Literary Motifs and Patterns in the Hebrew Bible: Collected Essays

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9781575062617: Literary Motifs and Patterns in the Hebrew Bible: Collected Essays
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This collection gathers together Professor Shemaryahu Talmon’s contributions to the literary study of the Bible, and complements his acclaimed Literary Studies in the Hebrew Bible: Form and Content: Collected Studies (Jerusalem: Magnes / Leiden: Brill, 1993). The articles included herein span a broad range of topics, closely and comprehensively assessing fundamental themes and stylistic conceits present in biblical literature. Each study picks up one of these motifs or patterns, and traces its meaning and usage throughout the entire Bible. In Talmon’s estimation, these literary markers transcend all strata of the Bible, and despite diachronic developments, they retain their basic meanings and connotations throughout, even when employed by different authors over a span of hundreds of years. He demonstrates this convincingly by marshaling dozens of examples, each of which is valuable in its own right, and when taken all together, these building-blocks form a solid edifice that validate his approach. He judiciously employs this synchronic method throughout, frequently invoking an exegetical principle according to which one biblical verse can be employed to interpret the other, if they are found in similar contexts and with overlapping formulation. To use an expression that he coined elsewhere, his hermeneutical method can be described first and foremost as “The World of the Bible from Within.” Throughout the articles that appear in this volume, one is repeatedly struck by his sensitivity to the language and style of the biblical authors. He was blessed with a rich literary intuition, and shares with his readers his ability to see, hear, and understand the rhythms and poetics of biblical literature.

In this volume, many of Talmon’s contributions are made accessible in fresh form to the benefit of both those who already know his work and to a newer generation of scholars for whom his work continues to prove important.

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