Cover

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pp. 1-3

Title

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pp. 4-4

Copyright

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pp. 5-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Abbreviations

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pp. ix-x

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Introduction: Setting the Stage

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pp. 1-30

The basic hypothesis of this book is simple enough—to identify who belongs and who does not, who behaves in an acceptable social manner and who transgresses divinely ordained and man-made boundaries, it is necessary to examine the human body in specific contexts. These are, in turn, explored and resolved through situations of intimate sexual contacts. ...

Part I: Projections of Biblical Spheres of Women

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1. From Dinah to Cozbi: Rape, Sex, and Foundational Moments

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pp. 33-56

Love and lust appear in biblical narratives as a fatal combination, at least for the female objects of such emotions. In fact, women are rarely if ever made to experience these sentiments in the Bible. When Amnon, son of David and heir to the throne, conceives an irrepressible passion for his half-sister, Tamar, she begs him to seek permission to marry her (2 Sam. 13). ...

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2. Patriarchy and Patriotism: Integrating Sex into Second Temple Society

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pp. 57-75

In the book of Genesis, Jewish women marry relatives; non-Jewish women, when they are married to Jewish patriarchs, receive scant attention. This imbalance is, perhaps, not entirely coincidental. The matriarchs of Genesis hardly set a model of wifely behavior. Sarah forces her husband to send away a favorite sexual partner and ruthlessly advances the interests of her own son. ...

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3. From Esther to Aseneth: Marriage, Familial Stereotypes, and Domestic Felicity

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pp. 76-102

Only rarely do ancient texts allow us to probe the "happily ever after" stage. Divorce documents hint at marital tension but, on the whole, biblical and postbiblical narrators display a remarkable lack of interest in the intricacies of married life.1 How ancient Judaism perceived the basic conjugal unit in specific Diaspora settings can be glimpsed through two texts ...

Part II: Visions of Rabbinic Order

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4. Keeping Adultery at Bay: The Wayward Wife in Late Antiquity

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pp. 105-131

In the Decalogue no less than two commandments deal, apparently, with adultery. One forbids it, sweepingly stating "thou shalt not commit adultery" (Exod. 20:15 ).1 The foundational chart of Judaism also makes it clear that the burden of contemplating adultery lies squarely on male shoulders: ...

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5. The Harmony of the Home in Late Antiquity: Jewish, Roman, and Christian Perspectives on Intermarriage

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pp. 132-160

In the community of the Garden of Eden, at least according to Gen. 2: 20, the harmony of nature and the first human (male) was guaranteed only with the advent of the first woman.1 Boredom, too, was dispelled. With Eve came understanding and learning capabilities, conferred on the human couple through the intervention of a serpent. ...

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Conclusion: To Die like a Woman? To Live like a Woman? Is There a Jewess in Judaism?

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pp. 161-172

A classic deathbed scene guides readers of Genesis 48-49 through the dying moments of a venerable patriarch in his Egyptian home. Old, frail, and virtually blind, Jacob is pleasantly surprised to receive a visit from his powerful son, Joseph, accompanied by the latter's two young sons. ...

Notes

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pp. 173-214

Bibliography

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pp. 215-234

General Index

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pp. 235-240

Index of Citations

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pp. 241-246

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 247-248

To the invisible presence of Nicole Loraux I owe much of the inspiration for the introduction and the conclusion of this book. For the encouragement and support of Peter Brown and David Noel Freedman I owe less tangible but very real and lasting gratitude. ...