Lecture 12 - The Deuteronomistic History: Life in the Land (Joshua and Judges)

author: Christine Hayes, Department of Religious Studies, Yale University
published: Feb. 16, 2011,   recorded: October 2006,   views: 5013

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This lecture concludes the study of Deuteronomy and traces the contribution of the Deuteronomistic School: a historiosophy according to which Israel's fortunes are dependent upon and an indicator of her fidelity to the covenant. The books of the Former Prophets are introduced with attention to their historical and geographical context. The book of Joshua's account of Israel's conquest of Canaan is contrasted with scholarly accounts of Israel's emergence in Canaan and formation as a nation state.

Reading assignment:

Bible: (1) Introduction to Joshua (JSB pp. 462-464), Joshua 1-13, 20, 23-24 (2) Introduction to Judges (JSB pp. 508-510), Judges 1-8, 13-16, 19-21 (3) Introduction to the Prophets (JSB pp. 451-461) (4) "Early Nonrabbinic Interpretation" (JSB pp. 1835-1844) (5) "Midrash and Midrashic Interpretation" (JSB pp. 1863-1876)

Selections from "Interpretation, History of" in The Anchor Bible Dictionary (pp. 424-427, 434-436)

Optional: Reis, Pamela Tamarkin. "Spoiled Child: A Fresh Look at Jephthah's Daughter." In Reading the Lines: A Fresh Look at the Hebrew Bible Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002.


"Palestine in the Time of Saul." Atlas of the Historical Geography of the Holy Land. Smith, George Adam. London, 1915. Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

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