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Author: Paul Sanders
This study offers an extensive survey of previous literature dealing with the provenance of the song in Deuteronomy 32, a renewed discussion of its text and language as well as an analysis of its poetic structure with the help of a new method. The author tests the tenability of older theories and proposes a new theory based on systematic research into the intertextual links with other parts of the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical literature of the Ancient Near East. Separate sections are dedicated to the song's descriptions of the relationship between YHWH and the gods and to the identity of the hostile people to which the song refers. The author concludes that a pre-exilic date is extremely likely for the song in its entirety.
In: Arabica
In: Psalms and Prayers
In: Reflections on the Silence of God
In: Septuagint, Targum and Beyond
Author: Paul Sanders

Abstract

Present-day readers, including Jews and Christians, tend to be shocked by the account of the purposeful execution of seven descendants of Saul in 2 Samuel 21:1–14. Traditionally, the narrative was presumed to justify David’s decision to have them killed. Nowadays, the story is often read with suspicion. Does the homicide really serve a purpose, and is the way in which it is justified convincing? The elimination of Saul’s relatives may have served David well. A new analysis of three non-biblical texts from the ancient Near East demonstrates that the plot of the biblical episode largely fits a known conceptual pattern. This pattern indicates what a responsible king must do in times of misery. The comparison shows that some critical readings of 2 Samuel 21:1–14 lack a solid basis, while others have a point. Despite the elements that do not make sense to twenty-first-century readers, both the biblical and the non-biblical texts appear to exhibit positive aspects of ancient religious thinking.

In: Violence in the Hebrew Bible
Author: Paul Sanders

Abstract

Present-day readers, including Jews and Christians, tend to be shocked by the account of the purposeful execution of seven descendants of Saul in 2 Samuel 21:1–14. Traditionally, the narrative was presumed to justify David’s decision to have them killed. Nowadays, the story is often read with suspicion. Does the homicide really serve a purpose, and is the way in which it is justified convincing? The elimination of Saul’s relatives may have served David well. A new analysis of three non-biblical texts from the ancient Near East demonstrates that the plot of the biblical episode largely fits a known conceptual pattern. This pattern indicates what a responsible king must do in times of misery. The comparison shows that some critical readings of 2 Samuel 21:1–14 lack a solid basis, while others have a point. Despite the elements that do not make sense to twenty-first-century readers, both the biblical and the non-biblical texts appear to exhibit positive aspects of ancient religious thinking.

In: Violence in the Hebrew Bible
Scripture as Written and Read in Antiquity
The Pericope series aims at making available data on unit delimitation found in biblical and related manuscripts to the scholarly world and provides a platform for evaluating hitherto largely neglected evidence for the benefit of biblical interpretation.
In: Darwin-Inspired Learning
In: Darwin-Inspired Learning