By Susan Niditch
Texts approximately conflict pervade the Hebrew Bible, elevating not easy questions in spiritual and political ethics. The warfare passages that readers locate so much disquieting are these during which God calls for the whole annihilation of the enemy with out regard to gender, age, or army prestige. The ideology of the "ban," in spite of the fact that, is just one between a number of attitudes in the direction of conflict preserved within the old Israelite literary culture. utilising insights from anthropology, comparative literature, and feminist reviews, Niditch considers a large spectrum of warfare ideologies within the Hebrew Bible, looking in every one case to find why and the way those perspectives may need made experience to biblical writers, who themselves may be obvious to combat with the ethics of violence. The examine of conflict hence additionally illuminates the social and cultural background of Israel, as warfare texts are came across to map the area perspectives of biblical writers from a variety of sessions and settings. Reviewing ways that smooth students have interpreted this arguable fabric, Niditch sheds additional mild at the normative assumptions that form our figuring out of historic Israel. extra generally, this paintings explores how humans try to justify killing and violence whereas focusing on the tones, textures, meanings, and messages of a specific corpus within the Hebrew Scriptures.
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Additional info for War in the Hebrew Bible: A Study in the Ethics of Violence
Again a belittling by accusation of metaphor. Why would the writer of Deuteronomy 13 choose this particularly visceral metaphor? One cannot but conclude that many scholars are simply incapable of seeing their God as one who demands and receives humans in exchange for victory, because of world-views shaped by the normative theological expectations of their own religious traditions (Oden). W. Brekelmans, for example, does suggest that the war herem was invoked in earliest Israelite times in particularly critical battles as a means of obtaining God's help (1959a: 160-61).
Send back the captives whom you have taken from your kin" (2 Chron 28:11). It is interesting in this context, for example, that Esau and Jacob and Joseph and his brothers are shown ultimately to reconcile their differences and put rivalry aside, in contrast to the usual pattern of traditional tales of sibling rivalry (see Niditch, 1987:76). The message of these Israelite authors is one of unity among those regarded as descending from Isaac and Jacob in spite of the many differences and rivalries that existed between northern and southern tribes claiming descent from Joseph and his brothers and between Israelites and Edomites, who are said to descend from Esau.
G. 2 Sam 8; 2 Sam 10:15-19; 12:2631; 2 Kgs 16:5-9). What is interesting is that the feud between Joab and Abner over personal issues and matters of revenge—that is, conflict more within the purview of "type B" societies—intertwines with state-sponsored war. Thus the "line" or "spectrum" is not evolutionary in a simple sense but rather provides a handle by which we might begin to classify and seek to understand the war portrayals in the Bible. Nor is the type of war portrayal found in a text a simple way to date it.