Religion 21 Professor Niditch Ancient Israel Chapin 114



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To Think About:

1. Be sure you understand these terms: a. tribal league of amphictyony; b. tabernacle; c. holy war; d. divine warrior; e. charismatic leader.

2. What is the role of the following places as implied by Josh-Judges and what does Bright suggest about their role in the cult of an Israelite league: a. Shiloh; b. Gilgal; c. Shechem; d. Bethel? For help see Bright, (reserve) 162 and the index references in F.M. Cross, Canaanite Myth.

3. By now you should be well acquainted with Josh 3-5 and 24. Review these passages carefully.

4. How does the spies story in Josh 2 ff. compare with the spies incident in Numbers?

5. What role does Rahab play in the history of Israel and why is she an interesting candidate for this role? Compare her with other females in the Hebrew Bible and particularly with Tamar of Gen 38.

6. What does Josh 6, 7 tell you about "holy war," its character and restrictions? Review Deut 13:12 ff., 20:1-20, and 21:10-14..

7. What does the book of Joshua tell you about the historical process of conquest and settlement? Recall our class discussion of "conquest," "infiltration," "liberation," and "pioneer settlement" models for the formation of early Israel.

8. How does the Book of Judges portray the role of the judge? How was he/she chosen for service?

9. Do we learn anything from Judges about Israel's historical enemies and her perception of them in the late second millenium BCE?

10. Evaluate George Mendenhall and Norman Gottwald's theories about "the conquest as revolution."

11. How does the theme of covenantal blessings and curses reverberate through Judges? Notice the recurring pattern of backsliding-punishment-salvation.

12. Be prepared to discuss Jael and Deborah, two female charismatic figures.

13. Judg 5 is early poetry usually dated to the 12th century B.C.E. Compare its style to those of Ex 15 and Deut 32. Does its use of battle motifs remind you of Near Eastern myth? What does 5:12-23 imply about the participation of the various members of the tribal league, an institution portrayed in Judges, but not accepted as historical reality by many modern scholars? What does the strange narrative in Judges 19ff. tell you about interactions in the league? Where do loyalties often lie?

14. How do you interpret Judges 7:4-8?

15. What does Judges tell you about the nature of Israelite religion in the period of the judges?

From League to Monarchy
VIII. November 7, 9, 12, 14




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