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Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 233 Reviews the account of Josiah's reform holds out hope that it-and its nearmessianic principal-would ameliorate, or at least postpone, Judah's fate. The alternate idea, that Josiah's story was written in exile, fails to explain why the text so lionizes him without allowing that he in any way affected Judah's disposition. Provan's approach, therefore, is too economical, but it is an advance. In attempting to reconcile the three-edition thesis (Hezekiah, Josiah, exile) and Cross's dual-edition model (Josiah, exile), Provan accomplishes two important ends: he solidifies the case for an edition ending in the reign of Hezekiah; and he indicates that in its early manifestations the elite reformationism of the eighth through seventh centuries in Judah did not experience the rural cult as "foreign" or non-Yahwistic. Provan dates the transformation, the heightened rhetoric damning the high places as Amorite, as foreign, to the exile. Probably, this rhetoric was already at play in Josiah's time. Nevertheless, Provan has taken important steps toward illuminating the cultural history of the seventh century S.C.E. Baruch Halpern York University North York. Ontario M3J lP3 KING AND KIN: POLITICAL ALLEGORY IN THE HEBREW BIBLE. By Joel Rosenberg. Indiana Studies in Biblical Literature. pp. xv + 255. Bloomington: Indiana University, 1986. Cloth/Paper. What is the Bible saying and how does it say it? These are the questions with which Rosenberg approaches the Hebrew Bible in this extensive work developed from his 1978 dissertation in the History of Consciousness (University of California at Santa Cruz). For anyone who is first introduced to Rosenberg and his creative, multi-method approach to the Bible, the reading is demanding, and at times, disconcerting, but the re-reading is rewarding . This is a complex, seemingly disjointed but deliberately designed study employing current literary critical methods in a competent and creative manner. With its many layers of interconnected and symmetrical analyses and developments, the work can be seen as exemplifying somewhat Rosenberg's conclusions about the biblical narrative he discusses. With his biblical critical competence and literary skill, he offers the persistent Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 234 Reviews reader an insightful literary perspective on the Hebrew Bible or, more precisely, on the narrative of Genesis through 2 Kings. Even there, he treats in three chapters only three selected passages: the Garden story (Gen 2-3) and the Abraham cycle (Gen 12-50), both of which he analyzes through semiotics; and the Davidic history (1 Samuel-2 Kings) which he interprets chiefly in deconstructionist fashion. The author prepares his reader for his interpretations with a (too) lengthy introductory essay on "the Question of Allegory," a question which is not really clarified until the epilogue. The latter explanation would be of better service in the introduction. Focusing in Gen 2-3 on the etiologies, namings, and the two trees passages, Rosenberg reads the Garden story "forward and backward" demonstrating the parallels and interplay of motifs among them. His goal is to read the "non-narrative" (implicit) concerns and to map the "motivic structure" present in Gen 2-3. He concludes that the story models the human life-cycle and that its main concerns are with familial relationships, the contrast between unconditional and conditional survival and, in particular , with generational continuity-all motifs which recur and are developed in the other selected passages. He stresses that the motivic interconnectedness indicates a unity in the complex which transcends its traditionary elements (and so frees the reader and the discipline from the constrictions of source criticism). Moreover, in this analysis, foreshadowings of the David story are already noted. In like manner, chap. 2 is designed to illustrate the coherence of the Gen 12-50 material as a story and as a cycle. Further, the author argues for its thematic interconnection with what precedes and follows it in the biblical narrative. He finds in the Abraham cycle "all the moral and theological polarities of Israel's later history and of the world's earlier history" (p. 91). Here, some of Rosenberg's deductions-such as the portrayal in chap. 17 of "a royalized Israel" and "class loyalty" (pp. 90f.)-are more tenuous...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 233-237
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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