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When brothers dwell together [electronic resource] : the preeminence of younger siblings in the Hebrew Bible /
Frederick E. Greenspahn.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1994.
description
xi, 193 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0195082532 (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1994.
isbn
0195082532 (acid-free paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
13109183
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 161-174) and indexes.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1994-10:
This provocative and wide-ranging study provides a long-overdue systematic treatment of the hitherto unexplained preference for younger siblings in biblical stories. After a careful review of the evidence, Greenspahn concludes that neither primogeniture, as is widely assumed, nor ultimogeniture were ever the norm in ancient Israel. Rather, he concludes that within the Israelite context fathers were free to choose their heirs. The preference for younger offspring in the biblical traditions in part derives from the belief in the innocence and vulnerability of the younger sibling, a belief widespread in folklore. This theme underscores God's role in choosing unlikely heroes for his purposes and mirrors God's relationship to Israel. Greenspahn is eclectic in his approach to these traditions, drawing on law, anthropology, folklore, and comparative material from the ancient Near East. This is a seminal work by an established biblical scholar and belongs in every library with an interest in biblical scholarship. Lower-division undergraduate through professional. H. O. Forshey; Miami University (OH)
Reviews
Review Quotes
"...an important study of a major motif of Old Testament literature....Greenspahn makes some important discoveries and conclusions....Greenspahn has produced a fine study of an important motif, one that is rich in exegetical and theological insights. His arguments are rooted in concreteevidence and persuasive in their presentation."--The Princeton Seminary Bulletin
"...an important study of a major motif of Old Testamentliterature....Greenspahn makes some important discoveries andconclusions....Greenspahn has produced a fine study of an important motif, onethat is rich in exegetical and theological insights. His arguments are rooted inconcrete evidence and persuasive in their presentation."--The Princeton SeminaryBulletin
"Excellent Monograph!!"--Shorter Notices
"Excellent Monograph."--Theological Studies
"The book is lucidly written and provides a fresh and thought-provoking approach to an often neglected area of Old Testament research....the book contains many stimulating insights and interesting observations."--Journal of Theological Studies
"The book is lucidly written and provides a fresh and thought-provokingapproach to an often neglected area of Old Testament research....the bookcontains many stimulating insights and interesting observations."--Journal ofTheological Studies
"The study is well researched and documented.... his arguments deserve careful attention."--Journal of Biblical Literature
"The study is well researched and documented.... his arguments deservecareful attention."--Journal of Biblical Literature
"This provocative and wide-ranging study provides a long-overdue systematic treatment of the hitherto unexplained preference for younger siblings in biblical stories....This is a seminal work by an established biblical scholar and belongs in every library with an interest in biblicalscholarship."--Choice
"This provocative and wide-ranging study provides a long-overduesystematic treatment of the hitherto unexplained preference for younger siblingsin biblical stories....This is a seminal work by an established biblical scholarand belongs in every library with an interest in biblicalscholarship."--Choice
"This provocative and wide-ranging study provides a long-overdue systematic treatment of the hitherto unexplained preference for younger siblings in biblical stories....This is a seminal work by an established biblical scholar and belongs in every library with an interest in biblical scholarship."--Choice "...an important study of a major motif of Old Testament literature....Greenspahn makes some important discoveries and conclusions....Greenspahn has produced a fine study of an important motif, one that is rich in exegetical and theological insights. His arguments are rooted in concrete evidence and persuasive in their presentation."--The Princeton Seminary Bulletin "Excellent Monograph."--Theological Studies "The study is well researched and documented.... his arguments deserve careful attention."--Journal of Biblical Literature "The book is lucidly written and provides a fresh and thought-provoking approach to an often neglected area of Old Testament research....the book contains many stimulating insights and interesting observations."--Journal of Theological Studies
"This provocative and wide-ranging study provides a long-overdue systematic treatment of the hitherto unexplained preference for younger siblings in biblical stories....This is a seminal work by an established biblical scholar and belongs in every library with an interest in biblical scholarship."-- Choice "...an important study of a major motif of Old Testament literature....Greenspahn makes some important discoveries and conclusions....Greenspahn has produced a fine study of an important motif, one that is rich in exegetical and theological insights. His arguments are rooted in concrete evidence and persuasive in their presentation."-- The Princeton Seminary Bulletin "Excellent Monograph."-- Theological Studies "The study is well researched and documented.... his arguments deserve careful attention."-- Journal of Biblical Literature "The book is lucidly written and provides a fresh and thought-provoking approach to an often neglected area of Old Testament research....the book contains many stimulating insights and interesting observations."-- Journal of Theological Studies
"This volume is exceedingly well-researched and impressively documented....This volume should become significant for consultation on this subject."--The Catholic Biblical Quarterly
"This volume is exceedingly well-researched and impressivelydocumented....This volume should become significant for consultation on thissubject."--The Catholic Biblical Quarterly
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 1994
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Although primogeniture is commonly assumed to have prevailed throughout the world and firstborns are regarded as most likely to achieve success, many of the most prominent figures in biblical literature are younger offspring, including Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David, and Solomon. Adducing evidence from a wide range of disciplines, this study demonstrates that ancient Israelite fathers were free to choose their primary heirs. Rather than being either legally mandated or a protest against the prevailing norm, the Bible's propensity for younger offspring conforms to a widespread folk motif, evoking innocence, vulnerability, and destiny. Within the biblical context, this theme heightens God's role in supporting ostensibly unlikely heroes. Drawing on the resources of law, anthropology, folklore, and linguistics, Greenspahn shows how these tales serve as complex parables of the relationship of God to his chosen people, also reflecting Israel's own discomfort and confusion about the contradiction between its theology of election and the reality of political weakness.
Main Description
Although primogeniture is commonly assumed to have prevailed throughout the world and firstborns are regarded as most likely to achieve success, many of the most prominent figures in biblical literature are younger offspring, including Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David, and Solomon.Adducing evidence from a wide range of disciplines, this study demonstrates that ancient Israelite fathers were free to choose their primary heirs. Rather than being either legally mandated or a protest against the prevailing norm, the Bible's propensity for younger offspring conforms to awidespread folk motif, evoking innocence, vulnerability, and destiny. Within the biblical context, this theme heightens God's role in supporting ostensibly unlikely heroes. Drawing on the resources of law, anthropology, folklore, and linguistics, Greenspahn shows how these tales serve as complexparables of God's relationship to his chosen people, also reflecting Israel's own discomfort with the contradiction between its theology of election and the reality of political weakness.
Main Description
Although primogeniture is commonly assumed to have prevailed throughout the world and firstborns are regarded as most likely to achieve success, many of the most prominent figures in biblical literature are younger offspring, including Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David, and Solomon. Adducing evidence from a wide range of disciplines, this study demonstrates that ancient Israelite fathers were free to choose their primary heirs. Rather than being either legally mandated or a protest against the prevailing norm, the Bible's propensity for younger offspring conforms to a widespread folk motif, evoking innocence, vulnerability, and destiny. Within the biblical context, this theme heightens God's role in supporting ostensibly unlikely heroes. Drawing on the resources of law, anthropology, folklore, and linguistics, Greenspahn shows how these tales serve as complex parables of God's relationship to his chosen people, also reflecting Israel's own discomfort with the contradiction between its theology of election and the reality of political weakness.
Table of Contents
Abbreviationsp. ix
Introductionp. 3
Firstborn of All Creationp. 9
An Unnatural Custom1p. 30
Summaryp. 81
The Last Shall Be Firstp. 84
Every Brother a Supplanterp. 111
The Son God Has Chosenp. 141
Selected Bibliographyp. 161
Index of Biblical and Other Sourcesp. 175
Subject Indexp. 185
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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