Narrative Analogy in the Hebrew Bible

Battle Stories and Their Equivalent Non-battle Narratives


This volume sheds fresh light upon the phenomenon of narrative doubling in the Hebrew Bible. Through an innovative interdisciplinary model the author defines the notion of narrative analogy in relation to other literatures where it has been studied such as English Renaissance drama and makes extensive critical use of contemporary literary theory, particularly that of the Russian formalist Vladimir Propp. His exploitation of narrative doubling, with a focus upon the metaphorical, reorients our reading by uncovering a major dynamic in biblical literature.
The author examines several battle reports and demonstrates how each could be interpreted as an oblique commentary and metaphor for the non-battle account that immediately precedes it. Battle scenes are revealed to stand in metaphoric analogy with, among others, accounts of a trial, a rape, a drinking feast, and a court-deliberation.
Joshua Berman offers new insights to the ever-growing concern with the relationship between historiography and literary strategies, and succeeds in articulating a new aspect of biblical ideology concerning human and divine relationship.
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Biographical Note

Joshua A. Berman Ph.D. (2002) is a Lecturer in the Department of Bible at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. His scholarly focuses are upon the literary analysis of biblical narrative with a penchant for interdisciplinary approaches to the biblical text. He has published several articles and is also the author of The Temple: Its Symbolism and Meaning Then and Now (Jason Aronson, 1995).

Table of contents

1. Introduction: Narrative Analogy and the Metaphor Plot
2. The Second Battle at Ha-Ai (Josh 8:1-29) and the Trial of Achan (Josh 7:10-26)
3. The Battle Against Benjamin (Judg 20:40-48) and the Rape of the Concubine (Judg 19:22-27)
4. The Appointment of Jephthah as Commander in Chief (Judg 10:17-11:11) and the Reproach of the People by God (Judg 10:6-16)
5. Two Days of Feasting (Esth 5:1-8) and Two Days of Fighting (Esth 9:1-16) in the Book of Esther
6. The Battle at Baal Perazim (1 Chr 14:8-12) and the Account of Perez Uzzah (1 Chr 13:1-14)
7. The Battle at Ramoth Gilead (2 Chr 18:28-19:3) and the Pre-Battle Deliberations of Ahab and Jehoshaphat (2 Chr 18:1-27)
8. Conclusions: The Battle Report and Narrative Analogy in Light of the Present Study
Appendix: Narrative Analogy and the Battle Report in the Ancient Near East
General Index
Index of Scriptural References


This book will be of interest to those engaged in the study of narrative doubling in all areas of literature, the interplay between biblical historiography and literary strategies, and feminist readings of biblical literature.

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