Abstract

Abstract:

This study investigates an ethic of inclusivism for the gēr ([inline-graphic 01i], “stranger”) in Deuteronomy. The trend in recent scholarship identifies the gēr in Deuteronomy as a foreigner. A fresh examination of the relevant texts suggests that the term gēr in Deuteronomy simply identifies a vulnerable person who is from outside the core family. Further, recent scholarship discerns in Deuteronomy efforts to include the gēr within the community as well as limitations upon the inclusion of such people. I explore the social-scientific dynamics of inclusion, showing how Deuteronomy’s ethical vision for the gēr has to do with kinship: displaced persons needed to be incorporated into the clans. Deuteronomy not only stipulates a system of protection for the gēr, but the central impulse of Deuteronomy’s vision, expressed in a multiplicity of ways, is to foster the incorporation of the gēr as kindred, specifically within the household, within the clan, and within the nation. This vision is achieved through the interplay of the various subgroups of laws—social law, law of judicial procedure, and feasting texts. In addition, in Deuteronomy’s framework (chs. 1–11, 27–34), as Israel was reconstituted, the incorporation into the “nation” of those who had been separated from patrimony and from kindred was a primary goal.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-3876
Print ISSN
0021-9231
Pages
pp. 599-623
Launched on MUSE
2018-11-08
Open Access
No
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