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Exodus and Deuteronomy

edited by Athalya Brenner and Gale A. Yee

Publication Year: 2012

The Texts @ Contexts series gathers scholarly voices from diverse contexts and social locations to bring new or unfamiliar facets of biblical texts to light. Exodus and Deuteronomy focuses attention on two books of the Torah that share themes of journey and of diverse experiences in or upon the land; the echoes of the exodus across time, space, and culture; of different understandings of (male and female) leadership; and of the promise, and problem, posed by various aspects of biblical law. These essays de-center the often homogeneous first-world orientation of much biblical scholarship and open up new possibilities for discovery.

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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Texts @ Contexts Series Preface

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pp. vii-xii

The discipline of biblical studies emerges from a particular cultural context; it is profoundly influenced by the assumptions and values of the Western European and North Atlantic, male-dominated, and largely Protestant environment in which it was born. Yet, like the religions with which it is involved, the critical study of the Bible has traveled beyond its original context. ...


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pp. xiii-xiv


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pp. xv-xviii

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pp. xix-xxxii

This is the second Hebrew bible volume of the Texts@Contexts series. Like its predecessor, Genesis (2010), it is arranged around several clusters of topics on which contributors comment from their different individual and communal contexts. Such contexts may be geographical, but they may also be social, economic, religious, ...

Part One. Between Egypt and Canaan: To’s and Fro’s

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Chapter 1. How Liberating Is the Exodus and for Whom? Deconstructing Exodus Motifs in Scripture, Literature, and Life

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pp. 3-28

Watching Charlton Heston playing Moses in Cecil B. DeMille’s movie epic The Ten Commandments along with stories in Sunday School record my earliest recognitions of Exodus. Many have yoked the concept of “exodus” with the liberation of the enslaved, the disenfranchised, those deemed other. ...

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Chapter 2. Territory and Identity: The Beginnings and Beyond

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pp. 29-38

My personal location contains nothing worth noting for anybody apart from my family, my friends, and me. However, it would serve as an explanation of why and how I understand the bible beyond binary oppositions of land/ exile, own territory/diasporas, promise/actuality, exodus/conquest. ...

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Chapter 3. “God's Perfectly Effected Purpose, or His Purposely Effected Neglect”: Exodus and Wilderness in Australia

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pp. 39-54

It is conventional wisdom that the exodus was a formative myth—appropriated, reshaped, and often bowdlerized—for one colonial venture after another. The “Pilgrim Fathers” to North America saw themselves as God’s chosen people escaping the persecution of “Egypt” and setting out for the “Promised Land.” ...

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Chapter 4. Pharaoh as a Character in Exodus 1–2: An Egyptian Perspective

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pp. 55-66

On January 25, 2011, the Egyptians began to protest, calling for the president to step down. The protesters began to call the president “the new pharaoh.” This is one more proof, if proof is needed, that no one, especially the contemporary Egyptian Christians, can read the exodus narrative in Exodus 1–15 without encountering Pharaoh, ...

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Chapter 5. A Mixed Multitude: An African Reading of Exodus 12:38

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pp. 67-78

The author of Exod. 12:38 reported that during the escape of the ancient Israelites from Egypt, there was a “mixed multitude” that accompanied them. 12:40 also claimed that the Israelites lived in Africa (Egypt) for 430 years. Although some biblical scholars may doubt the exactitude of the number of years mentioned by the Bible, ...

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Chapter 6. In Search of Children's Agency: Reading Exodus from Sweden

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pp. 79-94

When the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was signed in 1989, it was testimony of a rather radical change in point of view.1 No longer was the child regarded as a mere object of adult protection and care. ...

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Chapter 7. Longing for Egypt: Dissecting the Heart Enticed

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pp. 95-110

In the opening chapter of my book Longing for Egypt and Other Unexpected Biblical Tales, I read the book of Exodus as a document of resistance to an internal threat instead of the record of liberation from an external one (Lipton 2008). Freedom from oppressive slavery and freedom from persecution, I suggest, are not the central concerns of the Exodus narrative, ...

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Chapter 8. The Relevance of the Jewish Passover for Christianity in Africa: An Interpretation from a Community-Centered Perspective

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pp. 111-122

In Exodus 12 the Bible narrates that God inflicted ten plagues upon the Egyptians before the pharaoh released his Hebrew slaves, with the tenth plague being the killing of all of the firstborn, from the pharaoh’s son to the firstborn of cattle. The Hebrews were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a lamb and, ...

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Chapter 9. Before Crossing the Jordan: The Telling and Retelling of the Exodus Narrative in African American History

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pp. 123-136

In two consecutive centuries, the story of the Hebrew Exodus played a significant role in African American history. From its adoption in the early 1800s to the height of the Civil Rights movement in the mid-twentieth century, the Exodus narrative became a catalyst for societal change in the United States of America. ...

Part Two. Leadership: Moses and Miriam

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Chapter 10. The Birth, Early Life, and Commission of Moses: A Reading from Post-Handover Hong Kong

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pp. 139-156

The exodus story has been reinterpreted and reappropriated in numerous ways by different groups in accordance to their own interests. Although it was written and set in specific cultural, political, and social contexts that are drastically different from ours, the story seems to be able to engage modern readers of different social locations. ...

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Chapter 11. Miriam and Me

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pp. 157-168

It is weird writing about Miriam, a biblical figure, while today1 rockets are landing in the northern part of Israel. One of the places I hear mentioned on the radio is Tiberias and I remind myself that according to the legend, the Rabbis actually located Miriam’s well in Tiberias, ...

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Chapter 12. Imaging Moses and Miriam Re-Imaged: Through the Empathic Looking Glass of a Singaporean Peranakan Woman

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pp. 169-182

As a child, one of my favorite bedtime stories was the romantic tale of a vulnerable baby Moses, being saved by an exotic princess while he was inside a basket set among the reeds next to a massive river (Exod. 2:1-10). Then and even now, I felt a close connection to the Moses character because I had been given up as a baby in Singapore, ...

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Chapter 13. What Would Moses Do? On Applying the Test of a False Prophet to the Current Climate Crisis

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pp. 183-194

Desertification brought on by drought. Coastal cities swallowed by the sea. Seasons whose end comes too soon, or not soon enough. Famine. War. These events sound like a description of the day of YHWH,1 a day when YHWH judges humankind for the sins they have committed on the earth—and perhaps it is. ...

Part Three. Law

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Chapter 14. The Decalogue—Am I an Addressee?

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pp. 197-204

This short piece might seem to you dated. It was originally written almost twenty years ago, at the request of Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Magonet, former principle of the Leo Baeck College in London, then published as an “Afterword” in A Feminist Companion to Exodus—Deuteronomy (Brenner 1994: 255–58). ...

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Chapter 15. An Abominable and Perverted Alliance? Toward a Latin-American Queer Communitarian Reading of Deuteronomy

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pp. 205-236

One cannot deny the revolution in biblical studies undertaken in Latin America in recent decades. Even the contemporary self-assumed ideologized/ contextualized readings are partly indebted to the hermeneutics of liberation (Schüssler Fiorenza 2007: 120–21, “partly” because feminism also paved the way). ...

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Chapter 16. Terms of Endearment? The Desirable Female Captive (אשה יפה האר) and Her Illicit Acquisition

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pp. 237-257

The search for “historical truth,” when sought as a single neat package with no nagging loose ends, seems closer to recent definitions of myth rather than to an informed description of our distant past.1 In his confessional account, “The Burdens of Memory,” Shlomo Sand acknowledges the elusive nature of this quest: ...

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Chapter 17. Precious Memories: Rule of Law in Deuteronomy as Catalyst for Domestic Violence

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pp. 258-288

Precious memories are the things of dreams, inspiration, and hope. They make us think of wonderment, of being special and loved. The chorus of this hymn depicts an intimacy with God and family, a place of safety and comfort. Memories of those on the receiving end of domestic violence are not precious; ...

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Chapter 18. Debt and Interest in the Hebrew Bible: The Silently Indebted in Ancient Israel and Their Finnish Companions Today

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pp. 289-304

The aim of this article is to analyze some preconditions and offer tools for comparing central debt texts of the Hebrew Bible (Exod. 22:25-26; Deut. 15:1-11; and Lev. 25:1-12, 35-55) with the stories of indebted Finns that were collected in 2000 as a part of the Jubilee campaign. ...

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Chapter 19. Slavery and “Beyond Slavery”: Then Is Still Now

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pp. 305-317

Mende Nazer, internationally known antislavery activist, was enslaved for six years in the Sudan as a young girl and later escaped in London, after having been sent there by her Khartoum owner to the owner’s sister. Slave: My True Story (2003), which Nazer cowrote with journalist Damien Lewis, opened the world’s eyes to slavery in the Sudan.1 ...


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pp. 318-342

Author Index

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pp. 343-346

Scripture Index

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pp. 347-350

Ancient and Other Extra-Biblical Sources Index

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pp. 351-352

E-ISBN-13: 9781451408195
E-ISBN-10: 1451408196
Print-ISBN-13: 9780800698942
Print-ISBN-10: 0800698940

Page Count: 384
Publication Year: 2012