
The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible is the single major work of reference on the gods, angels, demons, spirits and semi-divine heroes whose names occur in the biblical books. First published in 1995 and chosen by "Choice" as Best Reference Work of 1996, an extensively revised edition was published in 1998. Arranged in the order of the Latin alphabet, the more than four-hundred names are those found in the books of the Hebrew and the Greek Bible, Old and New Testament, including the Apocrypha. There are entries on divine names recognized as such by the biblical authors; divine names in theophoric toponyms and anthroponyms; secular terms which occur as divine names in neighbouring civilizations, conjectural divine names, at times based on textual emendation, proposed by modern scholarship; and humans who acquired a semi-divine status in tradition. A typical entry contains a discussion of the pertinent name, its meaning, the religio-historical background, relevant biblical passages and an up-to-date bibliography. Extensive indices and cross-references provide easy access to the rich information of the dictionary. The Dictionary of Deities and Demons is the fruit of a common effort of a group of more than a hundred international scholars from a variety of traditions.