Self-Interest or Communal Interest

An Ideology of Leadership in the Gideon, Abimelech and Jephthah Narratives (Judg 6-12)


This book provides an extensive literary analysis of the Gideon, Abimelech and Jephthah narratives in Judges 6-12, and discloses the main intention of these stories. The book consists of three chapters, each of which analyses the respective biblical narratives. These narratives show the two parameters by which the Israelite leaders are examined, namely their loyalty to God and their altruistic character: A leader who prefers his own interest is doomed to his own demise and brings devastation upon his people. Judges does not establish a preferred governmental model, instead it considers the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of regimes. In the epilogue it is suggested that these narratives are conveniently placed in the pre-monarchic period when the question of the regime becomes part of the political debate. The book of Judges offers criteria for the choice of the right leader.
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Biographical Note

Elie Assis, Ph.D. (1999) in Biblical studies, Bar-Ilan University, Israel, is a Lecturer of Bible at Bar-Ilan University. He has published on literary and theological aspects of biblical narrative including a study on the Book of Joshua: From Moses to Joshua and From the Miraculous to the Ordinary (Magnes, 2005, in Hebrew).


The book will engage those interested in biblical narrative and particularly in the Book of Judges, as well as those who have an interest in synchronic readings with an eye toward their underlying ideologies.


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