Hollow Men, Strange Women

Riddles, Codes and Otherness in the Book of Judges

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In Hollow Men, Strange Women, Robin Baker provides a masterly reappraisal of Israel's experience during its Settlement of Canaan as narrated in the Book of Judges. Written under Assyrian suzerainty in the reign of Manasseh, Judges is both a theological commentary on the Settlement and an esoteric work of prophecy. Its apparent historicity subtly encrypts a grim forewarning of Judah's future, and, in its extensive treatment of otherness, Judges explores the meaning of God’s covenant with Israel.

Robin Baker's scholarly and perceptive reading draws on a deep understanding of ancient Hebrew and Mesopotamian symbolic codes to interpret the riddles in this many-layered text. The Book of Judges reveals complex literary configurations from which past, present, and future are simultaneously presented.
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Biographical Note

Robin Baker is Professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Winchester and a Fellow of University College London.

Table of contents

Table of Contents

PREFACE

1. INTRODUCTION: ‘A SPOIL OF DIVERS COLOURS ON BOTH SIDES’

2. ‘O MIRROR OF OUR FICKLE STATE’: RIDDLES, WORDS AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS OF ILLUSION

3. NOT QUITE AT HOME: GEOGRAPHY AND OTHERNESS

4. ‘LET ME FEEL THE PILLARS ON WHICH THE HOUSE STANDS’: THE ROLE AND SYMBOLISM OF THE BOOK’S RHETORICAL ARCHITECTURE

5. THE TANGLED ROOTS OF DEBORAH’S TREE: MESOPOTAMIA, EGYPT AND THE SOUL OF JUDGES

6. ‘THIS BROKEN JAW OF OUR LOST KINGDOMS’: DEATH AND COSMIC WARFARE

7. PAST AS PARABLE, HISTORY AS HONEY: JUDGES AS HISTORIOGRAPHY

8. EPILOGUE: JUDGES AND THE DEUTERONOMIST

BIBLIOGRAPHY
General Index
Index of Biblical References

Readership

Academic libraries, postgraduate and undergraduate students, rabbis and Christian clergy.