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The Social World of Ancient Israel: 1250-587 BCE [Paperback]

By Victor H. Matthews (Author) & Don C. Benjamin (Author)
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Item description for The Social World of Ancient Israel: 1250-587 BCE by Victor H. Matthews & Don C. Benjamin...

Getting a fix on the social context of the Hebrew Bible is imperative for anyone reconstructing either the "story" of the text or the "history" behind the text. Resources in this area often prove overspecialized and arcane, and can require highly sophisticated skills in cultural anthropology or Semitic languages just to read the table of contents. Social World of Ancient Israel, 1250-587 BCE, offers those interested in learning about the biblical world a more user-friendly framework for viewing the broader picture; at the same time it relies upon the latest methodologies of cultural anthropology and biblical analysis in its presentation. Painting a picture in broad but precise strokes, the authors portray the landscape of ancient Israel in new and exciting colors that expert and student alike will appreciate.

Social World of Ancient Israel takes a unique look at the most prominent social institutions of the world of early Israel and the period of the monarchy, and then shows how properly understanding these social institutions is essential for sound biblical interpretation. Immersing the reader into five major areas of daily life in antiquity—politics, economics, diplomacy, law, and education—Matthews and Benjamin explore the ways in which knowing how "players" function in these institutions, such as "father/mother," "prophet/wise one," "host/stranger," can shape our understanding of earliest Israel. Perhaps most significantly, the book gently exposes the inefficiency of past anthropological models for interpreting the relationships, attitudes and social conventions of earliest Israel. Its corrective insights will enable scholar and student alike to plot new approaches for studying the Hebrew Bible and the ancient people of Israel.

"Social World of Ancient Israel offers the most refreshing and innovative approach to ancient Israelite society that I have ever read. The book uses different roles in village life and state institutions to open up the biblical world. Matthews and Benjamin draw extensively and creatively on biblical and ancient Near Eastern literature as well as the newest work in anthropology. Clear and engaging for beginners, full of insights for biblical scholars, this book fills a major need for a masterful synthesis of life in ancient Israel."
—Mark Smith, St. Joseph's University

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Hendrickson Publishers
Pages   327
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 6.06" Height: 0.86"
Weight:   1.27 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 30, 2005
Publisher   Hendrickson Publishers
ISBN  1565639480  
ISBN13  9781565639485  

Availability  0 units.

More About Victor H. Matthews & Don C. Benjamin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Victor H. Matthews (Ph.D., Brandeis University) is professor of religious studies and dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs at Missouri State University. He is the author or coauthor of twelve books, including "The Social World of Ancient Israel, Old Testament Parallels, "and "The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament."

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Judaism
2Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Social Sciences > Anthropology
3Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Social Sciences > Sociology
4Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > General
5Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > Israel
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Anthropology > Cultural
7Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > General Studies > Biblical History & Culture

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Reviews - What do customers think about Social World of Ancient Israel: 1250-587 BCE?

Understanding Ancient Israel  Nov 29, 2003
The people of ancient Israel lived in a world where people's roles were clearly defined. Understanding these roles is an important part of interpreting scripture. Biblical scholars Victor Matthews and Don Benjamin attempt to so in their book THE SOCIAL WORLD OF ANCIENT ISRAEL. The book begins with an overview of an Israelite village. The book is then divided into eighteen chapters, each which discusses a different person in the society of the ancient Israelites. The book includes the obvious people such as parents. Monarch, prophet, and religious leaders, but also includes interesting tidbits about slaves, storytellers, widows, and virgins. The book covers a specific period of time, from the Patriarchs until the Babylonian Exile. It is comprehensive enough for scholarly work, but is accessible enough for people involved in preaching or advanced scripture study.

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