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Judges, Book

Composing the Song of Deborah: Empirical Models

The Song of Deborah in Judges 5 is similar to both Arabic qaṣīdā poetry and ancient Egyptian epic poetry. How should we categorize it? Is it like the former, and composed orally by a bard, or like the latter, and composed by a royal scribe?

Prof.

Aaron Koller

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Hazor’s Standing Stones: What Do They Commemorate?

The Canaanite city of Hazor was destroyed in the Late Bronze Age. When the Israelites resettled the city in the Early Iron Age, they placed standing stones in three different places on the destroyed remains. What were these stones meant to signify?

Dr.

Shlomit Bechar

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Questioning God’s Call: Moses Versus Gideon

Moses and Gideon are each called upon to deliver Israel from its enemies, and each poses questions in response. And yet, a close comparison of the stories demonstrates a sharp contrast between the two characters; surprisingly, Gideon is more faithful than Moses.

Dr.

Deena Grant

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The Story of Jephthah: The Urge to Manipulate

The haftarah for Chukkat cuts off the end of the Jephthah story, ending on a triumphant note, with the defeat of Ammon. When looking at the whole story, however, we are presented with something very different. In Judges, Jephthah is a manipulative leader, who forces everyone’s hand, including God’s. Although his tactics lead to the defeat of Ammon, they also lead him to sacrifice his own daughter and to massacre thousands of his own brethren.

Professor

Jack M. Sasson

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Yael and the Subversion of Male Leaders in Judges

The Canaanite general Sisera is killed by Yael in her tent but in an older version of the story, he died in battle at the hands of the Israelite general, Barak. The story was revised as part of a broader theme in Judges, to weaken the image of male military heroes through women and give the power to God.

Dr.

Jacob L. Wright

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Dating Deborah

The Song of Deborah (Judges 5) is often seen as an ancient text, perhaps one of the oldest in the Tanach, but analysis of its language and contents suggests that it is a later Deuteronomistic composition.[1]

Dr.

Serge Frolov

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