By Mira Morgenstern

Current conflicts in either nationwide and foreign arenas have undermined the average, natural proposal of nationhood as conventionally espoused within the 19th century. Conceiving a kingdom argues that the fashionable realizing of the kingdom as a contested concept—as the fabricated from a fluid and ongoing technique of negotiation open to more than a few livable solutions—is really rooted within the Bible.

This booklet attracts recognition to the contribution that the Bible makes to political discourse in regards to the country. The Bible is very like minded to this open-ended discourse as a result of its personal nature as a textual content whose ambiguity and laconic caliber render it consistently open to new interpretations and appropriate to altering conditions. The Bible bargains a pluralistic knowing of other versions of political improvement for various international locations, and it depicts changing ideas of nationwide identification through the years.

In this booklet, Morgenstern reads the Bible because the resource of a dynamic critique of the information which are conventionally thought of to be primary to nationwide id, treating in successive chapters the ethnic (Ruth), the cultural (Samson), the political (Jotham), and the territorial (Esther). all through, she explores a couple of universal issues, comparable to the connection of girls to political authority and the “strangeness” of Israelite political lifestyles. within the end, she elucidates how biblical research can relief in reputation of contemporary claims to nationhood.

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Additional info for Conceiving a Nation: The Development of Political Discourse in the Hebrew Bible

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Gen. 38:26. See Rashi on Gen. 49:8; Bereshit Rabbah (new version) 2:19 on Gen. 49. 36 conceiving a nation (deriving from the same root of h’d’h) position of leadership. In this reading, Judah is given the responsibility of ruling the (future) nation because he has the psychological/moral ability to acknowledge when he is wrong. This interpretation identiWes the essence of leadership as focused primarily not on the desires of the ruler, but, in the Wnal analysis, on a certain elemental level of justice that is due to the people in general, including those in a position of (relative) powerlessness.

29 To Wnd out whether this national goal is at all feasible, Joseph must act on two levels. On the psychological level, Joseph must clarify the emotional forces that motivate his family. 31 Joseph further insists on Benjamin’s presence to see whether this youngest remaining son of their father—and hence the acknowledged favorite of a man who beyond their former situation of internecine quarrelling and enmity. He offers them the chance literally to reexperience their past by recalibrating their previous responses.

Crucially, however, the Bible records that the enslaved Israelites do not attach the aura of savior to Moses at all: when Moses comes to liberate the Israelites, they respond by ignoring him and even blaming him for the ofWcial Egyptian reactions to his request, which results in increased labor quotas for the Israelite slaves (Exod. 4:20–23; 5:9). In the context of Israelite experience, then, from where does salvation come? In the absence of a readily accepted Wgure of deliverance, Israelite emancipation must (logically) emanate from another location.

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