Cover image for The Completion of Judges: Strategies of Ending in Judges 17-21 By David J. H. Beldman

The Completion of Judges

Strategies of Ending in Judges 17-21

David J. H. Beldman

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Was: $39.50 Now: $23.70 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-1-57506-496-3

176 pages
6" × 9"
2017

Siphrut: Literature and Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures

The Completion of Judges

Strategies of Ending in Judges 17-21

David J. H. Beldman

“A useful contribution to the literary examination of the book of Judges. It deserves attention, and its conclusions need to be discussed in future works on this material. Beldman is quite correct to say that biblical scholars need to expand their horizons to include literary theory as another interpretative tool.”

 

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Table of Contents
The last five chapters of the book of Judges (chs. 17-21) contain some shocking and bizarre stories, and precisely how these stories relate to the rest of the book is a major question in scholarship on the book. Leveraging work from literary studies and hermeneutics, Beldman reexamines Judges 17-21 with the aim of discerning the "strategies of ending" that are at work in these chapters. The author identifies and describes a number of strategies of ending in Judges 17-21, including the strategy of completion, the strategy of circularity, and the strategy of entrapment. The temporal configuration of Judges and especially the nonlinear chronology that chapters 17-21 expose also receive due attention. All of this offers fresh insights into the place and function of Judges 17-21 in the context of the whole book.
“A useful contribution to the literary examination of the book of Judges. It deserves attention, and its conclusions need to be discussed in future works on this material. Beldman is quite correct to say that biblical scholars need to expand their horizons to include literary theory as another interpretative tool.”
“In the final chapter, Beldman analyzes two asynchronic references: to Jonathan, son of Gershom, son of Moses in 18:30 and to Phineas, son of Eleazar, in 20:28. Beldman’s treatment of these verses is the high point of his book; the discussion is interesting and insightful. He concludes that the degeneration in Judges is not linear: “The real-time indicators in 18:30 and 20:28 jolt the reader to consider the shocking reality that the depths of Israel’s degradation did not necessarily occur at the end of a long process but that their rebellion and apostasy were systemic from the very beginning” (p. 137). He effectively ties these seemingly intrusive comments with the purpose of the book as a whole. Beldman’s monograph is a productive and worthwhile application of literary theory to biblical narrative.”

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations

Introduction

1. The Composition of Judges: A Selective Survey

2. The End of Narrative: Emplotment and the Configuration of Time in Narrative Theory

3. Strategy of Circularity in Judges 17–21

4. The Strategy of Entrapment in Judges 17–21

5. Narrative Temporality and the Strategy of Ending in Judges

Bibliography

Indexes

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