In the Wake of Tikva Frymer-Kensky 9781463219185

This volume consists of 14 papers delivered by Assyriologists and biblical specialists at the 2007 Society of Biblical L

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Table of contents :
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PREFACE
TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY’S LEGACY
IN THE WAKE OF MY MOTHER
TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY AND HER STUDIES IN BIBLE AND FEMINIST CRITICISM: AN ASSESSMENT
IN THE WAKE OF THE WAKE
IN THE WAKE OF THE GODDESSES : THEOLOGY, THE HUMANITIES, AND THE EDUCATION OF SEMINARIANS
ASSYRIOLOGY
ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN VAGINA DIALOGS AND THE SEX OMENS FROM MESOPOTAMIA
NOT JUST HOUSEWIVES: GODDESSES AFTER THE OLD BABYLONIAN PERIOD
NOTES ON NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S 37TH YEAR
GENDER MATTERS IN ENÁMA ELIŠ
DO DIVINE STRUCTURES OF GENDER MIRROR MORTAL STRUCTURES OF GENDER?
BIBLICAL STUDIES
THE CONCEPT OF “IMPURE BIRTH” IN 5TH CENTURY ATHENS AND JUDEA
THE BIBLICAL “HOUSE OF THE MOTHER” AND THE BROKERING OF MARRIAGE: ECONOMIC RECIPROCITY AMONG NATAL SIBLINGS
A REASSESSMENT OF TIKVA FRYMERKENSKY’S ASHERAH
ANOTHER DEMAND FOR A KING: WOMEN IN THE NARRATIVE OF DAVID’S RISE
THE FIRST ORIENTALIST? – FANTASY AND FOREIGNNESS IN THE BOOK OF ESTHER
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDICES
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Tikva Frymer-Kensky 1943-2006 We would like to thank Terren Ilana Wein, Director of Communications, Divinity School, University of Chicago, and Robin Winge of Winge Design Studio for providing us with the portrait of the late Professor Tikva Frymer-Kensky.

T ABLE O F C ONTENT S

Preface…………………………………………………...vii TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY’S LEGACY 1. In the Wake of My Mother Meira Kensky……………………………………………...3 2. Tikva Frymer-Kensky and Her Studies in Bible and Feminist Criticism: An Assessment Athalya Brenner…………………….................................11 3. In the Wake of The Wake Diana Edelman………………………………...................19 4. In the Wake of the Goddesses: Theology, the Humanities, and the Education of Seminarians Diane M. Sharon…………………………………………31 ASSYRIOLOGY 5. Ancient Near Eastern Vagina Dialogs and the Sex Omens from Mesopotamia Ann Kessler Guinan……………………………………..43 6. Not Just Housewives: Goddesses After the Old Babylonian Period JoAnn Scurlock………………………………………….59 7. Notes on Nebuchadnezzar’s 37th Year David B. Weisberg………………………………………71 8. Gender Matters in Enūma eliš Karen Sonik……………………………………………...85 9. Do Divine Structures of Gender Mirror Mortal Structures vii

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of Gender? Ilona Zsolnay..................................................................103 BIBLICAL STUDIES 10. The Concept of “Impure Birth” in 5th Century Athens and Judea Lisbeth S. Fried………………………………………...121 11. The Biblical “House of the Mother” and the Brokering of Marriage: Economic Reciprocity Among Natal Siblings Cynthia Ruth Chapman………………………………..143 12. A Reassessment of Tikva Frymer-Kensky’s Asherah Steve A. Wiggins………………………………………171 13. Another Demand for a King: Women in the Narrative of David’s Rise John T. Noble………………………………………….181 14. The First Orientalist? – Fantasy and Foreignness in the Book of Esther Elna K. Solvang……………………………………….199 INDICES Index of Authors……………………………………….213 Index of References……………………………………219 Index of Subjects………………………………………229

P RE FACE

It is always a tragedy when a great scholar dies. Even more so when that scholar is a pioneer in two fields (Assyriology and the Bible), neither of which is exactly easy of access; two fields which have spent the last half century, literally, at daggers drawn. We (Steven Holloway, Richard Beal and JoAnn Scurlock) felt that something should be done to express our sorrow at our loss and our gratitude for what was left behind. Consequently, two sessions of the Assyriology and the Bible Section of the 2007 Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting in San Diego were dedicated to the legacy of the late Tikva FrymerKensky. We were fortunate that Tikva’s daughter, Meira, her husband, Rabbi Allan Kensky and a number of close friends were able to honor us with their presence. It is a measure of Tikva’s importance, and the respect in which she was held that, by serendipitous coincidence, another session under the rubric “Looking for Hope: Feminist and Historical Studies in Memory of Tikva Frymer-Kensky,” organized by Richard Averbeck, had the same idea at the same time. We were much impressed with the quality of the papers in all three sessions, and thought that they should be published together in a single volume dedicated to Tikva’s memory. The book that follows is the fruit of our collective labors. The Editors

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I N THE W AKE O F M Y M OTHER Meira Kensky This session marks the first of three sessions today here at SBL that are dedicated to my mother’s work. Several volumes in her memory are being planned, some by people in this room, and we have just returned from the conference in her memory held at the Jewish Theological Seminary. In the days immediately following mom’s death, we received overwhelming support and care from the community. Nearly a thousand people came to the funeral. Shiva minyans at my dad’s house were standing room only. We received thousands of sympathy cards. Then came the posthumous honors; awards dedicated in her memory, including the recently established Tikva Frymer-Kensky award for Distinguished Alumni at JTS, and several honors in Chicago. At every event someone tells me or suggests to me that my mother would be so happy to know of what was being done in her honor, of the effect her work has had on those who surrounded her and knew her only from her written works. Each time someone says such a thing to me, I smirk a little bit to myself. Because while I know my mom would be happy and excited to see how much she affected others, to see that other people recognized the immense amount of work and care she put into her intellectual pursuits, I also know that she would be royally ticked off that she wasn’t there. I can feel her frustration so viscerally. How unfair it is that she can’t be here, at her own party! She would have loved to be here, to hear what people were saying, to feel the appreciation for her work, and to be ready to battle any criticism of her newest work that might be thrown at her. This afternoon, Athalya Brenner is going to give an assessment of her JPS volume Studies in Bible and Feminist Criticism, and it is probably driving her crazy that she can’t be there to participate. Feeling this posthumous reaction from my mother brings her back to me so vividly that it is truly awesome. vii

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY My mom, more than anything else, loved to participate. She had a tendency fully to occupy every space in which she found herself, and all of you know that this is true. At the memorial service at the University of Chicago, Richard Rosengarten spoke about her voice ringing in his head. My mom was loud. As a thirteen year old, this was seriously embarrassing. I’m so glad that I didn’t read In the Wake of the Goddesses until I was in college, because I don’t think as a teenager I could have handled knowing that my mother had called Inanna the “Cosmic Cunt.”1 At the same memorial service Anne Knafl, one of my mother’s last advisees, repeatedly called my mother a “pain in the ass.” This would have been totally inappropriate if it weren’t so damn true. My mother was a pain in the ass. She didn’t care whose longstanding scholarly conclusion she was ramming through, she was going to batter right through it if she found it spurious. Just this week, in teaching the story of Judah and Tamar, I was reminded of her unwillingness to let any conclusion go unexamined. Sacred prostitution? No evidence, said my mother. Find me the evidence. Sitting in on some of her classes, she would repeatedly question students on their translation decisions. Why did you translate it that way? She would ask, and her students could not hide behind “that’s what the dictionary said.” She would make her students go back to every time that word appeared in order to justify their decision. This is also why it took her so long to complete her books. She was painstaking and meticulous. These are not words I usually associate with my mother. Scatterbrained and disorganized are the words that first come to mind, but they are erroneous. While she may have lost her credit card—again—or failed to renew her passport, or bring the passport with her when she was traveling to Uruguay, her books reveal a focused and logical mind with which it is almost impossible to argue, because she’s already anticipated almost all of the arguments and come up with a counter. Plus, and here’s the killer, if she thought she was right and you didn’t, she didn’t really care. She wasn’t the kind of scholar who needed to force you to acquiesce with her interpretations. She was not easily baited in that way. She was more likely to tell you to go do the research yourself and come back to let her know what you thought then. 1 Tikva Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth (New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1992), 57.

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Because she had done the research. This summer my father, my boyfriend and I packed up my mother’s Hyde Park apartment, which she kept for many years in order to be able to stay near the university. As anyone who has ever had to pack up someone else’s belongings knows, it can be a very trying experience, but it can also be very illuminating and even fun. The material legacy that my mother left behind is almost as penetrating and much more tangible, literally, then her scholarly legacy. While packing up the apartment, we found all sorts of treasures. Slides from my mom’s childhood, the notes from what we think was her first-ever Akkadian class, and her first-ever class in Sumerian mythology; random postcards and trinkets that she had collected from her travels, which were extensive but not as extensive as she would have liked; rather unfortunate pictures of me from seventh grade; In a file marked Eitan (my brother), copies of the little-known “Cool Time news,” and early classic “Space Wars,” which I am totally going to auction off on Ebay when he becomes a famous writer; many, many copies of random pages xeroxed from the Bible; unidentified cuneiform documents, some xeroxed, some hand copied, and some mimeographed; and of course many, many souvenirs and reminders of the thirty-three years she spent with my father, including snapshots of him at various stages of moustache. But my favorite objet that we found in the Hyde Park apartment is a copy of her college transcript from the City College of New York, dated February 1st, 1965. She graduated Magna cum Laude, and simultaneously pursued a Bachelors of Hebrew Letters at JTS, so I’m sure that you can imagine that it is a rocking transcript, but it is also very revealing. Tikva Simone Frymer was very ambitious in her course selections, with mixed results. She consistently saw As (and some Bs) in exactly what you would expect: literature, composition, linguistics, history, civilization, classics, philosophy, Bible, religion. She consistently saw C’s in calculus and in phys ed, never her strong suit. But the best part of her transcript comes in the second semester of her senior year. A successful term overall: excellent grades in classical mythology, medieval Latin literature, even B’s in PE and “personal health,” (definitely a career high) and two Cs. One in intro to Ecology—probably trying to fill that general science requirement— and one final anomalous C, in “Discussion and Debate.” I am dying to know what she did to earn a C in discussion and debate, since I personally never witnessed my mom lose a debate, or fail to impress in a discussion. What did she do to anger her professor? Did she

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY dominate the discussion? Did she fail to listen to directions? Did she exhibit excessive stubbornness? Did she fail to turn in an assignment? Did she stop going to class? I cannot imagine that this grade is a reflection of a lack of debate and discussion skills, and if it was such, it was simply because she was not prepared to follow the rules of 1965. I only wish I could ask her—I’m sure there’s a story there. But along with all the wonderful relics treasures of the apartment, there was also a far more daunting task: the books. When mom moved into that apartment in 1999, she brought with her 90 cartons of books, and that did not include the 67 cartons of books that had already been brought over from her Divinity School office and stacked in the second bedroom. So there were a lot of books to be gone through and packed. One trait that I share with my mother is a complete lack of a logical system of shelving. While periodically I try to keep all dictionaries in the same place, or all novels together, most of the time books just wind up where they wind up. Ultimately this itself produces its own logical organization: the books that I use most often wind up together, and the pretty books that I never touch find themselves shoved to the back of a two-tiered shelf. This way ideally books that belong together find themselves migrating towards each other, because I use them at the same time and then put them back at the same time. However, most of the time books that belong together are separated and divided amidst other books, because instead of reshelving them together I put them back wherever there is room. Such was the case in front of me at my mom’s apartment. Some books that belonged together were absolutely together—Anchor Bibles, theological dictionaries, volumes of inscriptions, bound volumes of material relating to Ugarit, the Phoenicians, the Hittites. Those were easy to pack, because (no offense) they weren’t that interesting, and so we didn’t stop to look at them, just put them in the boxes and moved on. Efficient, yes, but not much fun. But most of the books on her bookshelves were in no particular order, and therefore the process was much more fun. Sometimes it was fun because of the juxtaposition of titles—Buber’s I and Thou right next to Women who Run with the Wolves, and followed by one of many Nora Roberts novels. Sometimes it was fun because of the find—a beautiful three-volume illustrated Divine Comedy, or books called things like Mrs. Grundy Studies in English Prudery and my personal favorite, Webster’s First New Intergalactic Wickedary of the English Language conjured by Mary Daly. I think my mother owned nearly every book every

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published on women, goddesses, and the female, including no less than four copies of Standing Again at Sinai. My mother was a voracious reader and a perfectionist when it came to research. No matter what the press, what off-kilter title, if the book was related to her research, she bought it, which is how she wound up with books as varied as Myths of Enki, the Crafty God and Men are from Israel, Women are from Moab. Her bookshelves also bear witness to personal projects and passions, such as the complete Superman in a beautiful four-volume hardcover edition, and many, many tomes on Genesis 1–11, which she was working on during the last months of her life. And all of these books are jumbled together on her bookshelves. But it was precisely this jumble that enabled her to make serendipitous connections between divergent traditions, media, and disciplines were it not for the probings of an open and curious mind, willing to pick up whatever cover caught her eye in the bookstore, willing to drop what she was working on in order to go to a movie, read a novel, or pick up a file of Babylonian birth incantations. We may never have had In the Wake of the Goddesses, Motherprayer, Reading the Women of the Bible. We may never have seen Jacob, Israel, as Superman, or thought about Jezebel as the personification of Deuteronomy’s greatest anxieties and fears of survival. My mother left behind much in her wake. Throughout her career, she often feared that she wasn’t doing enough, and that much of her success lay in her great ability to captivate audiences with the razzle-dazzle of her oratorical prowess. Seven years before she died, my mother published an essay in a little known book called Wise Women: Reflections of Teachers at Midlife. The essay, published under the name “Tikva Simone Frymer” (though she did not intend the byline to read so) is the closest thing to a memoir that my mother ever wrote. In it, she speaks honestly and openly about the challenges of being a female academic in a male-dominated field, but she also speaks quite personally about the insecurities that plagued her throughout her life, particularly when it came to her writing, and the worry that very little of scholarly substance lay behind her notable skills as a speaker: This doubt had enormous impact on my writing, or rather, on the paucity of my writing. My success in speaking about matters of which I knew little paralyzed my writing. I couldn’t quite believe that I had anything to say that could survive without the

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY force of my personality. I would deliver talks in classes, at professional meetings, even in synagogues, but I wouldn’t write them down. When I wrote conference papers, I didn’t send them out for publication. When women began to write about women in Judaism, I never published my thoughts. Two articles, published twenty years apart, have come from my thirty years of investigating and teaching the book of Genesis. And my dissertation, which took me twelve years to complete, is still not published.2

It is personally upsetting to hear my mother speak about the paucity of her writing, given how much impact her writing has had on so many, including myself and how I teach my classes, how I think about women in the Bible, how I think about Israel and her neighbors. It is her writing and scholarly pursuits that is the reason we are here today. And yet, something important needs to be recognized here. When I read my mother’s words, I hear her speak. I hear her voice in my head. There is no disconnect between her oral presence and her continued presence that speaks from her written work. Sure, the woman who speaks from the page does not break into song to illustrate a point, as she was wont to do in her lectures, but the voice that comes through in her writing is the voice of my mother—strong, assertive, full of mirth, daring, and loud. My mother was loud. So loud that over a year after her death I can still hear the challenge of her conclusions, the incision of her comment, and the woman who, upon visiting me in England in 1998, stood in the Sumerian room of the British Museum and chanted the tablets, shaking her fist in the air and causing all those who passed by to run away from the crazy lady. It is this volume that comes through in her written work, and through the memory of her physical presence that now can only be experienced through the words she has left us on the page, making her forever present through her arguments. I miss my mother. I know she would want to be here, to come to the party. The last time she was able to attend SBL was all the way back in Nashville, when she scooted around the biosphere in a little electric scooter, causing a ruckus and attracting attention wherever she went. May her work continue to cause a ruckus in her absence,

2Tikva Simone Frymer, “Memories of a ‘First Woman’,” in Wise Woman: Reflections of Teachers at Midlife, ed. Phyllis R. Freeman and Jan Zlotnik Schmidt (New York: Routledge, 2000), 139.

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and may she continue to be a pain on the ass to scholars for generations to come.

T IK V A F RYMER -K ENSKY AND H E R S TUDIE S IN B IBLE AND F EMINIST C RITICISM : A N A SSES S MEN T Athalya Brenner Studies in Bible and Feminist Criticism is a selected collection of essays by Tikva Frymer-Kensky, published by the Jewish Publication Society in their Scholar of Distinction Series (2006). The essays included have been published by the late and lamented Frymer-Kensky over three decades. As such, and together with her “Introduction: A Retrospective,” the volume maps the author's multifaceted career as a Bible scholar. I understand from the “Acknowledgements” and the “Introduction” that the author participated fully in the arrangement and choice of the pieces to be reproduced in order to arrive at what seemed to her, and not only to the publishers, a representative collection of her activities. In what follows, then, I shall attempt to guess at this map and assess the nature of Frymer-Kensky’s contributions as reflected by the choices made. First, a short description of the book’s arrangement and contents. It is not arranged by dates of original publication but, rather, by subject matter. After the author’s introduction/retrospective, essays are grouped under the following informative headings: COMPARATIVE CULTURES I and II (ancient Near Eastern religions, then Judaism and Christianity, respectively, pp. 5–156); FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES I and II (gender and the Bible; gender and the law, respectively; pp. 159–281); THEOLOGIES I and II (Biblical theology; constructive theology, respectively; pp. 285–428). A bibliography of Frymer-Kensky’s published writing concludes the volume (pp. 429–36). These headings, then, probably stand as summation for the author’s interest fields as defined by her and by the publisher. COMPARATIVE CULTURES I contains six essays on 11

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Mesopotamian myths—creation, flood, goddess myths—and their value for understanding comparable materials in the Hebrew Bible. COMPARATIVE CULTURES II has four essays on issues such as religious image, chosenness (this is Frymer-Kensky’s formulation), law and covenant in Judaism as compared to Christianity. FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES I has four essays on gender in the Hebrew Bible, from gender ideology in general to the lessons of a specific story (on Rahab, Josh 2 and 6). FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES II has four essays on gender in Biblical law and in Jewish halakhah. THEOLOGIES I contains six essays on Biblical issues: some more conventional, such as on the concepts of revelation and Moses; others on more contemporary issues, such as ecology in light of Biblical pollution issues. THEOLOGIES II has six pieces of a completely different hue. They read more like faith discourse than like scholarly essays: to be sure, a confident scholarly voice reverberates through them. The framework here is specifically that of a Jewish constructionist discourse. Topics such as healing, feminine god talk and other feminine/feminist issues within Judaism are rounded off by two poems: the first is entitled Like a Birthing Woman, a collage of Biblical passages and own words; and the second is entitled Shaddai, a personal prayer with—towards the end—one Biblical quotation only: Ps 118:26, “Blessed be the one who comes in the name of God.” This summary of the volume’s content, both inadequate because of its brevity and redundant for Frymer-Kensky aficionados—and I trust that quite a few of them are sitting in this room today—is recounted here in certain detail for a purpose. It shows that she was consistent in her interests and in the application of her scholarship to her life beliefs and situations, as well as in applying her life situations and beliefs to her scholarship. She herself tells the story how the experience of giving birth, a uniquely female experience that turned out to be physically difficult for her, started her on thinking and teaching women and religion—together. This dynamics of a work/life dialogue was characteristic of her work at all times. As she herself says in her “Introduction,” she tried to combine scholarship and work into a life style. And, let us say aloud, she succeeded. Frymer-Kensky’s work on ancient Near Eastern materials is learned, astute, perceptive and curious. Her views on basic feminist issues are confident: women need and deserve to have social equality. She therefore combines her scholarly work and personal views into a demand and struggle for religious understanding in general, and

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religious understanding and acceptance of women in particular. For, in whatever she does and writes, she remains, consistently, a Jewish American woman, a woman of faith, a constructionist theologian, actually a Rabbi in her own right. Frymer-Kensky is not objective. When she started her scholarly career being “objective” was still required: this is why, according to her own explanation, she studied for a PhD in Assyriology rather than in Biblical studies. (Another explanation was the imperialism and claim on truth of her [male] teachers, and this rings absolutely true.) However, as time went by, the requirement to be “objective” in scholarship was gradually dropped or, at the very least, declared impossible to fulfill. And this was a load off her back, as she readily admits again and again, in many instances. She brought to her task of reading the Bible, together with the ancient Near Eastern parallels, a wealth of knowledge from her Jewish education and life, from law and halakhah to myth and story and custom. Jewishness, her style, was central to everything she did in any field. And this was and still is refreshing in an academic world, especially in the US and Europe, that has been and still is largely controlled by Christian males. For a woman, any woman and particularly a Jewish woman, to deal with law in the late 1970s was unusual; for a woman to work on Assyriology and Sumerology at that time was as rare. In this connection, at that time, only Erica Reiner and Rivkah Harris come to mind; the situation has meanwhile altered, of course, and names of other woman Assyriologists can meanwhile be cited—the times are changing. But suffice be it to say here that the move from general Mesopotamian topics and law into a specific interest in goddesses and, moreover, women’s goddesses and female interests was, once again at that time, not short of revolutionary. A similar move can be discerned in Rivkah Harris’s work, see seminal work on nad•tu-women (a sort of nun) and her recent book on gender and ageing in Mesopotamia.3 So, we all owe Frymer-Kensky a debt similar to that we owe Phyllis Trible, each in her own field and from within her own faith community.4 Frymer3 Rivkah Harris, “The nadītu-Woman,” in Studies Presented to A. Leo Oppenheim, ed. Robert D. Biggs and John A. Brinkman (Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1964), 106–35; eadem, Gender and Aging in Mesopotamia: The Gilgamesh Epic and Other Ancient Literature (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000). 4 Phyllis Trible, God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1978) is still influential, after thirty years, and is admired beyond its

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Kensky opened a road for other woman scholars, especially Jewish ones, to travel if they so wished. Furthermore, for a woman to combine such a cognate trajectory together with Jewish scholarship in order to read the Hebrew Bible was almost unheard of. Frymer-Kensky did exactly that: she walked from Mesopotamia to Canaan, so to speak, listening to an inner command. But here, of course, lies a danger. This danger is shared by any person of faith working in Biblical studies, I believe: the danger of love. and love often leads to apologizing for the beloved and to minimizing the beloved’s faults. For love would love the beloved to have no blemish. Frymer-Kensky loved the Bible and Judaism, her style, with a passion. This was her life, according to her own words and behavior. And she wanted to save the Bible, so it seems, not only from its critics but also from itself. This resulted in her view, among others, that the Bible has a gender unity or, at the very least, does not originally exhibit distinct differentiation between the sexes. In that she did not mean that sexual differences were unknown in Biblical times or to Biblical authors. What she meant was that, since humans were created in god’s image, and the Biblical god is not gendered apart from in language and grammar (where he is decidedly male), theologically there must be gender unity and, by implication, gender equality in the theology that can be teased out of the Bible. This gender unity, according to Frymer-Kensky, was at first expressed also in the social sphere but came to an end due to the introduction of norms from the Hellenistic world and later, by the western, polarized conceptualization of gender that developed out of the Hellenistic/Roman thought world. Those norms were inauspicious to women and colored, tainted, Judaism and its halakhah for generations to come. This line of argument, according to her, made it possible and necessary for Jewish feminists to restructure women’s positions within Judaism in line with the original Biblical, and up to a point Mesopotamian, situation. To quote (p. 187): Women in the Bible pursue their goals as actively as men. They have certain techniques and strategies at their disposal; they can use their access to food to set the mood and so influence people; clearly Christian faith context.

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they can use their powers of persuasion through reason, rhetoric and persistence (nagging); and they can trick and deceive when they cannot persuade. None of this is different from the strategies that men outside the power structure could be expected to use (written 1989).

And when she asks where this notion of gender equality came from and how it persisted through the Biblical period, her answer to her own question is (p. 193, same essay): It may have been originally plausible during the early, formative, peasant period of Israel’s formation, when males and females had intermeshing and economically comparable roles in subsistence and household management. Unlike in other religious systems, however, the increasing complexity of life, with its accompanying expanding hierarchical structure of family and polity, did not bring a philosophically gendered concept to account for the new social realities. I would speculate that the survival of a concept of gender equality in spite of the social mismatch is due to the theological thought-life of the Bible, for a concept of gender unity fits well with a religious system in which humans are the image and counterpart of God and there is only one God.

This is of course the voice of Frymer-Kensky the theologian “talking,” and her opinion is close to that of Carol Meyers in Discovering Eve, at least for Israel’s initial period and arrived at from a different angle.5 It is also similar on that count to Phyllis Trible’s view of gender equality in the creation as read together with the Song of Songs.6 Frymer-Kensky has other opinions on gender relations as expressed in goddess stories and others myths and laws of the ancient Near East outside ancient Israel, namely in Mesopotamia. While reading those myths, from various provenances and periods, she is indeed a pioneer in understanding the non-domestic character of, for example, Inanna. This non-domestic character facilitates a free, liminal, mediating, role for the goddess—although, according to Frymer-Kensky, this has nothing or little to do with social conditions of women in the societies that produced those epics, as reflected in Carol L. Meyers, Discovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988). 6 Phyllis Trible, “Depatriarchalizing in Biblical Interpretation,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 41 (1973): 30–48. 5

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those societies’ laws. Here she has a good point: myth and literature may reflect a society as their authors wish it to be, as it should be, not as it is; and this point is valid for Mesopotamia as well as for ancient Israel. A well-developed goddess system does not necessarily imply gender egalitarianism. (On the other hand, the attempted deletion of female divine figures from a myth or religion system must be suspect, for obvious reasons.) At any rate, Frymer-Kensky’s clear gaze at the goddesses is a far cry from contemporaneous (1970’s to end 1980’s) romanticizing, feminist works on ancient goddess worship. It is balanced. And if we have become accustomed to views such as hers, having rejected the excesses of early attempts after the style of When God Was a Woman7 or direct condemnations of ancient patriarchy8 as too general hence inadequate, we must nonetheless allow for the pioneering ring of her words in the late 1970’s and the 1980’s. At the end of the day, also at the end of this JPS volume, Frymer-Kensky is a feminist Jewish theologian. She is a member of a community, she sees herself as contributing to the welfare of that community’s members, especially women, by bringing her scholarship to bear upon problematic issues. And she is a reformer, a reconstructionist. She loves Torah, is a believer, and tries to blend all the threads of her life into a personally and socially meaningful texture. And this is truly admirable—and ideological—and biased. And indeed, ideology permeates all of her work on the Hebrew Bible and on Judaism. Not everybody will agree that the Bible had been free of gender repression before Hellenistic influences corrupted it. I do not believe this, not for a moment. I truly feel that gender prejudices abound in the Bible, be their reasons what they may, and if you ignore those or explain them away you do that at your peril. From the moment that Male precedes Female in narration, from the moment that Woman is born of the Adam against the laws of nature known full well to the anonymous authors of Genesis, there is no equality. And the rest is, in the best Jewish tradition, pilpul; or sophism, if you so will. But while saying that, I remember full well that my context is 7 Merlin Stone, When God Was a Woman (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1978), original publication: The Paradise Papers: The Suppression of Women’s Rites (London: Virago: Quartet Books, 1976). 8 Gerda Lerner, The Creation of Patriarchy, Women and History, 1 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986).

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different, that I do not have to fight Frymer-Kensky’s wars; that I did not have to jostle, like she did, for a space of dignity within and without her chosen diasporic community, for herself and for others of her kind; and that she combined the old and the new, life principles and professional convictions, with aplomb. After all, this is no more the age of objectivity. So what remains is to respect her life work with eyes wide open. To admire her erudition, her quick wit, her wisdom, her ear for languages, her dedication, her strengths—and her weaknesses. And to applaud her choices, the right choices for her. And to celebrate this Jewish woman, a feminist scholar and activist, who loved well and passionately. Let her memory be blessed.

.‫יהי זכרה ברוך‬ B I BL I OGRA P H Y Frymer-Kensky, Tikva. Studies in Bible and Feminist Criticism. Scholar of Distinction Series. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2006. Harris, Rivkah. “The nad•tu -Woman.” In Studies Presented to A. Leo Oppenheim, June 7, 1964. Edited by Robert D. Biggs and John A. Brinkman, 106–35. Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1964. _____. Gender and Aging in Mesopotamia: The Gilgamesh Epic and Other Ancient Literature. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000. Lerner, Gerda. The Creation of Patriarchy. Women and History, 1; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986. Meyers, Carol L. Discovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Stone, Merlin. When God Was a Woman. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1978, original publication: The Paradise Papers: The Suppression of Women’s Rites. London: Virago: Quartet Books, 1976. Trible, Phyllis. “Depatriarchalizing in Biblical Interpretation.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 41 (1973): 30–48. ______. God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1978.

I N THE W AKE O F T HE W AKE Diana Edelman Tikva completed a first BA in ancient world studies from City College of New York in 1965 and simultaneously, a second bachelor's in Hebrew literature (B.H.L) in Bible-Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, which was awarded in the same year. She then went on to receive a Master’s in West Semitics from Yale University in 1967 and a doctorate in Assyriology and Sumerology from Yale University in 1977. During her formative work at university in her undergraduate and graduate studies, she would have been taught the standard diachronic approach to texts, and the existence of J, E, D, and P as sources used to create various Biblical books would have been virtual facts. The Albright school’s vision of a pre-monarchic pure Israelite monotheism getting corrupted after entry into the land because of Canaanite polytheistic influence but triumphing eventually again after the exile would have been the norm, even in Jewish circles. It grows out of a faith-based approach to the Bible that assumes truth means historical reliability, which is a view that cuts across the Jewish Christian theological divide. The Wake was published in 1992 in the heyday of the shift away from traditio-historical and source criticism to reader response and close reading of final form Biblical texts. David Gunn’s Fate of King Saul (1980);9 Robert Alter’s The Art of Biblical Narrative (1981);10 Adele Berlin’s Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative (1983);11 Meir 9 David M. Gunn, The Fate of King Saul: An Interpretation of a Biblical Story, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 14 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1980). 10 Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative (New York: Basic Books, 1981). 11 Adele Berlin, Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative. Bible and Literature Series, 9 (Sheffield: Almond Press, 1983).

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Sternberg’s The Poetics of Biblical Narrative (1985);12 David Damrosch’s Narrative Covenant (1987);13 The Literary Guide to the Bible, edited by Robert Alter and Frank Kermode (1987);14 and Shimon Bar-Efrat’s Narrative Art in the Bible (1989)15 were all impacting heavily on Hebrew Bible studies, leading the field away from a long-standing diachronic preoccupation with establishing the “original” form of a text and its various stages of editing and redaction to a focus on the final form of the text and the contribution of the reader to the creation of meaning in a synchronic reading. Tikva’s statement concerning the evaluation of texts shows she moved beyond the confines of her initial training and seems to have embraced the newer literary trends of final form reading as a necessary first step in historical criticism. Uncovering Biblical thought is always a multi-layered process. Biblical ideas are not laid out systematically, and often not explicitly. The reader who wishes to abstract order from these texts is engaged in a kind of “search and combine” mission to identify and unite elements of Biblical theology and world view. The first step has to be an understanding of ideas in context. Each individual Biblical text must be studied and analyzed by itself, using all available tools or philological and literary analysis. Only afterwards can the text be “deconstructed” so that units and ideas can be combined with ideas from other texts. Without the first close reading of the Biblical texts, we run the risk of misunderstanding Biblical ideas and of building—without control—structures to suit our own imagination.16

Indeed, many of her final form readings of individual texts are insightful and will undoubtedly stand the test of time. Her synchronic Biblical observations form the backbone of the sections on the Bible in the book under discussion. 12 Meir Sternberg, The Poetics of Biblical Narrative: Ideological Literature and the Drama of Reading. 1st Midland Book edition, Indiana Studies in Biblical Literature (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1987). 13 David Damrosch, The Narrative Covenant; Transformations of Genre in the Growth of Biblical Literature (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987). 14 The Literary Guide to the Bible, ed. Robert Alter and Frank Kermode (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1987). 15 Shimon Bar-Efrat, Narrative Art in the Bible. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 70 (Sheffield: Almond Press, 1989). 16 In the Wake, 255 n. 5.

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1992 was also a time when much study was being done of “ancient Israelite religion” and debate was underway about whether Israel and Judah had native polytheistic traditions during some or all of the monarchic era and whether Yahweh had a consort, Asherah, or not. The first serious challenges were being mounted to the Albrightian/Biblical depiction of the origins of monotheism. In particular, the excavation of Kuntillet ‘Ajrud and the publication in 1978 of the inscriptions mentioning Yahweh of Samaria and Yahweh of Teman and Asherah or his Asherah, depending on one’s preferential reading, led to some healthy reassessment of the nature of the national religion under the monarchies.17 Here, Tikva struggled with the implications of these inscriptions but ultimately, they did not change her faith in the accuracy of the uniqueness of Israel’s monotheistic religion throughout the monarchy. A look at her comments shows she continued to believe monotheism existed already in premonarchic Israel, with God alone being a deity but surrounding himself in heaven with other orders of lesser created beings that did not really constitute divinities. Early Israelite poetry shows that in the early stages of biblical religion, Israel believed in other divine beings, none of whom could compare to YHWH. They form the council that declares God’s glory in Psalm 29; they are entrusted with the nations of the earth in Deuteronomy 32. These other beings form the divine background and context for the actions of YHWH; they themselves are not comparable to God. They were not to be worshipped independently, for Israel owed allegiance only to YHWH. As time went on, the religious thinkers of Israel developed a more refined monotheism and redefined the cosmos.18

She was even able to cite Deut 32:8 in support of this idea, ignoring the LXX reading and the likely original opening that recognized El Ze‘ev Meshel, Kuntillat ‘Ajrud: A Religious Center from the Time of the Judaean Monarchy on the Border of Sinai, Israel Museum Catalogue, 175 (Jerusalem: Israel Museum, Spring 1978). See subsequently Moshe Weinfeld, “Kuntillet ‘Ajrud Inscriptions and their Significance,” Studi epigrafici e linguistici 1 (1984): 121–30; and with a summary of opinions and a discussion see Judith M. Hadley, The Cult of Asherah in Ancient Israel and Judah: Evidence for a Hebrew Goddess, University of Cambridge Oriental Publications, 57 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), esp. 84–155. 18 In the Wake, 84. 17

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Elyon as the supreme deity and YHWH as one of the second-tier deities entrusted with the oversight of a nation. Her unshakable faith in Israel’s monotheism from an early period led her to deny goddess status to Asherah within Israel, though she had no trouble embracing the existence of such a goddess in the neighboring Canaanite pantheon. In Israel, an asherah was a cultic installation that appeared in båmôt, alongside a maßߟbah and an altar.19 The connection of Asherah to trees and groves and her location at altars hint that she represented, in some way, the natural world and its power of regeneration. The height and majesty of a tree may also be metaphor for earth-as-it-reaches-towards-heaven. Early Israelite religion could understand Asherah as part of God’s divine system. Later, as biblical thinking began to concentrate on human responsibility for natural regeneration, asherah no longer fit. The official cult attacked and destroyed asherah and the altars.20

Her struggle with the evidence from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud and the Bible highlights what is at stake for her if she were to accept Asherah as a native Israelite goddess: YHWH would at some point have been a male deity, with a consort. All the evidence in both the Bible and the inscriptions indicates that “asherah” was associated with the cult of YHWH rather than any cult of Ba‘al. Perhaps this “asherah” is to be seen as a native Israelite goddess. In truth, it actually does not matter whether the goddess came from Canaan or not. The question is: once she was ensconced in Samaria, what did she do? If she was a consort, then we would have to say that in the nonpreserved traditions of Israel, YHWH was really male, fully sexed, and modeled appropriate sexual behavior. This we cannot say with any degree of probability, for the Kuntillet Ajrud inscriptions do not indicate this, nor, assuredly, does the Biblical record. Even at Kuntillet Ajrud, the asherah does not appear as an active independent figure. The blessing formula is by “YHWH and his/its (Samaria’s) asherah,” but the asherah doesn’t really do anything.21

Because such traditions are otherwise unpreserved, she finds them Ibid., 155. Ibid., 158. 21 Ibid. 19 20

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improbable. But if monotheism replaced an earlier pantheistic system headed by a divine couple, would we expect to find statements about this superseded system in the literature that was to define normative theological precepts for emergent Judaism? In response to the prophetic complaints about the people’s worship of numerous deities besides YHWH, which has led a number of scholars to conclude that the native national religion in Israel and Judah was polytheistic during much of the monarchy, Tikva states: “In fact, despite the impression that the prophets give us, Israel was overwhelmingly monotheist.”22 However, Tikva found some of the reframing of the understanding of Israelite religion appealing and was able to cite approvingly Baruch Halpern’s 1987 article, “‘Brisker Pipes than Poetry’: The Development of Israelite Monotheism,”23 which rejected the view of a pure Israelite monotheism corrupted by Canaanite religion. Noting that My#$id'q; are often mentioned together with local shrines, pillars, altars and asherahs, she suggests, “they seem to have been part of the folk worship identified as foreign and improper by the emerging biblical monotheistic tradition.”24 She apparently was unaware that this view conflicted with her views expressed elsewhere in the book, looked at briefly above. This single quote seems to represent a new idea to her that made logical sense at some level but which she had not yet fully integrated into her own thinking in a way that allowed her to create a working synthesis that fit various data into a coherent single system instead of two overlapping systems that were not fully compatible. It is tempting to call this “Canaanite” worship, as do most scholars. However, this religion was not adjoined to an originally pure Israelite religion. On the contrary, Israelite religion grew up in the Canaanite milieu, and this improper cult was probably a native Israelite cult that was outgrown and condemned by the increasingly sophisticated monotheism of the Biblical authors.25

The move to label the cult of Asherah or other practices that are not Ibid., 244 n. 12. Baruch Halpern, “‘Brisker Pipes than Poetry’: The Development of Israelite Monotheism,” in Judaic Perspectives on Ancient Israel, ed. Jacob Neusner, Baruch A. Levine, and Ernest S. Frerichs (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987), 77–115. 24 In the Wake, 201. 25 Ibid., 276 n. 17. 22 23

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consistent with pure monotheism as elements of “folk religion” or “popular religion” is a common strategy used by Biblical scholars who embrace the Biblical rhetoric about monotheism as historical fact. It provides an “out” that avoids the need otherwise to admit that religion in Israel and Judah during the time they existed as kingdoms was not substantially different from that practiced by their neighbors. It overlooks the various statements in the Hebrew Bible, however, that the cult of Ba>al, Asherah, and Nehushtan were integral to the temple in Jerusalem26 and that the elders worshipped before images that are described in Ezek 8:10 as “all kinds of creeping things and loathsome animals and all the idols of the house of Israel.” The temple complex hosted as well the worship of Tammuz27 and of the sun,28 while the Queen of Heaven was worshipped within towns in Judah by entire families.29 Finally, when In the Wake was published in 1992, challenges were being mounted to the normative, theologically based approach to writing the history of Israel and Judah and the traditional dating and understanding of the nature of underlying sources. Thomas L. Thompson’s The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives30 appeared in 1974 and John van Seter’s Abraham in History and Tradition31 in 1975. Both argued against the historicity of the Genesis stories. Van Seters’ In Search of History32 was published in 1983, challenging the traditional dating of J to the 10th century and putting it instead in the Persian period. Thomas L. Thompson’s The Origin Tradition of Ancient Israel33 was published in 1987, while Niels Peter Lemche’s Ancient Israel34 2 Kgs 18:4; 23:4–7. Ezek 8:14. 28 2 Kgs 23:11; Ezek 8:16. 29 Jer 44:15–19. 30 Thomas L. Thompson, The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham, Beiheft zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 133 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1974). 31 John Van Seters, Abraham in History and Tradition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975). 32 Idem, In Search of History: Historiography in the Ancient World and the Origins of Biblical History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983). 33 Thomas L Thompson, The Origin Tradition of Ancient Israel. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 55 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1987). 34 Niels Peter Lemche, Ancient Israel: A New History of Israelite Society, 26 27

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appeared in 1988, arguing that the Biblical accounts only reflect views and issues current at the time period of their composition and not at the time they portray in the narrative. His The Canaanites and Their Land,35 published in 1991, argues that Canaan and the Canaanites are an ideological construct for “other” in the Bible. Tikva apparently was unpersuaded by the reassessments underway concerning the historicity of the Biblical texts, the nature and dates of any underlying sources, and the dates of composition of individual books. I am assuming she was aware of these challenges; she never mentioned any of these challenging works by these scholars, even in footnotes, so it might be possible to conclude that she had not read them. I think, however, she knew them either directly or indirectly from book reviews, conferences, and footnotes in what she read and that her firm, faith-based stance led her to deal with them by exclusion, as though they did not exist or warrant a mention because they were so alien to her personal understanding. She assumed a date for J in the 10th century BCE and stated that the earliest poems in the Bible were written ca 1200–1000 BCE, in the early days of Israel. “There is certainly no reason to assume that the idea of God’s dominance over reproduction is any later than J” “…the first literary source of the Pentateuch, probably composed in the tenth century B.C.E.”36 “The earliest poems contained in the Bible were written in the early days of Israel, around 1200–1000 B.C.E. The latest books come from the beginning of the Hellenistic period, after the conquest of Israel by Alexander the Great.”37 She was confident of our ability to identify books and textual strands that date to the monarchic and post-exilic periods. “Despite the diverse origins and nature of these stories, the preexilic Biblical texts present a coherent and consistent picture of the nature of women, their goals, and the means by which they attain them.”38 The one indirect hint of her likely familiarity with challenges to the status quo is her insistence that although Babylonian Marduk unites the functions of creator and king, Biblical Seminar (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1988). 35Idem, The Canaanites and their Land: The Tradition of the Canaanites. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 110 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1991). 36 In the Wake, 247 n. 62. 37 Ibid., 243 n. 1. 38 Ibid., 118.

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which in Ugaritic thought are associated with El and Baal respectively, making Babylonian mythology closer to Biblical thought than Ugaritic, We should be careful not to assume Babylonian influence on the Bible. The Enuma Elish is written long after the West Semitic infiltration of Mesopotamia, and the myth of the sea seems more at home on the Mediterranean coast than the Persian. We can be dealing with very ancient West Semitic mythology told by the ancestors of the Hebrews and their migrating branches.39

Here Tikva is rejecting any possibility that the deportation of Jerusalemite court functionaries to Babylonia in 587 BCE could possibly have introduced Babylonian influences into Judean thought patterns or writings or contributed to the development of monotheism. Yet she accepts the standard view that the Biblical depiction of monotheism has been shaped by Israel’s desire to understand and justify the fall of Israel in 722 B.C.E. and of Judah in 587 B.C.E., and the accusations of infidelity and apostasy with which these books attack the people is part of their soul-searching and self-blame for the great catastrophe that befell them.40

The experience of defeat and exile has directly influenced the shaping of Biblical thought; as long as ideas come from within the native Judean tradition, it is fine. To think that scribes living in Babylonia would not have become familiar with Mesopotamian literary and religious traditions and would not have been influenced in any way by such ideas defies logic and common-sense. Tikva does not function as a historian, and while I met her and even shared a room with her once at a conference, I do not know if she would have claimed to have been a historian. Am I being too harsh? She used the terms Biblical Israel, ancient Israel and Judah interchangeably, which was typical of the predominant mindset of her day and still is a common confusion found in Biblical secondary literature. It reflects an uncritical adoption of Biblical rhetoric that might be acceptable in theological and faith-based circles but is naïve and inappropriate in historical methodology. While she insisted she was reading Biblical texts synchronically, she did slip on one occasion 39 40

Ibid., 244 n. 9. Ibid., 84.

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and claim that that Rachel, the wife of Jacob, lived about 1000 years before Jeremiah, who is citing the book of Genesis at the end of the monarchy. “All these events in the life of Rachel happened almost a thousand years before Jeremiah’s time. Nevertheless, the Rachel that Jeremiah hears is the matriarch of Genesis, and Jeremiah plants linguistic clues to allude to the Genesis stories.”41 Thus, she accepted the historicity of the patriarchal narratives and dated these forefathers to the end of the Middle Bronze or the beginning of the Late Bronze period (586 +1000=1586 BCE). If we look at a second statement of method, we can see that she worked firmly in the older-style, traditio-historical forms of analysis in spite of the earlier quote that seemed to recognize the importance of an initial synchronic reading. Before one can compare stories of such diverse origin, several preliminary studies must be taken. The first involves taking each story individually, and analyzing it for the information it contains, for its historicity, and for its literary nature and form. Next, this sizable corpus of material needs to be read by time of composition and by genre, for it is possible that different people, schools, or periods during the millennium in which the Bible was written had different ideas about what women were like. This is not the place to present the analytical charts that result from such preliminary studies, but the analysis clearly reveals that one is justified in talking about a common pre-exilic sense of gender.42

She starts with the individual story unit but looks for historicity before literary nature and form. In this quote she is giving priority to the traditional diachronic approach in which she was trained. Then she moves on to the time of composition and genre. A historian begins with a close reading of a critically evaluated, final form text, reading it synchronically to understand its literary form, use of array of literary strategies and devices, rhetoric, and genre. Only after this initial step is completed can diachronic questions be raised, and as soon as they are, we are on uncertain ground. Focus shifts to the implied author and his intent, his potential use of sources, oral or written, likely traces of editing based on inconsistencies in the text that have no likely literary function or explanation, and internal clues that might point to the time of composition of the author. 41 42

Ibid., 166. Ibid., 255 n. 6.

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Tikva was working with traditional source criticism and its convenient dating scheme that allowed books to be dated with some confidence. She had not adopted the more sophisticated approach to source criticism that ignores J, E, D, and P and identifies possible sources in terms of internal story logic and formal patterning and then also asks if such potential sources might reflect the time period they purport to describe or another one, recognizing that sources may not be contemporaneous with the events or situations they contain and the likely presence of a source never guarantees historical accuracy. Most importantly, Tikva presumes the Biblical books are primarily historically reliable when they narrate events in a chronological framework. She lacks the hermeneutic of suspicion that guides the research of a proper historian. Two other observations illuminate her lack of historical sensibilities. First, Tikva has ignored completely the role of the ancestors in the domains of healing and land tenure in ancient Near Eastern cultures, giving the impression that deities always oversaw such concerns. Various Biblical books assert Yahweh’s pre-emption of the ancestors43 and the prohibition of the consultation of the dead in Biblical law44 certainly is to be tied to this same issue. Second, as a Mesopotamian specialist, it was strange that she could assert that the Biblical book of Lamentations was written in response to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple45 rather than on the eve of its restoration, like all the city-laments she was well acquainted with from her studies. Perhaps this was the result of the perceived time gap between the two bodies of literature, which has hindered Biblical studies for a long time, but underlying this failure to apply a logical analogy is also probably an assumption that Israel and Judah were more different than like their neighbors because the Bible is a unique product, like the monotheism it expresses. In conclusion, In the Wake of the Goddesses was and still is innovative in its presentation of a survey of the roles and functions of goddesses in ancient Mesopotamia and in its observation of the reassigning of many of their domains to male deities over time. Her ability to synthesize material from a range of cuneiform sources and to distinguish among female divine types and not to assume all types E.g., Genesis, Joshua, Deuteronomy. Deut 18:11. 45 In the Wake, 170. 43 44

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mirror and are meant to reinforce social reality shows an ability to step out of her own world into another culture and understand how their world worked, given their internal assumptions. The same impression does not emerge from her discussion of what she calls Biblical Israel, however. Here, her personal faith tradition impinged on her understanding and prevented her from stepping into another culture; she presumed that Biblical Israel was included within her Jewish cultural tradition so that Judaism was a direct continuation of the religion practiced in ancient Israel and Judah. Having said that, however, her observations about various ways in which the Biblical writers expressed and modelled the logical correlatives of monotheism remain serious contributions to any investigation of the emergence of monotheism. The validity of many does not ultimately depend on her presumption of an early date for the development of monotheism, and this volume still has much to offer those who do not share its author’s presuppositions about the strong historicity of Biblical books or their early dates of composition. Sadly, a large percentage of those working in the field of Biblical Studies still seem to embrace the Albrightian model of the history of monotheism, uncritically accepting the Biblical rhetoric, and until current historical methods are applied to issues that are historical in nature, Biblical scholars will remain a target of ridicule amongst their colleagues in the Arts and Humanities, being viewed as theologians pretending to play at literary and historical enterprises.

B I BL I OGRA P H Y Alter, Robert, and Frank Kermode, eds. The Literary Guide to the Bible. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1987. Alter, Robert. The Art of Biblical Narrative. New York: Basic Books, 1981. Bar-Efrat, Shimon. Narrative Art in the Bible. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 70. Sheffield: Almond Press, 1989. Berlin, Adele. Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative. Bible and Literature Series, 9. Sheffield: Almond Press, 1983. Damrosch, David. The Narrative Covenant; Transformations of Genre in the Growth of Biblical Literature. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987. Frymer-Kensky, Tikva. In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth. New York: Free Press, 1991.

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Gunn, David M. The Fate of King Saul: An Interpretation of a Biblical Story. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 14. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1980. Hadley, Judith M. The Cult of Asherah in Ancient Israel and Judah: Evidence for a Hebrew Goddess. University of Cambridge Oriental Publications, 57. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Halpern, Baruch. “‘Brisker Pipes than Poetry’: The Development of Israelite Monotheism.” In Judaic Perspectives on Ancient Israel. Edited by Jacob Neusner, Baruch A. Levine, and Ernest S. Frerichs, 77–115. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987. Meshel, Ze‘ev. Kuntillat ‘Ajrud: A Religious Center from the Time of the Judaean Monarchy on the Border of Sinai. Israel Museum Catalogue, 175. Jerusalem: Israel Museum, Spring 1978. Lemche, Niels Peter. Ancient Israel: A New History of Israelite Society. Biblical Seminar. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1988. __________. The Canaanites and their Land: The Tradition of the Canaanites. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 110. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1991. Sternberg, Meir. The Poetics of Biblical Narrative: Ideological Literature and the Drama of Reading. 1st Midland Book edition. Indiana Studies in Biblical Literature. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1987. Thompson, Thomas L. The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham. Beiheft zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 133. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1974. _________. The Origin Tradition of Ancient Israel. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 55. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1987. Van Seters, John. Abraham in History and Tradition. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975. ________. In Search of History: Historiography in the Ancient World and the Origins of Biblical History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983. Weinfeld, Moshe. “Kuntillet ‘Ajrud Inscriptions and their Significance.” Studi epigrafici e linguistici 1 (1984): 121–30.

I N THE W AKE OF THE G OD D E S SE S : T HEOLOGY , THE H UMANITIES , AND THE E DUCATION O F S EMINARIANS 46 Diane M. Sharon Most of Tikva Frymer-Kensky’s full-time academic appointments were at institutions that prepared clergy for service, and clergy education was a passionate vocation for Tikva, who had strong ideas about what constituted appropriate clerical training. The topic of this paper would have been close to her heart. Here, I would like to address the value of In the Wake of the Goddesses for clergy education in both Jewish and Christian seminaries. Specifically, I would like to discuss the value of In the Wake of the Goddesses for what is called, in some circles, the “formation” of clergy. Clergy formation deals with the intersection between knowledge and practice. It is the conscious process of helping clergy-in-training to integrate intellectual knowledge, pastoral skills, and professional identity. As one minister has written about his seminary teachers and mentors, the best in clergy education models ways for students’ heads, hands, and hearts to work together.47 46 Tikva Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth (New York: Free Press, 1991). This article originated as a panel paper in the Assyriology and the Bible Section of the SBL Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, November 19, 2007. I wish to acknowledge my students during the spring and fall of 2007 for their comments on the value of this book in their own clerical training, especially Medora Geary and Heather Sisk of General Theological Seminary (Episcopal) New York, NY, and Jill Hackell of the Academy for Jewish Religion, Riverdale NY. 47 Christian Scharen, review of Charles R. Foster et al., Educating Clergy: Teaching Practices and Pastoral Imagination, at www.yale.edu/faith/downloads/

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The most recent and authoritative study of clergy education in America, produced for the Carnegie Foundation by Charles R. Foster and his colleagues in 2005, examined the education and “formation” of clergy-in-training in a variety of Christian and Jewish seminaries and theological schools.48 This book, Educating Clergy, identifies three apprenticeship models currently in practice in American seminaries of all faiths and denominations. The first is the cognitive apprenticeship, the intellectual development of clergy that exposes them to the scholarly tradition and gives them the knowledge base they need. This apprenticeship is the premiere focus of academically based programs that are the American norm today. Subjects related to the cognitive apprenticeship for clergy-in-training are given most weight by seminaries of all faith denominations, and are most often taught by tenured senior faculty. The second apprenticeship is the skills apprenticeship, focusing on specific professional clerical and pastoral skills that clergy will need in the “real world.” Foster calls this second apprenticeship “pastoral imagination.”49 Pastoral imagination offers “a way of seeing into and interpreting the world that permeates and shapes clergy practice.”50 It encourages student clergy to strive for moral integrity and social justice. This apprenticeship is less valued than the first by seminaries of all kinds. Often these courses are taught by adjunct faculty in the academy. The third apprenticeship is that of the professional identity of clergy-in-training. This apprenticeship is left to ad-hoc mentors— exceptional faculty members or senior clergy—who help clergy-intraining develop ways that they view themselves as professionals, and how they reflect upon their own professional identities.51 Unlike the first two apprenticeships, this one can only partially be addressed Educating%20Clergy%20Review.pdf 48 Charles R. Foster, Lisa E. Dahill, Lawrence A. Golemon, and Barbara Wang Tolentino, Educating Clergy: Teaching Practices and Pastoral Imagination, The Preparation for the Professions Series (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006). 49 Language borrowed from Lilly Endowment’s VP for Religion, Craig Dykstra, quoted in William M. Sullivan, “Introduction,” in Foster et al., Educating Clergy, 12 and passim. 50 Sullivan, “Introduction,” 13. 51 Sullivan, “Introduction,” 7–8, Foster et al., Educating Clergy, 123–25, and passim.

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within the walls of a seminary. The need to develop professional identity is generally addressed, for example, by requiring clergy-intraining to participate in internships and mentorships. These allow students to begin to integrate the cognitive and practical skills into their own sense of who they are as rabbis, ministers, pastors, or priests. For the cognitive and the skills apprenticeships, the first two elements of pastoral formation that can most readily be acquired within seminary walls, Tikva’s book can be an indispensable tool in the skilled hands of clerical educators. Let me begin with the cognitive apprenticeship, which features the most connections between the book and clerical education. The first and most obvious contribution of the book to the knowledge base of clergy in training is evidence that, theologically as well as culturally, the Bible emerges out of a particular cultural context in the ancient Near East. Tikva’s survey in the first part of the book provides a context for the evolution of the Bible based on informed readings of ancient Near Eastern texts, and functions as a corrective for the idea of religious orthodoxy that the Bible emerges from the Divine, ex nihilo, in a cultural vacuum. Tikva presents a thorough overview of Mesopotamian religion, using literary, sociological, and anthropological methodologies in her analyses of original Sumerian and Akkadian texts. Her methods are exemplary for scholars as well as for theologians. For instance, a colleague of Tikva’s, Dr. Stephen A. Geller, who himself teaches Rabbis and Cantors at the Jewish Theological Seminary, said of Tikva’s survey of Mesopotamian religion: “Perfectly clear and uncluttered, it is probably the best factually based survey of SumeroAkkadian religion available today.”52 According to a review by Mayer Gruber, In The Wake of the Goddesses is a book for non-specialists who can learn that the “arcane discipline of Sumerology has much to contribute” to our own contemporary self-understanding and theological contemplation.53 Gruber notes, particularly, Tikva’s 52 Stephen A. Geller, review of In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth, in Prooftexts 13 (1993): 295. 53 Mayer I. Gruber, review of In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth, in Jewish Quarterly Review 86/1–2 (July–October, 1995): 213–16, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1454838. See also Drorah Setel’s review, in which she writes that it “presents issues and information previously available only to scholars in the field.” Drorah

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portrayal of Enheduanna as one among other women, a great poet, priestess, princess. Enheduanna’s literary and theological contributions shaped the early arts of religion and letters. Tikva brings Enheduanna to the attention of the non-academic reader both as a historical precursor and also as an ancient feminist role model. Tikva’s survey in the first part of the book provides a context for the evolution of the Bible based on informed readings of ancient Near Eastern texts. In the second section, the book offers models for how the development of Israelite religion out of the Mesopotamian religious matrix might have occurred. In both sections, Tikva’s work offers a grounded antidote for traditional pietistic readings of the Bible as sui generis, and offers theological students evidence that religious practice and theological ideas can and do mutate, evolve, and change over time. The next, and most often noted, cognitive contribution of the book is to feminist and gender awareness. In the Wake of the Goddesses integrates “feminist” into the study of ancient texts, and also into “academic” and “theological” discourses. In doing so, it serves as a model for students in their own theological thinking, and in their readings of sacred texts. A corollary contribution of this book to the education of clergy is as an antidote to any “sentimental goddess-ism” that students may bring with them to seminary.54 In Part I, “The World of the Goddesses,” Tikva extrapolates the life situations of the cultures that produced the texts that she reads. The original Sumerian, Babylonian, and Assyrian texts describe the mundane, perhaps even obvious, goddess roles of mother, lover, sister, wife, weaver, potter, culturekeeper. They also describe the less-common goddess roles of ruler, warrior, savior, and hard-driving, hard-drinking colleague of the major gods. For Frymer-Kensky, the relationships between the gods and O’Donnel Setel, review of In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth, in Whole Earth Review 75 (Summer, 1992): 79 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1510/is_n75/ai_12292479 Paula Fredriksen, “The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image—Book Reviews,” including a review of In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth, in National Review, March 1, 1993 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_n4_v45/ ai_13566673 54

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goddesses in these ancient texts reflect gender relationships in those cultures. As Tikva writes of the role of the goddess within the male religious mainstream, “There were many goddesses; they were not enshrined in a religion of women, but in the official religion of maledominated societies; they were not evidence of ancient motherworship, but served as an integral part of a religious system that mirrored and provided the sacred underpinnings of patriarchy.”55 Tikva offers a nuanced view of a social reality that is extremely complex, even in cultures with both male and female divinities, offering a corrective for seminarians who expect a single solution to issues of gender inequality or social imbalance. These are just a few of the ways that In the Wake of the Goddesses contributes to the cognitive skills of clergy-in-training, providing not only content information about Mesopotamian religions, but also adding crucial insights about the origin and evolution of Biblical divinity. In addition, it also offers a critical exploration of the connection between goddesses and gender roles. But as much as In the Wake of the Goddesses contributes to the first formation apprenticeship, the cognitive, it also contributes significantly to the second formation apprenticeship, that of pastoral imagination.56 Tikva models for students a way of “thinking theologically,” thereby encouraging students to do likewise. For example, Tikva provokes pastoral imagination by posing provocative questions. Looking at the appropriation of goddess functions by male gods, as attested in mythical texts spanning millennia, she asks, for instance, about the ever more limited role of the Feminine Divine: “When we see such a pattern of theological change, we must ask whether the religious imagery is leading society, or whether it is following socioeconomic development? Was the supplanting of goddesses in Sumerian religious texts an inner theological development that resulted purely from….the model of an imperial state in which women paid no real political role?”57 By asking these questions, the ancient example of the devolution of women’s social role becomes an object lesson for today’s clergy-intraining: when social gains are taken for granted, they may be lost 55 Drorah

Setel’s review in Whole Earth Review 75 (Summer, 1992): 79; In the Wake, 80. 56 See above, n. 50. 57 In the Wake, 79 and n. 29.

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over time. Contemporary seminary students can learn a hard lesson from this example. Freedoms enjoyed today by any group can, with time and lack of vigilance, be compromised or even lost. In order to preserve hard-won freedoms, as priests, ministers, and rabbis, today’s seminarians will have to live the dictum that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”58 There is another way that Tikva encourages the pastoral imagination of clergy-in-training. In her analysis of male and female divinities in the ancient world, Tikva offers students an extraordinary way to view the image of God as a model for contemporary pastoral work. She writes: When modeling is done by the divine, the modeling does not simply illustrate; it authorizes and approves what it models. This is a powerful two-edged sword. On the one hand, divine modeling for women’s family roles gives women esteem within these roles so that these roles become a source of self-satisfaction and nourishment. On the other hand, this same divine modeling makes cultural attitudes and stereotypes part of the realm of the sacred, lending powerful support to these attitudes, and inhibiting change.59

It is necessary for clergy-in-training to be aware of the different images of the divine that are available to draw upon in their work. On the one hand, the image of a genderless God who shares power with humanity can be an inspiring trigger for social change. Clergy who have learned to identify and articulate these images of the divine have powerful tools at hand; these models of the divine can focus social change, inspire social justice, and trigger selfreflectiveness for future congregations.

58 Wendell Phillips, “Public Opinion,” speech before the Massachusetts Antislavery Society, at the Melodeon, Wednesday evening, January 28, 1852, in Wendell Phillips: His Orations, Speeches, Lectures and Letters (Boston: Lee & Shepard, 1884), 52. “The Home Book of Quotations, classical and modern, ed. Burton Ebert Stevenson, 9th revised edition (New York: Dodd, Mead: 1964), 1106, notes that ‘It has been said that Mr. Phillips was quoting Thomas Jefferson, but in a letter dated 14 April, 1879, Mr. Phillips wrote: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” has been attributed to Jefferson, but no one has yet found it in his works or elsewhere.’ It has also been attributed to Patrick Henry.” http://www.bartleby.com/73/1073.html 59 In the Wake, 25

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On the other hand, the ancient Near Eastern examples of the erosion of the power of goddesses, and the arrogation of their powers by male gods, are also a cautionary tale of how rights and privileges taken for granted today may erode and be lost if not actively defended. However, Tikva’s most provocative stimulus to the apprenticeship of pastoral imagination challenges clergy-in-training to participate in an “unfinished agenda of Biblical religion” that she calls “religious humanism.”60 In Part II of the book, after examining the God of Israel’s “radical monotheism,” as expressed in the Deuteronomic, and, to a lesser extent, the Priestly theology,61 Tikva concludes that this is not a masculinization of the Divine, but, rather, an “attempt to desexualize religion entirely.” Geller writes of Tikva’s argument, “there is no doubt that Yahweh is portrayed in Biblical texts as as [sic] sexless as the age could conceive,….without consort, kin, prurient passions.”62 The God of Israel is male in grammatical but not in natural gender. As a result of the theology of divine transcendence, the God of Israel is beyond nature, as promulgated by the Deuteronomist in the 8th and 7th centuries BCE. This proposition is provocative enough, but, in addition, it also reveals a less expected, bolder, yet more “reinformed and subtle conclusion [that] distinguishes the book from more polemical feminist positions.”63 Geller goes on to note that Tikva does not advocate a “refeminization” of contemporary religion, reversing the progressive marginalization of females from Sumerian to Biblical religion and beyond. Instead she “pleads for the modern realization of the implicit aim of Biblical desexualization: true equality.”64 In effect, this desexualization of God models for students the possibility of positing a gender-free theology. Tikva challenges theological students of all denominations and faith streams to build upon the Biblical models of Divine gender neutrality, and of human partnership with God. This idea, derived as In the Wake, 219. On Dtr and P reference, see Geller, review of In the Wake, 296, who calls this idea “one of the author’s most significant insights.” 62 Restating Tikva’s proposition, in Geller, review of In the Wake, 296. 63 Geller, review of In the Wake, 297. 64 Ibid., 297. 60 61

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it is from Tikva’s reading of Biblical religion, has the power to energize the commitment to social justice of clergy-in-training, who now have a paradigm for working within the existing religious cultural context for making change. At the same time, Tikva is radically modeling for seminary students the skills of asking new questions of familiar material, of being open to surprising and unconventional answers, and of never falling back upon the expected. Geller notes that Tikva is unflinching in her examination of both the positive and negative implications of monotheistic rejection of the religious dimension of sexuality. In Tikva’s Biblical reading, women and men are equal ontologically, from their creation. It is only circumstantially, through social and cultural conditions, that women are subordinate to men. In the Bible, she writes, women “are not inferior [to men] in any intellectual or spiritual way.” Tikva finds misogyny, any sense of a “battle between the sexes” to be absent from the Biblical text. The negative implication of the monotheistic rejection of the religious dimension of sexuality is that it leaves a vacuum in Biblical religion surrounding a major area of human concern. Aside from prohibitions relating to who may have sexual relations with whom and at what times, the area of human sexuality is disregarded in the Bible—it is neither celebrated nor condemned, neither sacralized nor profaned. It is simply ignored. In Part III of her book, Tikva asserts that Greek misogyny is responsible for the overtly anti-feminine attitudes in classical Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.65 Tikva’s exploration of the impact of Hellenistic culture on later Biblical interpretation enables students to separate out the misogyny of the Greeks that entered Rabbinic discourse. Students are then free, in their own theological exploration, to draw upon, build upon, the original Biblical models of divine gender neutrality and human equality. These readings offer to clergyin-training an ideal to strive for in their own congregations as well as in society at large. But some critics have suggested that Tikva lets the Bible off the hook too easily with regard to its anti-feminine bias.66 Geller, for example, challenges her downplaying of the Biblical metaphor of apostasy, expressed as “whoring,” embodied in the feminine sexual 65 66

Specifically noted by Gruber, review of In the Wake, 213–16. Geller, review of In the Wake, 297.

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seductions of Israel by Canaanite women.67 Tikva asserts that there was probably not a basis in reality to the idea of a Canaanite fertility sex-cult that was an ever-present seduction to Israelite men. Nevertheless, Geller suggests that Tikva does not fully acknowledge the potentially harmful impact that such an anti-feminine metaphor can have, reality-based or not.68 Geller also asserts that Eve, for example, is a model of female enticement to sin as presented in the Bible. This image needs to be addressed more fully, adding nuance to the function of “culture bearer” that Tikva asserts for Eve.69 In short, Geller suggests that the “‘vacuum’ created by monotheistic desexualization of religion was not so complete as [Tikva] thinks, and [that] Hellenism [was] not the only villain.”70 It is good for seminary students to look at and wrestle with these issues, to read and evaluate respectful critique, to examine critically both the Biblical text and even learned feminist texts like this one, to be able to ask their own questions and to begin to hammer out some of their own responses. Tikva advocates the theological idea of “Religious Humanism.”71 This idea emerges out of Tikva’s insight that the God of Israel absorbed all the forces of nature formerly assumed by the polytheistic pantheon of the ancient Near East.72 “In the absence of other divine beings,” she writes, “God’s audience, partners, foils, and competitors are all human beings, and it is on their interaction with God that the world depends.”73 In the absence of other Gods, “it is up to humanity to insure that the foundations of the earth do not totter. “The way to do this is right behavior and social justice.” 74 Tikva calls this “monotheist conceptualization of the world” a “stark philosophy of action.”75 As the Biblical prophets emphasize, Israel’s welfare does not depend on worship rituals. She writes: “Even the officially prescribed sacrificial worship can not ensure peace and Ibid. Ibid., 297–98. 69 Ibid.; In the Wake, 110–11. 70 Geller, review of In the Wake, 298. 71 In the Wake, 219. 72 In the Wake, 107. 73 In the Wake, 107. 74 In the Wake, 106. 75 In the Wake, 105. 67 68

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fertility. Only non-ritual activity—fidelity and ethical behavior— brings about the wellbeing of the people.” 76 Such a view places the emphasis on humanity’s moral responsibility, what Tikva calls “religious humanism.”77 I cannot imagine a statement that better represents the integration of knowledge, skills, and self-identity for clergy-in-training. The integration of text study, social action, and the conviction that one’s God-given role in the world is to be an agent of positive change are all modeled here. The sacred work of making the world a better place speaks to clergy-in-training in a message that resonates from the ancient world to our own. Drora Setel, who also reviewed In the Wake of the Goddesses, summarized these ideas in what might be taken as a clarion call to today’s seminarians: In Israel’s philosophy of culture, humans have a greater role in the development and maintenance of the array of powers, functions, occupations and inventions that constitute civilized life than they ever did in ancient Near Eastern myth. Biblical thought urges Israel to devote these powers to God-centered and Godwilled activities, to organize the secular world in the direction of the holy. But the Bible recognizes that the origin of this secular world is indeed secular, that humanity has created civilization and continues to develop it.78

This idea, this unfinished agenda, derived as it is from Tikva’s reading of Biblical religion, has the power to energize the commitment to social justice of clergy-in-training, who now have a paradigm for working within the existing religious cultural context for making change. The sacred work of making the world a better place speaks to clergy-in-training in a message that resonates from the ancient world to our own. As our students begin this work, it is important to keep in mind a maxim from the collection of Rabbinic wisdom known as Ethics of the Fathers that we teach our Rabbinical students: 79 In the Wake, 105–106. In the Wake, 219. 78 Setel, review of In the Wake, 79. 79 Pirkei Avot 2:21. “The Ethics of the Fathers” is available at the back of most Orthodox Jewish prayer books. Conveniently in Hebrew and English, see The Pirkei Avos/Ethics of the Fathers Treasury: The Sages Guide to Living 76 77

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Rabbi Tarphon used to say, rwmgl hk)lmh lk Kyl( )l l+byl Nyrwx Nb ht) )lw You are not required to complete the task, yet neither are you free to withdraw from it.

This is the challenge that Tikva poses as an “unfinished agenda” in Part III of In the Wake of the Goddesses. In a very real sense, this is the task of educating clergy, just as it is the lifelong mission of the rabbis, ministers, and priests we ordain. And, in a very real sense, this is the task of Tikva’s life and work. Tikva modeled the value of the integration of text study, social action, and the conviction that one’s God-given role in the world is to be an agent of positive change. Also modeled in this book is the idea that all the work is not yet done, that there is more to be thought about and discovered and published and acted upon. Tikva did not live to complete the task; and she certainly did not withdraw from it. She left it to us to pick up where her labor ended, as we do with our students, the clergy-intraining who are the next generation of religious and theological leaders.

B I BL I OGRA P H Y : Fredriksen, Paula. “The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image—Book Reviews,” including a review of In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth. In National Review, March 1, 1993. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_n4_v45/ai_13 566673 Foster, Charles R., Lisa E. Dahill, Lawrence A. Golemon, and Barbara Wang Tolentino. Educating Clergy: Teaching Practices and Pastoral Imagination. The Preparation for the Professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006. Frymer-Kensky, Tikva. In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth. New York: Free Press, 1991. Geller, Stephen A. Review of In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth. In Prooftexts 13 (1993): 295–98. (Brooklyn, NY: Artscroll/Mesorah Publications, 1995).

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Gruber, Mayer I. Review of In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth. In Jewish Quarterly Review 86 (1995): 213–16. http://www.jstor.org/ stable/1454838. Phillips, Wendell. “Public Opinion,” speech before the Massachusetts Antislavery Society, at the Melodeon, Wednesday evening, January 28, 1852. In Wendell Phillips: His Orations, Speeches, Lectures and Letters, 35–54. Boston: Lee & Shepard, 1884. Pirkei Avos/Ethics of the Fathers Treasury, The: The Sages Guide to Living. Brooklyn, NY: Artscroll/Mesorah Publications, 1995. Setel, Drorah O’Donnel. Review of In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth. In Whole Earth Review 75 (Summer, 1992): 79. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1510/is_n75/ai_12292 473. Stevenson, Burton Egbert. The Home Book of Quotations, Classical and Modern. 9th revised edition. (New York: Dodd, Mead: 1964). Sullivan, William M. “Introduction.” In Foster, Dahill, Golemon, and Tolentino, Educating Clergy: Teaching Practices and Pastoral Imagination, 1–19. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006.

A NCIENT N EAR E AS TERN V AGINA D IALOGS AND THE S EX O MENS FROM M ESOPO TA MIA 80 Ann Kessler Guinan I am grateful to Steven Holloway for giving me the opportunity to address issues related to Mesopotamian sexuality, as he wonderfully puts it “in conversation with the work of the late Tikva FrymerKensky.”81 It allows me to pick up a conversation that Tikva and I began many years ago about the texts I study, Mesopotamian omens derived from human sexual behavior.82 We talked about them in terms of Mesopotamian conceptions of sexuality and divination, but I Abbreviations: CRRAI : Compte rendu de la Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale. CT: Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum. 80

I would like to thank Dr. Elizabeth Jewell, Villanova University for her patient editing which, as always, has been invaluable to me. 81 Steven W. Holloway, Chair, “The Legacy of Tikva Frymer-Kensky,” (Assyriology and the Bible Section, SBL, San Diego, November 2007). 82 The sex omens are tablets 103 and 104 of the omen series, šumma ålu. For discussion and bibliography see: Ann Kessler Guinan, “Erotomancy: Scripting the Erotic,” in Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2–6, 2001, ed. Simo Parpola and Robert M. Whiting, CRRAI, 47 (Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2002), 185–201; eadem, “Auguries of Hegemony: The Sex Omens of Mesopotamia,” Gender and History 9/3 (1997): 462–79 (reprint: Gender and the Body in the Ancient Mediterranean, ed. Maria Wyke [Oxford: Blackwell Publisher, 1998], 38–55). Copies of the cuneiform tablets have been published by C. J. Gadd, CT 39:43–46 (London: British Museum Publications, 1926).

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never thought to look beyond Mesopotamia and never asked her to think about them within the frame she uses to compare Mesopotamia and the Bible. This paper is my preliminary attempt to do so. Although I will suggest the possibility of new approaches to the omens, my primary interest is in the durability and continued applicability of her perspective. My latest reading of her text has been a vivid reminder of my first and stands in contrast to it. Taken together the two show how different levels of observation can produce contrasting and perhaps equally valid modes of assessment.

IN

THE

W A KE

OF T H E

G ODDESSES

In the winter of 1991 I received a call from Tikva. “My book is due at the publishers in two weeks can you come edit?” I knew that the manuscript covered Mesopotamia and the Bible and that the subject was women and goddesses, but I did not know much else. For the next two weeks I sat at a card table and edited while she revised, rewrote, and filled in holes. When I finished chapter three, “Godwomen,” I remember thinking that her treatment of goddesses as women writ large—as mirrors of and models for women’s social roles—rather obvious. Her discussions of the myths were, in general, solid and easy to read, but when she turned from a discussion of goddesses in terms of women in human culture to their power as divinity, I thought her readings took on more power. I asked if she really meant to call Inanna of sacred marriage hymns, the mistress of heaven, “a cosmic cunt.” Of course, she did. I finished the Mesopotamian chapters but did not find them to be totally satisfying. Sex and gender had never been addressed this way in our field and I wished she had pursued the female aspect of Mesopotamian divinity in more depth, but then I did not know where she was going. I then turned to part two: “In The Absence Goddesses, Biblical Transformations,” and saw the overarching scope of her argument, and began reading with increasing astonishment and admiration. Her focus is on the formative period of Biblical monotheism. I realized the Mesopotamian chapters could not be separated from the large question she asks and the overall trajectory of her argument which focuses on the way in which the Mesopotamian pantheon was absorbed and transformed by a new theological construct. She asks, “What happens in the Bible to the central ideas of polytheism, and to

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the functions and roles once played by goddesses?”83 The essentially masculine God of Israel is able to absorb the attributes of various male gods but it was not as easy for this deity to absorb the function and attributes of female goddesses. Some are absorbed but others cannot be and devolve to the human social world. Thus, as a preamble to Biblical portrayal of women her discussion of goddesses in terms of social roles is not simplistic. Posing a question invokes assumptions about what can be seen—it fixes the level of observation at the outset. Frymer-Kensky makes her level of analysis explicit when she says she chose to study goddesses because it “provides a new perspective that reveals aspects of Biblical monotheism that have not otherwise been noticed.” 84 When divine plurality is absorbed into a unity, the place of humanity in relation to the world and in the face of the divine is radically reconfigured. “The Biblical system had to replace both goddesses and gods, as it did so, it transformed its thinking about nature, culture, gender, and humanity.”85 Her subject is the nature of those transformations. As much as I could have wished it to be otherwise, this was not an in-depth study of Mesopotamian goddesses. In In The Wake of the Goddesses, Frymer-Kensky is after very large fish and this is reflected in the net she puts in the water. Her narrative is clean and unhesitating. She takes what she needs to builds her argument and no more. Without pause, she allows the little fish to swim through. As she says in the preface, “I have tried to learn to be a writer, to focus on the line of argument of this book, and not…branch out and digress. . .”86 She contrasts Biblical monotheism’s transformative concepts with the sexualized and genderized cosmos of Mesopotamia as she describes it, using literary texts (mostly from the second millennium). Her analysis revolves around two interconnected points: one about monotheism’s new construction of gender and another about its unaddressed issues of sexuality. According to Frymer-Kensky, where previously gender had been the fundamental organizing principle in both the divine and social 83 Tikva Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth (New York: The Free Press, 1992), 5. 84 Ibid. 85 Ibid., 85. 86 Ibid., x.

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world, in the new Biblical system the primary binary construct is not between male and female—it is between God and humanity. The Bible presents no characteristics of human behavior as “female” or “male,” no division of attributes between the poles of ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine,’ no hint of distinctions of such polarities as male aggressivety-female receptivity, male innovation-female conservation, male out-thrusting—female containment, male subjecthood—female objecthood…male achievement—female bonding, or any of the other polarities by which we are accustomed to think of gender distinctions.…it is not a question of basic nature or identity.87

Secondly, the transformations brought by Biblical monotheism included the desacralization of sexuality. According to FrymerKensky, the boundaries of sex and the manner of its containment were made explicit, but the power of sexuality to transgress these lines was left unaddressed. The Biblical discussion of the force of sexual attraction (as opposed to sexual behavior) is inchoate and essentially inarticulate. There is no vocabulary in the Bible in which to discuss such matters, no divine image or symbolic system by which to mediate it.88

My most recent reading of In the Wake of the Goddesses sixteen years later and a year and half after her death has again been an eyeopening experience in ways both familiar and unanticipated. As I read the Mesopotamian chapters, I was instantly struck by the degree to which the methodologies of gender studies have changed our perspective on gender in the ancient world. Today’s discourse underlines the weaknesses inherent in Frymer-Kensky’s portrayal of gender in the Mesopotamian cosmos and her treatment of goddesses in terms of their femininity, bodily-based sexuality, and social roles. The studies of Julia Asher-Greve and Joan Westenholz have shown us that the Mesopotamian cosmos is a far more complex terrain than the cosmos that Tikva takes as the template for comparison.89 A narrative Ibid., 141. Ibid., 197. 89 See for example, Julia Asher-Greve, “The Essential Body: Mesopotamian Conceptions of the Gendered Body,” Gender and History 9/3 (1997): 432–61 (reprinted in Gender and the Body in the Ancient Mediterranean, ed. Maria Wyke [Oxford: Blackwell Publisher, 1998]: 8–37; eadem, “Decisive Sex, 87 88

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that is based solely on textual interpretation of literary material and that does not take into account visual images and non-literary textual evidence could not be written today and does not stand on its own. While a critical reading of her Mesopotamian chapters is certainly called for, we should not mistake her agenda for an Assyriological one. Because In the Wake of the Goddesses is a pioneering work, it is also a snapshot of scholarship at a time when feminist approaches to Mesopotamian material were in their infancy. Since its publication, we have acquired new evidence, new tools, and new approaches.90 These changes have been incremental. Like aging, they can pass unnoticed until a photo brings the passing of years into focus. Evaluating the Mesopotamian chapters of In the Wake of the Goddesses therefore, becomes an occasion for reflecting on the course of our collective and individual efforts and our achievements. I was surprised by how dated the argument seemed, but then turning to part two, I was once again astounded by the breathtaking questions she asks. And further, from a viewpoint gained from gender studies, I saw that her discussion of the metaphorical use of gender terminology in Biblical texts was an outstanding example of gender Essential Gender,” in Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2–6, 2001, ed. Simo Parpola and Robert M. Whiting, CRRAI, 47 (Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2002), 11–26; eadem and Mary Frances Wogec, “Women and Gender in Ancient Near Eastern Cultures: Bibliography 1885 to 2001 AD,” NIN: Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity 3 (2002): 33–114; Julia Asher-Greve, “The Gaze of Goddesses: On Divinity, Gender, and Frontality in Late Early Dynastic, Akkadian, and Neo-Sumerian Periods,” NIN: Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity 4 (2006): 1–60; Joan Goodnick Westenholz, “Great Goddesses in Mesopotamia: The Female Aspect of Divinity,” Bulletin of the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies 37 (September 2002): 13–26; eadem, “Goddess Worship: Goddess Worship in the Ancient Near East,” in The Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Lindsay Jones, 2nd edition (Detroit and New York: Thomson Gale, 2005), 6:3592–99; eadem, “Inanna and Ishtar in the Babylonian World,” in The Babylonian World, ed. Gwendolyn Leick (New York and London: Routledge, 2007), 332–47. 90Eleanor Robson, “Gendered Literacy and Numeracy in the Sumerian Literary Corpus,” in Analysing Literary Sumerian: Corpus-Based Approaches, ed. Graham Cunningham and Jarle Ebeling (London: Equinox, 2007), 215–49; The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature, ed. Jeremy A. Black, et al. (Oxford 1998–2006), http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk

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methodology. In her hands gender becomes a powerful tool of reading. However, it is her analysis of sexuality in Mesopotamia and the Bible, not gender, that I wish to consider here. As Frymer-Kensky points out, there was no sexual dimension to divine experience in the Bible. Sexuality was not incorporated into humanity’s relation with the divine, but rather was separated from the divine and located fully in human society. It is not part of divinely created natural order. Humanity stands before YHWH alone and is held responsible for maintaining the sexual forms and constraints of collective life. The focus of the Biblical text is the community. Laws are concerned with keeping sexual behavior contained within family boundaries. Violations go beyond individual or family concern. They pollute the land and are a matter of national survival. In Mesopotamia, eroticism embedded in the working of the cosmos flows from the divine to the human realm. Not only does sexual desire comes from the presence of Inanna/Ishtar, she functions as a mediating structure, balancing sexuality’s transgressive power. The figure of Inanna/Ištar provides a way to conceptualize the erotic impulse, a vocabulary to celebrate its presence, and an image with to comprehend the human experience of sexual desire.91

If god has no vagina, she asks, how can the world be renewed?92 Divine vaginas figure large in Sumerian liturgy. They are the locus of sexual desire, birth, and renewal. Through sexual union between the king and goddess in the sacred marriage ritual human and divine are drawn together. The goddesses vagina is the conduit through which the generative power of sexuality flows into the human domain renewing and supporting human life. Recently, Zainab Bahrani, incorporating visual imagery into her analysis, comes to a similar conclusion. In Mesopotamia sexuality, or the erotic, was primarily equated with femininity in its representations. In both texts and visual

91 92

Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake, 187. Ibid., 57.

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imagery sexuality was specifically linked to the female body, and I would say more specifically the focus is on the vulva.93

Frymer-Kensky offers a picture of a dynamic and unproblemitized sexual universe in Mesopotamia which she contrasts with the tensions that were left unaddressed in the Biblical system. She says this created a vacuum that was eventually filled in Hellenistic times with “antiwoman and anticarnal ideas.”94 She calls this Biblical monotheism’s “unfinished revolution.”

S EX O ME NS

OF

M ESO P O T A MI A

The Mesopotamian sex omens which I study are part of a corpus of omen tablets that concern everyday human behavior.95 The sex omens occur at the end of a huge first millennium compendium of terrestrial omens and at the end of a long literary and theological tradition. 96 They are situated at the juncture between the two worlds she contrasts: Biblical monotheism and the sexualized, genderized cosmos of Mesopotamia. Looking back, the sexual meanings that emerge from the text can be compared to earlier Mesopotamian beliefs about sexuality and seen as a logical development. Looking forward the sexual behavioral omens can be contrasted with Frymer-Kensky’s portrayal of Biblical monotheism’s treatment of sexuality. An Akkadian omen text is a sequence of conditional sentences dealing with a common subject. Each sentence consists of a protasis which records the ominous sign and an apodosis specifying its divinatory meaning. Each sex omen records a single act, habit, or event and links it to a specific future physical, emotional, economic, Zainab Bahrani, “Sex as Symbolic Form: Eroticism and the Body in Mesopotamian Art,” in Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2–6, 2001, ed. Simo Parpola and Robert M. Whiting, CRRAI, 47 (Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2002), 56. 94 Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake, 198. 95 Ann Kessler Guinan, “The Human Behavioral Omens: On the Threshold of Psychological Inquiry,” Bulletin of the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies 19 (1990): 9–14. 96 Sally M. Freedman, If a City is Set on a Height: the Akkadian Omen Series Šumma ålu ina mŸlŸ šakin, 2 vols., Occasional Publication of the Samuel Noah Kramer Fund, 17, 19 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998, 2006). 93

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or social condition. Taken together the omens address a range of erotic activity: choice of partners, positions, and locales. The protases represent a continuum of sexual behavior. Omens are derived from acts that are uncontrollable, from desires that are difficult to master, from erotic habits and preferences. There are also omens that are the product of behavior that is conscious and deliberate and, in some instances, even subject to legal controls and consequences. While similar in form the sex omens are unlike other Mesopotamian omens in that the underlying rationale is one we can appreciate: an individual’s sexual behavior impacts broader areas of his life. Frymer-Kensky discusses the sexual omens at the very end of Mesopotamian chapter 6, “Bridges to the Gods.” I think she mentions the omens primarily to give me a reference, but she keeps her feet on solid scholarly ground and her eyes focused on the logic of the argument. She deftly negotiates between my first and very preliminary publication of the material and the general view of the field at the time. According to her account, Societies have long admired such powerful images as Don Giovanni with his thousand and three conquests, while reserving ridicule for cuckolded husbands. The Mesopotamians shared these concepts: not only does the figure of Inanna/Ištar exemplify this ideology, but the later Assyrian omen series, šumma ålu, sometimes called a code of behavior in omen form, also indicates the favorable valuation of the man who exhibits sexual conquest and domination.97

When I read the passage the first time, I objected to the characterization of text as “a code of behavior in omen form.” I crossed it out and she put it back. We discussed the meaning of the word “code.” She didn’t want to take it out, but she acknowledged my objection and added “sometimes called a code. . . .”98 I didn’t particularly like the reference to Don Giovanni, but I let it go. The image is suggested by the following omen taken out of context. Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake, 68. The idea of a code of behavior in omen form originates with Fritz Rudolf Kraus, “Ein Sittenkanon in Omenform,” Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 43 (1936): 77–113 and is based on the similarities between the texts he discusses and some of the human behavioral omens of šumma ålu which are derived from seemingly voluntary behavior. 97 98

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If a man has sexual relations with a(nother) man’s wife, the god will make his adversary in court sick and establish an accord for him (i.e. the adulterer).99

In general, I felt her representation of the omens, although not inaccurate, had somehow missed the mark, but her deadline was fast approaching. More importantly, I knew the problem was mine and at the time there were aspects of the material that I was still struggling to understand. The sex omens are an oddity. Not only does their semantic density makes them unlike other Mesopotamian omens, they often make reference to standard Mesopotamian texts, yet develop lines of thought that run counter to them. After her manuscript was published I had the time and opportunity to discuss the omens with her and she edited several papers for me. She was a wonderful editor when presented with a written text, but she was an even better sounding board when presented with ideas that were not yet fully formed. As In the Wake of the Goddesses amply demonstrates she had the ability to ask a question that sliced through the extraneous and exposing the core of an issue. But somehow in all our conversations we never discussed what the sex omens meant in terms of the perspective she uses to compare sexuality in Mesopotamia and the Bible and now I would like to. It is often difficult to understand the connection between any single ominous act and its signified prediction but when positive and negative omens dealing with the same subject matter are contrasted and compared, systematic patterns emerge. Omens which may initially elude interpretation become meaningful when incorporated into an expanding semantic structure. Thus, the binary structure of the omen genre when read in terms of binary gender (auspicious: inauspicious; male: female; active: passive; subject: object) produces a thematic pattern. In the omens, man is properly the active subject and the woman passive. When a woman takes an active role and asserts her eroticism, it is inauspicious—it threatens a man’s relations with his god, jeopardizes his health, and puts whatever competitive advantage he might have at risk. If a man, a woman mounts him, that woman will take his vigor; for one month (var. one year) he will not have a personal god.100 99 DIŠ NA ana DAM

LÚ TE DINGIR EN DI.BI GIG ŠE.GA GAR-šú (CT 39 44:8). 100 DIŠ NA MUNUS ir-kab-šú MUNUS.BI UR.BI i-leq-qé ITU.1.KÁM

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IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY If a man repeatedly stares at his woman’s vagina, his health will be good; he will lay his hands on whatever is not his.101 If a man is with a woman (and) while facing him she repeatedly stares at his penis, whatever he finds will not be secure in his house.102

While it may not be surprising that the text takes a stand against female agency, it is surprising that masculine agency expresses itself in withdrawal from any erotic mutuality. The image of Don Giovanni is terribly misleading—the sexual adventures and conquests of a libertine have no corollary in the omens. Masculine power is not seen in an accumulating resumé of seductions or sexual domination of women. In the sex omens acts that are purely about erotic pleasure are inauspicious.103 Sexual acts are positively deployed for non-sexual gain. It is favorable when a man turns his sexual energy away from erotic interactions with women and invests in enlarging his position in relation to other men in the public arena. The disavowal of erotic mutuality is expressed positively as well as negatively, as the following omen shows. If a man talks with a woman on a bed and then he rises from the bed and makes his manhood (i.e. masturbates), that man will have happiness and jubilation bestowed upon him; wherever he goes all will be agreeable; he will always achieve his goal.104

The verb “talks” may have a sexual meaning, but the exact nuance is relatively unimportant. The omen makes the sexual context clear and evidently coitus does not take place. The man relinquishes the woman and achieves satisfaction on his own. A man who turns from a woman and literally “makes manhood” expands his scope in (var. MU.1.KÁM) DINGIR NU TUK-ši (CT 39 44:17). 101 DIŠ NA GAL4.LA MUNUS-šú it-ta-nap-la-as UZU.BI DÙG.GA mim+ma la šu-a-tum ŠU-su KUR-ád (CT 39 44:19). 102 DIŠ NA KI MUNUS ina šu-ta-ti-šú GÌŠ-šú it-ta-nap-la-as mim+ma ma-la ut-tu-ú ina É-šú NU GI.NA (CT 39 45:20), for a philological discussion of this omen see Kessler Guinan, “Auguries,” 54, n. 32. 103 Sexual domination of women has a negative value and according to the omens, rape is inauspicious. “Auguries,” 50, 54 n. 37. 104 DIŠ NA KI MUNUS ina UGU GIŠ.NÁ id-bu-um-ma TA UGU GIŠ.NÁ ZI-ma zi-ka-ru-tam DÙ-uš NA.BI ŠÀ-bi DÙG.GA u ri-šá-a-tum GAR.ME-šú KI DU-ku ka-liš ŠE.GA ir-ni-ta-šú ik-ta-na-šad (CT 39 44:18).

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all the significant areas of human life—he receives not just happiness, but joy, unwavering social approbation, and perpetual personal achievement. Questions of power, gender and sexuality become questions of masculine agency, and social identity. As a structuring device the binary opposition of gender categories defines a symbolic boundary. The need of the masculine social body to claim a masculine social space conflicts with the essential femaleness of eroticism, both divine and human, and with the essential feature of physical sexuality which requires that boundaries be crossed. When masculine identity is defined in these terms the boundary must not only be firmly drawn, it must be fortified. Woman is seen as what man is not. Socially constructed notions of personhood organized by such oppositions are vulnerable from within and without—the behavior of others has the power to intervene and disrupt the way personal identity is conceived and presented. Thus, to explain the material as “a code of behavior in omen form” is to avoid understanding the material as divination in conception as well as in structure. However, when the structure of an omen is allowed to define the erotic logic of the text we can begin to appreciate why the Mesopotamia scholars conceived problematic aspects and ambiguities of human sexual behavior and the desires which motivate it in divinatory terms and turned to the omen structure for resolution. The divinatory composition that results expresses aspects of sexuality that are not generally part of this culture’s overt discourse on sexual themes. If sexual acts are read as omens, they must take their place along with behaviors of animals, meteorological events, configurations of the exta, and the movement of celestial bodies as phenomena in the sensory world which could be activated by divine forces and turned into divine language. What is the relationship between the divine initiative behind the formation of an omen and the desire that drives the behavior? Although the conception that a person’s sexual behavior has implications for his future may seem to be a modern one, where modern man looks inward to find the source of his behavior, ancient man looked outside himself. The presence of the divine in human behavior can be demonstrated by Mesopotamian concept of a personal god. A personal god intimately connected with an individual and is the force behind a person’s fortunes and success

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in life. It can be understood as the power of effective action.105 A personal god physically resides in the body and can leave or be driven out.106 In our terms, a personal god is psychic energy. In the adultery omen, discussed above (CT 39 44:8), a man’s personal god acts in his interest against an opponent and against the collective norms of the community—the god makes an adversary in court sick. Omens are something unusual, they stand out from the context of everyday life and are endowed with hidden meaning. Sexual behavior construed as omens must also deviate someway from the norm. The sex omens suggest an awareness of the tensions that can exist between an individual’s sexual preferences and the explicitly or implicitly held system of collective norms, values, and beliefs. The force of both sexual and social imperatives has shaped meanings, norms, social, and sexual roles of human collective life. Many discourses on sexuality (legal, religious, mythic, moral, or medical) circulate within a cultural or social group. The objectives or goals of a particular institution leave an imprint on the sexual behavior that falls within its domain. Cultural ideology seeks to present a stable set of sexual scripts on which individuals model their behavior and construct their social identities. Cultural models are not as stable as they first seem to appear. Behavior that is overtly proscribed or deplored by one institution, may be tacitly permitted, or even covertly promoted in another cultural arena. When sexuality serves as a proving ground for male power and public stature, the process can encourage behavior that other institutions seek to curtail. Law, in general, articulates social boundaries and prohibitions applicable to all, while divination deals with specifics on a situationby-situation basis. The omens take the individual’s point of view and determine whether he is positively or negatively positioned in relation to the social whole. Divination mediates aspects of culture that cannot be openly addressed or incorporated into an institutional ideology. The omens give voice to the subterranean flow of meanings that 105 Thorkild Jacobsen,

The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976), 155–56. 106 Šurpu V–VI lines 11–12, Erica Reiner, Šurpu: A Collection of Sumerian and Akkadian Incantations, Archiv für Orientforschung Beiheft, 11 (Graz: E. Weidner, 1958), 30; Maqlû III line 16, Tzvi Abusch, “Witchcraft and the Anger of the Personal God,” in Mesopotamian Magic: Textual, Historical, and Interpretive Perspectives, ed. Tzvi Abusch and Karel van der Toorn, Ancient Magic and Divination, 1 (Groningen: Styx Publications, 1999), 86.

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contradict and are often unacknowledged by standard cultural institutions. Divination deals with edges where no guidelines are provided by other structures. On one hand, divination provides an individual with social validation for acts that involve conflicting choices, sexual desires, or special risks. It can allow someone to exploit the cracks and contradictions of a social system. On the other hand, it provides a social context for evaluating individual misfortune. Although culture provides models of normative behavior and creates the forms and constraints of collective life, erotic desire is often roused against the grain of those constraints. The acts, positions, partners, and locales that allow an individual to produce, sustain, and gratify desire are variable. Erotic life provides experiences of disjuncture and a basis for self-interpretation when desire can be measured against the perception of the norm.

C O NCLUSIO N The relation between divinity, sexuality, and male humanity in Mesopotamian omens demonstrates an ability to negotiate problematic or ambiguous aspects of sexual behavior—the contradictory forces that are part of sexual life in human cultures, in a way the Biblical system does not. The tensions of first millennium Mesopotamia that are reflected in the omens are very different from the cosmic eroticism of earlier periods. The omens, nevertheless deal, with issues in a way that is essentially Mesopotamian. Erotic desire is, in some respect, an aspect of the divine oneself. Thematic resolution generates interpretations grounded in binary oppositions, but this binary organization of gender asymmetry pulls sexuality in the construction. We can begin to see why the intermixing of divine and human in the production of the omen requires the abnegation of sexuality in its resolution. Erotic desire is, in some respect, an aspect of the divine oneself.107 In this emerging sense of male personhood, as reflected in the omens, there is no role for the female divine and sexuality itself becomes problematic. To put it in Tikva’s terms, the omens show the conflict between the variability of male erotic behavior and eroticism embodied in the cosmic cunt. The misogynistic, anti-carnal conceptions that she says were a Greek import into the Biblical system during the Hellenistic period were 107

Perhaps erotic ecstasy is comparable to mantic ecstasis.

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apparently already at work in Mesopotamia in the early part of the first millennium. In summary, I was witness to the final labor as Tikva FrymerKensky gave birth to In the Wake of the Goddesses and brought it into the world. Now it is part of a body of work that constitutes her legacy. In 1992 the Mesopotamian chapters were strong. While they were not developed enough to be used on their own, they were never intended to be. A large measure of her scholarship resides in the questions she asks. They continue to cast light and remain instrumental in eliciting new readings. This paper has been opportunity to address issues of Mesopotamian sexuality, humanity, and male personhood from a level of observation inspired by the questions she asks. However, I cannot pick up the phone and continue our conversations and now I really know that. On a personal level, it has helped me face the monstrous enormity of her loss and yet, at the same time, continue to feel her presence.

B I BL I OGRA P H Y Abusch, Tzvi. “Witchcraft and the Anger of the Personal God.” In Mesopotamian Magic: Textual, Historical, and Interpretive Perspectives. Edited by Tzvi Abusch and Karel van der Toorn, 83–121. Ancient Magic and Divination, 1. Groningen: Styx Publications, 1999. Asher-Greve, Julia. “The Essential Body: Mesopotamian Conceptions of the Gendered Body.” Gender and History 9/3 (1997): 432–61. (Reprint: Gender and the Body in the Ancient Mediterranean. Edited by Maria Wyke, 8–37. Oxford: Blackwell Publisher, 1998). ———. “Decisive Sex, Essential Gender.” In Parpola and Whiting, eds., Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, 11–26. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project; 2002. ———. “The Gaze of Goddesses: On Divinity, Gender, and Frontality in Late Early Dynastic, Akkadian, and Neo-Sumerian Periods.” NIN: Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity 4 (2006): 1– 60. ———. and Mary Frances Wogec. “Women and Gender in Ancient Near Eastern Cultures: Bibliography 1885 to 2001 AD.” NIN: Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity 3 (2002): 33–114. Bahrani, Zainab. “Sex as Symbolic Form: Eroticism and the Body in Mesopotamian Art.” In Parpola and Whiting, eds., Sex and

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Gender in the Ancient Near East, 53–58. Helsinki: The NeoAssyrian Text Corpus Project; 2002. Freedman, Sally M. If A City is Set on a Height: the Akkadian Omen Series Šumma ålu ina mŸlê šakin, 2 vols. Occasional Publication of the Samuel Noah Kramer Fund, 17, 19. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998, 2006. Kessler Guinan, Ann. “The Human Behavioral Omens: On the Threshold of Psychological Inquiry.” Bulletin of the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies 19 (1990): 9–14. ———. “Auguries of Hegemony: The Sex Omens of Mesopotamia.” Gender and History 9/3 (1997): 462–79 (Reprint: Gender and the Body in the Ancient Mediterranean. Edited by Maria Wyke, 38–55. Oxford: Blackwell Publisher, 1998). ———. “Erotomancy: Scripting the Erotic.” In Parpola and Whiting, eds., Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, 185–201. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2002. Jacobsen, Thorkild. The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976. Kraus, Fritz Rudolf. “Ein Sittenkanon in Omenform.” Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 43 (1936): 77–113. Parpola, Simo, and Robert M. Whiting, eds. Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2–6, 2001. CRRAI, 47. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project; 2002. Reiner, Erica. Šurpu: A Collection of Sumerian and Akkadian Incantations. Archiv für Orientforschung Beiheft, 11. Graz: E. Weidner, 1958. Robson, Eleanor. “Gendered Literacy and Numeracy in the Sumerian Literary Corpus.” In Analysing Literary Sumerian: Corpus-Based Approaches. Edited by Graham Cunningham and J. Ebeling, 215– 49. London: Equinox, 2007. Westenholz, Joan Goodnick. “Great Goddesses in Mesopotamia: The Female Aspect of Divinity.” Bulletin of the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies 37 (September 2002): 13–26. ———. “Goddess Worship: Goddess Worship in the Ancient Near East.” In The Encyclopedia of Religion. Edited by Lindsay Jones, 6:3592–99. 2nd edition. Detroit and New York: Thomson Gale, 2005. ———. “Inanna and Ishtar in the Babylonian World.” In The Babylonian World. Edited by Gwendolyn Leick, 332–47. New York and London: Routledge, 2007.

N O T J US T H OUSE WI V E S : G O D D E S SE S A FTER THE O LD B ABYLONIAN P ERIO D JoAnn Scurlock In the nineteenth century CE, the Sumerians, rather humorously confused with Chaldean astrologers, were embraced by British intellectuals as inventors of culture and generally representing their aesthetic values in stark contrast to “philistine” Assyrians. Since then, knowledge of Sumerians and Semites in the ancient Near East has improved immeasurably; attitudes have not. The ancient Greeks regarded women as possessing no minds. A woman’s only function was as, literally, the oven in which a man baked his loaves. A father had to pay a hefty sum to a prospective suitor to take this eating and money-wasting machine off his hands, and women were assumed to know nothing of how to manage even domestic tasks, in which they needed to be instructed by men. Women were perpetual children who could own nothing more valuable than a few pieces of jewelry and could be forced to marry their uncles or even half brothers to keep land in the family. Greek goddesses do not get very good press. Hera, the shrewish goddess of marriage, took her revenge on the most faithless of husbands by persecuting the victims of his seductive powers. Demeter, the unwed mother goddess, was victimized by the other gods, raped by Poseidon and deprived of her only consolation, her daughter Persephone, as a joke. The latter, wedded against her will to Hades, king of the Netherworld, spent a dreary six months of every year beneath the earth while her mother moped and mourned. Aphrodite was essentially a whore with a heart of gold who mooned over her lost lover, Adonis. And then there were fierce virgins like Artemis, who killed any mortal man unfortunate enough to see her naked (and that was her good side). The dark side of the moon, Selene, ate human flesh and patronized witchcraft. And then there 59

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was the feminist Athena, who refused to admit she was in fact female and ran about dressed in armor like a young warrior. She also turned a hapless woman, who tried to rival her skill at weaving, into a spider. It should not be difficult for any culture to treat its women, human or divine, better than this.108 The tendency of Western observers is, however to allow culture heroes like Sumerians to be an inferior version of their rosy-colored picture of themselves, whereas culture enemies like the Assyrians are accused, falsely, of being even worse than the Greeks. In fact, it never occurred to ancient Mesopotamians that men alone had minds. They believed that both sexes contributed seed to conception,109 and assumed that women were perfectly capable of managing property or, as demonstrated in the Old Assyrian period, the family business on their own for years at a time and all this without the nuisance of a guardian. As is still true in the Middle East to this day, a man pays a hefty price to acquire a wife. Women and men have separate property and a sensible man will put his own property (to which his brothers might otherwise lay claim) in his wife’s name. The woman, not the man, is master in the household—it is her castle in which he is a, sometimes unwelcome, guest. A woman who dies in childbirth does not get denied burial (as in Medieval Germany) but is instead treated as a martyr or, as a Middle Assyrian lament puts it: “Like a warrior on the field of battle, she is covered in her blood”.110 A man without a wife has nobody to give him advice, nobody to manage his household and nobody to provide him with children. What is worse, he has no honor (Arabic: šaraf). Conversely, a woman ranks socially above men of lower status than her husband. Assyrian women covered their heads to avoid sexual harassment from which they were protected by law.111 Widows were free to take For more on the status of women (and the role of goddesses) in classical antiquity, see Sarah B. Pomeroy, Goddesses Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity (New York: Schocken, 1976) and Mary R. Lefkowitz and Maureen B. Fant, Women’s Life in Greece and Rome (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982). 109 See JoAnn Scurlock and Burton R. Andersen, Diagnoses in Assyrian and Babylonian Medicine: Ancient Sources, Translations, and Modern Medical Analyses (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006), 274. 110 Wilfred G. Lambert, “A Middle Assyrian Medical Text,” Iraq 31 (1969): 28–39, line 40 (tablet in the collection of Giancarlo Ligabue). 111 Middle Assyrian Laws A §9. See Martha Roth, “The Middle Assyrian 108

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lovers and acquired the property of any man foolish enough to move in with them.112 Assyrian queens had their own estates and their own household establishments to manage and, if their son was a minor, as happened with Samu-ramat (Semiramis), it was the queen mother who acted as regent. The harems of Assyrian palaces were run by female stewards (šakintu) and staffed with female scribes and female physicians. The daughter of such a female Assyrian palace steward was a powerful woman whose husband was expected to move into her household and could be forbidden by his marriage contract from taking another wife.113 Legal experts did not think husbands should be taken to court for wife beating (apparently this was tried) but drew the line at physical injury.114 Not that Assyrian women were exactly helpless. They had to be forbidden from running off on long journeys unaccompanied even by a male relative115 and they could be dangerous, particularly to the testicles of men with whom they were quarreling.116 In her In the Wake of the Goddesses Tikva Frymer-Kensky laments the “eclipse” of Sumerian goddesses in the face of alleged changes in “the organization of the state, in the socioeconomic system, in the concept of the nature of kingship and political authority, and in theological conceptions of the world of gods” as follows: “By the later periods in Mesopotamia, only Ištar has any impact and persona. Other goddesses exist primarily as consorts, mere sexual partners for male deities.”117 What is driving this dialectic is the idea that Yahweh appropriated all the functions of preceding gods and goddesses,118 which would mean serious trampling on women's rights if it cannot be argued that, by the time Yahwistic monotheism arrived on the

Laws (2.132) (Tablet A),” in The Context of Scripture, ed. William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 2:353–60. 112 Middle Assyrian Laws A §35. 113 See J. Nicholas Postgate, Fifty Neo-Assyrian Legal Documents (Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 1976), no. 14 (ND 2307 = IM 63414). 114 Middle Assyrian Laws A §59. 115 Middle Assyrian Laws A §22. 116 Middle Assyrian Laws A §§7–8. 117 Tikva Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth (New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1992), 71. 118 Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake, 85.

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scene, the only function left to goddesses was the creation and assuring of childbirth, which was duly appropriated by Yahweh.119 Ninma∆, the mother of the gods, makes rare appearances120 in late texts outside of mythology, although she was still being actively worshipped in Nebuchadnezzar II’s Babylon.121 Her patronage of midwifery, an exclusively female profession, will have guaranteed both a continuing importance and an absence of reference in the texts of male physicians who were, unless there was some terrible emergency, banned from the birth room.122 Where there was an emergency, not only was the male doctor in attendance, but male gods took charge. Two of these are particularly prominent, Marduk and the moon god Sîn. As Tikvah points out, childbearing in ancient Israel seems to have been a difficult and hazardous undertaking,123 which makes the attribution of childbirth functions to a male god, Yahweh, seem perfectly natural. Yahweh's patronage of childbirth might, then, qualify as an appropriation of duties performed by Mesopotamian gods, but he was not necessarily running roughshod over goddesses. As for the alleged “eclipse,” Sumerian city goddesses are for the most part invisible in late texts, when their cities have largely lost political importance. Most post-Sumerian goddesses were also somebody's wife or daughter. But does this represent an “eclipse”? Gula was, in origin, a Sumerian goddess, city goddess of Isin, who had a healing temple in Isin and was the patroness of medicine. Unaccountably, Tikva claims that in the late periods she shared her role with her son Damu. In fact, Damu was never more than a minor divinity who died as a young man and was responsible for a single childhood disease. Gula, you see, was married with children and hence “just a housewife”. How sad it is to see feminists universalize the misogynistic attitudes of a celibate priesthood and accept their Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake, 5–6, 97. Benjamin R. Foster, Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature, 2nd edition (Bethesda: CDL, 1996), 2:730. 121 Foster, Before the Muses, 2:730. 122 See JoAnn Scurlock, “Baby-Snatching Demons, Restless Souls and the Dangers of Childbirth: Medico-Magical Means of Dealing with Some of the Perils of Motherhood in Ancient Mesopotamia,” Incognita 2 (1991):137– 83. 123 Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake, 97–98. 119 120

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validity, achieving personhood for women only by denying them their traditional role as wives and mothers. In ancient Mesopotamia, there was no such animal as “just a housewife”. In the Middle-Babylonian hymn of Bulluãsa-rabi (“Her healing is great”),124 Gula sings her own praises: “I am noble, I am lordly, I am splendid, I am sublime.” She praises her husband, Ninurta, in every alternate verse as a great, handsome, powerful and wise warrior. She, however, places herself first. Spoiled rotten by her mother Antu who taught her wisdom—note that it is her mother who taught her wisdom—and by her father Anu who preferred her to her brothers, irresistibly attractive, and chosen above every other possible candidate by her father-in-law, Enlil, she clearly has her husband twisted round her little finger. She is also mistress of the Ešarra temple where all live together, having been given management of it by her father-in-law. She is literate, supervises the workmen, takes the measurements and keeps the accounts. As she describes her position: “Lofty and great are my responsibilities. The limits I set cannot be changed. My command cannot be altered. My name is great, I am sublime.” As any ancient Mesopotamian would know, the favored daughter of one powerful man and the beloved wife of another was of the category of “she who must be obeyed” or as Gula says in summary: “ I am daughter, I am wife, I am spouse.” The skills in which humans were interested, namely the healing arts, were taught to her by Ea himself and, although pharmacists were particularly under her charge, she was credited as being mistress also of the physicians’ craft. She did not heal in any weak-kneed, feminine fashion but was imagined literally as a warrior journeying to the Netherworld in the style of the Greek Asclepius to fetch the ill back from the dead.125 The liminality of this role, appropriate, then, to women as a sex, probably explains how a goddess continued to dominate a profession which was largely male in the late periods (with the salient exception of all-female environments such as the royal harem). Gula’s healing shrine and her place of refuge for stray dogs, unfortunately now completely destroyed by post-2002 looters, Foster, Before the Muses, 2:486–94. could also be prayed to for continual supply of water for you after you were dead. See William W. Hallo, “Lugal-Murube Son of Zuzu (2.143),” in The Context of Scripture, ed. William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 2:395–96. 124

125 As such, she

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continued to enjoy great popularity in the Neo-Babylonian period. The Weidner Chronicle, which is otherwise completely Mardukomaniac, accords Gula the palm of having first come up with the idea to build Babylon and the Esagila as a seat for the King of the Gods.126 Another goddess who was not just a housewife, or as Tikvah puts it “‘demoted’ to the position of spouse of Nergal, who became the true ruler of the netherworld”127 was Ereškigal. Her husband Nergal was a truly grand god. Nonetheless, here is the first meeting of the couple from the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian version of the myth of Nergal and Ereškigal. “He (Nergal) knelt down, kissed the ground in front of her (Ereškigal). He straightened up, stood and addressed her, ‘Anu your father sent me [to see you], saying, “Sit down on [that] throne, judge the cases [of the great gods], the great gods who live within Erkalla!”’” Nergal had been warned not to touch anything in the Netherworld or he would be trapped there; the throne on which he proposed to sit was a specially manufactured chair of fake silver, gold and lapis lazuli which he brought with him. But Ereškigal had laid her trap. “When they brought him a throne, (He said to himself) ‘Don’t go to it!’ and he did not sit on it. (When) the baker brought him bread, {it was} ‘Don’t go to it!’ and he did not eat the bread. (When) the butcher brought him meat, {it was} ‘Don’t go to it!’ and he did not eat his meat. (When) the brewer brought him beer, {it was} ‘Don’t go to it!’ and he did not drink his beer. (When) they brought him a footbath, {it was} ‘Don’t go to it!’ and he did not wash his feet.” He even managed to pass up Ereškigal herself all bathed and dolled up in a dress that left little to the imagination, but only once. “The two embraced each other, and went passionately to bed.” Seven days of lovemaking later when she discovered that her gallant lover had gallantly fled, Ereškigal was furious. “Ever since I was a child and a daughter, I have not known the playing of other girls, I have not known the romping of children. The god whom you sent me and who has impregnated me—let him sleep with me again. Send that god to us, and let him spend the night with me as my lover! …. If you do not send that god to me, according to the rites of Erkalla and the great Alan R. Millard, “The Weidner Chronicle (1.138),” in The Context of Scripture, ed. William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 1:468–70. 127 Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake, 46. 126

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Earth, I shall raise up the dead, and they will eat the living. I shall make the dead outnumber the living!”128 Clearly, the Netherworld was her dower property, and it was she who picked him as her husband. Not only did she lure him to the Netherworld and seduce him but, when he tried to make his escape, she threatened to open the gates of the Netherworld and to let the dead eat the living if he was not returned to her pronto. Curiously, none of this is in the earlier, Amarna version, which portrays Nergal as invading the Netherworld with an army and with the full intention of murdering Ereškigal.129 She rescues the situation by offering to give him what he wants and he accepts in the spirit of why not. In the later version, the episode of the invasion of the Netherworld is transformed into a little rough foreplay designed to ensure that Nergal survives the experience: “He struck down (the first to seventh doorman) and did not let (them) grapple with him. He entered her wide courtyard, And went up to her and laughed. He seized her by her hairdo and [pull]ed(?) her from [the throne]. He seized her by the tresses and […]. The two embraced each other and went passionately to bed (for another seven nights of nonstop lovemaking).”130 Although in Neo-Assyrian context in particular, it is usually Nergal who is mentioned, the scribe of the Netherworld, Geštinanna is a woman. This clearly indicates that Ereškigal’s possession of the Netherworld was by no means compromised by her marriage. Indeed, since he moved in with her, anything which he will have owned prior to their marriage would now have belonged to his wife by Assyrian law. At death, and to rescue from death, it was also to Ereškigal and not to Nergal that offerings were made in the NeoAssyrian period. She and not her husband also survived Mesopotamian civilization, appearing in magical papyri of Late Antique and early Christian period from Egypt. See Stephanie Dalley, “Nergal and Ereshkigal (Standard Babylonian Version) (1.109),” in The Context of Scripture, ed. William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 1:384–89. 129 See Stephanie Dalley, “Nergal and Ereshkigal (Amarna Version) (1.110),” in The Context of Scripture, ed. William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 1:389–90. 130 See Dalley, “Nergal and Ereshkigal (Standard Babylonian Version) (1.109),” in The Context of Scripture, ed. William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 1:384–89. 128

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A hymn to another divine spouse, Ningal, for whom the NeoAssyrian king Sargon II seems to have felt a special reverence131 gives some clue as to the status gained by a goddess married to a major god of the pantheon, in this case, Sîn of Ôarrån second only to Aššur as imperial ruler of the Neo-Assyrian empire. In this hymn she is not described as some romantic mother goddess, fertile and alluring. Neither, despite her chief function as somebody important’s wife as obedient and dutiful. Her husband is, in fact, not even mentioned. Instead, she is described as follows: “Exalted Ningal, may (her) lordship be praised. She is more powerful than the gods and goddesses of heaven. Ningal, queen may (her) lordship be praised. She is more powerful than the gods and goddesses of earth”.132 She gave birth to the Igigi gods and has, since then, been making the nations go aright, giving wise council to the gods and restlessly investigating the furthest corners of the heavens (mu∆ayyiãat ¡amami), an epithet more usually used to describe creator gods like Marduk. From her, Sargon requests not good harvests and burgeoning population but victory in warfare and universal dominion. The wives of grand gods were not to be trifled with. It is a little known fact that sacred marriage ceremonies were performed down to the end of Mesopotamian civilization. Typically, the partners were a god and his spouse, the object of the exercise being to compel a god to grant a worshipper’s request by having his wife talk him in to it after getting him in the right mood. In the case of Nabû and Tašmetum at Kal∆u/Nimrud, a section of the temple was reserved as a bedroom for this couple to celebrate their ak•tu in comfort. Temple gardens were also a favored location for divine dalliance.133 131 See Henry W. F. Saggs, “A Hymn,” in Studi sul vicino oriente antico dedicati alla memoria di Luigi Cagni, ed. Simonetta Graziani, Series minor (Istituto universitario orientale (Naples, Italy). Dipartimento di studi asiatici, 61 (Naples: Instituto Universitario Orientale, 2000 [2001]), 2:905–12 (ND 2480 = IM 64058). 132 Saggs, “A Hymn,” 2:907 obv. 1–4. 133 “Nabu is our lord and Tashmetu the mountain of our trust! … Tashmetu dangles a golden … in the lap of Nabu … My lord, put an earring on me and I’ll give you pleasure in the garden! … Let my own Tashmetu come with me to the garden … among the counsellors, her throne is foremost!” Alasdair Livingstone, “Love Lyrics of Nabu and Tashmetu (1.128),” in The Context of Scripture, ed. William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 1:445–46; see also Foster, Before the Muses,

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Mulissu, spouse of Aššur, chief god of the Assyrian pantheon received numerous offerings including sweet beer, of which she seems to have been inordinately fond. Contrast the Laws of Romulus, which are reputed to have sanctioned the same penalty (death) for a woman who drank as for one who committed adultery. 134 Aššurbanipal calls Mulissu, “Merciful, sparing [sovereign], who grants clemency … [who looks to] the wronged and the one in mortal danger, who restores life to the one on his deathbed, she who can alter the status of the weak and the lowly, that is you, queen, lady of clemency and peace!”135 Like Hera, Mulissu was a patroness of marriage and was particularly popular in the Western parts of the Assyrian empire and among Greek or Hellenized women of the Hellenistic and later Roman periods who aspired to be loved and empowered by their husbands. As Mylitta, she is mentioned in Herodotus, allegedly presiding over rituals of defloration which have no counterpart in Babylonian custom but which Herodotus claims for Cyprus and which are attested at Rome. These rites involved not eager young males but priapus-figurines and were a necessary prelude to a nonmanus marriage since without manus, the husband had no right to shed his wife’s virgin blood. A characteristic feature of non-manus marriages was that the husband did not acquire his wife’s property. Perhaps it was for these reasons that many Hellenized women preferred Mylitta to Hera or Juno. Perhaps surprisingly, even a god’s concubines were not just, well, somebody’s concubine. The cult-statue of the goddess Nannaya, a byform of Ištar of Uruk, was purloined by Babylonian kings as a secondary wife for Nabû, son of Marduk. Not only was Uruk still obsessed with the return of the original statue of their goddess several centuries on but, having been syncretized with Ištar of Ôarrån by the Sargonids, then aligned with Anahita by Artaxerxes, then promoted to moon goddess in the Hellenistic era, Nannaya became a superstar 2:887–89. 134 Lefkowitz and Fant, Women’s Life, 173. Romans of the Republic continued to disapprove of women who drank in similar terms (allegedly one kissed one's female relatives to make sure they had not been indulging in alcoholic beverages!—Lefkowitz and Fant, Women’s Life, 175–76). 135 Alasdair Livingstone, “An Assurbanipal Prayer for Mullissu (1.144),” in The Context of Scripture, ed. William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 1:475.

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goddess whose cult stretched all the way from Ôarrån across Elamaeus into Central Asia. A hymn of the Assyrian king Sargon II explains what all the fuss was about: “She is the foremost of the gods, whose play is battle, she who leads the coalition of the seven demons … Even a wise physician (å¡ipu) whom she does not guide, where is his expertise? … The hand of even the most erudite pharmacist (asû), whom she does not guide, is powerless before his patients! Without her, who can achieve anything? … Honor the merciful one monthly forever, she who can make the rich destitute, bring abundance to the poor! Hear, O world, the praise of queen Nannaya!” Again, Sargon does not ask her for a nice home-cooked meal and well-ironed socks but long life, a lengthy reign, healthy horses, absence of sickness and no more locusts. Last but by no means least, Assyrians reverenced a collection of goddesses, known as the Ištar, or goddess, of this or that city. Of these, the most important were Ištar of Nineveh and Ištar of Arbela.136 Ištar of Arbela, whose cult center was the mustering point for campaigns heading eastward, was a sort of surrogate mother (midwife and wet-nurse)137 for the army. She was also a goddess of prophecy, whose prophetess mouthpieces had access to the highest echelons of the Neo-Assyrian court. Ištar-goddesses are usually the daughter of the city god of the city with which they are associated, which makes for a great deal of confusion when, as happens, two or more of them are syncretized. So, for example, Ištar of Uruk is daughter of the skygod Anu, Ištar of Ôarrån is the daughter of the moon god Sîn, and Ištar of Nippur is daughter of Enlil. Ostensibly, Ištars were just somebody’s daughter, but they were usually spoiled brats and extremely dangerous, as Ištar herself boasts: “Hurrah for me, hurrah for me … Anu is my father, Šamaš [my] twin. At my appearance, my glow is like the sun’s. All the great gods stand in attendance upon me, The Igigi gods p[ress] their lips to the ground”.138 A Neo-Babylonian hymn concurs: “At the thought of your name, heaven and Netherworld quake, the gods totter, the Anunnaki tremble.”139 136 Alasdair Livingstone, Court Poetry and Literary Miscellanea, State Archives of Assyria, 3 (Helsinki: Helsinki University, 1989), no. 3. 137 Foster, Before the Muses, 2:696. 138 Ibid., 2:886. 139 Ibid., 2:506, ll.20–21.

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In sum, after the demise of the Sumerians, goddesses do not fade into oblivion. Neither were Mesopotamian female divinities ever dis-improvements on their ancient Greek counterparts. Hera was the patroness of marriage, but no Mulissu; Persephone was queen of the Netherworld but no Ereškigal; Artemis was goddess of the moon but no Nannaya. When viewed without the thorn-colored glasses, Assyrian and other post-Old Babylonian goddesses were, like Tikvah herself, anything but “just housewives”.

B I BL I OGRA P H Y : Dalley, Stephanie. “Nergal and Ereshkigal (Amarna Version) (1.110).” In Hallo and Younger, eds., The Context of Scripture, 1:389–90. Leiden: Brill, 1997. Dalley, Stephanie. “Nergal and Ereshkigal (Standard Babylonian Version) (1.109).” In Hallo and Younger, eds., The Context of Scripture, 1: 384–89. Leiden: Brill, 1997. Foster, Benjamin R. Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature. 2nd edition. Bethesda: CDL, 1996. Frymer-Kensky,Tikva. In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1992. Hallo, William W. “Lugal-Murube Son of Zuzu (2.143).” In Hallo and Younger, eds., The Context of Scripture, 2:395–96. Leiden: Brill, 2000. Hallo, William W. and K. Lawson Younger, eds. The Context of Scripture, vols. 1–2. Leiden: Brill, 1997, 2000. Lambert, Wilfred G. “A Middle Assyrian Medical Text.” Iraq 31 (1969): 28–39. Lefkowitz, Mary R. and Maureen B. Fant. Women’s Life in Greece and Rome. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982. Livingstone, Alasdair. “An Assurbanipal Prayer for Mullissu (1.144).” In Hallo and Younger, eds., The Context of Scripture, 1:475. Leiden: Brill, 1997. Livingstone, Alasdair. “Love Lyrics of Nabu and Tashmetu (1.128).” In Hallo and Younger, eds., The Context of Scripture, 1:445–46. Leiden: Brill, 1997. Livingstone, Alasdair. Court Poetry and Literary Miscellanea. State Archives of Assyria, 3. Helsinki: Helsinki University, 1989. Millard, Alan R. “The Weidner Chronicle (1.138).” In Hallo and Younger, eds., The Context of Scripture, 1:468–70. Leiden: Brill,

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1997. Pomeroy, Sarah B. Goddesses Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity. New York: Schocken, 1976. Postgate, J. Nicholas. Fifty Neo-Assyrian Legal Documents. Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 1976. Roth, Martha T. “The Middle Assyrian Laws (2.132) (Tablet A).” In Hallo and Younger, eds., The Context of Scripture, 2: 353–60. Leiden: Brill, 2000. Saggs, Henry W. F. “A Hymn.” In Studi sul vicino oriente antico dedicati alla memoria di Luigi Cagni. Edited by Simonetta Graziani, 2:905– 12. Istituto universitario orientale, Dipartimento di studi asiatici, Series minor, 61. Naples: Instituto Universitario Orientale, 2000 [2001]. Scurlock, JoAnn and Burton R. Andersen. Diagnoses in Assyrian and Babylonian Medicine: Ancient Sources, Translations, and Modern Medical Analyses. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006. Scurlock, JoAnn. “Baby-Snatching Demons, Restless Souls and the Dangers of Childbirth: Medico-Magical Means of Dealing with Some of the Perils of Motherhood in Ancient Mesopotamia.” Incognita 2 (1991): 137–85.

N O TE S ON N EBUCHADNEZZAR ’ S 37 T H Y EAR 140 David B. Weisberg

G E N ER AL R EMARKS The king who “brought the city of Babylon and the southern Mesopotamian state of Babylonia to the pinnacle of their power and Abbreviations: ANET: Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Edited by James B. Pritchard. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1950; 3rd edition (1969). BM: British Museum. CAD: The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Edited by A. Leo Oppenheim, et al. Chicago: The Oriental Institute / Glückstadt: J. J. Augustin Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1956– UET: Ur Excavations Texts. Publications of the Joint Expedition of the British Museum and of the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania to Mesopotamia. London: Printed by Order of the Trustees of the Two Museums, 1928– 140

This paper was delivered at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA, on November 19, 2007, at a session dedicated to Tikva Frymer-Kensky, and is dedicated to her memory. It is a pleasure to thank the editors of this volume, Steven W. Holloway, JoAnn Scurlock and Richard Beal for their friendship and expert assistance. It is also my pleasure to thank the Hebrew Union College students who participated in the seminar which dealt with this text (Akkadian 519 Spring 2007 “Texts from the Time of Nebuchadnezzar”): Peter Bekins, Brian Bompiani, Michael Cernucan, Charles Halton, Nicholas Matthews, Ben Noonan, Carl Pace and SungJin Park. I would like to thank library staff members at HUC who helped me access materials: Bernard Rabenstein and Carl Pace.

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prosperity”141 is known for his many deeds of military prowess, but our record of his rule is extant only for a limited number of years. The last several decades of the rule of Nebuchadnezzar II (605–562 BCE) are far less well-known than the first decade. This is due mostly to the preservation of the Chronicles of the Chaldaean Kings for the first period but not for the last.142 It is therefore a sad irony that the one text that tells us basically all we know about Nebuchadnezzar’s 37th year is small and broken. Nevertheless, scholars have attempted to exploit the meager material in the text and this presentation shall follow along in the spirit of these attempts. This paper re-examines the text and the remarks of those who have commented upon it, and will offer some historical observations, based upon recent work.

BM 3 3 0 4 1 H ISTOR Y

OF

P UBLICAT I O N

BM 33041 is the fragmentary but important text from the British Museum describing an attack by Nebuchadnezzar II against the Egyptian king [Ama]sis, in Nebuchadnezzar’s 37th year (568 BCE). 143 The history of publication takes us back to the last part of the 19th century. Pinches brought this text to scholarly attention at a meeting of the Society of Biblical Archaeology in 1878144 and published a copy in cuneiform type-face along with a commentary four years later in 1882.145 Strassmaier published a copy of the text in 1889146 and 68

141 David B. Weisberg, “Nebuchadnezzar,” in Harper’s Bible Dictionary, ed. Paul J. Achtemeier (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985), 691. 142 An excellent summary of this material can be found in Israel Eph’al, “Nebuchadnezzar the Warrior: Remarks on his Military Achievements,” Israel Exploration Journal 53 (2003): 187–88. 143 Johann Nepomuk Strassmaier, Inschriften von Nabuchodonosor, König von Babylon (604–561 v. Chr.), Babylonische Texte, 5-6 (Leipzig: Pfeiffer, 1889), no. 329 and Donald J. Wiseman, Chronicles of Chaldaean Kings (626–556 B.C.) in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1956), plates XX and XXI give recent copies. 144 Theophilus G. Pinches, Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology 3 (1878–1879) [Dec. 3, 1878]: 12–14. 145 Theophilus G. Pinches, Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology 7 (1882): 218–22. 146 Strassmaier, Inschriften von Nabuchodonosor, no. 329. The text was identified as 78-10-15,22 + 78-10-15,37. After the join these museum numbers were subsequently changed to BM 33041.

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years later, Wiseman published his copy in 1956.147 Wiseman included some brief comments on pp. 94–95. Both Strassmaier’s and Wiseman’s copies show a proposed join of BM 33041 with BM 33053. But is BM 33053 a join to BM 33041 (as Strassmaier implies by giving the two fragments the same publication number and by copying them side by side, as does later Wiseman, and also Langdon by incorporating them into the same transliteration)? No. Borger148 places the fragment BM 33053 as part of the first tablet of the series šumma multabiltu (a part of the body) on the basis of the appearance of parts of vocabulary words that seem to be entirely unrelated to the material on BM 33041 such as, for example, pašittum, a female demon or illness, etc. Transliterations and translations of the text, as well as comments, were published first by Pinches and then again in 1897 by Winckler.149 The most recent full transliteration can be found in Langdon, Die neubabylonischen Königsinschriften, 1911 as no. 48.150 The last known translation is by Oppenheim in ANET, first published in 1950.151 Recent treatments are by Berger (1973),152 Spalinger (1977),153 Edel (1978),154 Leahy (1988)155 and Mitchell (1992).156 See Wiseman, Chronicles of Chaldaean Kings, pls. XX–XXI. Rykle Borger, “Die erste Tafel der Serie šumma multabiltu,” Archiv für Orientforschung 18 (1957): 88. 149 Hugo Winckler, “Pittakos?,” Altorientalische Forschungen 1 (1897): 511– 13. 150 Stephen H. Langdon, Die neubabylonischen Königsinschriften, translated by Rudolf Zehnpfund, Vorderasiatische Bibliothek, 4 (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1912), no. 48. 151 A. Leo Oppenheim, “Babylonian and Assyrian Historical Texts,” in ANET (1950), 308, unchanged in the 3rd edition (1969). Oppenheim omits, and does not mention, lines 1–12, see below. 152 Paul-Richard Berger, Die neubabylonischen Königsinscriften, Alter Orient und Altes Testament, 4/1 (Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker/Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1973). 153 Anthony J. Spalinger, “Egypt and Babylonia: A Survey (c. 620 B.C.– 550 B.C.),” Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur 5 (1977): 221–44. 154 Elmar Edel, “Amasis und Nebukadrezar II,” Göttinger Miszellen, Beiträge zur ägyptologischen Diskussion 29 (1978): 13–20. 155 Anthony Leahy, “The Earliest Dated Monument of Amasis and the End of the Reign of Apries,” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 74 (1988): 183–99. 156 Terence C. Mitchell, “Where was Putu-Iaman?” Seminar for Arabian Studies 22 (1992): 69–80. 147 148

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Translation BM 33041: my translation of lines 1–12 (The first part of lines 1–12 is missing.) 1. ...[...] 2. ...to him (/his...). 3. ...his name. 4. ...You let [me] obtain157 5. ...[You] cast down my enemies. 6. ...You caused my heart to rejoice. 7. ...You made me victorious, you pacified (my heart?). 8. ...You made the fame of my kingship great158 9. ...[amongst the]ir?! kings, you praised his valor. 10. ...his wise men a[nd] his servants, like... 11. ...[ma]de(?). He spoke to his troops... 12. ...who/which? were before?

Oppenheim’s translation in ANET: “...[in] the 37th year,159 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Bab[ylon] mar[ched against] Egypt (Mi- ßir) to deliver a battle. [Ama]sis (text: [...]-a(?)-su), of Egypt, [called up his a]rm[y]...[...]ku from the town Puãu-Iaman...distant regions which (are situated on islands) amidst the sea...many...which/who (are) in Egypt...[car]rying weapons, horses and [chariot]s...he called up to assist him and...[...] in front of him...he put his trust...(ll.13–22)160

We note that the text contains 30 lines, is in bad condition (far more is missing on each line than is preserved 161) and lines 1–12 are of a different character from lines 13–22.162 Winckler, “Pittakos?” CAD Š/II, 120. 159 568 BCE. 160 Oppenheim, “Babylonian and Assyrian Historical Texts,” 308 = 3rd edition (1969): 308, corrected to eliminate words translated from the false join piece BM 33053. 161 See the calculations based on the curvature of the tablet by Mitchell, “Putu-Iaman”, 72–73, who concludes that the preserved section is just the bottom right corner of the obverse and the top right corner of the reverse. 162 The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary does not cite this text, the reason most likely being that it is too broken to provide many coherent references. However, it is precisely here that one would want to see the views of the 157 158

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D ISCUSSI O N 1. What is the nature of BM 33041? The text has eluded precise categorization. Scholars have offered different suggestions. In 1950 Leo Oppenheim identified BM 33041 as “a fragmentary historical text.”163 Surprisingly, Oppenheim, did not attempt to translate the first 12 lines of BM 33041. Moreover, he did not indicate that the beginning of the text was so radically different from the part that he did translate. In 1961 Donald Wiseman stated: “The text is not a part of the Babylonian Chronicle series but seems to be rather historical allusions in a religious text.”164 In 1973 Paul-Richard Berger thought that “Nach Form und Inhalt erinnert die Inschrift an einen ‘Gottesbrief’.”165 On this genre, Hermann Hunger stated: “‘Gottesbrief’ has been used in different meanings: for letters to and from gods, regardless of content...” 166 According to Borger,167 there are twenty–five such texts which one could style “Gottesbriefe.” Borger does not list our text as a “Gottesbrief.” One reason might be that the evidence for a NeoBabylonian “Gottesbrief” is restricted to one text, UET IV 171, which is a private document that has nothing in common with our text. Note that von Soden calls UET IV 171 a “Unicum.”168 Besides the Sumerian evidence, which is too far-removed in time for the 6th century BCE, it is only the Neo-Assyrian material that could possibly provide a parallel. Yet such a comparison is also remote. The more numerous Neo-Assyrian texts show the genre as a fairly popular one

CAD editors and staff. 163 Oppenheim, “Babylonian and Assyrian Historical Texts,” 308. 164 Wiseman, Chronicles, 94–95. 165 Berger, Neubabylonischen Königsinscriften, 68–69. Further on, on p. 321, he remarks regarding the contents of the text: “Gebet, Kriegsbericht aus dem 37. Jahr Nbk”; cf. also Mitchell, “Putu-Iaman,” 71. 166 Hermann Hunger, Review of Beate Pongratz-Leisten, Herrschaftswissen in Mesopotamien, State Archives of Assyria Studies, 10, in Journal of the American Oriental Society 122 (2002): 868. 167 Rykle Borger, Handbuch der Keilschriftliterature 3: Inhaltliche Ordnung der sumerischen und akkadischen Texte (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1975). 168 Wolfram von Soden, Review of Figulla, UET IV, in Journal of the American Oriental Society 71 (1951): 268.

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in Assyria, but the same is not true in any way for Babylonia in the Neo-Babylonian period. Turning to the text again, in 1985, Wiseman reflected that: “The Babylonian text appears to have had a hymnal preface so that the precise genre is uncertain.”169 Writing in 1988, Anthony Leahy dubbed the text “an unusual kind of royal text, exhibiting a sudden transition from prayer to campaign record.”170 I suggest that there may be no connection between the first part of the text and the second. In other, words if the second part of the text mentions a campaign of Nebuchadnezzar, that does not necessarily imply that the first part of the text, which may be a hymn or prayer, has anything to do with, or even was written in the time of, Nebuchadnezzar. And this might be the reason that Oppenheim did not include the translation of the first part of the text in his ANET translation. Surely the author of a landmark study of the classic text of the genre of military Gottesbrief, namely Sargon II of Assyria’s account of his Urartian eighth campaign,171 would not have failed to translate the first twelve lines of the text if he had thought that this was a military Gottesbrief. As Caroline Waerzeggers,172 building on the work of Leichty and Walker,173 has suggested, chronicles appear in Neo-Babylonian school texts at a stage in the training process in which students were introduced to different genres of literature. A single school text will sometimes contain several different genres. For example, BM 29440 contains not only a chronicle fragment, but bits of astronomical texts, Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon, The Schweich Lectures of the British Academy, 1983 (Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 1985), 40. 170 “Amasis,” 191. 171 A. Leo Oppenheim, “The City of Assur in 714 B.C.,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 19 (1960): 133–47. 172 Lecture given at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Jan. 29, 2008. 173 Erle Leichty and Christopher B. F. Walker, “Three Babylonian Chronicles and Scientific Texts,” in From the Upper Sea to the Lower Sea: Studies in the History of Assyria and Babylonia in Honour of A.K. Grayson, ed. Grant Frame, Publications de l’Institut historique et archéologique néerlandais de Stamboul, 101 (Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten, 2004), 203–12. 169

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metrological texts, etc.174 The presence of a Gula(?) hymn on the same tablet with a chronicle fragment would, then, point to the conclusion that BM 33041 is a school text. 2. Is Gula referenced in our text? Gula is reconstructed in Langdon, Die neubabylonischen Königsinschriften, p. 206 (restored in the break in line 5) and Gula is mentioned in CAD R p. 49 to line 8 (“you, Gula...”). However, Berger does not mention Gula.175 While I do not see any specific evidence for the restoration of the name of Gula in line 7 and elsewhere, it should be observed that the form of the verb tunihhi, is feminine, and it stands to reason that Gula, goddess of healing, would be one who would put a petitioner’s mind to rest, or pacify his/her mind. 3. Winckler published an article in 1897 concerning this text entitled “Pittakos?” The title of his article refers to the fact that Winckler proposed restoring, in line 16 of our text, the name of Pittakos, the leader of the Thalassocracy at Lesbos, approximately from 585–575 BCE.176 This identification has been rejected by subsequent scholars, because Pittakos died in 570 BCE, two years before Nebuchadnezzar’s 37th year. 4. How are we to understand “putu?” Rainey, in a view I find reasonable, separates “Putu” and “Iaman” (“the city of Put, Greeks from distant districts in the midst of the sea...”)177 whereas many other alternatives have been proposed.178

G RE A T ER H ISTORIC AL S IG N I F IC A NCE Two divergent views of the historical significance of this text were presented in the first edition of the Cambridge Ancient History. The contribution of R. Campbell Thompson in “The New Babylonian Empire” discusses “The great campaign of Nebuchadnezzar’s later Leichty and Walker, “Three Babylonian Chronicles,” 205–11. Berger, Neubabylonischen Königsinscriften, 68. 176 Winckler, “Pittakos?,” 513–14. 177 Anson F. Rainey and R. Steven Notley, “Crisis and Turmoil,” in The Sacred Bridge: Carta’s Atlas of the Biblical World (Jerusalem: Carta, 2006), 269. 178 Cf. with a list of possibilities Mitchell, “Putu-Iaman,” 70–71, e.g., “Carians and Ionians,” in Winckler, “Pittakos?,” 513; “Libya of the Ionians,” in Edel, “Amasis und Nebukadrezar II” 15–16; “Cyrene,” in Leahy, “Amasis,” 191, and “Libya of the Ionians” = “Cyrene,” in Mitchell “PutuIaman,” 73–77. 174 175

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years was directed against Egypt in retaliation for the trouble caused by Hophra.”179 The contribution of H. R. Hall in “Amasis and the Greeks” discusses our “fragmentary inscription,” expressing doubt that “The Babylonian king, who was now growing old, ever carried out great warlike operations against Amasis, far less that he conquered or even entered Egypt either personally or by proxy.”180 A comment by John Bright reviews Biblical evidence: In (Jeremiah) xliii 8–13 we are told that, after the fugitives had arrived at Tahpanhes, Jeremiah buried some large stones in front of the government building there, and announced to those who watched him do this that Nebuchadnezzar would invade and ravage Egypt...(It) is undoubtedly authentic. Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Egypt did not, however, take place until that king’s thirty–seventh regnal year (568/7). From the fragmentary inscription that tells of it (cf. ANET, p. 308), it appears that Nebuchadnezzar did not aim at permanent conquest, but rather sought by a punitive expedition to deter Egypt from further meddling in Asia. The pharaoh—at the time, Amasis (570– 526)—retained his throne and seems thereafter to have maintained friendly relations with Babylon.181

We shall now turn to some background aspects of Nebuchadnezzar’s 37th year and the dynamics, as we understand them, of his attack on Egypt.

E G YP T I A N

N A V AL GRO WT H

Our focus is the eastern Mediterranean and Mesopotamia during the 8th to the 6th centuries BCE. The period witnesses, in turn, Assyrian and Babylonian ascendancy, events in Israel and Judah from the coming of Assyrian domination until the fall of Samaria, the fall of Jerusalem and the Babylonian exile. Phoenicia enters a colonizing

Reginald Campbell Thompson, “The New Babylonian Empire,” in Cambridge Ancient History, ed. J. B. Bury, S. A. Cook and F. E. Adcock, 1st edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1925), 3:215. 180 H. R. Hall, “The Restoration of Egypt,” in Cambridge Ancient History, ed. J. B. Bury, S. A. Cook and F. E. Adcock, 1st edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1925), 3:304. For the title of the subchapter see table of contents (xvii), but note that “Amaris” is an error for “Amasis.” 181 John Bright, Jeremiah, Anchor Bible, 21 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1965), 265. 179

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period, seeking “space, food and freedom”182. In Egypt it is the period of the Twenty–fifth (Napatan) and Twenty–sixth (Saïte) dynasties. Noting that “the domination of Western Asia by Nebuchadnezzar was now complete”183 T. G. H. James sought to describe the options available to the Saïte rulers in order to counter Babylonian land armies. In “The Growth of Egyptian Maritime Policy”184 James pointed out that Egyptian naval growth occurred in league with the Ionians/Greeks: “Necho first turned to the sea when he found that land action in Asia proved too costly.”185 We propose a perspective on the sea power vs. land power issue by pointing out the parallel between the ancient sea and land powers, and, as we see it, their modern counterparts. According to this analysis, the ancient powers are Egypt and Babylonia and the modern powers to be compared—with WW II as the time of convenient comparison—are England and the U.S.S.R. (Russia). Pharaoh Necho with his Greek allies opposed Nebuchadnezzar. Similarly, English interests often clashed with those of the U.S.S.R., especially during WW II. The model is that of an island power, with the British model being inspired by the Greek island powers vs. a great continental power.

N EBUCH AD N EZZ AR

A ND

N AV AL P OW ER

Striking a revisionist pose, Israel Eph’al186 contended that Nebuchadnezzar was not really the great military leader that he was cracked up to be. Eph’al contended187 that Nebuchadnezzar did not widen the Babylonian borders during his own reign, that 182 William Culican, “Phoenicians and Phoenician Colonization,” in Cambridge Ancient History, 3/2, ed. I. E. S. Edwards, C.J. Gadd and N. G. L. Hammond, 3rd edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970), 485. 183 Thomas G. H. James, “Egypt: The Twenty–fifth and Twenty–sixth Dynasties,” in Cambridge Ancient History, 3/2, ed. I. E. S. Edwards, C.J. Gadd and N. G. L. Hammond, 3rd edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970), 717. 184 James, “Egypt: The Twenty–fifth and Twenty–sixth Dynasties,” 720– 26. 185 Ibid., 721. 186 Eph’al, “Nebuchadnezzar the Warrior,” 178–91. 187 Ibid., 188–89.

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Nebuchadnezzar’s “greatest recorded victory” was actually during his father’s reign, namely, the defeat of the Egyptians/ Assyrians at Carchemish188 If we accept Eph’al’s portrait of Nebuchadnezzar as demonstrating weakness rather than strength, it could shed light on the question of why Nebuchadnezzar failed to build up the naval forces of allies against Tyre and Egypt, and/or his lack of individual initiative. The contrast would be with Alexander, who, after all, had a “mole” built and then went on to conquer Tyre. This, of course, is seen against the background of the traditional Babylonian lack of involvement with naval power. In other words, there was historical precedent for inertia, and Nebuchadnezzar, following the line of least resistance, built up land forces,189 while neglecting naval power, whereas Alexander, by adding naval power, went beyond earlier boundaries and founded a “world empire.”

C O NCLUSIO N In conclusion, BM 33041 appears to be a Neo-Babylonian school text preserving, in addition to a fragment of a Gula? hymn, a section of a lost chronicle recounting the last years of Nebuchadnezzar. This chronicle provides a plausible account of the campaign of the 37th year against Egypt, and may be used to confirm the veracity of Biblical sources. In addition, we are now in a position to understand the extent to which a failure to appreciate the value of naval power (or the simple lack of a fleet) prevented Nebuchadnezzar from completely defeating his enemies.

B I BL I OGRA P H Y Berger, Paul-Richard. Die neubabylonischen Königsinscriften. Alter Orient und Altes Testament, 4/1. Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker/ Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1973. 605 BCE, Eph’al, “Nebuchadnezzar the Warrior,” 179–80. king’s demand (for Tyre to become a Babylonian satellite) were quite obvious: to have a free flank, and perhaps even a fleet and a base for his ultimate aim: to make Egypt submissive to Babylon.” H. Jacob Katzenstein, The History of Tyre From the Beginning of the Second Millenium [sic] B.C.E. until the Fall of the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 539 B.C.E., 2nd edition (Beer Sheva: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Press, 1997), 329–30. 188

189 “The reasons for the Babylonian

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Borger, Rykle. “Die erste Tafel der Serie šumma multabiltu.” Archiv für Orientforschung 18 (1957): 88. ________. Handbuch der Keilschriftliterature 3: Inhaltliche Ordnung der sumerischen und akkadischen Texte. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1975. Bright, John. Jeremiah. Anchor Bible, 21. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1965. Bury, J. B., S. A. Cook and F. E. Adcock, eds. Cambridge Ancient History. 1st edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1925. Campbell Thompson, Reginald. “The New Babylonian Empire.” In J. B. Bury, S. A. Cook and F. E. Adcock, eds. Cambridge Ancient History, 3:206–25. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1925. Culican, William. “Phoenicians and Phoenician Colonization.” In I. E. S. Edwards, C.J. Gadd and N. G. L. Hammond, eds. Cambridge Ancient History, 3/2:461–546. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970. Edel, Elmar. “Amasis und Nebukadrezar II.” Göttinger Miszellen, Beiträge zur ägyptologischen Diskussion 29 (1978): 13–20. Edwards, I. E. S., C. J. Gadd and N. G. L. Hammond, eds. Cambridge Ancient History. 3rd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970– Eph’al, Israel. “Nebuchadnezzar the Warrior: Remarks on his Military Achievements.” Israel Exploration Journal 53 (2003): 178–91. Hall, H. R. “The Restoration of Egypt.” In J. B. Bury, S. A. Cook and F. E. Adcock, eds. Cambridge Ancient History, 3:289–315. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1925. Hunger, Hermann. Review of Beate Pongratz-Leisten, Herrschaftswissen in Mesopotamien, State Archives of Assyria Studies 10. In Journal of the American Oriental Society 122 (2002): 868–70. James, Thomas G. H. “Egypt: The Twenty–fifth and Twenty–sixth Dynasties.” In I. E. S. Edwards, C.J. Gadd and N. G. L. Hammond, eds. Cambridge Ancient History, 3/2:677–747. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970. Katzenstein, H. Jacob. The History of Tyre From the Beginning of the Second Millenium [sic] B.C.E. until the Fall of the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 539 B.C.E. 2nd edition. Beer Sheva: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Press, 1997. Lambdin, T. O. “Put.” In George Arthur Buttrick, ed. The Intertpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, 3:971. New York: Abingdon Press, 1962.

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Langdon, Stephen H. Die neubabylonischen Königsinschriften. Rudolf Zehnpfund, translator. Vorderasiatische Bibliothek, 4. Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1912. Leahy, Anthony. “The Earliest Dated Monument of Amasis and the End of the Reign of Apries.” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 74 (1988): 183–99. Leichty, Erle and Christopher B. F. Walker. “Three Babylonian Chronicle and Scientific Texts.” In From the Upper Sea to the Lower Sea: Studies in the History of Assyria and Babylonia in Honour of A.K. Grayson. Edited by Grant Frame, 203–12. Publications de l’Institut historique et archéologique néerlandais de Stamboul, 101. Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten, 2004. Mitchell, Terence C. “Where was Putu-Iaman?” Seminar for Arabian Studies 22 (1992): 69–80. Oppenheim, A. Leo, “Babylonian and Assyrian Historical Texts.” In Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Edited by James B. Pritchard. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1950, and Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Edited by James B. Pritchard, 265–317. 3rd edition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969. ________. “The City of Assur in 714 B.C.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 19 (1960): 133–47. Pinches, Theophilus G. “A New Fragment of the History of Nebuchadnezzar III.” Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology 7 (1882): 210–25. Rainey, Anson F., and R. Steven Notley. “Crisis and Turmoil.” In The Sacred Bridge: Carta’s Atlas of the Biblical World, 269–71. Jerusalem: Carta, 2006. Röllig, Wolfgang. “Ionier.” In Reallexikon der Assyriologie, 5:150. Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1976. Spalinger, Anthony J. “Egypt and Babylonia: A Survey (c. 620 B.C.– 550 B.C.).” Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur 5 (1977): 221–44. Strassmaier, Johann Nepomuk. Inschriften von Nabuchodonosor, König von Babylon (604–561 v. Chr.). Babylonische Texte, 5-6. Leipzig: Pfeiffer, 1889. Von Soden, Wolfram. Review of Figulla, UET IV, in Journal of the American Oriental Society 71 (1951): 267–68. Weisberg, David B. “Nebuchadnezzar.” In Paul J. Achtemeier, ed. Harper’s Bible Dictionary, 690–92. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985.

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Waerzeggers, Caroline. Lecture given at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Jan. 29, 2008. Winckler, Hugo. “Pittakos?” Altorientalische Forschungen 1 (1897): 511– 15. Wiseman, Donald J. Chronicles of Chaldaean Kings (626–556 B.C.) in the British Museum. London: British Museum, 1956. _______. Nebuchadrezzar and Babylon. The Schweich Lectures of the British Academy, 1983. Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 1985.

G ENDER M AT TERS IN E N ÁMA ELIŠ



Karen Sonik The late second millennium composition En¥ma eliš,190 known for decades as the Babylonian Creation Epic, is now read primarily as a political myth intended to support Babylon’s claim to be foremost among cities and to justify the elevation of its patron god, Marduk, to the head of the Mesopotamian pantheon.191 ∗ I never had the opportunity to meet Tikva Frymer-Kensky, in whose honor this volume is published, but her work has been an invaluable influence upon my own. Thanks are owed to Stephen Tinney, Beate Pongratz-Leisten, Barry Eichler, Holly Pittman, and Spencer Allen for their comments and suggestions on this paper. Any errors are, of course, my own. 190 En¥ma eliš is now generally dated to the late second millennium, however, various other dates have been suggested. See Stephanie Dalley, Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 228–30, and Wayne Horowitz, Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography, Mesopotamian Civilization, 8 (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1998), 107–108. 191 An interesting, if somewhat problematic, political reading of the myth is offered in a recent publication by Roland Boer, “An Un-Original Tale: Utopia Denied in Enuma Elish. (Part II: The Politics of Utopia) (Critical Essay),” Arena Journal 26 (2006): 136–60. For other perspectives on the context, function, and importance of En¥ma eliš, see also Piotr Michalowski, “Presence at the Creation,” in Lingering Over Words: Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Literature in Honor of William L. Moran, ed. Tzvi Abusch, John Huehnergard, and Piotr Steinkeller, Harvard Semitic Studies, 37 (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990), esp. 389–96; F. A. M. Wiggermann, Mesopotamian Protective Spirits: The Ritual Texts, Cuneiform Monographs, 1 (Groningen: Styx & PP, 1992), 163–64; Julye Bidmead, The Ak•tu Festival: Religious Continuity and Royal Legitimation in Mesopotamia, Gorgias Dissertations Near Eastern Studies, 2 (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2002), 66–70; and Philip Jones, “Divine and Non-Divine Kingship,” in A Companion to the Ancient Near East, ed.

85

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En¥ma eliš in its proper context, among other myths of hero gods

such as Anzu, Labbu, and Girra and Elamatum, it has not encouraged the analysis of other aspects of the composition. The role of Tiamat in particular, and the relevance of her femininity to the outcome of the epic, requires further exploration. The primary action, after all, aside from the brief episode relating the death of Apsu, centers around the threat posed by the female Tiamat to the line of the emphatically male great gods: her femininity, as well as her role as mother of the gods, is repeatedly stressed. Her death, in contrast with that of Apsu, is violent and brutal and even her corpse is not left intact, being dismembered and adapted by Marduk to form the world and its features. Action and creation are almost entirely placed in the realm of the male gods, who are shown to be capable of creating not only other gods but also the world and human beings without female aid. By the end of the epic, as Tikva FrymerKensky noted, the feminine is still present but is decidedly passive: “We live in the body of the mother, but she has neither activity nor power.”192 Gender matters in En¥ma eliš. Marduk’s elevation is reward for his defeat and evisceration of a female, and more, a female who, early in the epic, functions as the progenitor and defender of the great gods. Over the course of the action, then, the elemental Tiamat must be transformed first into a wife and a mother, resembling a proper domestic goddess, and then into a monster, an unnatural “Other” who fails to abide by the gender roles defined by the great gods and who consequently threatens the very fabric of order and civilization. As En¥ma eliš begins, when the world has not yet been ordered and even the gods do not exist, we find Tiamat mingling her waters with those of Apsu in what becomes a primordial act of creation: “When on high the heavens were not named / Below, the earth had not been given a name / Primordial Apsu was their progenitor and / Creatress Tiamat, the one who gave birth to all of them / They mixed

Daniel C. Snell, Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World. Ancient History (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005), 336. 192 Tikva Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformations of Pagan Myth (New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1992), 76.

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their waters together” (Ee I 1–5).193 The exact manner in which the first gods are “born” is ambiguous: they are said to be “created” or “engendered” within them, them being Apsu and Tiamat, using the N stem of the verb banû, and to “become visible,” using the Št stem of the verb apû: “the gods were created inside of them / Lahmu and Lahamu became visible (and) were given names” (I 9).194 It is at this point that Tiamat undergoes her first transformation: though beginning as an elemental entity, she now comes to approximate a civilized, domestic goddess in character, a wife and a mother who is defined by those two roles. Whether this transformation is accompanied by a change in Tiamat’s physical form at this point is not stated outright, though she eventually assumes an at least partially anthropomorphic aspect.195 Translations in this paper are my own, based on the most recent cuneiform edition of En¥ma eliš found in Philippe Talon, En¥ma eliš: The Standard Babylonian Creation Myth, State Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts, 4 (Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2005), and on the recent editions of the Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgameš found in Simo Parpola, The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh: Cuneiform Text, Transliteration, Glossary, Indices and Sign List, State Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts, 1 (Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 1997) and Andrew R. George, The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic: Introduction, Critical Edition and Cuneiform Texts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 1:531–741. 194 The distinction between Apsu and Tiamat and their descendants is clearly apparent in the text: the names of all the gods from Lahmu and Lahamu onwards, excepting only Anšar (whose name in any case begins with the dingir sign), are written with the divine determinative. Neither the name of Apsu nor that of Tiamat, however, is ever written with the dingir sign in En¥ma eliš. For a discussion of the parallels between the creation of the Mesopotamian cult statues and the birth of the gods in En¥ma eliš, see Victor Avigdor Hurowitz, “The Mesopotamian God Image, From Womb to Tomb [review of C. Walker and M. Dick, The Induction of the Cult Image in Ancient Mesopotamia: the Mesopotamian Mîš pî Ritual ],” Journal of the American Oriental Society 123 (2003): 153. 195 The problem of defining Tiamat’s form has not been satisfactorily resolved. In the text of En¥ma eliš she is repeatedly identified as a “woman” (II 92, 116, 143) but retains watery qualities and an ambiguous physical form, described as possessing both feminine and theriomorphic body parts, breasts and a tail among them (V 1–65). See Wiggermann, Mesopotamian Protective Spirits, 163 for a summary of the scholarship on Tiamat’s form; see also Kai A. Metzler, “Tod, Weiblichkeit und Ästhetik im mesopotamischen 193

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Following the birth of the gods, however, Apsu at least is described in anthropomorphic terms: he is referred to as having a mouth (I 35), as talking and conferring (I 34, 36), as going “to sit” before Tiamat when he and Mummu attempt to persuade her to their side (I 33), and ultimately, as being stripped of his implements and melammu (I 67–68), symbols of both his status and the civilized state from which he is being expelled, prior to being executed by Ea.196 Notably, the theme of civilization through sexual congress is not unfamiliar in Mesopotamian, and specifically Babylonian, literature, a point that is less surprising if we consider that sexual intercourse is among the me, the divine principles necessary to civilization, as listed in the Sumerian composition Inanna and Enki (F 29–30).197 In a famous episode from the Epic of Gilgameš, known both from the Old Babylonian Pennsylvania Tablet and Standard Babylonian Tablet I, the wild man Enkidu takes his first step on the path to civilization when he engages in sexual intercourse with the prostitute Šamhat: For six days and seven nights, Enkidu was erect and copulated with Šamhat. When he was sated with her charms, He set his face toward his herd. They saw Enkidu, they began scattering; The wild animals withdrew from his person. Enkidu had defiled his pure body,198 Weltschöpfungsepos En¥ma elîš,” in Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2–6, 2001, ed. Simo Parpola and Robert M. Whiting, CRRAI, 47 (Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2002), 2:395–96. 196 Lines I 67–68 of En¥ma eliš have occasionally been interpreted as recording Ea’s stripping of Mummu rather than Apsu, as in CAD M/2 11 s.v. melammu, however, given Mummu’s less than first-rank status as the vizier of Apsu, this interpretation seems unlikely. 197 See Jeremy A. Black, G. Cunningham, J. Ebeling, E. FlückigerHawker, E. Robson, J. Taylor, and G. Zólyomi, “Inana and Enki,” The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/), Oxford 1998–2006. 198 George notes that “the concept of defilement through sexual experience is one that tallies with a widespread human belief that sexual knowledge brings the end of innocence. The idea that ejaculation engenders weakness is also common,” George, Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic, 451.

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His knees had stood still as his herd was going. Enkidu was reduced, his running was not as before, But he possessed rational thought, he was wide of understanding (Gilg. SB I 194–202)199

The rationale behind this phenomenon is succinctly described by D. H. Mills in The Hero and the Sea: since “sexuality also involves the origins of life and the propagation of the race, it also involves the continuity of society and the development of culture. Hence, sexual consciousness and sexual relations are an integral part of sociostructural relationships.”200 The correspondence between this episode in the Epic of Gilgameš and Tiamat’s mingling with Apsu in En¥ma eliš is far from absolute: while his intercourse with the prostitute Šamhat, a staple of city life despite her liminal qualities, is Enkidu’s first introduction to civilization, Tiamat only mingles with Apsu, an elemental being who is presumably on much the same level as she.201 Nevertheless, since Tiamat and Apsu manage to create the first gods between them, and since both thereby become parents with all the accompanying

The Standard Babylonian account of this specific episode and its ramifications is more detailed than the account in the Pennsylvania Tablet (Gilg. OB II 46–49). 200 Donald H. Mills, The Hero and the Sea: Patterns of Chaos in Ancient Myth (Wauconda, Ill: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2002), 29. See also the discussion of boundaries, boundary crossing, and transformation in Tzvi Abusch, “Ishtar’s Proposal and Gilgamesh’s Refusal: An Interpretation of The Gilgamesh Epic, Tablet 6, Lines 1–79),” History of Religions 26 (1986): 174– 75, and the discussion of prostitutes and liminal sexuality in Gwendolyn Leick, Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature (London: Routledge, 2003 [1994]), 164–69. 201 That this mingling is indeed sexual in nature is supported in Wilfred G. Lambert, “Mesopotamian Creation Stories,” in Imagining Creation, ed. Markham J. Geller and Mineke Schipper, Institute of Jewish Studies, Studies in Judaica, 5 (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 18, but see Stephanie Dalley, “Evolution of Gender in Mesopotamian Mythology and Iconography with a Possible Explanation of ¡a rŸ¡Ÿn, “the Man with Two Heads’,” in Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2–6, 2001, ed. Simo Parpola and Robert M. Whiting, CRRAI, 47 (Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2002), 1:117–22, for a discussion of non-sexual mingling and creation. 199

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responsibilities of that role, we may assume that their mingling also served as a powerful civilizing force. The gods Lahmu and Lahamu, generated from the first coupling, eventually grow and produce a next and greater generation of gods, Anšar and Kišar. These in turn produce Anu, the traditional head of the pantheon and he, apparently without the benefit of a mate, engenders the god Ea, equal to him in power and ability: “and Anu in his (own) image begot Nudimmud” (Ee I 16).202 By this time, a multitude of other gods exists, though most are not identified with individual names or clear genealogies. The throng of powerful and vigorous new gods, in keeping with their youth and vitality, proceeds to raise a mighty clamor that distresses Apsu and Tiamat, both of whom are accustomed to the primordial calm. While Tiamat is maternally tolerant, however, Apsu and his vizier Mummu decide to destroy the gods to gain some peace and quiet. Notably, Apsu does not plan unilateral action, but rather goes to sit before Tiamat to present his case for the destruction of their offspring: “They went and in front of Tiamat they sat / They deliberated matters concerning the gods, their children” (I 33–34). This appeal suggests that Tiamat is already a powerful and able force in her own right, at least the equal of her mate.203 Though Apsu 202 Given

the Mesopotamian aversion to incest, and the fact that En¥ma eliš does not clearly define the relationships between the first gods, it is possible to argue that Anšar and Kišar are the children of Apsu and Tiamat rather than of Lahmu and Lahamu, avoiding the problem of incestuous intercourse between the first brother-sister pair. Horowitz’s suggestion that Anu is solely created by Anšar, rather than being the child of the brothersister pair Anšar and Kišar, may be similarly intended, Horowitz, Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography, 109. Given that Anu is clearly described as the apilšunu, “their [Anšar and Kišar’s] heir or firstborn” (I 14), however, there seems no real obstacle to Anšar and Kišar being the children of Lahmu and Lahamu. See also Wilfred G. Lambert, “Myth and Mythmaking in Sumer and Akkad,” in Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, ed. Jack M. Sasson (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1995), 3:1831. 203 In presenting his case to Tiamat, Apsu reveals that she is a power worth courting, already capable of being the active principle that she later becomes. This is in stark contrast to the other female figures in En¥ma eliš, Lahamu, Kišar, and Damkina, who are passive to the point of fading into the scenery and who contribute little or nothing to the counsel of the gods. Lahamu appears only in conjunction with Lahmu, Kišar is completely absent following her sole appearance as the mate of Anšar, and Damkina appears

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carries on as he had planned despite Tiamat’s refusal to join his campaign, her rejection of him has powerful ramifications both for his future and for her own. In choosing the well being of her children over that of her mate, Tiamat consciously betrays one aspect of her identity, that of the dutiful and committed wife, and shatters the mold into which she has been poured. Apsu, lacking Tiamat’s help, is easily overcome by Ea,204 who uses magic to lull him to sleep and further strips Apsu of his symbols and powers prior to killing him.205 Having given up her role as “wife,” Tiamat’s identity is further fractured by her own divided descendants, the gods who, as Apsu, seek peace and rest and the gods who, as Ea, are creative, dynamic, and, unfortunately, very loud.206 Where Apsu’s petition failed, however, Tiamat’s children are successful in persuading her to their cause, reminding her both of her maternal responsibilities to them and of her earlier failure to support her mate: There was not, in your heart, Apsu, your lover, Or Mummu, who was captured; you stayed alone. Now,207 disturbed, you wander back and forth,208

only in relation to her husband Ea and her son Marduk. 204 The ease with which Apsu is overcome is remarkable, given the terror inspired by Tiamat. It has been suggested that this is linked to the different aging patterns of men and women, with men becoming more passive as they age and women more active, Rivkah Harris, Gender and Aging in Mesopotamia: The Gilgamesh Epic and Other Ancient Literature (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000), 84–85. This is not, however, sufficient explanation for the discrepancy. The brevity of the Apsu episode is at least partially explicable as due to the demands of the text: Marduk’s descent from a glorious and powerful lineage is all to the good, however, his father’s exploits cannot be allowed to upstage his own. 205 The author of En¥ma eliš had a definite sense of humor: Apsu, who sought to destroy the gods in order that he might sleep, is put into a deep slumber by Ea prior to being killed, thus achieving his heart’s desire before death (I 65–66). Further, once Ea has killed Apsu, he himself retires to his chamber, built upon Apsu’s corpse, and promptly enjoys a well-deserved and peaceful sleep (I 75). 206 See Michalowski, “Presence,” 387–88. 207 The beginning of this line has typically been restored as ul ummu, “you are no mother,” a reading that is retained in Talon, En¥ma eliš, 38, however, both Lambert and Foster now read it as “now” or “henceforth.” See Benjamin R. Foster, Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature, 3rd

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Their case is no doubt helped by the recent birth of the almost monstrous Marduk, who is described as a massive, fire-breathing, glorious god, a four-eyed hero from birth (I 95),209 whose child’s play with the newly created four winds is such that Tiamat is roiled day and night and the gods can find no rest at all (I 105–10). In agreeing to destroy her offspring, even with the support of other of her children, Tiamat contravenes the basic bond of motherhood and irrevocably transgresses the boundaries of the domestic woman. While earlier wrathful mother goddesses exist, as in Enki and Ninhursag, these inevitably relent prior to wreaking permanent destruction. Thus, Ninhursag, despite having cursed Enki for eating of the plant grown from his own seed, rushes to save him when it is apparent he is in real danger. Tiamat shows no similar signs of compassion or mercy, more resembling the boundary-crossing Inanna/Ištar in her destructive and implacable wrath than any other goddess of the pantheon.210 In a novel study on the role of gender and aging in En¥ma eliš, Rivkah Harris suggested that much of the shift in Tiamat’s attitude toward her noisome children, from protective mother to vengeful destroyer, was due to a change in her age: Tiamat is first encountered as a young woman in her childbearing years. At this time, tolerant and forgiving, she is totally opposed to decimation of the young gods, her offspring. The younger Tiamat resigns herself to her spouse’s death for the sake of her children…But later the older Tiamat does an about-face. She is now ready to avenge Apsu’s killing. In the portrayal of the old(er) edition (Bethesda: CDL Press, 2005), 443; Lambert, Mesopotamian Creation, 39. 208 The act of “wandering about” is read as indicating psychological or mental turmoil in Michael L. Barré, “‘Wandering About’ as a Topos of Depression in Ancient Near Eastern Literature and in the Bible,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 60 (2001): 177–87. 209 Notably, Tiamat is equated with Ištar of Durna, who is also said to have four eyes in Court Poetry and Literary Miscellanea, ed. Alasdair Livingstone, State Archives of Assyria, 3 (Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1986), no. 39 obv. 19. 210 For a discussion of Inanna/Ištar as a boundary crosser and otherwise, see Zainab Bahrani, Women of Babylon: Gender and Representation in Mesopotamia (London: Routledge, 2001), 141–60; and Harris, Gender and Aging, 158–71.

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Tiamat we find the ubiquitous stereotype of the old woman as crone and witch.211

While offering an interesting solution to the problem of Tiamat’s transformation, this reading is problematic in isolation. Tiamat necessarily ages in the interval between her rejection of Apsu’s plot to destroy their noisy children and her own later decision to take up the same plan; the narrative, however, gives us no real sense of the amount of time that has passed. Harris’ characterization of the later Tiamat as the stereotypical “crone” is also awkward, given that she remains immensely fertile and that she takes a new consort, Qingu, whom she elevates to the leadership of the gods. Of course, her children are monstrous and created, so far as we can tell, without the benefit of a mate, Qingu or otherwise, but it seems more productive to cast Tiamat in the role of powerful queen than in the role of crone. Her “marriage” to Qingu and the subsequent conflict would thus resemble more a royal familial drama, in which an interloping stepfather usurps a throne by marrying a widowed queen and thus dispossessing her legitimate children.212 As for the shift in Tiamat’s role from pacifist to fearsome aggressor, this in fact reflects the activation of powers and abilities that are latent in her from the beginning of En¥ma eliš. These are brought to the fore not simply because she is growing older but are rather due to the convergence of several other factors: the charge of her restive children, striking at the core of her identity as a civilized

Harris, Gender and Aging, 84. Harris’ innovative study offers a broad ranging and illuminating interpretation not only of Tiamat but also of her counterparts, both male and female, in En¥ma eliš and in the overall corpus of Mesopotamian mythology. 212 The extent to which such a scenario was actually envisioned in historical Mesopotamia is uncertain given that the land’s official history is primarily dominated by kings. While Egyptian queens could, and did, rule in the absence of the king or an heir of age (Hatshepsut being a prominent example), the situation in Mesopotamia is somewhat less clear. Still, the evidence from private correspondence suggests women could exercise power in the royal court. See Marten Stol, “Women in Mesopotamia,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 38 (1995): 135–36 and esp. bibliography, and Sarah C. Melville, “Neo-Assyrian Royal Women and Male Identity: Status as a Social Tool,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 124 (2004): 37–57 and esp. 52. 211

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being, that she is a failure as both a wife and a mother;213 her own experience of the exponentially greater disturbance, concomitant with his incredible creative potential, caused by the young Marduk; and her new existence, since the loss of Apsu, as a unique and terrifying entity, a powerful and independent female. At this time, then, Tiamat no longer fits within the feminine paradigm that has been established by her children and that is exemplified by the goddess Damkina, who has no individual identity in En¥ma eliš aside from her three brief appearances as Ea’s wife and Marduk’s mother.214 While many of the changes that have expelled Tiamat from this paradigm may go hand in hand with aging, such as the loss of a spouse, conflict with one’s grown children, and a greater propensity to act on anger and discomfort, age is clearly not the sole, or even the primary factor behind these developments in Tiamat’s life. Frymer-Kensky asserted that Tiamat “is not an evil force” when she attempts to destroy her offending children.215 This is correct: such a characterization is insufficiently nuanced to apply. But if she is not a purely evil force, she is at least an unnatural one.216 In turning first against her consort and then against those of her own children who

213 She is essentially rebuked by Marduk for accepting this reasoning: he points out that she becomes truly “unnatural” only when she decides to destroy her children (IV 79–80). 214 Harris contrasts Tiamat’s behavior in En¥ma eliš with that of Damkina, noting that Damkina “is the ideal mother, focused on her son, passively remaining in the background. She is as a mother ought to be, dependent and restrained,” Harris, Gender and Aging, 84. In contrast to Tiamat, Damkina successfully combines her two defining roles as wife and mother: since she is not forced to choose between these, there is no need, and indeed no opportunity, for her individual identity to assert itself. See also Metzler, “Tod, Weiblichkeit und Ästhetik,” 401. 215 Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake, 75. It is open to question whether Apsu intends to destroy all the gods, or merely those who are causing all the ruckus, partly since Ea’s strike against him takes place before he has mustered any allies beyond Mummu (II 47–72). In the case of Tiamat, both her allies and her enemies are more clearly defined. 216 The great gods themselves arguably act unnaturally, given that they have killed their progenitor Apsu and severely vexed their mother and their divine relations. However, as the work of the great gods is vital to the eventual development of civilization and the construction and ordering of the universe, they are presumably excused for any untoward behavior.

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are noisy and creative, Tiamat ceases to play the role of a goddess, of a proper domestic female, and takes on the mantle of a monster. The effects of her transformation are almost immediately apparent. Upon deciding to take action against the great gods, Tiamat is found putting her immense generative powers to work creating an entirely new breed of creature: Mother Hubur,217 who creates everything, She added weapons that could not be withstood, giving birth to “monstrous” serpents With pointed tooth and merciless fang, She filled their bodies with poisonous foam for blood, She clothed (the) furious dragons with fearsomeness, Causing them to bear awe-inspiring radiance, she made them similar to gods (She said) “The one who sees them, let him collapse impotently; Let them keep attacking and not turn their breast. (I 133– 40)

Tiamat’s conversion from progenitor of gods to progenitor of monsters thus coincides with her transition from passive to active female force, and makes a fair contribution to illuminating the author’s view of the masculine and feminine contributions to reproduction and creation. Tiamat and Apsu generate gods when they mingle their waters and act in tandem. While the rest of the gods, excepting Ea, are similarly the products of a male-female union, the male gods have independent creative and organizational abilities, showcased at the end of En¥ma eliš with Marduk’s organization of the universe and Ea’s creation of human beings.218 These ordered, 217 Michalowski, “Presence,” 385–88 makes the vital connection between noise and creation, and silence and inaction or passivity in the text. In order to combat the noisy turmoil created by the great gods, Tiamat, who has joined the gods seeking peace and rest, must herself become the embodiment of noise. 218 Wilcke notes that Marduk’s creation lacks any sort of sexual component: Marduk dismembers Tiamat’s corpse and puts each of her parts to a new use, effectively transforming an entity that espoused chaos into one that serves as the very foundation of order. See Claus Wilcke, “Vom altorientalischen Blick zurück auf die Anfänge,” in Anfang und Ursprung: die Frage nach dem Ersten in Philosophie und Kulturwissenschaft, ed. Emil Angehrn (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2007), 43.

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functional creations contrast sharply with the “nightmare warriors,”219 chaos incarnate, that are independently produced by Tiamat. Of specific interest to us here are not Tiamat’s monsters, however, but Tiamat herself. As he sets out to confront her, Marduk reveals at least his own summation of her: by her deeds, she has resigned any right to a civilized parley or even the magical anesthetic and quiet death afforded Apsu. Prior to slaughtering her, Marduk confronts Tiamat with her crimes and justifies the actions he is about to take: Children made loud noises, treating their parents with disrespect, But you, their mother, you rejected mercy.220 You named Qingu to your consortship, Though it was not his portion, you installed him in the office of lordship. Against Anšar, king of the gods, you plotted evil plans, And against the gods, my fathers, you have proved your wickedness. (IV 79–84)

Having thus condemned her, for being an unnatural mother, for taking a new and unworthy husband, for attempting to play the role of kingmaker, and for turning against the legitimate male heirs of her union with Apsu, Marduk proceeds to kill Tiamat in a scene of brutal violence. Secure in his victory, having defeated his enemies and any challenge to his rule, Marduk’s elevation to the kingship of the gods receives the blessing of Lahmu and Lahamu, a suitably nonthreatening pair replacing Apsu and Tiamat as the ultimate ancestors of the great gods. Marduk celebrates his ascension by dismembering Tiamat’s corpse, endowed with breasts (V 57) and a tail (V 59) in this scene in final emphasis of both her femininity and her monstrosity,

219 See

Dalley, “Evolution of Gender,” 117, for a brief discussion of the nature of Tiamat’s monstrous creations. 220 I have read this line as if it refers to the same point as IV 79, that children naturally frustrate their parents and that parents naturally must indulge their children: Tiamat’s decision to destroy the great gods is thus most unnatural. Foster, however, suggests IV 80 more likely refers to Tiamat’s professed skepticism as to the loyalty of Marduk’s backers: she is thus unnatural in attempting to cast aspersions on their devotion or in simply failing to recognize it as legitimate, Foster, Before the Muses, 460 n. 2.

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her “other”ness, and creates from it the structure and features of the world. The story of En¥ma eliš, leaving aside its clear political and religious implications, thus is also a powerful cautionary tale: J. J. Cohen, in his classic deconstruction of the monster, wrote that “the woman who oversteps the boundaries of her gender role risks becoming a Scylla, Weird Sister, Lilith…Bertha Mason, or Gorgon.”221 In the case of En¥ma eliš, she risks becoming a Tiamat.

221 Jeffrey

Jerome Cohen, “Monster Culture (Seven Theses),” in Monster Theory: Reading Culture, ed. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), 9.

B I BL I OGRA P H Y Abusch, Tzvi. “Ishtar’s Proposal and Gilgamesh’s Refusal: An Interpretation of The Gilgamesh Epic, Tablet 6, Lines 1–79).” History of Religions 26 (1986): 143–87. Bahrani, Zainab. Women of Babylon: Gender and Representation in Mesopotamia. New York: Routledge, 2001. Barré, Michael L. “‘Wandering About’ as a Topos of Depression in Ancient Near Eastern Literature and in the Bible.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 60 (2001): 177–87. Black, Jeremy A., G. Cunningham, J. Ebeling, E. Flückiger-Hawker, E. Robson, J. Taylor, and G. Zólyomi. “Inana and Enki.” The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/), Oxford 1998–2006. Bidmead, Julye. The Ak•tu Festival: Religious Continuity and Royal Legitimation in Mesopotamia. Gorgias Dissertations Near Eastern Studies, 2. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2002. Boer, Roland. “An Un-Original Tale: Utopia Denied in Enuma Elish. (Part II: The Politics of Utopia) (Critical Essay).” Arena Journal 26 (2006): 136–60. Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. “Monster Culture (Seven Theses).” In Monster Theory: Reading Culture. Edited by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, 3–25. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. Dalley, Stephanie. Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989. ———. “Evolution of Gender in Mesopotamian Mythology and Iconography with a Possible Explanation of ¡a rŸ¡Ÿn, “the Man with Two Heads’.” In Parpola and Whiting, eds., Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, 117–22. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2002. Foster, Benjamin R. Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature. 3rd edition. Bethesda: CDL Press, 2005. Frymer-Kensky, Tikva. In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformations of Pagan Myth. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1992. George, Andrew R. The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic: Introduction, Critical Edition and Cuneiform Texts. Vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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Harris, Rivkah. Gender and Aging in Mesopotamia: The Gilgamesh Epic and Other Ancient Literature. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000. Horowitz, Wayne. Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography. Mesopotamian Civilizations, 8. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1998. Hurowitz, Victor Avigdor. “The Mesopotamian God Image: From Womb to Tomb.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 123 (2003): 147–57. Jones, Philip. “Divine and Non-Divine Kingship.” In A Companion to the Ancient Near East. Blackwell Companions to Ancient History. Edited by Daniel C. Snell, 330–42. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005. Lambert, Wilfred G. “Myth and Mythmaking in Sumer and Akkad.” In Civilizations of the Ancient Near East. Edited by Jack M. Sasson, 3:1825–35. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1995. ———. “Mesopotamian Creation Stories.” In Imagining Creation. Institute of Jewish Studies, Studies in Judaica, 5. Edited by Markham J. Geller and Mineke Schipper, 15–59. Leiden: Brill, 2008. Leick, Gwendolyn. Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature. London: Routledge, 2003 [1994]. Livingstone, Alasdair, ed. Court Poetry and Literary Miscellanea. State Archives of Assyria, 3. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1986. Melville, Sarah C. “Neo-Assyrian Royal Women and Male Identity.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 124 (2004): 37–57. Metzler, Kai Alexander. “Tod, Weiblichkeit und Ästhetik im mesopotamischen Weltschöpfungsepos En¥ma elîš.” In Parpola and Whiting, eds., Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, 2:393– 411. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2002. Michalowski, Piotr. “Presence at the Creation.” In Lingering Over Words: Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Literature in Honor of William L. Moran. Edited by Tzvi Abusch, John Huehnergard, and Piotr Steinkeller, 381–96. Harvard Semitic Studies, 37. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990. Mills, Donald H. The Hero and the Sea: Patterns of Chaos in Ancient Myth. Wauconda, Ill.: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2002. Parpola, Simo. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh: Cuneiform Text, Transliteration, Glossary, Indices and Sign List. State Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts, 1. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 1997.

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Parpola, Simo and Robert M. Whiting, eds. Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2–6, 2001. CRRAI, 47. Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Texts Corpus Project, 2002. Stol, Marten. “Women in Mesopotamia.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 38 (1995): 123–44. Talon, Philippe. En¥ma eliš: The Standard Babylonian Creation Myth. State Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts, 4. Helsinki: The NeoAssyrian Text Corpus Project, 2005. Wiggermann, Franz A. M. Mesopotamian Protective Spirits: The Ritual Texts. Cuneiform Monographs, 1. Groningen: Styx & PP Publications, 1992. Wilcke, Claus. “Vom altorientalischen Blick zurück auf die Anfänge.” In Anfang und Ursprung: die Frage nach dem Ersten in Philosophie und Kulturwissenschaft. Colloquium Rauricum, 10. Edited by Emil Angehrn, 3–59. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2007.

D O D IVINE S TRUCTURES O F G ENDER M IRROR M ORTAL S TRUCTURES O F G ENDER ? 222 Ilona Zsolnay

Tikva Frymer-Kensky’s In the Wake of the Goddesses223 was the first sustained attempt to perform a gender analysis on the culture of the ancient Near East; it was, as the introduction to this anthology states, pioneering scholarship; however, as happens with many theoretical works, its foundations and conclusions need to be revisited. Frymer-Kensky explains that in writing In the Wake of the Goddesses her goal was to “set the record straight” for the followers of the burgeoning woman-centered religious movement which she called “neo-paganism.”224 In her introduction, she disagrees with what she believed had been proclaimed by these “neo-pagans.” There she states that, in the ancient Near East, “there was not one Goddess, there were many goddesses; they were not enshrined in a religion of women, but in the official religion of male-dominated societies; they were not evidence of ancient mother-worship, but served as an 222 This

article represents a modified version of a paper presented in the Assyriology and the Bible Section of the 2007 Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting in San Diego, which was dedicated to the legacy of the late Tikva Frymer-Kensky. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Steven W. Holloway for arranging the session and this publication. I would also like to thank Steven W. Holloway, Hilary Lipka, Karen Morian, and Sarah Shectman. This paper benefited greatly from their insightful comments and suggestions. 223 Tikva Frymer Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth (New York: The Free Press, 1992). 224 Ibid., 1.

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integral part of a religious system that mirrored and provided the sacred underpinnings of patriarchy.”225 She further contends that it is actually the pre-exilic texts of the Hebrew Bible which contain a divinely-inspired and -condoned egalitarian view of the sexes.226 Foundational to these arguments was Frymer-Kensky’s rather circular contention that the gender structure of divine society reflected mortal gender paradigms and that, through society’s comparison with the divine gender structures, these mortal gender paradigms were validated. Rooting her argument in behavioral analysis and conceptions of fertility, Frymer-Kensky argues that Mesopotamian divine and mortal gender paradigms “mirror[s] the duality of nature, in which humans and other animals, and even some plants, occur in masculine and feminine.”227 Following the pervasive scholarly opinion of over one hundred and fifty years, she argues that Mesopotamian society believed in a “principle of fertility” which was divided between the sexes.228 Belief in a division of this principle, she 225 Ibid., vii. Three of the corner-stone texts for this movement are: Merlin Stone, When God Was a Woman (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976); Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987); and Marija Gimbutas, The Language of the Goddess: Unearthing the Hidden Symbols of Western Civilization (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989). For a discussion on the phenomenon of neo-paganism as a result of Second Wave feminism, see the works of Cynthia Eller, including “Divine Objectification: The Representation of Goddesses and Women in Feminist Spirituality,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 16 (2000): 23–44; idem, The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won’t Give Women a Future (Boston: Beacon Press, 2000); and idem, Living in the Lap of the Goddess: The Feminist Spirituality Movement in America (New York: Crossroad, 1993). For an historical, yet concise, discussion of the multiple goddesses (and their purveys) which were worshipped in the ancient Near East, see Joan Goodnick Westenholz, “Goddesses of the Ancient Near East 3000–1000 BC,” in Ancient Goddesses: The Myths and the Evidence, ed. Lucy Goodison and Christine Morris, Wisconsin Studies in Classics (London: British Museum Press, 1998), 63–82. 226 Unfortunately, Frymer-Kensky never actually specifies in her study which Biblical texts she considers “pre-exilic.” 227 In the Wake, 12. 228 Although first conceived by the German scholar Eduard Gerhard in Über das Metroon zu Athen und über die Göttermutter der griechischen Mythologie (Berlin: Druckerei der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1851), it was the Swiss philosopher, classical scholar, and judge Jacob Johannes

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contends, allowed the Mesopotamians to ascribe different gender roles to gods and goddesses. The Hebrew Bible, she argues, has a singular deity who alone is responsible for all fecundity, even human fertility; thus, in the Biblical texts no male or female principle of fertility is represented in either the mortal or divine realms. This leads Frymer-Kensky to conclude that the lack of divine fertility division led to a lack of mortal gender assignment in the pre-exilic texts. She writes that, in the Hebrew Bible, “the differences between male and female are only a question of genitalia rather than of character.”229 Sex in the mortal world was not the process through which humans obtained offspring; rather, Yahweh’s ordination was. Frymer-Kensky’s argument is a very complex one and within it are many valuable observations. She recognizes, for instance, that in many Biblical narrative texts, the actions and motives of women are similar to those of men.230 She also recognizes and examines the under-acknowledged importance in the reproductive process which Biblical texts ascribe to Yahweh. However, because she conflates sex and gender and propagates the notion of a “fertility” cult, In the Wake of the Goddesses does not contain within it a solid methodology. When sex is examined separately from gender, and divine society independently from mortal, it becomes apparent that neither the

Bachofen who famously detailed the theory of a matriarchal fertility-cult in Das Mutterrecht: Eine Untersuchung über die Gynaikokratie der alten Welt nach ihrer religiösen und rechtlichen Natur (Basel: Benno Schwabe, 1862). Other influential early advocates of this cult are: John F. McLennan, Primitive Marriage: An Inquiry into the Origin of the Form of Capture in Marriage Ceremonies (Edinburgh: A. and C. Black, 1865); and Jane Ellen Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1903). However, it was the work of Scottish scholar James George Frazer, with his notorious study, Adonis, Attis, Osiris: Studies in the History of Oriental Religion (London: Macmillan, 1907) and the much enlarged version, The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion (London: Macmillan, 1925), who truly extended, catapulted, and entrenched the theory into the psyche of the general populace. For an excellent discussion of the false conception of a fertility cult see Jo Ann Hackett, “Can a Sexist Model Liberate Us? Ancient Near Eastern ‘Fertility’ Goddesses,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 5 (1989): 65–76. 229 Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake, 142. 230 Frymer-Kensky investigates this phenomenon more fully in Reading the Women of the Bible (New York: Schocken Books, 2002).

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Biblical nor the Mesopotamian divine structures of gender mirror human gender paradigms.231 Since Simone de Beauvoir famously wrote, “On ne naît pas femme: on le devient,”232 gender theory has differentiated biological sex from gender, which it defines as a cultural construct; as such, biology is not necessarily the sole factor of gender determination. Briefly, gender is defined as a role which is performed. Each culture creates its own paradigms which determine the two (or more) genders. These paradigms are, in part, constructed of rights and responsibilities and assign roles within society and may be addenda to, or a result of, ascribed roles. As such a person’s role in a society can not be the sole variable in determining that society’s construction of gender. Biology, on the other hand, is used determine the sex of an individual. Generally speaking, sex determination is based on primary and secondary physical attributes. Primary attributes include reproductive organs; secondary attributes would be features such as beards, menstruation, semen production, and breasts. A person’s sex is, for the most part, fixed. Although men have always had the ability to take drastic action and castrate themselves, it is only recently that 231 The following section also appears in Ilona Zsolnay, “Ištar, Goddess of War, Pacifier of Kings: An Analysis of Ištar’s Martial Role in the Maledictory Sections of the Assyrian Royal Inscriptions,” in Language and City Administration In The Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 53rd Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Moscow and St. Petersburg, July 23–28, 2007, ed. Leonid Kogan, et al., CRRAI, 53 (forthcoming). 232 Simone de Beauvoir, Le Deuxième Sexe (Paris: Gallimard, 1949), 285– 86. For a primer on gender theory see Amy S. Wharton, The Sociology of Gender: An Introduction to Theory and Research (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005); David Glover and Cora Kaplan, Genders, The New Critical Idiom (London: Routledge, 2000); Anne Fausto-Sterling, Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality (New York: Basic Books, 2000). For a reassessment of this theory, cf. the work of Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, Thinking Gender (London: Routledge, 1990) and idem, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex” (New York: Routledge, 1993). For a discussion of the relevance and applicability of theories of gender to the study of the ancient Near East see Zainab Bahrani, “Sex as Symbolic Form: Eroticism and the Body in Mesopotamian Art,” in Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2–6, 2001, ed. Simo Parpola and Robert M. Whiting, CRRAI, 47 (Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Texts Corpus Project, 2002), 53–58.

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both sexes have had access to full medical sex-changes. Fertility, a non-tangible quality, can be related to perceptions of biology; however, it is not a sole determining attribute. Female and male are biological terms, while masculine and feminine are terms which denote gender. In Mesopotamia, femininity and masculinity were considered me - s, that is, they were considered two of the divinely-ordained organizing principles by which society was thought to be governed.233 As Julia Asher-Greve has shown, there were strict methods for assigning roles and maintaining gender structures in Mesopotamia.234 After the age of three, when children were no longer breast-feeding, they were inscribed with a gender. Citing an Ur III birth incantation which reads: If it is a male, he holds in his hand a weapon and an ax, which is his strength of heroship. If it is a female, she holds in her hand a spindle and a decorated comb.235

Asher-Greve highlights that accoutrements given to male children were symbolic of strength and heroism, while those given to female children were symbolic of domestic duties and beauty.236 She 233 See Gertrud Farber-Flügge, Der Mythos “Inanna und Enki” unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Liste der me, Studia Pohl, 10 (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1973), Tafel II vi. 20 h i . l i n a m . m u n u s. e. n e “Reiz, wie er Frauen zuseht, (hast du mitgebracht)”; for a discussion of h i . l i cf. Blahoslav Hruška, “Das spätbabylonische Lehrgedicht ‘Inannas Erhöhung’,” Archív Orientální 37 (1969): 496–97 nn. 13–14. 234 Julia Asher-Greve, “Decisive Sex, Essential Gender,” in Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2–6, 2001, ed. Simo Parpola and Robert M. Whiting, CRRAI, 47 (Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Texts Corpus Project, 2002), 11–26. Asher-Greve was the first to note that while biological sex was not considered a m e, gender was. 235 Ibid., 13. Asher-Greve cites Willem H. Ph. Römer, “Geburtsbeschwörungen,” Texte aus der Umwelt des Alten Testaments, II: Religiose Texte (1987): 204–207 (“Falls (das Kind) männlich ist, möge es Keule (und) [Axt], seinen Arm der Heldenhaftigkeit ergreifen, falls es weiblich ist, mögen Spindel (und) Haarsp[ange] in seiner Hand sein!”) 236 For a discussion on the equation of weapons and masculinity see Harry A. Hoffner, “Symbols for Masculinity and Femininity,” Journal of

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further observes that masculine children were expected to be vocal and active, while feminine children were expected to be silent and obedient. Although there is some evidence that, when older, biological males could take on feminine roles and vice-versa,237 children were generally directed by parents and teachers into these gender roles, through segregated and differentiated training and through the recitation of proverbial sayings.238 While acquiescence was the significant characteristic of femininity, the fundamental aspects of masculinity were strength, power, and action. As is also apparent from these accoutrements, these gender distinctions came Biblical Literature 85 (1966): 326–34; more recently, S. Tamar Kamionkowski, Gender Reversal and Cosmic Chaos: A Study on the Book of Ezekiel, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 368 (London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2003), 79–85; Robert D. Biggs, “The Babylonian Sexual Potency Texts,” in Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2–6, 2001, ed. Simo Parpola and Robert M. Whiting, CRRAI, 47 (Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Texts Corpus Project, 2002), 71–78; Cynthia Ruth Chapman, The Gendered Language of Warfare in the Israelite-Assyrian Encounter, Harvard Semitic Monographs, 62 (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2004), 20–59. 237 See Brigitte Groneberg, “Die sumerisch-akkadische Inanna/Istar Hermaphroditos?” Die Welt des Orients 17 (1986): 25–46; Stefan M. Maul, “kurgarrû und assinnu und ihr Stand in der babylonischen Gesellschaft,” in Aussenseiter und Randgruppen: Beiträge zu einer Sozialgeschichte des alten Orients, ed. Volkert Haas, Xenia, 32 (Konstanz: Universitätsverlag Konstanz, 1992), 159–171; Gwendolyn Leick, Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature (London: Routledge, 1994); Julia Asher-Greve, “The Essential Body: Mesopotamian Conceptions of the Gendered Body,” Gender & History 9 (1997): 432–61; Martti Nissinen, Homoeroticism in the Biblical World: A Historical Perspective, tr. Kirsi Stjerna (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998); Asher-Greve, “Decisive Sex, Essential Gender” (11–26); and Kathleen McCaffrey, “Reconsidering Gender Ambiguity in Mesopotamia: Is a Beard Just a Beard?” in Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2–6, 2001, ed. Simo Parpola and Robert M. Whiting, CRRAI, 47 (Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Texts Corpus Project, 2002), 379–91; and, Uri Gabbay, “The Akkadian Word for ‘Third Gender’: the kalû (ga l a ) Once Again,” in Proceedings of the 51st Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Held at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, July 18–22, 2005, ed. Robert D. Biggs, Jennie Myers, and Martha T. Roth, Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization, 62 = CRRAI, 51 (Chicago: Oriental Institute Press, 2008), 49–56. 238 Asher-Greve, “Decisive Sex, Essential Gender,” 13.

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with a different set of occupations. An example of a purely feminine occupation was care of the home, which included child-rearing, while an example of a purely masculine occupation would be warfare.239 In the Hebrew Bible, gender is marked at birth, as is witnessed by the differing periods of purification that a mother must observe if she bears a male child or a female child: 240 Lev 12:1–2: The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the Israelite people thus: When a woman at childbirth bears a male, she shall be unclean seven days; she shall be unclean as at the time of her menstrual infirmity. Lev 12:5: If she bears a female, she shall be unclean two weeks as during her menstruation, and she shall remain in a state of blood purification for sixty-six days.

Due to these contradictory proscribed periods of impurity, a new-born child’s biology is used to immediately differentiate its societal role (in this case, the ability to cause impurity), thus marking it with gender. This differentiation is heightened with the Biblical rite of circumcision, which instructs: Lev 12:3: On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

This rite, performed only on male children, assigned the male child a very different role in Israelite society than his female counterpart as explained in Genesis 17 and 34, and Exodus 4:241 For a slightly dated, but still useful, collection of articles devoted to the role of women in the ancient Near East see La femme dans le Proche-Orient antique: Compte Rendu de la XXXIIIe Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (Paris, 7–10 Juillet 1986), ed. Jean-Marie Durand, CRRAI, 33 (Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1987). Of particular note is Wilfred G. Lambert, “Goddesses in the Pantheon: A Reflection of Women in Society?” in La femme dans le Proche-Orient antique, 125–30. For a critical review of this work, see Joan Goodnick Westenholz, “Review: Towards a New Conceptualization of the Female Role in Mesopotamian Society,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 110 (1990): 510–21. 240 All Biblical citations follow Tanakh: The Traditional Hebrew Text and the New JPS Translation, 2nd edition (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1999). 241 For a discussion of the gender role in circumcision, see Shaye J. D. Cohen, “Why Aren’t Jewish Women Circumcised?” Gender & History 9 239

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IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY Gen 17:1–14: When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Walk in My ways and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will make you exceedingly numerous.” Abram threw himself on his face; and God spoke to him further, “As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You shall be the father of a multitude of nations. And you shall no longer be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I make you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fertile, and make nations of you; and kings shall come forth from you. I will maintain My covenant between Me and you, and your offspring to come, as an everlasting covenant throughout the ages, to be God to you and to your offspring to come. I assign the land you sojourn in to you and your offspring to come, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting holding. I will be their God.” God further said to Abraham, “As for you, you and your offspring to come throughout the ages shall keep My covenant. Such shall be the covenant between Me and you and your offspring to follow which you shall keep: every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And throughout the generations, every male among you shall be circumcised at the age of eight days. As for the homeborn slave and the one bought from an outsider who is not of your offspring, they must be circumcised, homeborn and purchased alike. Thus shall My covenant be marked in your flesh as an everlasting pact. And if any male who is uncircumcised fails to circumcise the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his kin; he has broken My covenant.” Gen 34:21–24: “These people are our friends; let them settle in the land and move about in it, for the land is large enough for them; we will take their daughters to ourselves as wives and give our daughters to them. But only on this condition will the men agree with us to dwell among us and be as one kindred: that all our males become circumcised as they are circumcised. Their cattle and substance and all their beasts will be ours, if we only agree to their terms, so that they will settle among us.” All who went out of the gate of his town heeded Hamor and his son Shechem, and all males, all those who went out of the gate of his town, were circumcised.

(1997): 560–78.

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Exod 4:24–26: At a night encampment on the way, the LORD encountered him and sought to kill him. So Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched his legs with it, saying, “You are truly a bridegroom of blood to me!” And when He let him alone, she added, “A bridegroom of blood because of the circumcision.”

This ritual signified the pact between God and Israel and the power to break that pact was a masculine one. No feminine power could tear Israel away from its god.242 Though there is mounting evidence that certain segments of Mesopotamian society were allowed some diversity in the assignment of their gender, the pre-exilic texts of the Hebrew Bible contain none of this flexibility. Deuteronomy 23 records that a castrate or a man with crushed testicles—a man of ambiguous biology and therefore gender—may not participate in the congregation; that is to say, he may not perform either a masculine or feminine religious role: Deut 23:2: No one whose testes are crushed or whose member is cut off shall be admitted into the congregation of the LORD.

Further, strict proscriptions against biological males who perform alternative gender roles can be seen in the infamous law of Leviticus 18: Lev 18:22: Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence.

and, its harsher repetition in Leviticus 20: Lev 20:13: If a man lies with a male as one lies with a woman, the two of them have done an abhorrent thing; they shall be put to death — their bloodguilt is upon them.

242 This is not to say that women were incapable of causing religious havoc; see Hilary B. Lipka, Sexual Transgression in the Hebrew Bible, Hebrew Bible Monographs, 7 (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2006). For the view that women were included in the covenant signified by circumcision see David Bernat, “Circumcision and >Orlah in the Priestly Torah” (PhD Diss., Brandeis University, 2002 [available through ProQuest Dissertations & Theses]). For a dissenting view cf. Sarah Shectman’s treatment of Genesis 17 in “Women as Looking-Glasses: Reflections in the Pentateuchal Sources” (PhD Diss., Brandeis University, 2007 [available through ProQuest Dissertations & Theses]).

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In each of these laws, males are specifically forbidden from taking the feminine role in intercourse, meaning they are prohibited from being the penetrated “feminine” partner. This same type of proscription appears again in Deuteronomy 22, which explicitly bans crossdressing (theoretically applicable to either sex): Deut 22:5: A woman must not put on man’s apparel, nor shall a man wear woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is abhorrent to the LORD your God.

Because clear differentiation between the genders was necessary at all times, Martti Nissinen argues that this strict division of gender was one of the many ways Israel set itself apart from the Mesopotamian world. Nissinen suggests that these gender laws can in fact be understood as a “fundamental factor of social structure and control.”243 Nissinen was one of the first scholars who proposed that Mesopotamia had a third (and possibly fourth) gender category. 244 Included in these additional genders would be biological males who performed feminine roles and biological females who performed masculine roles. He argued that certain cultic devotees of Ištar whose names literally translate to “man-woman,” the UR.SAL, may be examples of such personages. Additional evidence for third genders has been provided by Asher-Greve and Kathleen McCaffrey, who have noticed representations of such individuals in pictorial records.245 Bearded figures wearing feminine dress and other figures with markers of both genders have led scholars to conclude that gender assignment was not necessarily a constant in Mesopotamia.246 The sex and gender role of a deity are conceived of and assigned by humans. In Mesopotamia, some deities were designated male, some female, but deities could also be given no sex or an ambiguous sex.247 Finally, the sex of a deity could be designated differently 243 Nissinen, Homoeroticism in the Biblical World, 43; see also, the thoughtprovoking theory, argued by Kamionkowski, that gender division was not merely inherent within early Israelite society, but vital for the cohesion of the fledging nation (Gender Reversal and Cosmic Chaos). 244 Nissinen, Homoeroticism in the Biblical World, 28–36. 245 Asher-Greve, “Decisive Sex, Essential Gender,” and McCaffrey, “Reconsidering Gender Ambiguity in Mesopotamia.” 246 See n. 237. 247 This is particularly true of minor deities who serve as viziers; e.g.,

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depending on the region in which that deity was worshipped. This is most easily observed in the case of the Sun. The Sun is considered female in North-West Semitic, while it is considered male in Mesopotamia. In Hittite Anatolia there were three sun deities, two female and one male.248 The Sun performs a brotherly role to his Ninšubar, who as chancellor to Ištar was female, while, when serving in the same capacity to An (the male deity of heaven) was male. It has also been argued that gender was, in fact, not an original aspect of Sumerian deities. Westenholz has argued that because the Sumerian determinatives d i n gi r and n i n , which could denote divinity, are asexual terms, it would appear that Sumerians did not feel compelled to distinguish the gender of their deities; Westenholz, “Goddesses.” Cf. also Gebhard J. Selz, “Five Divine Ladies: Thoughts on Inana(k), Ištar, In(n)in(a), Annunītum, and Anat, and the Origin of the title ‘Queen of Heaven’,” NIN: Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity 1 (2000): 39 n. 2; Selz, too, is unconvinced that n i n was originally a sexed term. Asher-Greve has bolstered this argument pictographically in “The Gaze of Goddesses: On Divinity, Gender, and Frontality in the Late Early Dynastic, Akkadian, and Neo-Sumerian Periods,” NIN: Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity 4 (2003): 1–59. According to Asher-Greve, deities in Mesopotamian art were “indicated or marked by a horned-crown, large size, and frontal rendering” (4). Asher-Greve argues that this “frontality” is not in any way a mark of gender, but rather it is a mark of supremacy. Though deities can be marked with gender pictographically, as either feminine or masculine (depending on the implements with which they are portrayed), “sexual attributes are not emphasized, and comparison of contemporary written records with visual imagery shows that male and female deities share realms and equally important domains and functions” (35). And finally, see Stephanie Dalley, “Evolution of Gender in Mesopotamian Mythology and Iconography with a Possible Explanation of ša rŸ¡Ÿn, ‘the man with two heads’,” in Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, 117–22, which explores the evolution of gender in ancient Mesopotamian myth. 248 The male Sungod (“The Sungod of Heaven”) was probably an import from Mesopotamia into the Hittite pantheon, whereas the female Sungoddess of the city of Arinna (Hattic Wurušemu), consort of the Stormgod, and the Sungoddess of the Underworld (Hattic Lelwani) were probably borrowed by the Hittites from the indigenous Hattian cult. (Trevor Bryce, Life and Society in the Hittite World [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002], 141–43). Since the Sungoddess of Arinna was the patroness of Queenship and, with her consort, one of the two chief deities of the state, this phenomenon should not be hyperbolized into a paradigm for the demise of all goddesses in the wake of a patriarchal culture.

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sister Venus in Sumerian texts while the female Sun is the wife of the Storm-god in Hittite texts. However, whether conceived of as male or female, the Sun in each of these regions is a powerful figure in charge of justice. If we follow human gender paradigms, as an authoritative figure and the sovereign of the realm of law, the gender of the Sun should always be masculine.249 We see this supposed incongruity also in the cases of Anunnītum, ʿAnat, and Inanna. Akkadian Anunnītum, Ugaritic ʿAnat, and Sumerian Inanna, are all female deities who preside over the preserve of war, a decidedly masculine realm. 250 ʿAnat, in some ways the most ferocious of the three, is also described as a loving and dedicated sister to her brother Ba‘al. Inanna, though applauded in texts for her fearless behavior in battle, is also praised for her feminine beauty. No goddess is ever lauded for her passivity, the hallmark of human femininity in ancient Near Eastern society. 251 Indeed in Hittite Anatolia, it is the masculine sun, the Sungod of Heaven, who is the god of justice and who with the Stormgod is the patron of kingship (Bryce, Life and Society, 141). But one should also note that Hittite king Mursili II in his annals lists as the gods who ran before his army and gave him victory first the Sungoddess of Arinna, then her consort the Stormgod, and then their daughter Mezzulla. See Richard H. Beal, “The Ten Year Annals of Great King Muršili II of Ôatti (2.16),” in The Context of Scripture, vol. 2: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World, ed. William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 84b and passim. 250 For an exceptional survey on the history of these goddesses and their relationship to one another see Selz, “Five Divine Ladies.” It should also be briefly noted that these three deities were not the only goddesses connected with warfare in the ancient Near East. I refer here to BŸlet Ekallim, Nin.šen.šen, Ninisin, Ninsi’anna, and, most famously, Ištar (Aštarte). Finally, from the Anatolian region, reference should be made to the Hurro-Hittite goddess of war Ša’uška of Samuha. 251 It should perhaps be noted here, that, on occasion, certain studies into the more “rambunctious” activities of female deities have led scholars to conclude that these goddesses were “spoiled” or “power-hungry” (FrymerKensky herself argues this point [In the Wake of the Goddesses, 28]); thus, scholars have assumed that, the ancients too ascribed these adjectives to the goddesses. This was not the case. Unlike their modern counterparts, ancient authors appear to frown on both male and female deities for their more aggressive or chaotic behavior; thus, female deities were not singled out for being more “active.” Notably, the male god Enlil, not only brought a flood to the region (Atra∆asis), but, theoretically, raped his future wife, Ninlil (Enlil and Ninlil). Perhaps most famously, this is also the case with the semi-divine 249

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The sex and gender of the god of the Hebrew Bible have been subject to debate for centuries, if not millennia, and it is not a debate which needs be entered into now. All that must be noted for this discussion is that the Bible declares that there is but one god for Israel. This means that whether that god is perceived as biologically male, female, both, neither, or something in between, and whether Yahweh acts in roles deemed masculine, feminine, both, neither, or something in between, is irrelevant. As a unique singular being, Yahweh, as predominantly presented in the Hebrew Bible, is not the model from which the Biblical human world derives its gender structure.252 In the Bible, mortal gender is divided masculine and feminine. In In the Wake of the Goddesses, Frymer-Kensky argues that mortal gender roles were divinely sanctioned in both Biblical and Mesopotamian societies. This would seem to be generally true. As me - s, masculinity and femininity were viewed as building blocks for society and these building blocks were believed to be given to mortals by the gods; thus, they were thought to have a divine origin. The Gilgameš, who through his continued “playing,” was said to have unfairly exhausted the inhabitants of his city Uruk (Epic of Gilgameš). Finally, desire for power has a mixed characterization in Mesopotamian texts. Certainly, many of the gods are depicted as “power-hungry,” but again this is not necessarily negative. Two examples of this are the Sumerian hymn i n . n i n m e hu š.a, in which Inanna is depicted as a fearsome goddess who expects others to submit to her will, although these characteristics may be interpreted as beneficial to the king; and, the Akkadian En¥ma eliš, in which the male Marduk essentially “strong-arms” the divine council into designating him overlord of the gods, after he has vanquished Tiamat. 252 On the theory that Yahweh had a consort, see William G. Dever, “Asherah, Consort of Yahweh? New Evidence from Kuntillet ‘Ajrûd,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 255 (1984): 21–37; and his more extensive treatment of the issue in Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans, 2005). Cf. also the dissenting viewpoint of Othmar Keel and Christoph Uehlinger, “Kuntillet ‘Ajrud, Khirbet el-Qom and ‘Yahweh’s Asherah’,” in Gods, Goddesses, and Images of God in Ancient Israel, tr. Thomas H. Trapp (Minneapolis: Fortress Press. 1998), 210–48; and Karel van der Toorn, “Goddesses in Early Israelite Religion,” in Ancient Goddesses, 83–97. On the cult of Ašerah, see the extensive treatment of Steve A. Wiggins, A Reassessment of “Asherah”: A Study According to the Textual Sources of the First Two Millennia B.C.E. (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2007 [1993]).

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gender-prescribing (and -proscribing) laws of the Hebrew Bible were believed to originate with Yahweh; thus, mortals were instructed to act in certain ways based on directives again ultimately deriving from a divine source. The actions of gods, however, though divine by default, are the result of very different factors. Some gods may perform roles connected with perceived gender paradigms—the loving sister, the harsh or benevolent father—but the actions of a god are mostly directed by political, natural, or religious forces. Deities can lose powers, change powers, and absorb powers based on shifting political arrangements. Deities can be ascribed various roles in myths based on the natural forces they are perceived to embody or rule. Finally, gods are gods. Deities, be they assigned a male or female sex, act as gods. They are inherently active and powerful. They are conceived of as rulers over realms, controllers over aspects of the universe. Neither mortal gender, whether feminine or masculine, has this ability.

B I BL I OGRA P H Y Asher-Greve, Julia. “Decisive Sex, Essential Gender.” In Parpola and Whiting, eds., Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, 11–26. Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Texts Corpus Project, 2002. ———. “The Essential Body: Mesopotamian Conceptions of the Gendered Body.” Gender & History 9 (1997): 432–61. ———. “The Gaze of Goddesses: On Divinity, Gender, and Frontality in the Late Early Dynastic, Akkadian, and NeoSumerian Periods.” NIN: Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity 4 (2003): 1–59. Bachofen, Johannes Jakob. Das Mutterrecht: eine Untersuchung über die Gynaikokratie der alten Welt nach ihrer religiösen und rechtlichen Natur. Basel: Benno Schwabe, 1862. Bahrani, Zainab. “Sex as Symbolic Form: Eroticism and the Body in Mesopotamian Art.” In Parpola and Whiting, eds., Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, 53–58. Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Texts Corpus Project, 2002. Beal, Richard H. “The Ten Year Annals of Great King Muršili II of Ôatti (2.16).” In The Context of Scripture, vol. 2: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World. Edited by William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger. Leiden: Brill, 2000, 82–90. Beauvoir, Simone de. Le Deuxième Sexe. Paris: Gallimard, 1949.

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Bernat, David. “Circumcision and ʿOrlah in the Priestly Torah.” Brandeis University dissertation, 2002. Available through ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. Biggs, Robert D. “The Babylonian Sexual Potency Texts.” In Parpola and Whiting, eds., Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, 71–78. Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Texts Corpus Project, 2002. Bryce, Trevor. Life and Society in the Hittite World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Butler, Judith. Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex”. New York: Routledge, 1993. ———. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Thinking Gender. London: Routledge, 1990. Chapman, Cynthia Ruth. The Gendered Language of Warfare in the IsraeliteAssyrian Encounter. Harvard Semitic Monographs, 62. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2004. Cohen, Shaye J. D. “Why Aren’t Jewish Women Circumcised?” Gender & History 9 (1997): 560–78. Dalley, Stephanie. “Evolution of Gender in Mesopotamian Mythology and Iconography with a Possible Explanation of ša rŸ¡Ÿn, ‘the Man with Two Heads’.” In Parpola and Whiting, eds., Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, 117–22. Helsinki: NeoAssyrian Texts Corpus Project, 2002. Dever, William G. “Asherah, Consort of Yahweh? New Evidence from Kuntillet ‘Ajrûd.” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 255 (1984): 21–37 ———. Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel. Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans, 2005. Durand, Jean-Marie, ed. La femme dans le Proche-Orient antique: Compte Rendu de la XXXIIIe Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (Paris, 7– 10 Juillet 1986). CRRAI, 33. Paris: Editions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1987. Eisler, Riane. The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987. Eller, Cynthia. “Divine Objectification: The Representation of Goddesses and Women in Feminist Spirituality.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 16 (2000): 23–44. ———. Living in the Lap of the Goddess: The Feminist Spirituality Movement in America. New York: Crossroad, 1993. ———. The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won’t Give Women a Future. Boston: Beacon Press, 2000.

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Farber-Flügge, Gertrud. Der Mythos “Inanna und Enki” unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Liste der me. Studia Pohl, 10. Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1973. Fausto-Sterling, Anne. Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality. New York: Basic Books, 2000. Frazer, James George. Adonis, Attis, Osiris: Studies in the History of Oriental Religion. New York: Macmillan, 1907. ———. The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion. London: Macmillan, 1925. Frymer-Kensky, Tikva. In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth. New York: The Free Press, 1992. ———. Reading the Women of the Bible. New York: Schocken Books, 2002. Gabbay, Uri. “The Akkadian Word for ‘Third Gender’: The kalû (g al a ) Once Again.” In Proceedings of the 51st Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Held at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, July 18–22, 2005. Edited by Robert D. Biggs, Jennie Myers and Martha T. Roth, 49–56. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization, 62 = CRRAI, 51. Chicago: Oriental Institute Press, 2008. Gerhard, Eduard. Über das Metroon zu Athen und über die Göttermutter der griechischen Mythologie. Berlin: Druckerei der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1851. Gimbutas, Marija. The Language of the Goddess: Unearthing the Hidden Symbols of Western Civilization. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989. Glover, David and Cora Kaplan. Genders. The New Critical Idiom. London: Routledge, 2000. Goodison, Lucy, and Christine Morris, eds. Ancient Goddesses: The Myths and the Evidence. London: British Museum Press, 1998. Groneberg, Brigitte. “Die sumerisch-akkadische Inanna/Ištar Hermaphroditos?” Die Welt des Orients 17 (1986): 25–46. Hackett, Jo Ann. “Can a Sexist Model Liberate Us? Ancient Near Eastern ‘Fertility’ Goddesses.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 5 (1989): 65–76. Harrison, Jane Ellen. Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1903. Hoffner, Harry A., Jr. “Symbols for Masculinity and Femininity.” Journal of Biblical Literature 85 (1966): 326–34.

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Hruška, Blahoslav. “Das spätbabylonische Lehrgedicht ‘Inannas Erhöhung’.” Archív Orientální 37 (1969): 473–522. Jewish Publication Society. Tanakh: The Traditional Hebrew Text and the New JPS Translation. 2nd edition. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1999. Kamionkowski, S. Tamar. Gender Reversal and Cosmic Chaos: A Study on the Book of Ezekiel. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 368. London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2003. Keel, Othmar, and Christoph Uehlinger. Gods, Goddesses, and Images of God in Ancient Israel. Translated by Thomas H. Trapp. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998. Lambert, Wilfred G. “Goddesses in the Pantheon: A Reflection of Women in Society?” In Durand, ed., La Femme dans le ProcheOrient Antique, 125–30. Paris: Editions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1987. Leick, Gwendolyn. Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature. London: Routledge, 1994. Lipka, Hilary B. Sexual Transgression in the Hebrew Bible. Hebrew Bible Monographs, 7. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2006. Maul, Stefan M. “kurgarrû und assinnu und ihr Stand in der babylonischen Gesellschaft.” In Aussenseiter und Randgruppen: Beiträge zu einer Sozialgeschichte des alten Orients. Edited by Volkert Haas, 159–71. Xenia, 32. Konstanz: Universitätsverlag Konstanz, 1992. McCaffrey, Kathleen. “Reconsidering Gender Ambiguity in Mesopotamia: Is a Beard Just a Beard?” In Parpola and Whiting, eds., Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, 379–91. Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Texts Corpus Project, 2002. McLennan, John F. Primitive Marriage: An Inquiry into the Origin of the Form of Capture in Marriage Ceremonies. Edinburgh: A. and C. Black, 1865. Nissinen, Martti. Homoeroticism in the Biblical World: A Historical Perspective. Translated by Kirsi Stjerna. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998. Parpola, Simo and Robert M. Whiting, eds. Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2–6, 2001. CRRAI, 47. Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Texts Corpus Project, 2002.

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Römer, Willem H. Ph. “Geburtsbeschwörungen.” In Texte aus der Umwelt des Alten Testaments, II: Religiose Texte (1982): 204–207. Selz, Gebhard J. “Five Divine Ladies: Thoughts on Inana(k), Ištar, In(n)in(a), Annun•tum, and Anat, and the Origin of the title ‘Queen of Heaven’.” NIN: Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity 1 (2000): 29–62. Shectman, Sarah. “Women as Looking-Glasses: Reflections in the Pentateuchal Sources.” Brandeis University dissertation, 2007. Available through ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. Stone, Merlin. When God Was a Woman. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976. Toorn, Karel van der. “Goddesses in Early Israelite Religion.” In Ancient Goddesses: The Myths and the Evidence. Edited by Lucy Goodison and Christine Morris, 83–97. Wisconsin Studies in Classics. London: British Museum Press, 1998. Westenholz, Joan Goodnick. “Goddesses of the Ancient near East 3000–1000 BC.” In Ancient Goddesses: The Myths and the Evidence. Edited by Lucy Goodison and Christine Morris, 63–82. Wisconsin Studies in Classics. London: British Museum Press, 1998. ———. “Review: Towards a New Conceptualization of the Female Role in Mesopotamian Society.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 110 (1990): 510–21. Wharton, Amy S. The Sociology of Gender: An Introduction to Theory and Research. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005. Wiggins, Steve A. A Reassessment of “Asherah”: A Study According to the Textual Sources of the First Two Millennia B.C.E. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2007 [1993]. Zsolnay, Ilona. “Ištar, Goddess of War, Pacifier of Kings: An Analysis of Ištar’s Martial Role in the Maledictory Sections of the Assyrian Royal Inscriptions.” In Language and City Administration in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 53rd Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Moscow and St. Petersburg, July 23–28, 2007. Edited by Leonid Kogan, et al. CRRAI, 53. [Forthcoming].

T HE C ONCEPT O F “I MPURE B IRTH ” IN 5 T H C ENTURY A THENS AND J UDEA Lisbeth S. Fried It is a great honor for me to participate in this tribute of appreciation to my friend and mentor Tikva Frymer-Kensky. Tikva was instrumental in directing scholars’ attention to the roles and concerns of women both in antiquity and in the present, and it is fitting therefore that I dedicate this study of the notion of “impure birth” in 5th-century Athens and Judah to her memory. The book of Ezra records that at the time of Ezra’s arrival in Jerusalem, the people of Israel were mingling the “holy seed” with that of the “peoples of the lands.” After these things were finished, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands whose abominations are like those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons. Thus they mixed the holy seed with the peoples of the lands, and the hand of the officials and magistrates was first in this rebelliousness” (Ezra 9:1–2).

The antidote to the problem was mass divorce: Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have rebelled and have caused foreign women to dwell with you, and so increased the guilt of Israel. Now make confession to YHWH the God of your fathers, and do his will; separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign women.” Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, “Yes; it is incumbent upon us to do according to your word.” (Ezra 10:10–12).

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Many commentators have been uncomfortable with these texts. Williamson admits to finding this section “among the least attractive parts of Ezra–Nehemiah.”253 He and other commentators see ugly racial overtones.254 Mowinckel, for example, likens the attitude to Nazism. Janzen argued recently that foreign women were expelled because they were viewed as dangerous to the community, and that what resulted was a “witch-hunt,” a purification ritual.255 Yonina Dor finds the idea so reprehensible that she is driven to deny that the whole thing ever happened, it is pure fiction.256 Some commentators rationalize and explain that intermarrying with the “peoples of the lands” would imply adopting some of their religious practices.257 They argue that since the restored community was to be a religious one, it needed to establish strict criteria for membership in order for the distinctive elements of the Jewish faith to survive.258 The foreign women are emphasized because the mother teaches her beliefs to her offspring; those who grow up to follow Jewish practices are more likely to have had Jewish mothers.259

253 Hugh G. M. Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah, Word Biblical Commentary, 16 (Waco: Word Books, 1985), 159. 254 Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah, 130–32; Joseph Blenkinsopp, Ezra– Nehemiah: A Commentary, The Old Testament Library (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1988), 176; Sigmund Mowinckel, Die Ezrageschichte und das Gesetz Moses, Studien zu dem Buche Ezra–Nehemiah, III, Skrifter ut gitt av Det Norske Videnskaps-akademii Oslo II, Hist.-filos. Klasse ny serie, 7 (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1965), 34–35. 255 David Janzen, Witch-Hunts, Purity and Social Boundaries: The Expulsion of the Foreign Women in Ezra 9–10, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 350 (London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002). 256 Yonina Dor, Did They Really Divorce the Foreign Women? The Question of the Separation in the Days of the Second Temple (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2006) (Hebrew). 257 Jacob M. Myers, Ezra–Nehemiah, Anchor Bible, 14 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1965), 77. 258 E.g., Peter R. Ackroyd, I & II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Torch Bible Commentaries (London: SCM, 1973), 253; Blenkinsopp, Ezra–Nehemiah: A Commentary, 176f.; F. Charles Fensham, The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah, New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982), 125; Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah, 160. 259 Fredrick Carlson Holmgren, Israel Alive Again: A Commentary on the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 73.

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Daniel Smith-Christopher takes a different approach to the intermarriage crisis by referring to modern sociological data. 260 Research shows that the majority of inter-racial marriages in 20thcentury America, for example, consisted of professional and educated black men “marrying-up” to non-professional women of the white higher status culture.261 Studies of intercaste marriages in India also predominantly involved a professional male of a lower caste and a non-professional woman of a higher caste.262 Data also show that Jewish-Gentile intermarriages in Europe between 1876 and 1933 consisted predominantly of Jewish males and Gentile females.263 Smith-Christopher suggests that the intermarriages in 5th- and 4thcentury Judah consisted primarily of these lower caste Judean men attempting to marry up by marrying higher status non-Judean women. Smith-Christopher ventures that the prohibitions against these types of intermarriages indicate a concern by the lower status group for its own identity. This concern arises especially when minority groups within a larger dominant culture find themselves uprooted and isolated and faced with a strong pressure to conform to alien standards of behavior. They then instinctively fall back on the kinship network to defend against threats of extinction. A fourth group of exegetes see the opprobrium attached to “mingling the holy seed” as an exegetical elaboration of the older idea of Israel as a “holy people,” an idea frequent in both the Deuteronomic and in the Holiness materials (e.g., Exod 19:6; Lev 20:26; Deut 14:2).264 In Ezra’s reference to the eight forbidden Canaanite nations (Ezra 9:1), Fishbane sees a clear allusion to Deut 7: 260 Daniel

L. Smith-Christopher, A Biblical Theology of Exile, Overtures to Biblical Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002), 137–62. 261 Ibid., 153. He bases his findings on the research he cites in 152 n. 34, 153 n. 37. 262 Ibid., 154. 263 Ibid. 264 Michael Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985), 114–29; Saul M. Olyan, Rites and Rank: Hierarchy in Biblical Representations of Cult (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), 83; idem, “Purity Ideology in Ezra–Nehemiah as a Tool to Reconstitute the Community,” Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period 35 (2004): 1–16; Christine Elizabeth Hayes, Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities: Intermarriage and Conversion from the Bible to the Talmud (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 19–59.

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1–6, where the prohibition against intermarriage is justified “because you are a holy people (M(a #$wOdqf).265 The addition of the Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites (probably to be read Edomites with 1 Esdras 8:66) is simply the addition of the four peoples prohibited from immediately entering the congregation of YHWH (Deut 23:3–8; cf. Neh 13:1–3). The antidote of divorce expels those who had entered the congregation of YHWH illegally. Since two of these peoples were forbidden even up to the tenth generation and the other two up to the third generation, it follows that their children are forbidden as well. It is the fear of defiling the land, and being expelled from it again, combined with their immersion in a sea of alien peoples, that leads the returnees not only to zealously follow Torah law but also to extend it to the new situation through exegesis.266 What this analysis misses, however, is that Ezra 9:1 should probably not be translated as most do: The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

This translation implies that only those eight nations are forbidden. Rather, it should most likely be translated: The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands whose abominations are like Mheyt'bo(jwOtk; the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation, 115–16. In contrast, Jonathan Klawans, “Notions of Gentile Impurity in Ancient Judaism,” Association of Jewish Studies Review 20 (1995): 285–312; idem, Impurity and Sin in Ancient Judaism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 43–46, argues that the restoration community believed that the moral practices of the neighboring peoples defiles the land and that such defilement would lead to exile. Separating from the peoples of the land is a separation from such defiling practices. However, it cannot be fear of the practices which led to the mass divorce, or there would have been provision for conversion or for other demonstration of relinquishing foreign ways. As both Olyan and Hayes point out, an impermeable boundary is created independent of the behavior of the foreigner. 265 266

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According to this reading, every foreigner is as the foreigner who is prohibited by Torah law, because every foreign people exhibits customs comparable in some way to the customs of the proscribed nations. The Philistine from Ashdod is as the Ammonite and Moabite (cf. Neh 13:23–25). Moreover, since the possibility of conversion does not exist in these texts, foreignness becomes a permanent, transgenerational attribute. In contrast to Torah literature, in EzraNehemiah the foreign wife conveys foreignness to her offspring. The child of an Israelite and his foreign wife is also foreign. Thus, uniquely in these texts, access to Israelite identity is conditioned on having two Israelite parents. These texts illustrate how categories like “alien” and “native” are social constructs and malleable. Thus two types of interpretation have been suggested to account for the strong prohibition against Judean/non-Judean intermarriages in Ezra–Nehemiah, religious and sociological. Nevertheless, both approaches stress the reaction of an embattled minority trying to maintain group identity and cohesion against the threat of the larger—perhaps higher-status—civilization within which it is embedded. The problem in accepting these explanations is that similar prohibitions against intermarriages are revealed in the law codes of 6th- and 5th-century Athens, yet classicists do not interpret these laws as a response to a religious or cultural threat from a non-Athenian civilization. Classicists do not view Athenians as an embattled minority trying to maintain their cultural identity against the larger Hellenic civilization within which they find themselves, nor do they regard Athenian men who marry non-Athenian women as attempting to “marry up.” The prohibition against intermarriage and the mass divorce described in Ezra and Nehemiah seem to mirror the similar prohibitions and divorces in contemporary Athens.267 It is reasonable to inquire, therefore, if these similar events were a response to similar pressures in the two cities. Understanding the events which occurred in 5th-century Athens may shed light on the very similar events that occurred in 5th-century Jerusalem. 267 This was suggested to me originally by Tamara Eskenazi, personal communication. See now Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, “The Missions of Ezra and Nehemiah,” in Judah and the Judeans in the Persian Period, ed. Oded Lipschits and Manfred Oeming (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2006), 509–29.

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A T H E N I A N C I T I Z E NS H I P L A WS 268 Solo n The notion of Athenian citizenship begins in 594 BCE, when Solon, the archon, was asked to quell the unrest and civil strife caused by landholding practices in which according to Aristotle, “the many were becoming enslaved to the few” (Ath. Pol. 5 a 1).269 To create peace between creditors and debtors, Solon enacted a series of entitlements for Athenian citizens: Debts were forgiven; tenants were given ownership of the land they worked on; those enslaved for debts were released; and those who fled abroad from their debts were brought back (Ath. Pol. 12.4). Debt-bondage was ended since loans to Athenians could no longer be taken on security of persons and no Athenian (male or female) could be enslaved by another. Since non-Athenians were not so protected, these laws required a strict definition of citizenship, and a strict distinction between citizen and non-citizen. Prior to Solon, the categories of xenos (ce/noj, i.e., stranger, foreigner, non-resident alien) and metoikos (me/toikoj, resident alien) did not exist as legal statuses. In his legislation, Solon 268 Unless otherwise noted, the following discussion is based on: Ilias A. Arnaoutoglou, Ancient Greek Laws: A Sourcebook (London: Routledge, 1998); Sara Forsdyke, Exile, Ostracism, and Democracy: The Politics of Expulsion in Ancient Greece (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005); Nicholas G. L. Hammond, A History of Greece to 322 B.C., 3rd edition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), 153–66, 179–91, 299–310; Philip Brook Manville, The Origins of Citizenship in Ancient Athens (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990); Cynthia B. Patterson, Pericles’ Citizenship Law of 451–50 B.C. (New York: Arno Press, 1981); eadem, “Those Athenian Bastards,” Classical Antiquity 9 (1990): 39–73; eadem, “Marriage and the Married Woman in Athenian Law,” in Women’s History and Ancient History, ed. Sarah B. Pomeroy (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 48–72; eadem, “Athenian Citizenship Law,” in The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek Law, ed. Michael Gagarin and David Cohen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 267–89; Greg R. Stanton, Athenian Politics c. 800–500 BC: A Sourcebook (London: Routledge, 1990). See also my “From Xeno- Philia to - Phobia— Jewish Encounters with the Other,” in A Time of Change: Judah and Its Neighbours in the Persian and Early Hellenistic Periods, ed. Yigal Levin (London: T & T Clark, 2007), 179–204. 269 Whether Aristotle himself or Pseudo-Aristotle is beyond the competence of this writer to determine.

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admitted metoikoi (i.e., those foreigners who worked in Athens as artisans and tradesmen and who had no other place of residence) to the ranks of citizen. They were admitted to artists guilds, and assigned to phratries, but because they were not members of the ancient clans, they could not own land. All land was clan land and inalienable. Itinerant foreigners whose families lived elsewhere remained outside the system. In addition to political reforms, Solon enacted a broad package of family law.270 Bastards, “nothoi” (no/qoi), that is, offspring born to Athenian fathers, but not to their legally recognized wives (i.e., children born to concubines or mistresses) were disenfranchised, deprived of citizenship. They could no longer participate in the rites and privileges of the polis. They had now no next-of-kin, and could not inherit any more than the token 500 drachmas that was the “bastard’s share.”271 Thus Solon privileged the marriage bond and legitimacy, and restricted the inheritance of wealth and status to legitimate children. A childless man could adopt heirs, but he could not adopt his own bastard (or anyone else’s) as his heir (Demosthenes, Against Neaira XLIII.51; XLVI.14, etc.).272 Since each man could have only one legitimate wife, the status of women increased correspondingly. Solon furthermore allowed legitimate daughters to inherit if there was no legitimate son, only requiring that the heiress marry a member of her father’s line.273 Nor was a man allowed to marry a woman for her wealth and then ignore her. Solon required him to be a proper husband and to have intercourse with his wife at least three times a month (Plutarch, Solon 20.2–3). In addition, Solon passed his well-known Law of Associations. Prior to Solon, membership in a phratry constituted citizenship, and the phratry could admit or refuse whomever it liked. This freedom was now superceded by the decisions of the polis: 270 Patterson, “Those Athenian Bastards;” Susan Lape, “Solon and the Institution of the ‘Democratic’ Family Form,” The Classical Journal 98 (2002– 2003): 118; Daniel Ogden, Greek Bastardy in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 36–43. 271 Ogden, Greek Bastardy, 36–39, 42; Cynthia B. Patterson, The Family in Greek History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), 89–90. 272 Lape, “Solon,” 122. 273 In classical Athens, relatives of the mother of the deceased could also marry the heiress if there were no eligible partners on the paternal side (Patterson, The Family in Greek History, 97–98).

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IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY If a demos (dh=moj=) or members of a phratry (fratri/a) or of a cultic society or of a ship-command or messmates or members of a burial society or revelers or people going abroad for plunder or for commerce make an arrangement concerning these matters (i.e., matters appropriate to their association) among themselves, it is to be valid unless the written statues of the People (dhmosi/a gra/mmata) forbid it. (Solon’s Law of Associations, Gaius in Justinian’s Digest 47.22.4) 274

Thus, the laws of the dŸmos, the people, took precedence over the laws of the individual phratries. This law created the notion of citizenship, of being Athenian, of belonging to a polis that had jurisdiction over its members. Peisistrat os a nd Kleisthenes Solon left the city after his archonship in 594, and Athens degenerated into anarchy, civil wars, and finally in 546, into tyranny under Peisistratos and his sons. With the aid of Argive mercenaries, Peisistratos set himself in opposition to the leading aristocratic families whose sons he held hostage on the acropolis. He claimed the support of the lower classes, including tradesmen who received the franchise under Solon, but were not able to buy land (Herodotus, Hist. I.59–61; Aristotle, Ath. Pol. 13.4–15.3).275 All these flocked to Peisistratos. With the aid of Spartan mercenaries, Isagoras and Kleisthenes, scions of two major aristocratic families of Athens, collaborated in 510 to overthrow the Pisistratid tyranny. No sooner did the tyrants flee Athens, but civil war broke out between the supporters of Isagoras and Kleisthenes. Kleisthenes, losing the battle, attempted to draw the masses to himself by appealing to those poor who had supported Peisistratos. In response, the oligarchic Spartans allied themselves with Isagoras, forcing Kleisthenes into exile. The aristocratic Isagoras, elected archon in 508, subjected the Athenian population to a civic scrutiny or diapsŸphismos, diayhfismo/j, in which those of ‘impure birth’ (oi(/ tῷ ge/nei mh\ 274 Quoted in and translated by Nicholas F. Jones, The Associations of Classical Athens: The Response to Democracy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 34. 275 Hammond, A History of Greece, 163–66; Forsdyke, Exile, Ostracism, and Democracy, 101–33.

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kaqaroi\) were purged from the citizenship rolls. According to Herodotus, 700 families were purged (Aristotle, Ath. Pol. 13.5; Hist. V.72, cf. Ath. Pol. 20.1–3), an act carried out by a largely Spartan military force. Peisistratus … was thought to be an extreme advocate of the people. And on his side were also arrayed, from the motive of poverty, those who had been deprived of the debts due to them [under Solon’s reforms]; and, from the motive of fear, those who were of impure birth (oi/ tw~ ge/nei mh\ xaqaroi\). This is proved by the fact that after the deposition of the tyrants the Athenians enacted a scrutiny of the roll (diayhfismo/n), because many people shared the citizenship who had no right to it (Ath. Pol. 13.5).

Of those purged, some were put to death, others were exiled, some were allowed to live in Attica, but declared atimia, i.e., deprived of their rights as citizens, with no recourse to the protection of justice or courts of appeal—(Andocides, On the Mysteries 1.106).276 These 700 families would have included descendants of the foreign artisans and traders who had been assigned to a phratry and given citizenship by Solon, but no land.277 The validity of their citizenship and their admittance to the phratry may now have been questioned. It may have been at this time that a decree was passed according to which “anyone, having been born of two alien parents and is a member of a phratry—anyone who wishes of the Athenian citizens that have the right of private prosecution may prosecute him and be allotted a hearing before the nautodikai on the first of the month.”278 This may have been the decree which caused the fear in sons of men who were 276

Manville, The Origins of Citizenship, 183.

277 Herodotus (Hist. V.71, cf. Aristotle, Ath. Pol.

20.1–3) states that these seven-hundred families were descendants of the followers of Kleisthenes’ ancestors and who were now accused of being “accursed” because in the seventh century they had killed Cylon, the would-be despot, and his followers, while they clung to the altar of Athena on the Acropolis. If they had really been viewed as “cursed” since the seventh century however, it does not seem likely that exile would have awaited these events which occurred a century later. This explanation for the purge seems more likely due to Herodotus’ need to view evil outcomes as a result of hubris. 278 Craterus, in Felix Jacoby, Die Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker 3B (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1950), no. 342 F 4 , quoted in Ogden, Greek Bastardy, 49– 50.

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newly enrolled in the phratries under Solon. These men supported the Peisistratid tyranny, and were threatening now to support Kleisthenes who apparently, according to Aristotle, was going to “hand power over to the masses” (Ath. Pol. 20.1). After the purge, Isagoras, with Spartan aid, attempted to disband the Assembly and to create an oligarchy with himself and other members of the ruling elite in charge. The Assembly refused to disband, however, and chased Isagoras and his supporters to the acropolis, where they besieged them for two days, allowing them to leave only on the third (Hist. V.72, 74.1, Ath. Pol. 20). They then dispatched envoys to bring back the pro-democratic Kleisthenes and those of the 700 families who had been exiled. As part of the democratic reaction against Isagoras’ purge, Kleisthenes was able to drive through a series of reforms that solidified the definition of citizenship. He changed the basis of the deme to a geographical unit rather than one based on lineage. Every legitimate (non-bastard son) of an Athenian was newly enrolled in one of thirty demes according to his current place of residence (Ath. Pol. 21).279 These thirty were composed of ten each from the three major areas of Attica—town, plain, and coast.280 A family’s residence in a deme in 507 was now the condition of citizenship. Wherever a family lived thereafter, it was a member of the deme in which it had been living in 507. Kleisthenes moreover randomly assigned these demes to one of ten newly created “phylai” “tribes,” each composed of a deme from the city, the plain, and the coast. According to Ath. Pol. (21), Kleisthenes’ purpose was to “mix up” the Athenians, so that “more would have a share in the politeia.” Aristotle asserts in his Politics that Kleisthenes “enrolled in the tribes many foreigners and slaves” (1275b34–09). Thus the polity was enlarged. To avoid being labeled “impurely born” and removed from the citizenship rolls, men had only to trace their lineage back to their father’s house (oikos), to the deme, and to the tribe to which his family was assigned in 507. Every citizen—plus every non-citizen resident alien—now had a systematic and tangibly defined place in society. Metoikia became a securely attested legal status, identifying the foreigner who lived in Athens but who was not a citizen. Metoikoi registered as such in the deme in which they resided. The name of the deme now became the citizen’s last 279 280

Patterson, The Family in Greek History, 281. Ibid., 276.

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name, and created a theoretical equality among the demesmen. Herodotus refers to this Kleisthenes as “the one who reorganized the tribes and established democracy in Athens” (Hist. VI.131). Pericles During the following decades the democrats remained dominant. In 461, while the pro-aristocratic Kimon happened to be away, Pericles put through democratic reforms in which judicial responsibilities were taken from the powerful Areopagos, the aristocratic final court of appeal, and distributed among the lower courts and the Assembly.281 It may have been during this period that the pro-democratic general Pericles proposed that Athenians be paid a daily wage for sitting as a juror in the popular courts and in the Assembly.282 This enabled those who previously could not have afforded to give up a day’s work now to participate in government. The lower classes, those needing the two-obols daily wage, began to predominate in the juries, the Assembly, and the councils. Pericles may also have been behind the creation in 453/2 of a popular court (dikastai/ kata dh/m ouj) of 30 jurors which traveled throughout the countryside giving preliminary judgments or even final judgments in the case of small claims.283 This court was instrumental in taking justice out of the hands of the aristocratic families of the phratries and placing it in the hands of jurors appointed by the polis. There was now one common judicial system throughout Athens. Pericles also supported the poor through public building projects and, in spite of the cessation of the war with Persia, by maintaining 200 triremes with their hundreds of rowers in active service. He paid for these with funds expropriated from the tribute of the member-states of the Delian League, whose treasury had been moved from Delos to Athens soon after the war with Persia. These funds were to provide for the members’ common defense, not to beautify Athens. In 451–450, Pericles persuaded the Athenians to restrict further their definition of Athenian citizenship, although according to Plutarch (Pericles 37.2), this was a law “about bastards” (peri\ tw=n no/qwn), not about citizenship per se. Hammond, A History of Greece, 288. Patterson, Pericles’ Citizenship Law, 93–94; Hammond, A History of Greece, 301. 283 Patterson, Pericles’ Citizenship Law, ibid. 281 282

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IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY And in the year of [the archonship of] Antidotus, owing to the large number of the citizens an enactment was passed on the proposal of Pericles prohibiting a person from having a share in the city who was not born of two citizens (Ath. Pol. 26.3).

For the first time Athenian citizens had now to prove descent from an Athenian mother, that is a woman whose father was a citizen. Those unable to prove this were reckoned as bastards. Though not often stated, this law recognized for the first time the status of the Athenian woman, and may have even elevated it.284 The decree of 451/450 was followed by another scrutiny (diayhfismo/j) in 445 when the Egyptian king sent grain to be distributed to Athenian citizens. And so [in 445] when the king of Egypt sent a present to the people [of Athens] of forty thousand measures of grain, and this had to be divided up among the citizens, there was a great crop of prosecutions against citizens of illegal birth by the law of Pericles, who had up to that time escaped notice and been overlooked, and many of them also suffered at the hands of informers. As a result, a little less than five thousand were convicted and sold into slavery, and those who retained their citizenship and were adjudged to be Athenians were found, as a result of this selection, to be fourteen thousand and forty in number. (Plutarch, Pericles 37.3–4)

Indeed, 4760 Athenians were struck from the citizenship rolls then as being of “impure birth” and not entitled to the grain. 285 Deprived of their rights as citizens, they had no recourse to the protection of the courts; if murdered, their family had no right of vengeance. Many fled or were exiled. Confiscation of property and often loss of life followed even those allowed to remain in Athens. Those who sued for their citizenship rights and lost their suit were executed. These laws were allowed to lapse during the Peloponnesian Wars, but in 403 they were reinforced and strengthened. Another census and mass exile ensued. Manville characterizes these periodic 284 Robin Osborne, “Law, the Democratic Citizen and the Representation of Women in Classical Athens,” Past and Present 155 (May 1997): 3–33. 285 Philochoros, in Jacoby, Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker, no. 328 F 119; John K. Davies, “Athenian Citizenship: The Descent Group and the Alternatives,” The Classical Journal 73 (1977–78): 105–21.

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“scrutinies” as “reigns of terror”.286 Davies notes the constant status anxieties which are reflected in contemporary tragedies.287 Laws prohibiting intermarriage between Athenians and foreigners followed upon Pericles’ citizenship law. Two laws in particular are noteworthy, both quoted in Demosthenes, Against Neaira LIX.16, 52.288 If a foreign man lives as husband with an Athenian woman in any way or manner whatsoever, he may be prosecuted before the thesmothetai by any Athenian wishing and entitled to do so. If he is found guilty, both he and his property shall be sold and one-third of the money shall be given to the prosecutor. The same rule applies to a foreign woman who lives with an Athenian as his wife, and the Athenian convicted of living as husband with a foreign woman shall be fined a thousand drachmas (Against Neaira LIX.16). If any Athenian gives a foreign woman in marriage to an Athenian citizen, as being his relative, he shall lose his civic rights and his property shall be confiscated and one-third shall belong to the successful prosecutor. Those entitled may prosecute before the thesmothetai, as in the case of usurpation of citizenship (Against Neaira LIX.52).

These laws imply a mandatory divorce for all marriages between an Athenian and non-Athenian, whether male or female. According to the law, the foreigner living as spouse with an Athenian shall be sold into slavery, and his or her property confiscated (with one-third given to the man who brings the suit). Since women did not give themselves in marriage, anyone giving a foreign woman to an Athenian in marriage was also subject to sanctions. This was then the situation in 5th- and 4th-century Athens.

Manville, Origins of Citizenship, 184. Davies, “Athenian Citizenship.” 288 Although quoted in a mid-4th-century document, it has not been possible to date the laws themselves (Patterson, Pericles’ Citizenship Law, 95). 286 287

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Athe ns Various reasons have been proposed for Pericles’ Citizenship Law, one being Aristotle’s explanation that there were too many people. It is true that the population of Athens grew unusually between 480 and 450, admittedly most likely due to the increased presence of foreigners in the city, but the population did not decrease as a result of the law.289 It is unlikely, moreover, that (Pseudo-)Aristotle would have known the demographics of 5th-century Athens.290 Aristotle writes in Politics (1278a26–34),291 however, that cities define citizenship generously when short of men and strictly when numbers are buoyant. The explanation proffered for Pericles’ Law may only be an application of that rule. In any case, the law did not prevent foreigners from living and working in Athens, and was not intended to. It was only intended to prevent them from marrying Athenians. Patterson assumes that a large number of foreigners were passing themselves off as citizens, causing serious problems in regard to jury duty or other public offices.292 It is difficult to see how the citizenship law would prevent this, however, since it does not attempt to exclude foreigners from Athens. Another explanation is a supposed concern for racial purity.293 This proposal echoes Aristotle’s wording (i.e., that those excluded Patterson, Pericles’ Citizenship Law, 102. Osborne, “Law and the Representation of Women,” 5. 291 Book III iii 5. 292 Patterson, Pericles’ Citizenship Law, 103. 293 Charles Hignett, A History of the Athenian Constitution to the End of the Fifth Century B.C. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952), 346; Alick R. W. Harrison, The Law of Athens, Vol. I: The Family and Property (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968), 25 n. 2; Malcolm F. McGregor, “Athenian Policy at Home and Abroad,” in Lectures in Memory of Louise Taft Semple, Second Series 1966–1970, ed. Cedric G. Boulter, et al., University of Cincinnati Classical Studies, 2 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press for the University of Cincinnati, 1973), 53–66; Cecil M. Bowra, Periclean Athens (New York: Dial Press, 1971), 93 (“since they could not be guaranteed to put Athenian interests first, they should not enjoy the true Athenian’s privilege of governing the country … [or] Athenians were congenitally superior to other Greeks”); A. R. Burn, Pericles and Athens (New York: Macmillan, 1949), 92 289 290

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from the franchise were of “impure birth,” oi(/ tῷ ge/nei mh\ kaqaroi\; Ath. Pol. 13.5). Classicists agree that this explanation is anachronistic, however, as the concept of “race” did not yet exist. This charge has also been leveled at the Judeans, as noted above, and is equally anachronistic in that context. The possibility of an “Athens for the Athenians” mindset has also been proposed, but again, the law was not intended to keep foreigners out of the city, but only to keep their daughters from marrying your sons. One problem with foreign marriages was that of inheritance. Technically speaking women did not inherit, but wealthy women received a pre-mortem inheritance through their dowries, and these could include lands and estates, or sums of money easily turned into land. Women without brothers also received a post-mortem inheritance. In this way, a woman served as a conduit, conducting her father’s estate to her sons. Sons of brotherless women were often adopted into the household of their maternal grandfather, and if the women were foreign, non-Athenians could wind up owning land in Athens. Eskenazi interprets the shared concern with “mixed” marriages as a function of both Athens and Judah’s drive toward democracy.294 The greater push toward citizen participation that she sees as evident in Ezra 10 requires a stricter definition of who was a citizen. This does not explain why offspring of mixed marriages would present a problem, however. Moreover, the presence of an assembly described in Ezra 10 does not indicate a push toward democracy in Yehud. 295 Mesopotamia had assemblies under the Babylonians and Assyrians, and now under the Persians, and these states were always tyrannies. Nor was any satrapy or province anywhere in the Persian Empire a democracy. Assemblies in these areas were routinely used to observe and ratify decisions of the governing officials, and at the same time to inform the populace of the decision. They created transparency in

(“the whole ancient character of Athens was in danger of being altered by the flood of immigrants”). 294 Eskenazi, “The Missions of Ezra and Nehemiah,” 524–26. 295 See my discussion of assemblies in Lisbeth S. Fried, The Priest and the Great King: Temple-Palace Relations in the Persian Empire, Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California, San Diego, 10 (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2004), 190–93, and references cited there.

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government. Members of the assembly were passive observers, however, and did not vote. More relevant in comparing the two cities is the fact that each was part of an empire. Pericles’ Citizenship law, and the democratic reforms which he fostered, should more likely be seen against the background of Athens’ war with Persia (493–480) and against Pericles’ all-consuming preparations for the war with Sparta which followed (i.e., the first Peloponnesian War, 431–404). Pericles’ overriding intention was to maintain the Athenian Empire. The Delian League, formed in response to Persian aggression, became the Athenian League after the war when its treasury was moved to Athens and came under the disposal of men like Pericles. Those from among the 150 member-states of the Delian, now Athenian League, who no longer felt the threat from Persia, and attempted to withdraw from the League, met with a harsh and punitive Athenian response. Athens’ primary rival for Hellenic dominance was oligarchic Sparta, and the aristocratic factions in Athens tended to favor alliances with her while democratic elements tended to oppose it. In 464, for example, when Spartan helots revolted against that city, the aristocratic Athenian Kimon led a battalion of 10,000 men strong to Sparta to put down the revolt. It was while Kimon was gone, that Pericles instituted the bulk of the democratic reforms, and when he returned to Athens he was ostracized by Pericles’ new democratic regime. Part of the Athenian hostility against Kimon may have stemmed from the fact that he named his son Lakedaimonios, i.e., he named his son “Spartan,” indicating the close ties of friendship, if not actually marriage, that he had with Sparta’s ruling families.296 The law’s purpose, therefore, may have been to prevent the Athenian aristocracy from forming dynastic alliances with wealthy families from other states—not only those with which Athens had hostilities, like Sparta, but also with those dependent states paying tribute to the coffers of the Athenian League.297 Any of these alliances 296 Gabriel Herman, “Patterns of Name Diffusion Within the Greek World and Beyond,” The Classical Quarterly N.S. 40 (1990): 363. 297 Sarah C. Humphreys, “The Nothoi of Kynosarges,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 94 (1974): 88–95, esp. 93–94; Loren J. Samons II, “Introduction: Athenian History and Society in the Age of Pericles,” in idem, The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Pericles (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 14.

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could easily have upset the balance of power. Since only the aristocratic elites of the Greek city-states had the means enabling them to travel, only they would have been able to meet people from other city-states. The friendships that resulted from these meetings led to an exchange of gifts often including large donations of grain, timber, land, and as we saw with Kimon, even troops. Such alliances provided a power base outside of the polis, a power base which could threaten Athens’ autonomy and supremacy. The law succeeded in sharply reducing foreign marriages. While common before 480, they are unknown after Pericles’ law of 450. 298 Moreover, charges of “foreign birth” and “treachery” were the most common allegations scrawled on potsherds used to ostracize politicians from the city.299 The main effect of the law was on the large number of men serving as imperial officials in cities throughout the Athenian empire.300 In prohibiting their fraternization with locals, the law prevented families in other cities from accessing property in Athens through the marriage of their daughters to Athenians. If Athenian men married abroad, their children would not inherit Athenian land. Claims of kinship could never lead non-Athenians to power or influence at Athens. Jerusalem Does this understanding of Pericles’ citizenship law illuminate events in 5th- and 4th-century Judah? If the purpose of the Athenian legislation was to prevent aristocratic families from forming a power base independent of the Athenian polity, then this may shed light on the edicts of Ezra and Nehemiah. Like Pericles, these imperial Persian officials may also have sought to limit the influence of aristocratic families so that all power would stem from Persia (and from themselves as her representatives?). Dynastic marriages among the aristocracy of the various provinces in the satrapy Beyond-the River enhanced the wealth and influence of patrilineal groups and cemented alliances among them, alliances which may have been seen as a threat to the status quo in Persia. Eskenazi states that Judah was a provincial backwater and not on Persia’s radar screen.301 Nevertheless, provincial Osborne, “Law and the Representation of Women in Athens,” 6–7. Ibid. 300 Ibid., 9. 301 Eskenazi, “The Missions of Ezra and Nehemiah,” 526. 298 299

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governors had garrisons and militias at their disposal, ostensibly to collect taxes and tribute to send on to Susa. These resources led to a strong centrifugal force among local governors increasing their desire for independence and autonomy.302 Marriages pooled these resources, and threatened resistance against Persia. Nehemiah and Josephus report marriages between the families of Sanballat, the governor of Samaria, and Eliashib, the Judean high priest (Neh 13:28; Ant. XI.2); between the families of Tobiah, the governor of Ammon, and that of the high priest of Judah (Neh 13:4; Ant. XII iv. 160); and between the family of Tobiah and the nobility of Judah (Neh 6:18). These marriage alliances threatened to create a power base and source of wealth independent of Persia. In sum, whatever theory or explanation of Pericles’ citizenship law is finally adopted, viewing the events in Judah against the backdrop of events in contemporary Athens—and viewing events in Athens against the backdrop of events in contemporary Judah— should allow historians of both cultures to see beyond the narrow confines of religion, race, and theories of witch-hunts and “impure blood,” and outwards towards the larger concerns of empire— Athenian and Persian.

B I BL I OGRA P H Y Ackroyd, Peter R. I & II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah. Torch Bible Commentaries. London: SCM, 1973. Arnaoutoglou, Ilias A. Ancient Greek Laws: A Sourcebook. London: Routledge, 1998. Blenkinsopp, Joseph. Ezra–Nehemiah: A Commentary. The Old Testament Library. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1988. Bowra, Cecil M. Periclean Athens. New York: Dial Press, 1971. Briant, Pierre. Histoire de l’Empire Perse de Cyrus à Alexandre. Paris: Fayard, 1996. Burn, A. R. Pericles and Athens. New York: Macmillan, 1949. Davies, John K. “Athenian Citizenship: The Descent Group and the Alternatives.” The Classical Journal 73 (1977–78): 105–21. 302 For further discussion of the relations between local elites and the Persian empire see Pierre Briant, Histoire de l’Empire Perse de Cyrus à Alexandre (Paris: Fayard, 1996); Lisbeth S. Fried, “The Political Struggle of Fifth Century Judah,” Transeuphratène 24 (2002): 9–21 and eadem, The Priest and the Great King.

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Dor, Yonina. Did They Really Divorce the Foreign Women? The Question of the Separation in the Days of the Second Temple. Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2006 [Hebrew]. Eskenazi, Tamara Cohn. “The Missions of Ezra and Nehemiah.” In Judah and the Judeans in the Persian Period. Edited by Oded Lipschits and Manfred Oeming, 509–29. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2006. Fensham, F. Charles. The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah. New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982. Fishbane, Michael. Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985. Forsdyke, Sara. Exile, Ostracism, and Democracy: The Politics of Expulsion in Ancient Greece. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2005. Fried, Lisbeth S. “From Xeno- Philia to – Phobia—Jewish Encounters with the Other.” In A Time of Change: Judah and Its Neighbours in the Persian and Early Hellenistic Periods. Edited by Yigal Levin, 179–204. London: T & T Clark, 2007. ________. “The Political Struggle of Fifth Century Judah.” Transeuphratène 24 (2002): 9–21. ________. The Priest and the Great King: Temple-Palace Relations in the Persian Empire. Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California, San Diego, 10. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2004. Hammond, Nicholas G. L. A History of Greece to 322 B.C. 3rd edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986. Harrison, Alick R. W. The Law of Athens, Vol. I: The Family and Property. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968. Hayes, Christine Elizabeth. Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities: Intermarriage and Conversion from the Bible to the Talmud. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Herman, Gabriel. “Patterns of Name Diffusion Within the Greek World and Beyond.” The Classical Quarterly N.S. 40 (1990): 349– 63. Hignett, Charles. A History of the Athenian Constitution. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952. Holmgren, Fredrick Carlson. Israel Alive Again: A Commentary on the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987. Humphreys, Sarah C. “The Nothoi of Kynosarges.” Journal of Hellenic Studies 94 (1974): 88–95.

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Jacoby, Felix. Die Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker. Part 3 B. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1923. Janzen, David. Witch-Hunts, Purity and Social Boundares: The Expulsion of the Foreign Women in Ezra 9–10 Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 350; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002. Jones, Nicholas F. The Associations of Classical Athens: The Response to Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Klawans, Jonathan. Impurity and Sin in Ancient Judaism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ________. “Notions of Gentile Impurity in Ancient Judaism.” Association of Jewish Studies Review 20 (1995): 285–312. Lape, Susan. “Solon and the Institution of the ‘Democratic’ Family Form.” The Classical Journal 98 (2002–2003): 117–39. Manville, Philip Brook. The Origins of Citizenship in Ancient Athens. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997. McGregor, Malcolm F. “Athenian Policy at Home and Abroad.” University of Cincinnati Classical Studies 2 (1968). Mowinckel, Sigmund. Die Ezrageschichte und das Gesetz Moses. Studien zu dem Buche Ezra–Nehemiah, III. Skrifter ut gitt av Det Norske Videnskaps-akademii Oslo II. Hist.-filos. Klasse ny serie, 7. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1965. Myers, Jacob M. Ezra–Nehemiah. Anchor Bible, 14. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1965. Ogden, Daniel. Greek Bastardy in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996. Olyan, Saul M. “Purity Ideology in Ezra–Nehemiah as a Tool to Reconstitute the Community.” Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period 35 (2004): 1–16. ________. Rites and Rank: Hierarchy in Biblical Representations of Cult. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000). Osborne, Robin. “Law, the Democratic Citizen and the Representation of Women in Classical Athens.” Past and Present 155 (1997): 3–33. Patterson, Cynthia B. “Athenian Citizenship Law.” In The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek Law. Edited by Michael Gagarin and David Cohen, 267–89. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

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________. “Marriage and the Married Woman in Athenian Law.” In Women’s History and Ancient History. Edited by Sarah B. Pomeroy, 48–72. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991. ________. “Those Athenian Bastards.” Classical Antiquity 9 (1990): 39–73. ________. Pericles’ Citizenship Law of 451–50 B.C. New York: Arno Press, 1981. ________. The Family in Greek History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998. Samons, Loren J., II. “Introduction: Athenian History and Society in the Age of Pericles.” In idem, The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Pericles, 1–23. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). Smith-Christopher, Daniel L. A Biblical Theology of Exile. Overtures to Biblical Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002. Stanton, Greg R. Athenian Politics c. 800–500 BC: A Sourcebook. London: Routledge, 1990. Williamson, Hugh G. M. Ezra, Nehemiah. Word Biblical Commentary, 16. Waco: Word Books, 1985.

T HE B IBLICAL “H OUSE O F THE M OTHER ” AND THE B ROKERING OF M ARRIAGE : E CONOMIC R ECIPROCITY A MONG N ATAL S IBLINGS Cynthia Ruth Chapman Biblical narratives focusing on the marriage brokering for a daughter who would marry out of her father’s house located the marital negotiations in the “house of the mother” and identified the bride’s brothers as key players. Moreover, Biblical commentators have often noted the silence and inactivity of the bride’s father in these negotiations. The most comprehensive betrothal narrative in the Bible is that of Rebekah, whose marital negotiations took place in “the house of her mother” with her brother Laban playing an active and engaged role. Rebekah’s father, Bethuel, on the other hand, was nearly absent. Additional Biblical and other ancient Near Eastern narratives describing marriage negotiations, both failed and successful, demonstrate the same nexus of relationships between a girl and her mother’s house at the time of her marital negotiations. Modern ethnographic studies of patrilineal societies practicing patrilocal marriages provide a comparative lens for interpreting the Biblical materials. A close analysis of Biblical stories of betrothal in light of anthropological studies of kinship suggests that the mother’s house had an ongoing and economically reciprocal relationship with a daughter who married out. As a distinct kinship unit within the house of the father, the “house of the mother” had economic and social control over the marriages of daughters.303 303 It is my pleasure to be able to contribute an essay to this volume in honor of the scholarship of Tikva Frymer-Kensky. Her pioneering work in applying gender studies concern to the historical comparison of the Bible

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The marriage negotiated between Rebekah and Isaac is one explicitly defined as patrilocal. Abraham, who was “well advanced in years,” contracted with the senior servant of his household to find a wife for his son who was not Canaanite but rather came from Abraham’s own country and kindred (yt@id:lawOm-l)ew: ycir:)-a l)e).304 The servant raised the possibility that the woman might not want to leave her homeland and come all the way to Canaan to marry Isaac, and so he suggested taking Isaac with him back to the homeland. Abraham then made it explicit that the only marriage that would be acceptable was one in which the bride left her own household and came to Canaan to marry Isaac: “See to it that you do not take my son back there.”305 The economic nature of marital negotiations is clear from the start of the narrative. The servant departed with “ten camels” loaded with “every good thing of his master (wynfdo)j bw@+-lkfw): .”306 On the side of the groom in this proposed marriage, the active kinship unit is the “house of the father,” in this case, that of Abraham. His name introduces the narrative—“Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years,”307—he contracts with the servant to arrange the marriage, and he provides the marriage gifts. Isaac plays no role in this opening scene. Before turning to the servant’s meeting with Rebekah, it is important to note the literary and theological nature of this text. The story of Rebekah’s betrothal is not an ethnographic report on the marriage customs of ancient Israel. It is instead theological literature, a story remembered, recorded and ultimately canonized by ancient Judeans as part of their scripture. From a literary perspective, Genesis 24 has been labeled “a novelle,”308 and the scene of the servant coming upon Rebekah at the well is classified as a “betrothal typescene.”309 From a theological perspective, Genesis 24 is called a with other ancient Near Eastern texts has served as an inspiration to my own research. 304 Gen 24:1–4. 305 Gen 24:5–9. 306 Gen 24:10. 307 Gen 24:1. 308 Gerhard Von Rad, Genesis: A Commentary, translated by John H. Marks, Old Testament Library (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1973), 253 309 The story of Rebekah at the well is often compared to Gen 29:1–14 and Exod 2:15b–21. See Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative (New York:

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“guidance narrative” in which divine providence is an active, behindthe-scenes character.310 The literary and theological nature of Genesis 24 and its status as remembered history and canonized scripture does not disqualify the narrative from providing real evidence of ancient Israelite kinship and marriage customs. The author uses literary cues to signal the divine orchestration of the ideal marriage for his chosen heir, Isaac. As such, the narrative provides us with a view into the ideal groom, the ideal bride, and the ideal means of negotiating a marriage. We will return to the question of the ideal narrative versus the lived practice in marriage brokering later in this essay. Acknowledging that Rebekah’s appearance at the well is part of a literary type scene and that the servant’s negotiations for a divine sign are part of a theological motif, we turn to some of the other details provided in the narrative. Rebekah is clearly described in terms that mark her as ideal marriage material. Genealogically, Rebekah is identified as not only from Abraham’s birthplace but as one who was his close kin. She was “the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother.”311 In other words, she was Abraham’s great niece. She was “very beautiful,” “a virgin, whom no man had known ({h@(fdFy: )lo #$y)iw: hlfw@tb;@),” and she was industrious, fetching water for the servant and for his camels.312 In economic terms, Rebekah was prime marriage material, and Abraham’s servant responded with an economic acknowledgement of her value. He immediately gave her a gift of gold jewelry, which the text describes in weighted terms rather than in terms of its beauty. Thus, the text emphasizes the economic value of the gift bestowed: “a gold ring weighing half a shekel, and two bracelets for her arms weighing ten gold shekels.”313 Given the purpose of the servant’s trip Basic Books, 1981), 50–62; and James G. Williams, “The Beautiful and the Barren: Conventions in Biblical Type-Scenes,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 17 (1980): 109. 310 Claus Westermann, Genesis 12–36: A Commentary, translated by John J. Scullion (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1985), 383–84. 311 Gen 24:24. Nahum Sarna notes that her full genealogy is included in order to clarify that she was not born into the line of Nahor’s concubine (Gen 22:20–24) but rather through his wife, Milcah (The JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis [Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1989], 165). 312 Gen 24:16–21. 313 Gen 24:22. Providing the weight of the jewelry is the narrator’s way of showing the reader the price tag on the gift.

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and his conviction that this young woman is the bride that his master’s god intends for Isaac, this gift of gold jewelry should be understood as the first installment in a series of marital gifts.314 While Rebekah identified herself as “the daughter of Bethuel,” namely in terms of the house of her father, she ran straight to “the house of her mother (h@m@f)i tyb'l.)” with the news of the stranger’s arrival and with the shining gifts of gold adorning her body.315 The first person found at and therefore associated with the house of her mother is her brother Laban. Laban immediately recognized and appreciated the economic value of the gifts of gold bestowed on his 314 Several

scholars have not seen the gift of jewelry as any kind of bride price or the first installment in a series of marriage gifts. Sarna and Westermann, for example, understand the servant as rewarding Rebekah for her arduous labor in watering the camels and to win her good will (Sarna, Genesis, 165; Westermann, Genesis 12–36, 387). Jack M. Sasson correctly suggests that the gold jewelry is part of a marriage gift, but in this narrative it also functions as a kind of test to see if Rebekah is indeed the divinely chosen wife for Isaac (Sasson, “The Servant’s Tale: How Rebekah Found a Spouse,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 65 [2006]: 255). 315 Gen 24:24, 28. Tikva Frymer-Kensky noted that Rebekah’s running to her mother’s house may well suggest that she understood marriage would be discussed, (Frymer-Kensky, Reading the Women of the Bible [New York: Schocken Books, 2002], 10). Several other scholars dismiss or give little significance to this reference to the house of the mother. Sarna understands “the house of her mother” to be the way “a girl would ordinarily refer to her home” (Sarna, Genesis, 166). Ephraim A. Speiser suggested that the use of the term “house of the mother,” could only mean that Bethuel was no longer alive” (Speiser, Genesis: Introduction Translation, and Notes, Anchor Bible, 1 [Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983], 180). Carol L. Meyers, on the other hand, has addressed the four occurrences of the term “house of the mother,” (Gen 24:28; Ruth 1:8; Song 3:4 and 8:2) and has suggested that it expresses “the internal and functional and relational aspect of household activity, in which females played a strong if not dominant role” (Discovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context [New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988], 180). In a separate article, Meyers noted that the Biblical texts mentioning “house of the mother” had several shared features including women’s agency, a domestic setting, and a discussion of marriage (“‘To Her Mother’s House’: Considering a Counterpart to the Israelite Bêt >åb,” in The Bible and the Politics of Exegesis: Essays in Honor of Norman K. Gottwald on His Sixty–Fifth Birthday, edited by David Jobling, Peggy L. Day, and Gerald T. Sheppard [Cleveland, Ohio: The Pilgrim Press, 1991], 49). I will discuss the additional references to “house of the mother” in the next section.

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sister. The text links the sight of Rebekah’s jewelry to her brother Laban’s call to action: “Upon seeing the nose ring and the bracelets upon the arms of his sister and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister saying, ‘Thus the man said to me’, he came to the man and found him standing by the river by the camels at the spring.”316 Laban then played the role of the consummate host for the servant of Abraham. He greeted him as “the blessed one of Yahweh.” He invited him to “the house,” presumably, the house of the mother from which he had just come. He prepared a place for the servant’s camels. While the servant went into the house, Laban stayed out to unload the camels and feed them. He then returned to the house to wash the feet of the servant and of the men who were with him. Finally, he placed food before the servant.317 Clearly, the jewelry had an impact, and that the text lists its weight suggests that we are to understand the impact in economic terms. This portion of the narrative makes a strong link between the bestowal of weighted gold jewelry on the prospective bride with the house of her mother and the natal brother’s economically motivated, overly gracious hospitality. Reading through the rest of the narrative, we can identify which functions the text associates with the house of the mother. First, the house of the mother is the site of the marriage negotiations for Rebekah. It was the place to which Rebekah ran after the bestowal of gold jewelry. It was a place where her brother resided and exercised considerable authority. While at the house of the mother, the servant established the groom’s economic credentials. He began by describing Abraham, the groom’s father, as one who was “exceedingly blessed and had become great.” He had “sheep and cattle and silver and gold and man- and maid-servants and camels and asses.”318 The servant then explained that Sarah, whom they had known as barren, did ultimately bear Abraham a son and to that son, this exceedingly blessed man “gave everything that he had.”319 Isaac’s name is never mentioned; he is simply presented as the sole heir of a very wealthy 316 Gen 24:30. Robert Alter identifies this

verse as “a brilliant moment of exposition of character” during which Laban’s future “rapacity” with Jacob is foreshadowed (Alter, Genesis: Translation and Commentary [New York: W. W. Norton, 1996], 117). 317 Gen 24:30–33. 318 Gen 24:35. 319 Gen 24:36.

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relative. Within the house of Rebekah’s mother, the servant made his official request that Rebekah become Isaac’s wife, and it is in this house that the request was accepted and bridal gifts were received.320 In short, Genesis 24 locates formal marital negotiations within the house of the mother. Turning now from the site of the house of the mother to the players within it, Laban must be recognized as the authoritative figure within the house of the mother and the character who together with Abraham’s servant dominates the narrative. As mentioned above, the text associates Laban with the house of the mother and with an economic interest in the gifts of gold received by his sister. Through the narrative’s description of the marriage negotiations, Laban is consistently grouped either with his mother or separately with his father. In each son-parent grouping, however, Laban’s name is listed first. He is listed most often with his mother whose role in the marital negotiations seems to be subsumed under his. The text identifies Rebekah’s “brother and her mother (h@m@f)il;w@ hfyxi)fl).) ” as those who receive “precious gifts (tnOdf@g:m)i ” from the servant at the completion of the negotiations.321 “Her brother and her mother” also request that Rebekah be allowed to remain with them for ten days before traveling to Canaan with the servant. It is this labeled pair—“her brother and her mother”—that is the antecedent to a series of actions: they receive the servant’s request that he be allowed to leave without delay; they send for Rebekah; they ask if she is willing to go with the servant; they provide Rebekah and her nurse with a send-off; and they pronounce upon Rebekah a marriage blessing.322 By contrast, Rebekah’s father, Bethuel, appears only once in the narrative. He, too, is listed after his son. When the servant made the formal request of Rebekah to become Isaac’s bride, “Laban and Bethuel” answered and gave their consent.323 The presence of Bethuel is surprising given that he was not mentioned as being present in the house of the mother. Commentators have tried to explain this singular reference to Bethuel and his literary subordination to his son Laban in several different ways. Some scholars have suggested either eliminating “and Bethuel” or emending the text to read “Laban and Gen 24:49–53. Gen 24:53. 322 Gen 24:55–60. 323 Gen 24:50–51. 320 321

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his household responded,” or “Laban and his mother responded.”324 Another group of commentators operates on the assumption that Bethuel as the father and head of household should be the more prominent figure in the marriage negotiations. Therefore this group suggests that either Bethuel has died or he is too elderly and ill to take up his proper role. In this interpretation, Laban is understood as a stand-in for his elderly father.325 A third group dismisses the role of the father in marriage negotiations and uses terms like “fratriarchy” to describe marriage brokering patterns in the ancient Near East. 326 When we examine a broader sample of texts from the Bible and Mesopotamia as well as modern ethnographies, we find that none of the above explanations takes into account the inner-workings of the house of the mother as a subunit within the house of the father. What the story of Rebekah on its own demonstrates is that Rebekah’s brother Laban exercised the authority in the house of the mother over the negotiations for his sister’s marriage. The mother’s role was secondary to that of her son, and the father’s role was nearly absent.

Westermann, Genesis 12–36, 382. Sarna, Genesis, 168; Westermann, Genesis 12–36, 388. 326 Roland De Vaux advocated the position that Laban was a stand-in for his dead father, (Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions, translated by John McHugh [Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997], 30). Speiser identifies Laban as a “fratriarch” and eliminates “and Bethuel” from verse 50 as not original. He argues that the entire Rebekah story should be understood as a “virtual restatement” of a Nuzi “sistership document” in which the brother plays a primary role (Speiser, Genesis, 177 n. f–f, 181–82, 184–85); cf. Westermann, Genesis 12–36, 389. Thomas L. Thompson rejects Speiser’s argument and specifically his use of the term “fratriarchy.” Instead, he sees Laban and his mother “exercising patriarchal authority,” in a pattern similar to that found in Old Babylonian marriage contracts (Thompson, The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham, Beiheft zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 133 [Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1974, reprint: Trinity Press Int., 2002], 249). Naomi Steinberg explains Bethuel’s absence by suggesting that he may have had other wives and was residing with one of them at the time. In her words, “Laban acts as the family representative in the absence of his father” (Steinberg, Kinship and Marriage in Genesis: A Household Economics Perspective [Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993], 84). 324 325

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R E B E KA H ’ S B E TROT H AL I N L I G H T O F O T H ER B I BL IC AL A ND S UMERI A N T EXTS Several other Biblical and ancient Sumerian texts describe the marriage negotiations for a daughter who will marry out of her father’s household. When these texts are read together, one finds a nexus of relationships between the “house of the mother” and a girl’s brothers at the time of her marriage negotiations. The near or total absence of a girl’s father is another common feature. Whether the marriage negotiations are successful or failed, the bride’s brothers’ interest in her marriage is often described in economic terms. A comparison of the Rebekah betrothal narrative with other Biblical stories of betrothal and with a group of Sumerian texts known as Inanna’s “bridal songs” solidifies the claim that the house of the mother was the site of the marriage negotiations for a daughter who would marry out. The Book of Ruth describes the barren marriages of Ruth and Orpah to the sons of Naomi, both of whom have died without producing an heir. Both of these women had married out of their father’s household and lived with their husbands and mother-inlaw.327 When Naomi realized that her daughters-in-law had no future with her given that she and they were childless, she suggested to them, “Go, return, each of you to the house of her mother (h@m@f)i tyb'l; h#%f$)i hnFb;#o%$ hnFk;l)' .”328 Naomi told the two women to return to their mother’s house because she was too old to bear sons that could serve as levirate husbands to Ruth and Orpah. In other words, there was no hope for remarriage if they stayed with her. Naomi hoped that if each daughter-in-law returned to the house of her mother, they might “find a home, each of you in the house of her husband.”329 In this case of childless widowhood, the house of the mother is presented as the place to which a daughter must return to have a new marriage negotiated.330 Ruth 1:4–8. Ruth 1:8. 329 Ruth 1:9. 330 Edward F. Campbell also came to the conclusion that “the house of the mother” in Ruth and in Gen 24:28 and Song 3:4; 8:2 “was the locus for matters pertinent to marriage” (Ruth: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Anchor Bible, 7 [Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975], 64). There are two biblical texts that describe “problem brides” returning to “the house 327 328

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The Song of Songs is a book of erotic love poetry describing the frustrated courtship of two lovers. The book does not provide a complete narrative of marriage negotiations, but marriage and betrothal are referred to in several places throughout the text. 331 Significantly for our purposes, the female speaker in the Song describes finding her lover and bringing him to her mother’s house: I held him, and would not let him go until I had brought him into my mother’s house, into the chamber of her that conceived me.

w%n@p%er:)a )low: wyt@iz:xa)j ymi@)i tyb'-@ l)e wyti)yb'hj#-$e d(a ytirFwOh rdex-e l)ew: 332

The house of her mother is also a place the Song associates with the female lover’s natal brother. A natal brother is a full brother, one born of the same father and mother. In the Song, the speaker wishes that her lover could be mistaken for a natal brother because she could then take him into the house of her mother without causing suspicion: O that you were like a brother to me, One that nursed at my mother’s breast (ymi@)i yd'#$; qn'wOy)!333 of the father” rather than “the house of the mother.” In both of these cases, however, the bride did not return home seeking a new marriage. Judah sent his daughter-in-law Tamar back to her “father’s house” to “remain a widow,” after two of three sons of Judah died while being married to Tamar (Gen 38:11). The Levite’s concubine after becoming angry with her husband, left him and returned to her father’s house. She did not seek a new marriage (Jdg 19:2). A law concerning who may eat holy food within a priest’s household indicates that a widowed priest’s daughter who was childless could expect to return to her “father’s house” and be fed and cared for (Lev 22:13). 331 The female lover is called “my sister, my bride” or simply “my bride” (Song 4:8, 9, 10, 11, 12; 5:1); King Solomon, who is occasionally named as the male lover, is described as crowned by his mother “on the day of his wedding” (Song 3:11); the text specifically refers to the female lover’s betrothal as the day on which a girl is spoken for (Song 8:8). 332 Song 3:4. 333 Marvin H. Pope, citing T. R. Denis Buzy, recognized the identification of a brother as one who had “nursed at the breasts of my

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IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY If I met you outside, I would kiss you, And none would despise me. I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother (ymi@)i tyb'-@ l)e) She will instruct me.334

In the Song, the house of the mother is a place to which a woman would like to bring her lover and a place where her natal brother’s presence is taken for granted. Furthermore, the Song specifically associates a girl’s natal brothers, referred to as “my mother’s sons (ym@i)i yn"b)@; ,” with the protection of her chastity and with an authoritative position in her marriage negotiations. At the beginning of the Song, the female speaker proclaims that her skin has been darkened by the sun and explains that her natal brothers had punished her by forcing her to work outside in the vineyard: Don’t stare at me because I am blackened, Because the sun has scorched me. The sons of my mother (ym@i)i yn"b)@; became angry with me And made me the keeper of the vineyards. My own vineyard I have not kept.335

Those same brothers reappear at the end of the Song expressing concern over what they will do when their little sister is spoken for. They ultimately resolve to protect her chastity at all costs: We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister on the day when she is spoken for? If she is a wall, we will build upon her a battlement of silver; But if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.336

mother” as a way of signifying a “uterine brother,” which is another term for “natal brother” (Song of Songs, Anchor Bible, 7C [Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977], 656–57). 334 Song 8:1–2. The LXX renders the final phrase “she who conceived me” rather than “she will instruct me.” Both translations associate the appearance of a girl’s natal brother with the physical space of the house of her mother. 335 Song 1:6. 336 Song 8:8–9.

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In summary the Song of Songs identifies the house of a girl’s mother as a place where she longs to bring her lover. It associates the house of the mother with the natural appearance of a girl’s natal brother. Finally, it describes a girl’s natal brothers as those who have authority over her such that they can protect her chastity and refuse her potential suitors. A group of texts known as the Bridal Songs of Inanna are in many ways similar to the Song of Songs. They are a collection of erotic love poetry. They use the same sexually charged metaphors of vineyards, gardens, orchards and pasturing. They also locate the marriage negotiations of Inanna in the house of her mother Ningal. In one song, Inanna sees her groom arrive and says: “In mother Ningal’s gate he stands indeed. I, with joy, I, the lady, am coming. Let the man speak the word to my mother. Let our neighbor sprinkle water on the ground for the lady!”337 In other songs, it is Inanna’s brother Utu, the sun god, who takes a serious interest in his sister’s wedding plans. Just as Laban appeared unusually attentive to menial tasks related to his sister’s potential marriage, so too was Utu overly involved in Inanna’s wedding preparations. In this case, Utu took an interest in preparing the bedding that a bride would bring into the marriage. The text reads: The brother spoke to his younger sister. The sun god, Utu, spoke to Inanna, saying: “Young Lady, the flax in its fullness is lovely. Inanna, the grain is glistening in the furrow. I will hoe it for you. I will bring it to you. A piece of linen, big or small, is always needed. Inanna, I will bring it to you.” “Brother, after you’ve brought me the flax, Who will comb it for me?” “Sister, I will bring it to you combed.”338

This pattern repeats itself within the song until Utu has promised to procure, comb, spin, braid, warp, weave, and bleach the bridal linen 337 Gwendolyn Leick, Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature (London: Routledge, 1994), 74–75. 338 Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer, Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth, Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer (New York: Harper and Row, 1983), 30.

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for his sister. It is only after Inanna asks, “Brother, after you’ve brought my bridal sheet to me, Who will go to bed with me? Utu, who will go to bed with me?” that Utu decides to outsource some of the work. He answers, “Sister, your bridegroom will go to bed with you.”339 We soon learn that Utu’s industriousness may have a link to his vested interest in choosing Inanna’s bridegroom. He seeks to use his persuasive powers to insure that she marries the man who will economically benefit his family, the house of the father in which he will remain for years to come. Utu tells his younger sister that her bridegroom will be Dumuzi, the shepherd, and Inanna immediately replies, “No, brother, the man of my heart works the hoe. The farmer, he is the man of my heart.”340 While the sister speaks of the heart, the brother speaks of economics. He tells his sister to marry the shepherd because his herds will produce rich milk and cream.341 Ultimately, Inanna marries her brother’s choice, Dumuzi the shepherd. She acquiesces to the persuasive power of her brother. Returning to the Biblical material, we find that the failed or thwarted marriage negotiations of Dinah and Shechem are associated with the house of the mother and with the negotiating authority of the bride’s brothers. The story of Dinah’s failed marriage to Shechem begins by identifying Dinah through the house of her mother: “Now Dinah, the daughter of Leah, whom she had born to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land.”342 It is unusual to identify a person through her mother, so the fact that this narrative opens with a maternal genealogy suggests that we are dealing with an event that is within the purview of the house of the mother. Dinah’s excursion resulted in her being claimed sexually by the foreigner, Shechem, in an act that the Biblical narrative labels “an outrage (hlfbfn:).”343 Shechem Ibid., 30–31. Ibid., 31–32. 341 Ibid., 32–33. 342 Gen 34:1. Recall that the story initiating the betrothal of Isaac was headlined with his father, Abraham, (Gen 24:1). Frymer-Kensky also noted the significance of headlining the narrative with a reference to Dinah’s mother understanding it to signify that the text will concern marriage because mothers in the ancient Near East were the “chief negotiators” in the marriages of their daughters (Women of the Bible, 179–80). 343 Gen 34:7. There has been considerable debate concerning whether it 339 340

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then wished to marry Dinah and requested that his father, Hamor, approach Dinah’s father, Jacob. The text has Jacob choosing to keep his peace about the issue with Shechem because “his sons were with his cattle in the field.”344 The father waited until his sons came home before addressing the proposed marriage and the “outrage.” Dinah’s brothers are first labeled as “the sons of Jacob,” and they are described as “indignant and very angry” on account of Shechem’s treatment of their sister.345 Hamor, who first thought to approach Jacob with the proposal of marriage ends up having to deal directly with Jacob’s sons, Dinah’s brothers. What Hamor proposed was more than a simple marriage between Dinah and Shechem; he proposed an ongoing marriage treaty that involved each side giving their daughters to the other in marriage.346 The fact that Dinah was already residing in Shechem’s house and the wording of the proposed marriage treaty— “give your daughters to us”—clearly indicates that the marital practice suggested is patrilocal.347 The marriage treaty also had economic implications. Hamor indicated that an exchange of daughters in marriage would allow for a sharing of the land, the property within the land, and the trading rights on the land.348 In addition, Shechem, portrayed as the over-eager groom stated, “Ask of me ever so much a bride price and gift, and I will give according as you say to me.”349 The marriage negotiations are carried out between Hamor and “the sons of Jacob” with Shechem, the groom, and Jacob, the father of the bride, playing minor roles. At this point the literary features of the text become apparent. The sons of Jacob required circumcision as the terms for an ongoing marriage treaty, and the narrator lets the

is appropriate to label what occurred to Dinah as “rape.” Frymer-Kensky is one of the many who has questioned the application of the term “rape” to this narrative (Women of the Bible, 181–82). In my view, the Hebrew clearly indicates that Shechem took Dinah sexually by force, therefore, I have no problem using the term “rape.” In this essay, however, I am using indigenous Hebrew terminology, and the narrator labels the event “an outrage.” 344 Gen 34:3–6. 345 Gen 34:7. 346 Gen 34:8–9. 347 Dinah’s presence in Shechem’s house is mentioned in Gen 34:26 when she is removed from his house after a raid. 348 Gen 34:10. 349 Gen 34:12.

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readers know that the sons were dealing “deceitfully” with Hamor.350 Hamor and Shechem are then described as overly gullible in accepting this outrageous demand and, in fact, were “pleased” with the idea of mass circumcision.351 The text consistently labels the chief negotiators in Dinah’s marriage as “the sons of Jacob.”352 When this same group is quoted in direct negotiations with Hamor and Shechem, they are labeled Dinah’s “brothers,” and they refer to Dinah as “our sister” and “our daughter.”353 The authority that this group assumes over Dinah is especially clear in their claim to her as a “daughter.” After the deceitful negotiations have been completed, the text introduces a subset within the collective group of “the sons of Jacob”—“two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers.”354 These two men are the first to be described specifically as “Dinah’s brothers,” and their names recall the beginning of the narrative where Dinah was introduced as a daughter of Leah. Simeon and Levi were Dinah’s full brothers, born of the same mother, and the text has added the names and the specification “Dinah’s brothers” to make this genealogical point. It was Dinah’s natal brothers who avenged “the outrage” committed against her by attacking the city of Shechem and killing all the males within it including Shechem and Hamor. They then removed Dinah from Shechem’s house.355 At this point, “the sons of Jacob” return to the narrative as those who plunder the city of Shechem.356 Jacob’s single solo line in the entire narrative follows this slaughter. He reprimanded Simeon and Levi for “bringing trouble” on him and his household by “making him odious” to the inhabitants of the land. The two natal brothers responded to their father saying simply, “Can he treat our sister as a whore?”357 The story of the deceitful marital negotiations between the house of Jacob and the house of Hamor shares several features with the story of Rebekah’s marriage negotiations. The potential bride is Gen 34:13–14. Gen 34:18–19. 352 The terms “his sons” and “sons of Jacob” are used in Gen 34:5, 7, 13. 353 Gen 34:11, 13, 14, 17. 354 Gen 34:25. 355 Gen 34:25–26. 356 Gen 34:27–29. 357 Gen 34:30–31. 350 351

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introduced through the house of her mother, “the daughter of Leah.” The marriage proposed is patrilocal. The bride’s father chooses to remain silent and specifically waits upon his sons’ return in order that they conduct the marital negotiations. The bride’s brothers assume full authority over the negotiating process, setting the terms of her marriage and of the marriage treaty. Like Bethuel, who seems to be present but largely inactive, Jacob is present but silent. Just as the Song of Songs singles out the natal brothers, “the sons of my mother,” as having protective authority over their sister, Dinah’s story singles out her natal brothers, Simeon and Levi, as the agents of revenge.358 Up to this point, we have been examining narratives that describe the marriage negotiations for a daughter who would marry out of her father’s household. There are, however, Biblical stories of betrothal and marriage in which it is the father of the bride rather than the brother who negotiates the terms of the marriage. These stories, however, exhibit a structural dissimilarity from the stories mentioned above. Three prominent stories of fathers negotiating the marriages of their daughters demonstrate this dissimilarity. Laban negotiated the terms of his daughters’ marriages to Jacob.359 Reuel/Jethro initiated and played a key role in the marriage arrangements of his daughter Zipporah to Moses.360 Finally, Saul set the terms for David’s marriage to his daughter Michal.361 These stories of father-brokered marriages share several features that are distinct from natal-brother-brokered marriages. Father-brokered marriages occur in houses of the father in which the father has multiple daughters: Laban and Saul had two named daughters; Reuel had seven daughters.362 In each of these houses of the father, there was either no male heir mentioned or there was a problem with the male heir. In the story of Laban and Jacob, there is no mention of

358 The story of Tamar’s rape by Amnon also features a largely silent father, David, and a natal brother, Absalom, who rescues his sister, houses her, and avenges her rape. Had Tamar managed to salvage her “ruin” by getting Amnon to marry her, this marriage would not have been exactly patrilocal because the potential groom and bride share a father (2 Samuel 13). 359 Genesis 29. 360 Exod 2:15–22. 361 1 Sam 18:17–28. 362 Gen 29:16; Exod 2:16; 1 Sam 18:17, 20.

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“the sons of Laban” until years later when Jacob attempts to leave Laban’s household.363 Reuel/Jethro apparently had no sons. By the time Saul was negotiating David’s marriage to Michal, his own son and heir, Jonathan, had “knit his soul” to that of David and had made a covenant with David that involved giving David his royal robe, armor, and sword.364 When a daughter’s marriage was brokered within the house of the father by her father, there were also certain shared features regarding the status of the groom. In two of the three father-brokered marriages, the groom was first and foremost a fugitive on the run who needed shelter and received shelter through marrying into his wife’s household. Moreover, each of the three grooms, according to society’s expectations (rather than divine), were not in line to inherit their father’s estate. Jacob fled to the house of Laban after his older brother Esau threatened to murder him.365 He found refuge in the house of Laban for decades. Although the text tells the story of a divinely orchestrated choice of Jacob over Esau for their father Isaac’s estate, Jacob’s flight, his prolonged exile, and his need to seek Esau’s favor upon his return all suggest that as a second-born son, he was not in line to inherit.366 David was the youngest of the many sons of Jesse, so he did not stand to inherit a significant portion of his father’s estate. In fact had already opted to take the well-traveled path of lateborn, excess sons by joining Saul’s military and entering into his personal service.367 Moses, like Jacob, fled to Midian when he learned that Pharaoh sought to kill him.368 While he was the first-born son of his father, he clearly had no inheritance in his father’s household and chose to dwell with his father-in-law.369 All three grooms in these Gen 31:1. 1 Sam 18:1–4. 365 Gen 27:41–45. 366 Gen 25:31–34; 27–33. 367 1 Sam 16:11; 16–23; 18:2. On younger sons choosing careers in the military, government or priesthood, see Lawrence E. Stager, “The Archaeology of the Family in Ancient Israel,” BASOR 260 (Fall 1985): 25. On younger sons generally being al loose ends without an inheritance in the house of their father and therefore open to less conventional life choices, see Gregory Mobley, The Empty Men: The Heroic Tradition of Ancient Israel (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005). 368 Exod 2:11–15. 369 Exod 2:1–2, 21–22. 363 364

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father-brokered marriages married into the house of their father-inlaw and entered into their service. Jacob and Moses tended the flocks of their fathers-in-law.370 In the multiple traditions of David’s entry into Saul’s household, he is consistently portrayed as serving Saul whether it be as a musician, an armor bearer, or a military commander.371 This brief excursus into the conditions that led to a father negotiating the marriage of his daughter has demonstrated clearly that on the level of the Biblical narrative, fathers became involved when their own household would be absorbing the groom. They did this in part because they lacked a proper heir themselves or because they sought the service of the son-in-law. The “house of the father” was the site of marriage negotiations for a male heir or for a daughter whose groom would marry into her household.372 The self-interest of the house of the father in both of these cases is clear. It also seems quite logical that a father would be minimally involved in the marriage negotiations of a daughter who would marry out of his household. What remains less clear, however, is why in those cases of a daughter marrying out, the house of the mother containing mother and natal brothers became centrally involved. In order to suggest some answers to this question, we turn to anthropological studies of kinship and to ethnographic studies of patrilocal marriage negotiations within patrilineal societies.

A NT HR O P OLOG IC AL A P PRO AC H ES T O K I NS H I P C O M P AR A T I V E E T H N OGRA P H I ES

A ND

The cultural specificity of a given society’s understanding of kinship is only made visible through comparative theoretical and ethnographic Gen 30:29–43; Exod 3:1. 1 Sam 16:21–23; 18–19. 372 The situation of the daughters of Zelophehad also fits with this pattern. Zelophehad had multiple daughters and no sons. Had he lived, he would likely have brokered at least one marriage of a son-in-law into his household. Once he died, his five daughters successfully petitioned Moses for their father’s inheritance (Num 26:33; 27:1–11). Later, the stand-ins for Zelophehad’s “house of the father,” who are described as “the heads of the father’s houses of the sons of Gilead,” demand that any marriages contracted by the daughters of Zelophehad must be marriages within the tribe of Manasseh in order to keep the property under the control of “the house of the father” (Num 36:1–12; Josh 17:3–6). 370 371

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analysis. A comparative analysis renders a society’s view of kinship, marriage, and relationality visible. Modern ethnographic studies focusing on patrilineal societies that practiced patrilocal marriage have become increasingly sensitized to the role of the natal family or “uterine family.” We have shown that the Bible has its own indigenous, Hebrew terms that describe the natal family: “the house of the mother” and within that house “my brothers, the sons of my mother.” We have also demonstrated that the house of the mother was the site and the authoritative party in the marriage negotiations of a daughter who married out. While Biblical scholars have long noted that the indigenous Hebrew term “house of the father” had implications for understanding ancient Israelite kinship structures, they have largely failed to recognize “the house of the mother” as a distinctly functioning kinship structure.373 Anthropological studies define the natal family as functioning within and in support of the larger patrilineal household while maintaining some distinct economic and social functions. The natal family consists of a mother, her maids, and her biological and adopted children.374 The clearest Biblical example that distinguishes the house of the father and the houses of the mother within it is the house of the father headed by Jacob, which contains his two wives, two concubines, twelve sons and one daughter. Within the house of Jacob, there are two houses of the

373 Biblical scholars who discuss the kinship dimensions of the “house of the father” include Philip J. King and Lawrence E. Stager, Life in Biblical Israel (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001), 28–61, esp. 39–40; Carol L. Meyers, “The Family in Early Israel,” and Joseph Blenkinsopp, “The Family in First Temple Israel,” in Families in Ancient Israel, ed. Leo G. Perdue, et al. (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1997), 1–47, 48–103. As mentioned above, Carol L. Meyers has addressed the term “house of the mother,” and its relationship to women’s agency and marriage negotiations in two articles, see note 315. 374 Anthropologists who discuss and define the general function of the natal family include Lila Abu-Lughod, Veiled Sentiments (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), 51–56; eadem, Writing Women’s Worlds: Bedouin Stories (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 46–65, 113–16; Leela Dube, Anthropological Explorations in Gender: Intersecting Fields (New Delhi and London: Sage Publications, 2001), 124–41; Margery Wolf, “Uterine Families in the Women’s Community,” in Women and the Family in Rural Taiwan (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1972), 32–41.

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mother or natal families, one headed by Leah and a second headed by Rachel, each containing their respective maids and children. Anthropological studies of kinship have undergone a tumultuous and contentious history in the last century making it necessary to define how one understands and uses “kinship studies.” The publication of David Schneider’s 1984 A Critique of the Study of Kinship is often cited as marking the “death of kinship studies.”375 Like the “death of God” within our own field of religious studies, however, this pronouncement proved premature. Nonetheless, kinship studies since the late 80s are described as “reconstituted” and “reconfigured” rather than restored.376 The basic lines of critique that Schneider and others leveled against twentieth-century kinship studies led to a shift away from the imposition of universal models, especially evolutionary models that traced “primitive” kinship structures in “exotic” communities up through the “sophisticated” Euro-American nuclear family. There has also been a shift away from “biologism” or seeing kinship relatedness as “rooted in nature.” Rather than imposing outsider terminology like “lineage” and “descent,” modern kinship studies focus on indigenous terminology and indigenous ideas of how people understand themselves to be related. Objectivist models that sought to explain kinship in all societies at all times have been abandoned in favor of hermeneutical models that take into account a society’s historical and cultural particularities.377 This study of marriage brokering as depicted in Biblical narratives focuses on the indigenous vocabulary describing the interested parties: “house of the father”; “house of the mother”; and variations on “the sons of my mother.” The above textual analysis has 375 David Schneider, A Critique of the Study of Kinship (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1984). 376 Michael G. Peletz, “Ambivalence in Kinship since the 1940s,” in Relative Values: Reconfiguring Kinship Studies, ed. Sarah Franklin and Susan McKinnon (Durham and London: Duke Univ. Press, 2001), 413–14, 423. 377 For a summary of the “death” and “reconfiguring” of kinship studies see Sarah Franklin and Susan McKinnon, “Introduction,” in Relative Values: Reconfiguring Kinship Studies, ed. Franklin and McKinnon (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001), 1–25; Robert Parkin, “Introduction,” in Kinship and the Family: An Anthropological Reader, ed. Robert Parkin and Linda Stone (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004), 29–42, 121–35; Mary Jo Maynes, Gender, Kinship, Power: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary History (New York: Routledge, 1995), 1–23.

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uncovered several patterns governing the kin groups involved in various types of marriage brokering depicted in the Bible. The uniformity and neatness of these patterns, however, is likely a product of their presence within literary narratives that are part of the shared, idealized cultural memory of ancient Judah. We have yet to determine the degree to which these Biblical patterns governing marriage brokering reflect any degree of lived practice. Modern ethnographies provide strong evidence for a diversity of practices governing marriage and kinship in any society. Among the modern ethnographies that focus on the natal family, it is interesting to note the multiplicity of strategies that women employ to position themselves advantageously within their husband’s household. Beshara Doumani, in her introduction to Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property and Gender, cautions against any approach to family history that sees a “monolithic traditional family type” or posits a “linear evolution from primitive extended group to modern nuclear family.”378 Surveying a broad range of ethnographic and social historical studies of the family in the Middle East, Doumani concludes “that family is a fluid amalgam of different fields of experience for differently situated members, and that there is room for a variety of strategies by women.”379 Despite this fluidity, each essay within the broad range of essays in Doumani’s edited volume suggests that kinship, gender and property holding form a matrix of associations that must be considered together.380 Modern comparative ethnographies help to shed light on the inner-workings of the Biblical natal family. A comparative examination of marriage practices in modern polygynous societies that practice patrilocal marriage points to the economic reciprocity that governed the relationship between natal siblings. These ethnographies also provide evidence for the ongoing relationship between a daughter and her natal brothers during and following her marriage. Securing an advantageous match for a sister provided a natal brother with the economic resources he would need to marry well. A sister’s cooperation with her natal brother’s arrangements on 378 Beshara Doumani, “Introduction,” in

Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property, and Gender, ed. Beshara Doumani (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003), 4. 379 Ibid., 16. 380 Ibid.

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her behalf served as a down payment for the advocacy she might need from her brother after marrying into her husband’s household. Hilma Granqvist conducted one of these helpful ethnographic studies of marriage brokering in the early 1900s focusing on a small Palestinian village.381 In this village, fathers negotiated the betrothals of their sons and daughters at infancy. Most of the arranged marriages were among close kin. Granqvist recorded the betrothal history within one family in which a mother and father with a single infant daughter and no sons accepted a reduced bride price for her on account of the groom’s family being a close relation. That same couple went on to have three sons and another daughter. In arranging for the second daughter’s marriage, the mother drove a hard bargain, expecting a high bride price in spite of the groom again being a close relative. She later explained quite simply, “I want a [good] bride price for my daughter in order to make a marriage for my son with it.”382 In this brief story, we have our first hint at an economic relationship between the marriage of a daughter and the financial prospects of her natal brother. In another Palestinian village, Martha Mundy and Richard Saumarez Smith studied the law and practice governing the mahr focusing on archival materials and family histories from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The mahr was defined as “the object that the groom gives the bride as a condition of the Muslim marriage contract.”383 While legally the mahr was a gift given to the bride, in practice the researchers documented a wide variety of ways that this gift ended up owned in the name of the bride’s father, maternal uncles, and natal brothers. The mahr payment from the groom’s family to the bride consisted of three parts: grain, livestock, and money. The portion over which the bride had the most control was the traditional gift of a headband decorated with gold coins. Over time, that part of the mahr became symbolic or ceremonial as the gold headband was only borrowed. The remaining portions of the mahr usually went to 381 Hilma Granqvist, Marriage Conditions in a Palestinian Village, Societas Scientiarum Fennica Commentationes Humanarum Litterarum, III 8 and VI 8 (Helsingfors: Akademische Buchhandlung, 1931, 1935). 382 Granqvist, Marriage Conditions, I 28–29. 383 Martha Mundy and Richard Saumarez Smith, “‘Al-Mahr Zaituna’: Property and Family in the Hills Facing Palestine, 1880–1940,” in Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property, and Gender, ed. Beshara Doumani (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003), 119.

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the senior men in the bride’s family. Significantly, a consistent recipient of mahr was the brother of the bride’s mother. What this shows is that even in a patrilineal community where brides married out of their natal homes and lived with their husband’s family, they maintained long-standing and financially significant relationships with their natal brothers and even their maternal kin. Finally, in Annelies Moors’ study of the transfer of gold jewelry at the time of marriage in the Palestinian village of Jabal Nablus from 1920 to 1990, she observed the common practice of young brides forfeiting their dowry to their natal brothers.384 Legally, the dowry belonged to the bride, and she could take it into her new marriage and control it. In practice, brides were expected to yield the dowry to their unmarried brothers. In describing the inheritance and marriage strategies of women who routinely refrained from claiming a land inheritance or a dowry that was legally theirs, Moors noted, “Women strongly identify with their natal family… they depend on its support for their well-being… Leaving her share in her father’s estate to her brothers, a woman at once enhances her brother’s position and by implication her own, as in this way their obligations to protect and support her are reaffirmed.”385 When asked why they did not take their land-inheritance into their marriage, most young brides indicated that their brothers had been good to them and deserved the money. The other factor, however, was that the sister’s gift of her landinheritance secured the brothers’ continued protection and support of her after the marriage. If ever the bride ran into difficulty with her husband and his family, she could count on her own brothers to negotiate on her behalf. If she insisted on taking the land-inheritance with her, her brothers effectively owed her nothing.386 Moors study of women’s gold in the Palestinian village of Nablus also sheds light on Abraham’s servant’s gift of gold jewelry to Rebekah. Moors noted that gold was “both the most important economic resource women had access to and a highly valued means of display through which people produce and express their various identities.”387 The women in Nablus acquired most of their gold 384 Annelies Moors, “Women’s Gold: Shifting Styles of Embodying Family Relations,” in Family History, 101–117. 385 Ibid., 105. 386 Ibid., 104–5. 387 Ibid., 103.

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through inheritance from their mothers and through marriage in the form of a dowry. Of all the money and property that might be transferred as part of marriage negotiations, the gold represented a small part financially, but it was the one part over which the bride maintained control.388 This brief examination of ethnographic studies of marriage brokering practices has suggested several patterns of relationship between a bride and her natal home. First, there is an economic relationship between natal siblings that finds expression at the time of the sister’s marriage but continues even after the sister has married out of her natal home. A bride price received for a sister could become the bride price paid when her brother married. A dowry or marriage gift that a bride chose to leave for her brother further enhanced her brother’s financial and therefore marital prospects. Her generosity in yielding marital gifts to her brothers paid dividends to her in the form of continued social and possibly economic support once she had married into her husband’s household. The gift of gold jewelry from a mother to a daughter or from a groom to a bride represented the one financial aspect of the marital negotiations over which the bride maintained control.

B I BL IC AL M ARRI A G E B ROKERI NG M ODERN E T H N OGRA P H I ES

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L IG H T

OF

Without the aide of modern ethnographies, the Biblical evidence alone establishes that the house of the mother was a distinctly functioning kinship unit within the house of the father. Within the house of the mother, the natal brother exercised considerable authority over his sister particularly at the time of her marriage negotiations. We have also noted the marriage negotiations were explicitly economic involving an exchange of gifts and/or property. What the modern ethnographies alert us to is the ongoing and reciprocally economic and social relationship between natal siblings. Abraham’s servant gave a series of marital gifts to Rebekah and her family. Rebekah received gold jewelry and later “vessels of silver and vessels of gold and garments.”389 The only other recipients of bridal gifts were “her brother and her mother” who received “costly

388 389

Ibid. Gen 24:22, 53.

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ornaments.”390 Her father received nothing. One question that comes up in light of the modern ethnographies is whether or not an ancient Judean reader or hearer of this story would imagine Rebekah taking her marriage gifts with her when she traveled to Canaan. It seems highly unlikely that Abraham’s servant would bring heavy vessels of gold and silver all the way to Mesopotamia only to haul them back again. It seems more reasonable to assume that Rebekah would leave these gifts with “her brother and her mother” as a kind of down payment on her future security. The text does not tell us what happens to the marital gifts, but we do learn that Rebekah’s relationship with her brother Laban continued beyond her marriage to Isaac. When her own favored son, Jacob, needed refuge and a livelihood, Rebekah could count on her brother Laban to provide it.391 The ongoing nature of the relationship between a girl and her natal household is also seen in texts that describe failed marriages. Ruth and Orpah could expect to be taken back into their mother’s homes after their first marriages ended in childless widowhood.392 Dinah was taken back by her natal brothers, Simeon and Levi.393 Tamar found refuge for the rest of her life in the home of her natal brother, Absalom.394 Biblical narratives and modern ethnographic studies together provide evidence for “the house of the mother” being an indigenous, Hebrew designation for what anthropologists term “the natal family.” This distinct kinship unit within “the house of the father” had social and economic control over the marriage brokering of a daughter who would marry out. Within the house of the mother, a girl’s natal brother(s), “the sons of her mother,” exercised authority protecting the chastity of their sister, choosing an appropriate husband, setting the terms for the marriage gifts, and receiving an economically significant portion of the marriage gifts. While the daughter clearly married out of the house of her father, it would seem that she remained connected to “the house of her mother.” If her marriage failed or ended without children, she could return there and find refuge. In times of difficulty, she could depend on her natal brothers Gen 24:53. Gen 27:41–45. 392 Ruth 1:8–14. 393 Gen 34:26. 394 2 Sam 13:20. 390 391

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for support. In short, this study has demonstrated that any analysis of ancient Israelite kinship will need to account for the function of the house of the mother and for the nexus of reciprocity between a married sister and her natal brother when they are no longer coresident kin.

B I BL I OGRA P H Y Abu-Lughod, Lila. Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986. ________. Writing Women’s Worlds: Bedouin Stories. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. Alter, Robert. Genesis: Translation and Commentary. New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1996. ________. The Art of Biblical Narrative. New York: Basic Books, 1981. Blenkinsopp, Joseph. “The Family in First Temple Israel.” In Perdue et al., eds., Families in Ancient Israel, 48–103. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1997. Campbell, Edward F. Ruth: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Anchor Bible, 7. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975. De Vaux, Roland. Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions. Translated by John McHugh. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997. Doumani, Beshara, ed. Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property, and Gender. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003. Dube, Leela. Anthropological Explorations in Gender: Intersecting Fields. New Delhi and London: Sage Publications, 2001. Franklin, Sarah and Susan McKinnon, eds. Relative Values: Reconfiguring Kinship Studies. Durham: Duke University Press, 2001. Frymer-Kensky, Tikva. Reading the Women of the Bible. New York: Schocken Books, 2002. Granqvist, Hilma. Marriage Conditions in a Palestinian Village. Societas Scientiarum Fennica Commentationes Humanarum Litterarum, III 8 and VI 8. Helsingfors: Akademische Buchhandlung, 1931, 1935. King, Philip J. and Lawrence E. Stager. Life in Biblical Israel. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001.

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Leick, Gwendolyn. Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature. New York: Routledge, 1994. Maynes, Mary Jo. Gender, Kinship, Power: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary History. New York: Routledge, 1995. Meyers, Carol L. “‘To Her Mother’s House’: Considering a Counterpart to the Israelite Bêt >åb.” In The Bible and the Politics of Exegesis: Essays in Honor of Norman K. Gottwald on His Sixty– Fifth Birthday. Edited by David Jobling, Peggy L. Day, and Gerald T. Sheppard, 39–51. Cleveland, Ohio: The Pilgrim Press, 1991. ________. “The Family in Early Israel.” In Perdue et al., eds., Families in Ancient Israel, 1–47. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1997. ________. Discovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Mobley, Gregory. The Empty Men: The Heroic Tradition of Ancient Israel. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005. Moors, Annelies. “Women’s Gold: Shifting Styles of Embodying Family Relations.” In Doumani, ed., Family History in the Middle East, 101–17. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003. Mundy, Martha and Richard Saumarez Smith. “‘Al-Mahr Zaituna’: Property and Family in the Hills Facing Palestine, 1880– 1940.” In Doumani, ed., Family History in the Middle East, 119– 50. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003. Parkin, Robert. “Introduction.” In Kinship and Family: An Anthropological Reader. Edited by Robert and Linda Stone. Blackwell Anthologies in Social and Cultural Anthropology, 4. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004. Peletz, Michael G. “Ambivalence in Kinship since the 1940s.” In Relative Values: Reconfiguring Kinship Studies. Edited by Sarah Franklin and Susan McKinnon, 413–43. Durham: Duke University Press, 2001. Pope, Marvin H. Song of Songs. Anchor Bible, 7C. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977. Perdue, Leo G. et al., eds. Families in Ancient Israel Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1997. Sarna, Nahum. The JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1989. Sasson, Jack M. “The Servant’s Tale: How Rebekah Found a

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Spouse.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 65 (2006): 241–65. Schneider, David Murray. A Critique of the Study of Kinship. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1984. Speiser, Ephraim Avigdor. Genesis: Introduction Translation, and Notes. Anchor Bible, 1. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1964. Stager, Lawrence E. “The Archaeology of the Family in Ancient Israel.” BASOR 260 (Fall 1985): 1–35. Steinberg, Naomi. Kinship and Marriage in Genesis: A Household Economics Perspective. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993. Thompson, Thomas L. The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham. Beiheft zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 133. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1974 (reprint: Trinity Press Int., 2002). Von Rad, Gerhard. Genesis: A Commentary. Translated by John H. Marks. The Old Testament Library. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1972. Westermann, Claus. Genesis 12–36: A Commentary. Translated by John J. Scullion. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1985. Williams, James G. “The Beautiful and the Barren: Conventions in Biblical Type-Scenes.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 17 (1980): 107–19. Wolf, Margery. Women and the Family in Rural Taiwan. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1972. Wolkstein, Diane and Samuel Noah Kramer. Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth, Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer. New York: Harper & Row, 1983.

A R EAS SE S S MENT O F T IK V A F RYMER K ENSKY ’ S A SHERAH Steve A. Wiggins I never met Tikva. When we were, relatively speaking, neighbors in Chicago and Milwaukee, we emailed about the possibility of getting together, but unfortunately we never did. My contribution to this volume is thus a thin reflection on what it might have been had I taken the time to get to know the honoree personally. I hope that my comments convey, at least in a small measure, the respect I have for both the scholar and her work. My remarks here are based mainly on Tikva’s book In the Wake of the Goddesses.395 This is her fullest published analysis of Asherah and it summarizes her perceptions on the specific goddess as well as the goddess’s context in the orbit of the Mesopotamian cultures where her earliest attestation occurs. The topic of Asherah in Tikva’s work occupies a relatively small space. Nevertheless, it is an excellent corrective to many recent approaches which attempt to redefine this ancient goddess in modern Abbreviations: KTU: M. Dietrich, O. Loretz and J. Sanmartín. The Cuneiform Alphabetic Texts from Ugarit, Ras Ibn Hani and Other Places. 2nd enlarged edition. Abhandlungen zur Literazur Alt-Syrien-Palästinas und Mesopotamiens, 8. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 1995. 395

Tikva Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth (New York: The Free Press, 1992). Tikva’s book appeared the year before my own first study of Asherah; A Reassessment of “Asherah”: A Study According to the Textual Sources of the First Two Millennia B.C.E. Alter Orient und Altes Testament, 235 (Kevelaer/Neukirchen Vluyn: Verlag Butzon & Bercker/Neukirchener Verlag, 1993). I was not aware of Tikva’s work at the time.

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guise, making her the model for women seeking a deity they might trust from among the ancient line-up of usual suspects.396 The main theme of Asherah’s connection with abundance, as phrased in the chapter title dedicated to the goddess (“Asherah and Abundance”) was a novel suggestion 15 years ago, and is one which stands the test of close scrutiny. Tikva prudently avoided the use of the popular and scholarly denomination of “fertility” as somehow belonging to Asherah (153). Few suggestions captured the imagination of post-Victorian writers in the west as the one that imagined a flamboyantly sexual cult in ancient times where the participants could excuse their excesses in the cause of ensuring “fertility.”397 Tikva steered well clear of this morass by simply reading the material as it actually survived from the ancient world. In the Bible, the main cultural sphere where Tikva addresses the goddess, there is no reference to Asherah as advocating or participating in the insurance of fertility. In Ugarit, from which the largest body of literature directly witnessing the presence and the role of the goddess appears, Asherah shows no concern with fertility as any kind of abstract concept. In fact, it could be argued that the opposite is the case—when Ba‘al’s death is announced in the third section of the Ba‘al Cycle (KTU 1.5– 6), unlike Anat and El who mourn inconsolably, Asherah, it is supposed, will have cause to rejoice (KTU 1.6 i 39–43). Ba‘al, I would argue, does not truly represent “fertility” either. His role is to control the rain, not to ensure fertility.398 The distinction may seem subtle, but when we look at ancient religion we must be willing to do so without our modern lenses that readily classify ancient thought into modern 396 As an example see Jenny Kien, Reinstating the Divine Woman in Judaism (Florida: Universal Publishers, 2000), 159–79. 397 The classic “textbook” case of seeing Canaanites as debased is Ulf Oldenburg, The Conflict between El and Ba‘al in Canaanite Religion, Supplementa ad Nvmen, Altera Series Dissertationes ad Historiam Religionum Pertinentes, 3 (Leiden: Brill, 1969), xi. For a more recent assessment involving orgies in ancient religion see Georg Braulik, “The Rejection of the Goddess Asherah in Israel: Was the Rejection as Late as Deuteronomistic and Did It Further the Oppression of Women in Israel?” in The Theology of Deuteronomy: Collected Essays by Georg Braulik, O.S.B. (North Richland Hills, TX: BIBAL Press, 1994), 172–74. 398 As argued in Wiggins, “The Weather under Baal: Meteorology in KTU 1.1–6,” Ugarit Forschungen 32 (2000): 577–98.

REASSESSMENT OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY’S ASHERAH 173 or post-modern frameworks. I would suggest, however, that Asherah’s particular cause for rejoicing, in this situation, is in her occasion to utilize her political role as rabitu, or Queen Mother.399 Nevertheless, she does not shed a tear for the lack of rain that follows upon Ba‘al’s demise. Her first candidate for Ba‘al’s replacement remains inscrutable, since we still do not properly understand who the god “who knows and is intelligent” might be. The second candidate, however, namely Atthar, is arguably in control of the ground water,400 so the plight of humans needing water does seem to be a concern for the goddess. This is not a role of “fertility” by any stretch. Also at Ugarit, the tale of Kirta contains a curious episode in which Kirta approaches Asherah for success in finding a wife even after El has already offered him success and specific advice (KTU 1.14 iv 31–43). Could it be that the people of Ugarit believed Asherah had a special concern for human reproduction? This one incident, poorly understood, is hardly enough to make such a suggestion, nevertheless it does hint at something involving Asherah and royal progeny. Asherah, among the Ugaritic deities, was the mother of the gods but not of gods and humans. Her role then, seems to be generally confined to the divine world and only incidentally to the human situation. The label of “fertility” goddess has adhered to Asherah for good,401 but Tikva realized in her treatment of the goddess in the Bible that there was a difference between fertility and abundance. She simply reasoned from what the Bible and inscriptions attest. In fact, the Hebrew Bible is a most diffident witness to the presence and role of Asherah. Although scholars had long suspected a goddess Asherah before Ugarit confirmed her existence, the biblical references to a cultic object known as an asherah had been Cyrus H. Gordon, “Ugaritic rbt/rab•tu,” in Ascribe to the Lord: Biblical and Other Studies in Memory of Peter C. Craigie, ed. Lyle M. Eslinger and Glen Taylor, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 67 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1988), 127–32. See also Zafrira Ben-Barak, “The Status and Right of the Gébîrâ,” Journal of Biblical Literature 110 (1991): 23–34. 400 Alastair Waterston, “The Kingdom of ‘Attar and His Role in the AB Cycle,” Ugarit Forschungen 20 (1988): 357–64. 401 See the recent treatment by William G. Dever, Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005), 192–93. 399

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ambiguous. Tikva was aware of this lack of information and did not attempt to make more of it than the text allowed. When addressing the issue, she noted that the stripped down, cultically sterile religion portrayed by the deuteronomistic outlook left farmers and others who depended on the soil for their livelihood in a place of having no direct way to ensure the yield of the ground (153–55). At the same time, the Hebrew Bible makes reference to the so-called “high places” where an asherah was a frequent part of the paraphernalia. From this she deduces that Asherah may have been considered a source of abundance by the farmers of Israel. The monotheistic tendencies of the deuteronomistic movement led to the loss of the ancient symbols of the non-official religion of Israel. The asherah was one of the victims of this reduction of cultic apparatus. Tikva notes that Asherah was also known as Qudshu, or “the holy one” and that she was one of the “three prominent goddesses” of Ugarit (156). It is true that in the Ugaritic literature Asherah is described by the attribute “holy” (qdš ). The evidence that she was called “the holy one,” however, is remarkably slim. At Ugarit, as elsewhere in the ancient world, it is not surprising to see any deity beneficial to the cause of humanity as being understood as “holy.” And while it is true that Asherah is among the prominent goddesses of Ugarit, the number of these goddesses exceeds three. Shapshu has an active role in the texts alongside Asherah, Anat, and Athtart. The “three goddesses” is another example of modern outlooks—a trinity being read into a religion where such does not exist. Asherah is a prominent goddess, not because she is one among three, but because she has a prominent position next to El. In dealing with the Kuntillet ‘Ajrud inscriptions (156), Tikva took the most sensible route of all when she confessed, as any honest epigrapher must, that the translation of the enigmatic inscriptions is unclear. So many scholars have decided that these ambiguous messages indicate a fully bona fide marriage license that those of us who are willing to question this new orthodoxy are descried as “conservatives” and “traditionalists.” In my own work, independent of that of Tikva, I cast my ballot into the same box as she—these inscriptions are ambiguous.402 This is not a matter of conservativism (as any who know me would have no doubt), but it is a matter of intellectual honesty. I am sure that Tikva felt the draw too; it is nearly 402

Reassessment, 165–81.

REASSESSMENT OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY’S ASHERAH 175 irresistible to have a goddess who is the spouse of El in Israel’s neighboring cultures and not find her wed to Yahweh! Tikva, however, showed the moderation of a true scholar when she did not let what “must have been” beguile her into making assertions that do not fit the evidence. If clear inscriptions do emerge that demonstrate Yahweh was blissfully wed to Asherah, I shall not be surprised, but like our honoree, I will patiently wait until the evidence actually emerges. Noting the lack of hostility in general toward Asherah in Israel’s literature, Tikva suggests that Asherah might have been a native Israelite goddess (158). She appears to be goddess of no particular natural phenomenon, in Israel she is not even definitively the spouse of the high god, as at Ugarit. Represented by a tree, Tikva supposes that Asherah may have been a reflection of the natural world and its powers of regeneration (158). According to the limited witness of the Bible, the asherah was certainly a wooden object. Deut 16.21 would seem to indicate that a tree could also be an asherah. Unless this is some special case, I believe there are serious reasons for not assuming a deity was defined by the material from which its representations were made.403 Mainly this is because of the limitation of plastic materials from the ancient world from which to construct durable, or relatively durable representations. We have gods cast in metal and hewed from stone. More pliable and readily available clay was used to construct images. It is reasonable to assume that official images used in major sanctuaries would have been constructed with precious metals. Other images likely met the budgets of the devotees. In no other case has it been consistently argued that the material used to construct an image was indicative of the nature of the deity. In such circumstances, is it reasonable to assume that Asherah was somehow a goddess of trees simply because an asherah was made of wood? The well-known Egyptian representations of trees with female attributes, breasts for suckling Pharaohs and sometimes sprouting full-bodied goddesses, are not associated with Asherah, but with locally known deities.404 In Ugarit Asherah is not subjoined to trees or wood in any way in the surviving texts. As discussed in Wiggins, “Of Asherahs and Trees: Some Methodological Questions,” Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 1 (2001): 158–87. 404 Even a general introduction that stresses the inter-connectedness of 403

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In her guarded statements, Tikva did not suggest that Asherah was personified by trees. The tree was, however, at least sometimes utilized in the cult of Asherah. In the biblical world, trees were cited for their strength, their shade, and their fruit. Perhaps Asherah somehow came to be associated with protection, as implied by both strength and shade, and abundance, as implied by fruit. As Tikva noted, however, when it came to the level of human regeneration, Asherah no longer fit the picture (158). She was not some kind of erotic goddess to be approached for fertility. No ancient records of any variety portray her as being particularly concerned with human reproduction. As Tikva clearly saw, this is a projection of modern repressions onto an extremely pre-Victorian world. Asherah’s concerns, as an actual denizen of that world, lay elsewhere. As noted by other scholars, particularly Mayer Gruber,405 Tikva also saw this reflected in the assignment of female cult functionaries to the role of “cult prostitute.” This chimera, born of men’s fancy and unchecked imagination, resulted, as Tikva states, from the lack of ability to imagine any other cultic role for women in antiquity. If there were women involved in the cult, namely the qedeshot, what other service might they have provided? Later history would suggest a role of prophecy such as that attested at the oracle of Delphi, or even in the subdued character of Huldah in the Hebrew Bible. Still, the function of a truly mythical sacred prostitution, perhaps invented by Herodotus, remains with us. The issue of female figurines and Asherah has been a perennial one.406 Again, at a loss to explain such anomalous figures in ancient the religions of ancient world, such as Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide, ed. Sarah Iles Johnston, Harvard University Press Reference Library (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004), notes the distinctive character of Egyptian religion. Simply equating Egyptian religious symbols to pre-decided Northwest Semitic goddesses overburdens the evidence. Supposing that unnamed matriarchal trees in Egypt were associated with Asherah has been a standard assumption almost since the rediscovery of the goddess in the 1920s (CE). See, for example, Vera L. Piper, Uprooting Traditional Interpretation: A Consideration of Tree Worship in the Migration of Abraham, unpublished State University of New York Buffalo dissertation, 1989. 405 “Hebrew q#dŸ¡åh and Her Canaanite and Akkadian Cognates,” Ugarit Forschungen 18 (1986): 133–48. 406 James B. Pritchard, Palestinian Figurines in Relation to Certain Goddesses

REASSESSMENT OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY’S ASHERAH 177 Israel, many scholars to this day persist on naming these figurines as “Asherah” or “Astarte” figurines. This association has always been questionable, and Tikva herself notes that in Israel these figurines have lost all attributes of divinity (159). In fact, in an almost Freudian sense, Tikva sees these figurines as representing in tangible form what was most desired: nourishment and fertility, a prayer cast in clay. Reading these mute figurines as goddesses is to leap far beyond the evidence of the ancient world. We know of them as unnamed feminine representations, they tell us nothing of the divine world inhabited by Asherah. As is typical in the study of a relatively poorly attested goddess, Tikva does spend some time analyzing the so-called “pillar figurines” that have been considered everything from stylized tree-trunks to pillars standing in cultic locations.407 Tikva suggests that the shape may suggest a tree-trunk and therefore Asherah. This is possible, however, as with the other figurines they too befuddle us by their silence. The trunk-shaped base may have been purely a matter of convenience—a way of standing the figurine up while not expending great amounts of time crafting a detailed body. The breasts are emphasized, if anything is. This does point to what Tikva analyzes to be their function, as symbols of nourishment, a suggestion that remains entirely plausible even with the passing of the years. She notes that figurines may have consciously not been identified at all (161), which seems to be a very accurate assessment of the situation. Continuing studies of Asherah, or the amorphous “ancient goddess” have tended to build upon and replicate some questionable assumptions. What is so refreshing about Tikva’s approach to the issue, in the larger context of goddesses of ancient western Asia, is to see her vantage point untainted by uncertain associations. She Known through Literature, American Oriental Series, 24 (New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1943); Othmar Keel and Christoph Uehlinger, Gods, Goddesses, and Images of God in Ancient Israel, tr. Thomas H. Trapp (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992), 177–277; and Raz Kletter, The Judean Pillar-Figurines and the Archaeology of Asherah, BAR International Series, 636 (Oxford: Temvs Reparatvm, 1996), esp. 73–81, are representative samples. 407 For a recent consideration see Judith M. Hadley, The Cult of Asherah in Ancient Israel and Judah: Evidence for a Hebrew Goddess, University of Cambridge Oriental Publications, 57 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 188–205. See also Patrick D. Miller, The Religion of Ancient Israel, Library of Ancient Israel (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2000), 37 (although he mis-cites the title of my work in his bibliography).

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approaches Asherah from the perspective of the more ancient goddesses who preceded her rather than projecting nineteenth- and twentieth-century orthodoxies back on her. This is a rare insight and one which should be emulated. Additionally, before she even reached Asherah in the course of her book, Tikva had hit upon some aspects of prior goddesses that do reflect on ancient perceptions of Asherah, when viewed through the lenses of Ugarit. One such observation comes near the beginning of the study where Tikva discusses “Goddesses and the Learned Arts” (36). Here she notes that goddesses were relational: mothers, sisters, wives. This is certainly true of Asherah. She does not appear to operate alone. Unlike Anat who is pictured as taking initiative and aggressively going to war with no one’s apparent orders or commands, whenever Asherah appears it is in relationship to other deities. Most frequently she appears to interact with El, which has led to their relationship being described as a consort or spousal one. Even when doing the laundry she appears to have El on her mind (KTU 1.4 ii 2–11). A second salient connection with the past is Asherah’s use of the spindle. In the Wake of the Goddesses makes mention of Inanna going to war while holding spindle and whorl (66). Upon reading this, my mind automatically went again to Asherah. In the enigmatic laundry scene (perhaps in a Desperate Housewives moment), Asherah is pictured with her spindle. As has been suggested elsewhere, such a symbol may have been intended to keep the goddess connected with mortal women in their domestic realm, but it may also have had associations of royalty. To date no adequate study has been done on the spindle of the goddesses in ancient West Asia. There may be a key laying out, hidden in plain view here. An occupational hazard of having participated in a wave of Asherah studies for a few years is the sobering realization that we have all said so much about so little. Tikva, in her clear-sighted view of the situation, remains a reliable and steady guide in a field where professed certainty sheds doubt on all assumptions.

B I BL I OGRA P H Y Ben-Barak, Zafrira. “The Status and Right of the Gébîrâ.” Journal of Biblical Literature 110 (1991): 23–34. Braulik, Georg. “The Rejection of the Goddess Asherah in Israel: Was the Rejection as Late as Deuteronomistic and Did It

REASSESSMENT OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY’S ASHERAH 179 Further the Oppression of Women in Israel? In The Theology of Deuteronomy: Collected Essays by Georg Braulik, O.S.B., 165–82. North Richland Hills, TX: BIBAL Press, 1994. Dever, William G. Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005. Frymer-Kensky, Tikva. In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth. New York: The Free Press, 1992. Gordon, Cyrus H. “Ugaritic rbt/rab•tu.” In Ascribe to the Lord: Biblical and Other Studies in Memory of Peter C. Craigie. Edited by Lyle M. Eslinger and Glen Taylor, 127–32. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 67. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1988. Gruber, Mayer I. “Hebrew q#dŸ¡åh and Her Canaanite and Akkadian Cognates.” Ugarit Forschungen 18 (1986): 133–48. Hadley, Judith M. The Cult of Asherah in Ancient Israel and Judah: Evidence for a Hebrew Goddess. University of Cambridge Oriental Publications, 57. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Johnston, Sarah Iles, ed. Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide. Harvard University Press Reference Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004. Keel, Othmar and Christoph Uehlinger. Gods, Goddesses, and Images of God in Ancient Israel. Translated by Thomas H. Trapp. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992. Kien, Jenny. Reinstating the Divine Woman in Judaism. Florida: Universal Publishers, 2000. Kletter, Raz. The Judean Pillar-Figurines and the Archaeology of Asherah. BAR International Series, 636. Oxford: Temvs Reparatvm, 1996. Miller, Patrick D. The Religion of Ancient Israel. Library of Ancient Israel. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2000. Oldenburg, Ulf. The Conflict between El and Ba‘al in Canaanite Religion. Supplementa ad Nvmen, Altera Series Dissertationes ad Historiam Religionum Pertinentes, 3. Leiden: Brill, 1969. Piper, Vera L. Uprooting Traditional Interpretation: A Consideration of Tree Worship in the Migration of Abraham. Unpublished State University of New York Buffalo dissertation, 1989. Pritchard, James B. Palestinian Figurines in Relation to Certain Goddesses Known through Literature. American Oriental Series, 24. New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1943.

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Waterston, Alastair. “The Kingdom of ‘Attar and His Role in the AB Cycle.” Ugarit Forschungen 20 (1988): 357–64. Wiggins, Steve A. “Of Asherahs and Trees: Some Methodological Questions.” Journel of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 1 (2001): 158– 87. _______. A Reassessment of “Asherah”: A Study According to the Textual Sources of the First Two Millennia B.C.E. Alter Orient und Altes Testament, 235. Kevelaer/Neukirchen Vluyn: Verlag Butzon & Bercker/Neukirchener Verlag, 1993. _______. “The Weather under Baal: Meteorology in KTU 1.1–6.” Ugarit Forschungen 32 (2000): 577–98.

A NOTHER D EMAND FOR A K ING : W OMEN IN THE N ARRATI VE O F D A VI D ’ S R ISE ∗ John T. Noble

I. One can hardly fail to notice that women are so prominently featured throughout the Samuel narratives. The tantalizing question is how to understand their prevalence in texts that narrate the incipient monarchy, the rise of a hereditary and hierarchical institution. Several have addressed various forms of this question,408 but few attempts have been made to survey the women together in hopes of uncovering a broader narrative function. One such study is that of Susan Pigott, who analyzes the part that women seem to play as “prophetic heralds of kingship” throughout the Samuel narratives.409 This essay pursues a similar goal of revealing a common narrative function, though from a slightly different point of view, and primarily ∗ Abbreviations: GB: Greek Codex Vaticanus. GL: Greek Lucianic recension. GKC: Wilhelm Gesenius, Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar. Edited by E. Kautzsch and A. E. Cowley. 2nd English edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980. 408 Cf. Adele Berlin, Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative, Bible and Literature Series, 9 (Sheffield: Almond Press, 1983, reprinted Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1994), 23–33; Claudia V. Camp, “The Wise Women of 2 Samuel: A Role Model for Women in Early Israel?” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 43 (1981): 14–29; Jon D. Levenson and Baruch Halpern, “The Political Import of David’s Marriages,” Journal of Biblical Literature 99 (1980): 507–18. 409 “Wives, Witches and Wise Women: Prophetic Heralds of Kingship in 1 and 2 Samuel,” Review and Expositor 99 (2002): 145–73.

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from the limited scope of text usually called “The History of David’s Rise” (HDR; 1 Sam 16:14–2 Sam 5:10).410 Though the boundaries and dimensions of this source are still debated,411 the pericopes that concern us are mostly safe within the confines of conventional purview. The one exception is 2 Sam 6:20–23, but its relation to the other passages gives us cause to consider its inclusion in the HDR as well. As we shall see, here are women who strongly support the prospect of David’s kingship and may constitute, for the purposes of the narrative, a subversive movement in favor of his kingship. They serve as the stand-in representatives of Israel by expressing the people’s will—or, perhaps even better, YHWH’s will—for a new and more suitable king at a time when Saul’s own dynasty is still quite intact. Furthermore, in this way the narrator positions the women as antithetical counterparts to the leading men in Israel, the elders, who have offended YHWH through their demand for a king in 1 Sam 8:4– 8. Our contention is that such a reading may help to shed light on a number of difficult passages in this section of the Samuel corpus. Finally, with regard to method, I find myself indebted to Tikva Frymer-Kensky, and take her advice to heart: The stories, then, were not written in order to make statements about women. To understand why they were written, we have to look at each story intently, with all the techniques described . . . and also consider them collectively, as a group, reading them in relation to one another instead of confining them to the context in which they occur individually. When we do this, patterns begin to emerge, not only type-scenes and parallel plotlines, but also recognizable themes with which these stories are concerned.412 410 See Leonhard Rost, Die Überlieferung von der Thronnachfolge Davids (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1926). 411 See, e.g., Artur Weiser, “Die Legitimation des Königs David: Zur Eigenart und Entstehung der sogen. Geschichte von Davids Aufstieg,” Vestus Testamentum 16 (1966): 325–54; Joachim Conrad, “Zum geschichtlichen Hintergrund der Darstellung von Davids Aufstieg,” Theologische Literaturzeitung 97 (1972): 321–32; P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., “The Apology of David,” Journal of Biblical Literature 99 (1980): 489–504; and Marc Zvi Brettler, The Creation of History in Ancient Israel (New York: Routledge, 1995), 97–100. 412 Tikva Frymer-Kensky, Reading the Women of the Bible (New York: Schocken Books, 2002), xvii.

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II. We begin our investigation of the narrative function of women in the HDR with a review of the victory chorus sung by the women of Israel upon the defeat of the Philistines in 1 Sam 18:6–7. In accordance with an ancient post-victory tradition in Israel,413 the women come out from the cities of Israel to celebrate the conquerors’ triumph (v. 6). The next verse contains the song’s only recorded couplet: “Saul has slain his thousands, but David his tens of thousands.”414 Then, in verse 8, the narrator reports, “This word was evil in Saul’s eyes, and he thought, ‘They have attributed to David tens of thousands, but to me they have only attributed thousands’”; this marks the beginning of Saul’s suspicion of David (v. 9). For our purposes, the important question concerns the intention of the women singers. Does the narrator present them as innocent celebrants of the victory and its heroes,415 whoever they may be, or are we to understand that they have intentionally exalted David over Saul? It is not unusual to see the number pair “thousand” and “ten thousand” used together as a means of expressing a large quantity in West Semitic poetry, so that one term has the same essential value as the other in a couplet.416 Does this make Saul’s reaction an overreaction? One study supplies a catalog of such poetic number pairs in the Hebrew Bible, and out of these, only the case of Saul and David displays a significant distinction of subjects, suggesting that there may have been an intentional contrast between Saul and David by the women in this case.417 It is helpful to recognize that in Biblical 413 See Pigott, “Wives,” 145; cf. Exod 15:20–21; Jdg 5; 11:34; cf. also Jer 31:4, 13. 414 Cf. also 1 Sam 21:11, which bears witness to the significance of the song for the narrator. 415 As suggested, for example, by Walter Brueggemann, “Narrative Coherence and Theological Intentionality in 1 Samuel 18,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 55 (1993): 229. 416 Cf. Ps 91:7: “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand”; also Ugaritic poetry, “He casts silver by the thousands, gold he casts by the ten thousands” cited in P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., I Samuel, Anchor Bible, 8 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1980), 312. 417 The data were compiled in Stanley Gevirtz, Patterns in the Early Poetry of Israel, Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization, 32 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963), 15–24; in a review of this study by David Noel Freedman (Journal of Biblical Literature 83 [1964]: 202), Freedman notes the

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poetry a number given in the first line of a couplet is always increased in the second line. For Saul and David, the convention turns a pithy and meaningful expression, and David’s association with the intensified second line reflects his elevation over Saul,418 so that David’s tens of thousands truly are superior to Saul’s thousands. Two observations about the text itself may bolster the case. Following GB, which reflects the earlier tradition,419 the dancing women of 1 Sam 18:6 have come out specifically to meet David, but not Saul, who does not appear in this verse at all. From the narrative’s point of view, therefore, Saul may not have been directly involved in the celebration at all. Also, the reading preserved in the Masoretic Text tradition of verse 8, although perhaps not original, does at least give some clue about how this text was understood by segments of the early Jewish community. In the Masoretic Text and in GL Saul laments, “What more can he have but the kingdom?” The rhetorical question indicates perhaps not so much paranoia as a realistic recognition of David’s instant popularity in the polls, to use an anachronism. Saul is quite right to “eye David from that day on” (v. 9). The incumbent king understands the message and its implications very well, including the symbolism of the women for the people. This narrative use of women as a symbol, or a metonymy, for all the people is emphasized especially in verse 16 (cf. v. 28), which speaks of the love for David shared by all Israel and Judah. The basis for this love, at least for greater Israel and Judah, is that David “went out and came in before them” as a true military head. Apart from the significant distinction of subjects, and concludes that the Biblical narrator may have been right to understand the women’s verse as an offensive jab. 418 See Robert Alter, The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 and 2 Samuel (New York: W.W. Norton, 1999), 113. 419 Two distinct literary strata exist in 1 Samuel 16–18, one represented by Old Greek and the other by Masoretic Text, Targums, Syriac, and Vulgate. Old Greek, which is shorter, is generally regarded as the better witness because it lacks the double accounts found in the other stratum after the two are merged. In this case, most Greek witnesses reflect the reworking of the OG to bring it into line with the MT. The older, more pristine text appears to be GB. See Emanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992), 334–36. McCarter advises that the MT verse 6 was probably introduced editorially to smooth over the interpolation of 17:55–18:5 (I Samuel, 310).

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question of the couplet, then, it is evident that David is the real champion of the battle depicted in chapter 17, and that he is the one who inspires the Israelite victory over the Philistines. Saul, by contrast, is “dismayed and greatly afraid” after Goliath’s challenge (v. 11). In this way, the story not only describes the victory as David’s, but it recounts a certain royal rite of passage as well, especially as we bear in mind the thematic importance of the king’s leadership in battle in the Samuel corpus. According to the elders’ rationale for demanding a king in the first place, the chosen leader would help Israel to be like the other nations by governing them and by going before them to fight their battles (8:5, 20). Thus, Saul’s first military success is followed by a reaffirmation of the monarchy (11:14–15); and when David stays behind at the palace at the time when kings go out to battle, he is already at fault (2 Sam 11:1). Later, when Joab summons David to finish the attack on Rabbah of the Ammonites, the concern is that David should get credit for the victory, not Joab, even though Joab is the commander of the army (12:28). Consequently, any praise by the singing women must be understood in this light. (In fact, considering the strong interconnection of kingship with martial prowess, the mere inclusion of David together with Saul in a laudatory formula is tantamount to equating David with the royal office.)420 As further evidence, it is meaningful that the women only come out to celebrate the victor this one time, though it is not the first time that a war hero—and a king—is made. First Sam 11:11–12, mentioned above, describes Saul’s ascendancy as he delivers the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead from Nahash and the Ammonites, a stunning military victory against a cruel and intimidating foe (cf. vv. 1–3). Saul’s triumph marks a momentous occasion; it is a clear turning point in Israel’s foreign relations and achieves the desired effect of the Cf. the following account of the celebration of the conquest of Valenciennes in 1677 by King Louis (XIV) and his brother, Monsieur (Philippe I Duc d’Orleans), in Lisa Hilton, Athénaïs: The Life of Louis XIV’s Mistress, the Real Queen of France (New York: Little, Brown, 2002), 175: 420

When the brothers rode into Paris, Monsieur was received delightedly, with cries of “Vive le Roi et Monsieur qui a gagné la bataille,” the use of the singular implying that it was Monsieur, not Louis, who had won the battle. Needless to say, Monsieur was never allowed to set a dainty, high-heeled foot on a battlefield again.

Though the king is included in the praise formula, Monsieur’s credit for military success poses a threat to Louis’s kingship.

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monarchy (8:20). Israel’s response, then, is curious: there is an apparent suggestion by the people that Saul’s naysayers be put to death (11:12)421—but the women, meanwhile, are silent. From both literary and textual perspectives, then, the women of 1 Sam 18:6–8 are not innocently (or ignorantly) praising both Saul and David; rather, they are actively promoting David and demoting Saul by ascribing to David the type of honor that should be reserved only for the king. The point of all of this is to emphasize the introduction of an important literary motif at work here, viz., that the narrator uses women as stand-in representatives of Israel. When the Israelites first demand a king, the group that speaks on behalf of Israel’s interests is the elders of Israel (8:4), and at the conclusion of that scene, Samuel tells the men of Israel to return, each man to his city (8:22). Now, however, a second group, the women, is introduced at the beginning of the section as coming “from all the cities of Israel,” and they clamor for a different ruler (18:6–7). The parallel references to both “Israel” and “city” in these passages are subtle affirmations that the two groups epitomize Israel. Just as it is to their cities that the men return (8:4, 22), so it is that the women come out from the cities of Israel (18:6). And the result, in both cases, is that Israel seeks a king. In the sections to follow, we seek to buttress this assertion with additional evidence from 1 Sam 20:30, 1 Samuel 25, 2 Sam 1:26 and 2 Sam 6:20–23.

III. We have noted that 1 Sam 18:6–7 is the only text that mentions women coming out to celebrate a military victory in the Samuel narratives; yet it is not the only passage that depicts an anonymous group of women in David’s corner. In 1 Sam 20:30, Saul curses his son Jonathan because of suspected disloyalty. The precise nature of that curse has been less than clear. The MT reading, tw@d@r:ma@ha twA(jn-a Nbe,@ literally, “the twisted woman of rebellion,” appears to be corrupt.422 The other versions, excepting Targums, Peshitta, and 421 One could also interpret the MT as an injunction to put to death Saul’s supporters, not detractors; but the OG makes more sense of the context. 422 Several problems emerge with the MT. Included among them is the grammatical relation of tw(n and twdrmh. As Samuel R. Driver notes, the genitive is ordinarily attached to a descriptive adjective if the intention is

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Vulgate, but including, notably, 4QSamb, GB, GL, Old Latin and Josephus, reflect the retroverted Hebrew t(w)r(n instead of tw(n.423 The former represents a different root with a different meaning, “girl”, and the notable versions all clearly indicate a different number, plural.424 Still, critics are reluctant to render a plural translation.425 As McCarter explains, these other versions must have misinterpreted the second term tw@d@r:m@aha as a plural participle and read tr(n as a plural as well for agreement’s sake.426 Such an explanation is certainly possible, but it is unnecessary. The plural t(w)r(n seems to be a difficult contextual fit for modern readers—and this is really the primary objection427—but the context does supply a perfectly sensible interpretation of t(w)r(n Nb. As I have already argued, Saul correctly perceives in 1 Sam 18:6–8, only two chapters earlier, that the women coming from “all the cities of Israel” are on David’s side. To Saul, they are twdrmh “rebellious,” and he prefers disrespectfully to call the women “servant girls” t(w)r(n.428 Therefore Jonathan is not cursed literally as the biological to define the genitive. twdrmh does not define tw(n, but repeats the same idea with a different form (see GKC § 128x,y; Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel, 170); note also the difficult hapax legomenon tw@d@r:m.a The substitution of tw(n for t(w)r(n can be explained by confusion of resh and waw in the Vorlage. I propose that a scribe confused the original resh for a waw, and the reading persisted despite its awkwardness because of its apparent contextual fit with the later reference to Jonathan’s mother. 424 Note especially 4QSamb: twr(n . 425 Cf., for example, Julius Wellhausen (Der Text der Bücher Samuelis [Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1871], 119–20); Samuel Rolles Driver (Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel2 [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913], 170–71), McCarter (I Samuel, 339), Tov (Textual Criticism, 305), and Frank Moore Cross, Jr., et al. (Qumran Cave 4. XII: 1–2 Samuel [Discoveries in the Judean Desert, 17], 232–33). 426 McCarter, I Samuel, 339. 427 See Tov, Textual Criticism, 305. 428 For other instances of hr(n with the meaning “servant girl,” cf. Gen 24:61, Exod 2:5, 1 Sam 25:42, 2 Kgs 5:2, 4. 423

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Nb “son” of treacherous servant girls; he is rather accused of being a Nb “member” of the group of women who support David.429 The narrator cannot resist a wordplay afforded by the semantic possibilities of Nb, and so Saul derides Jonathan further by suggesting that he has caused shame to the nakedness of his mother. We can only speculate that Jonathan’s mother’s nakedness, i.e., her femininity, suffers shame because she has produced not only one treacherous child, Michal, but also Jonathan. Even though Michal does not appear in the immediate context of Saul’s curse, one recalls her complicity in David’s escape only one chapter earlier (19:17), and her declared love for David (18:20).430 The result is that the narrator seems to have aligned women onto David’s side once again through Saul’s curse in 20:30, now with Saul’s own progeny at issue. Michal has already joined the other women by betraying her father (18:20), and drawing Saul’s ire (19:17); here Saul connects Jonathan to the women as well.431 This background ought to inform our reading of David’s enigmatic lament over Jonathan: “Your love was wonderful to me, more than the love of women” (2 Sam 1:26). The love between Jonathan and David is best understood in terms of covenant kinship,432 but the comparison to the “love of women” is unusual for 429

For “members of rebellion,” cf. Num 17:25 yrm-ynb. This may

argue for the MT reading twdrmh, which, though from a different root, also appears to mean “rebellion.” 430 Pigott (“Wives,” 166–67 n. 31) notes that Michal’s love for David in 1 Sam 18:20 may also have political overtones, for the reason that all of the other occurrences of bh) in 1 Samuel 18 are in reference to the loyalty of Saul’s subjects for David; cf. J. A. Thompson, “The Significance of the Verb Love in the David-Jonathan Narratives in 1 Samuel,” Vetus Testamentum 24 (1974): 334–38. 431 For a comparison of parallel features in the accounts of Michal and Jonathan, see Susan Ackerman, When Heroes Love: the Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), 186. 432 Frank Moore Cross, Jr., From Epic to Canon: History and Literature in Ancient Israel (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), 9–10. The love between Jonathan and David as an expression of covenant is particularly evident in vv. 1 Sam 20:8, 14–15, 17, 41–42. Note also that in the same verse of David’s lament for Jonathan (2 Sam 1:26), David addresses

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covenant language.433 If our reading is correct, then the revelation that Jonathan’s love surpasses even that of David’s core constituency, women, is indeed a reflection on his covenantal faithfulness to David. The point is not to argue that David is linked to the women through a formal covenant, but rather to recall that in the parlance of 1 Samuel 18, the context in which David’s female supporters first appear (vv. 6–7), the idiom of political “love” (vv. 16, 28; cf. v. 20) is used to characterize the devotion of all Israel and Judah for David.434 Such an interpretation does not preclude altogether the usual connotations of the phrase “love of women”; the term likely does double-duty in the elegy, effecting a playful plene sense, and suggesting that the bond exceeds both forms of love taken individually. According to Frymer-Kensky, the loyalty of Michal and Jonathan toward David rather than Saul is not unexpected because subordinates in a hierarchy, even in a powerful family such as Saul’s, are not always as committed to the arrangement of power as the head of the family is.435 The tendency is manifest, therefore, for women and other subordinates to pursue higher goals even when they are at odds with the interests of the father, which, in this case, happen to include Jonathan’s own succession to the throne (20:31). No passage better illustrates this principle than 1 Samuel 25, in which Abigail supports David with enough enthusiasm to match the contempt that her husband, Nabal, has for David and his men. Despite her position as Nabal’s subordinate, Abigail is decidedly uncommitted to her husband’s preferences, and seeks instead, as Jonathan does, the higher goal of David’s welfare.

IV. Adele Berlin describes the narrative’s characterization of Nabal and Abigail as “exaggerated stereotypes,” meaning that their primary Jonathan as his “brother,” another important covenantal Leitwort. See Thompson, “The Significance,” 334–38; cf. William L. Moran, “The Ancient Near Eastern Background of the Love of God in Deuteronomy,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 25 (1963): 77–87. 433 As indicated most recently by Ackerman, When Heroes, 191. 434 Note the occurrence of “all Israel loved him” in GB 1 Sam 18:28; see McCarter, I Samuel, 320. 435 In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth (New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1992), 125–26.

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attributes as flat characters are emphasized, and that the chapter provides an “exemplum.”436 That is to say, as Jon D. Levenson puts it, 1 Samuel 25 is something “close to the world of moral allegory,” featuring “personifications of certain character types common in Israelite Wisdom literature.”437 In analyses of narrative function, attention is often drawn to chapters 24 and 26 because of their mutual demonstration of David’s restraint in the presence of his enemies,438 or to the proleptic effect of the chapter with reference to events associated with Bathsheba and Uriah.439 However, in such observations the real purpose of a wisdom “exemplum” such as this in the broader context of the HDR is not satisfactorily explained. It remains unclear, for example, why the narrator portrays in such painstaking detail the character flaws and strengths of Nabal and Abigail, respectively, or why these two should conform to the Wisdom archetypes at all. I offer the possibility, then, that the juxtaposition of these two figures serves to profile the two groups they represent, Israel’s elders and the women. The first representative, Nabal, is a wealthy pastoralist, almost certainly an elder of Israel (v. 2).440 The storyteller is careful to stress that he is “hard” and “ill-mannered” (v. 3), and that his very name carries a rather negative connotation (v. 25). The term lbn is often translated as “fool” though a particular kind of foolish is meant, not harmless and silly, but selfish and cruel. The depiction of a lbn in Isa 32:6 is particularly apropos: he “leaves the hungry unsatisfied and denies drink to the thirsty.”441 Moreover, according to the qere of verse 3, the Nabal in 1 Samuel 25 is a “Calebite,” which, on the testimony of G, probably connotes “dog-like.”442 These details 436 Poetics,

30–31.

437 “1 Samuel 25 as

Literature and as History,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 40 (1978): 22. 438 E.g., Berlin, Poetics, 31; Levenson, “1 Samuel 25,” 23; McCarter, I Samuel, 400–401. 439 Levenson, “1 Samuel 25,” 23–24. 440 Levenson makes a case that the historical Nabal may even have been the head of the Calebite clan (ibid., 26). 441 As noted by Levenson (ibid., 13–14). He notes further that other attributes of lbn featured in 1 Samuel 25 are also found in Prov 30:22 (glutton) and Jer 17:11 (amasses wealth unjustly). 442 Ibid., 14–15.

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prepare the reader for what is to become the defining moment in Nabal’s pitiful life: at the time when he might have acknowledged the prospective king, Nabal would not or could not recognize David. He snidely remarks in verse 10, “Who is David and who is the son of Jesse? Today there are many servants who break free from their masters;” and he refuses to supply David’s men whose pedigree and status are unknown to him (v. 11). The response clearly displays an elitist attitude, one that Levenson calls “autocratic arrogance,” and indicates that Nabal, in contradistinction to David, is a slave-owner without regard for subordinates.443 In Nabal’s final scene, he becomes inebriated at a feast held in his house; it was a banquet “like a royal feast” (v. 36). Such a detail subtly associates Nabal with the negative connotations of kingship that are typical of the elders, the group he represents, and the association is supported by Nabal’s parallel relationship to Saul as an enemy whom David spares. The fool’s inevitable death—“YHWH struck Nabal” (v. 38)—is a judgment on him, in our reading, as a proxy for the elders of Israel, but it also signals Saul’s impending fate as one whom YHWH will remove from David’s path. Abigail, by contrast, is the female representative in the account. Her introduction to the story features descriptive terms such as “good understanding” and “beautiful form” (v. 3), and her humble posture before David’s retinue stands in relief to her husband’s conceit (vv. 23–28, 41). Through irony, the narrator portrays Abigail as the wise and de facto master of the house, her husband the unwise yet de jure titular head. In the end, Abigail’s fate is distinguished from that of Nabal through a new beginning as the wife of David (vv. 39–42). The most important distinction, however, is that Abigail understands what Nabal did not: she is somehow aware that David is to become ruler over Israel. In fact, she announces this, much the same way that the women singers have done in chapter 18.444 Through this proclamation, Abigail becomes a named member of the group of women on David’s side. Together, Abigail and Nabal are paradigmatic 443

Ibid., 16.

444 McCarter

proposes that the second part of Abigail’s speech (vv. 28– 31), focusing on David’s future and including this pronouncement, may be secondary (I Samuel, 401–402); if so, what part of the text attributable to the HDR that remains is sufficient to depict Abigail’s prescient and favorable treatment of David.

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representatives of the two groups in Israel that demand a king: Nabal and the elders have in mind a monarch like Saul, along with everything that he signifies, but Abigail and the women favor David and his leadership. After Michal and Jonathan, Abigail is the third and final specific member of the “female” group of supporters. None of these three individuals could be characterized as “lowly” in the overall social structure of Israel—quite the opposite considering their attachments to King Saul or Nabal—yet all three are depicted as subordinates relative to established men, and all three are shown to have pursued higher goals even when they are at odds with the patriarchal father’s preferences. The episode of Nabal and Abigail is the culminating HDR case study for the representative individuals and their groups that embody Israel, the elders and the women, and their divergent choices for kingship. It is perhaps not the final appearance of David’s female endorsers, however.

V. If the HDR extends this far, we find its last instance of supporting women in 2 Samuel 6. This chapter details the installation of the ark in David’s new regal-ritual center, Jerusalem, and represents the official beginning of his career as head-of-state. Such a moment occasions David’s generous distribution of foodstuffs to the people, and the narrator specifically defines “all the multitude of Israel” as comprising both men and women (v. 19). This kind of a qualification is unusual,445 and appears to constitute an intentional inclusion of the group that has been behind David all along. The detail also provides important context for the next verse wherein Michal denigrates the successor king through sarcasm, remarking that David has (dis)honored himself before the eyes of wydb( twhm) “his servants’ maidservants” (v. 20). Michal’s choice of vocabulary to describe the women of Israel is reminiscent of King Saul’s disdainful attitude for these same women (1 Sam 20:30), by our interpretation above, and is not unlike Nabal’s autocratic point of view (1 Sam 25:10);446 yet from 2 Sam 6:19 it is evident that all social 445

Cf. Josh 8:35.

446 Michal’s attitude may also reflect her status as an aristocratic window-

watcher (2 Sam 6:16; cf. Jdg 5:28, 2 Kgs 9:30). Her critical response to David is a reversal of an expected positive greeting from a window-watcher.

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groups of women are involved, not just servant women. With this criticism—and note that Michal’s opprobrium is for both David and the women—Saul’s daughter effectively renounces her affiliation with the female group of supporters and their champion, David, and identifies with her father instead. The negative exchange between Michal and David primarily has to do with David’s honor or shame before the women through his worship of YHWH (2 Sam 6: 20–23). In this respect, we recall Saul’s response to Samuel after he has heard the shocking news that YHWH has torn the kingdom from him and given it to his neighbor who is better than he (1 Sam 15:28–30). In his shame, Saul pleads with Samuel that he would honor him before the elders of his people and before Israel, that is to say, before those who favored his kingship (cf. 8:4), through worship of YHWH. The main parallels between the two passages, especially 1 Sam 15:30 and 2 Sam 6:20–22, are summarized as follows: Dishonored Saul seeks honor before elders through worship Honored David is dishonored before women through worship

The similarities between these texts go further. In both cases, the context is a confrontation about the king’s inappropriate behavior; the Saulid line is disgraced; the agency of a garment is involved; and, most significantly for this study, the king’s honor or dishonor before his supporters is at stake. As a fitting last word to Saul’s daughter, David warmly welcomes the veneration of the women of Israel: “now concerning the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them may I be honored” (v. 22). Perhaps it is not accidental that this passage, if it is a part of the HDR at all, would fall near the end of the source,447 and that the other narrative with Saul and Samuel, if it is to be included in the HDR, occurs at the beginning of the source. In fact, if we follow Marc Zvi Brettler’s formulation, the document begins in 1 Sam 14:52 and extends to 2 Sam 8:15,448 providing enough space at each end to 447 For the view that this passage is an original part of the HDR source material, see Weiser, “Die Legitimation,” 344. 448 Brettler, Creation, 100. The identification of this source, which he labels “David as Proper King,” is based in large part on the observation that 1 Sam 14:47–51 corresponds with the end of 2 Samuel 8; both sections have the structure of “victory plus cabinet,” and both feature nearly identical lists of the subdued, including Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines,

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put the two episodes close to the source’s boundaries but not quite at their outer limits.449 In the texts that do constitute the boundaries of Brettler’s source, David succeeds in his subjugation of the peoples that have hindered Israel’s completion of the conquest (2 Sam 8:1– 15), whereas Saul fails to exact YHWH’s full revenge on Amalek for confronting Israel as they came up from Egypt (cf. 1 Sam 15:2–3). As Brettler points out, the narrative begins with the delegitimation of Saul and ends with David’s legitimation; “Saul is embattled (1 Sam 14:52) and sinful (1 Samuel 15) . . . David is strong (2 Samuel 8) and righteous (2 Sam 8:15).”450 As we turn our focus back to our main texts, it is plausible that the pointed rebuke from Samuel to Saul in 1 Sam 15:28–30, and the corresponding altercation between David and Michal following the king’s remarkable entrée in 2 Sam 6:20–23, function as a penultimate inclusio in the HDR. That is to say that not only the material at the very beginning and ending of the source are comparable, but also the narratives which come just after the beginning and right before the ending. This would seem to strengthen Brettler’s thematic and structural arguments for the shape of the source. If his formulation is incorrect, on the other hand, and one or both of these passages fall outside of the HDR, then one is hardpressed to account for the apparent relationship between the two texts, particularly the shared feature of honor or dishonor before the two kings’ supporters: elders and women. I hope it is evident, after all, that the connection between these two groups and their representative kings is a key motif of David’s rise.

Amalek, and the king of Zobah (1 Sam 14:47–48; 2 Sam 8:12). He understands the lists of cabinet officers in 1 Sam 14:49–51 and in 2 Sam 8:16–18, then, to be unit boundaries that delimit the major sections of the Samuel corpus. (The next section would end, accordingly, with the cabinet list of 2 Sam 20:23–26; see James W. Flanagan, “Court History or Succession Document? A Study of 2 Samuel 9–20 and 1 Kings 1–2,” Journal of Biblical Literature 91 [1972]: 177.) Brettler’s unit consists of the material in between, 1 Sam 14:52–2 Sam 8:15. 449 This is the case if we assume the general consensus that 2 Samuel 7 is not of the same literary cloth as the surrounding material. 450 Brettler, Creation, 100. He notes further that all passages preceding the unit “David as Proper King” promote Saul, and all succeeding content focuses on David’s sin and consequences; the material in between is consistently favorable to David.

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VI. The strongest argument for reading this motif in the HDR may be that it provides a means of better understanding a number of puzzling components and issues in this unit of the Samuel corpus. These include the intentions of the women celebrants of 1 Sam 18:6–7, the textual corruption of Saul’s curse against Jonathan in 1 Sam 20:30, David’s enigmatic lament for Jonathan in 2 Sam 1:26, the stereotypical portrayal of Nabal and Abigail in 1 Samuel 25, the curious squabble between David and Michal in 2 Sam 6:20–23, and, possibly, the boundaries of the HDR itself. But even if our thesis is well-founded, the burden remains to explain the narrator’s identification of women with David’s cause. The HDR shows David’s rightful succession to Saul as king over both Judah and Israel. Thus, in the HDR, justification for David’s rise is framed in terms of the fulfillment of YHWH’s will. Outside of the HDR, Saul is YHWH’s first response to the request by the elders for a king (1 Sam 8:4–5). He is anointed privately by Samuel (10:1), but ultimately represents the people’s choice, being a head taller than everyone else (10:23). Subsequently, the HDR seems implicitly to treat Saul as David’s foil: David succeeds in battle when Saul does not; David is shrewd and elusive, operating by divine counsel, whereas Saul is left to bumble about by his own devices, and cannot manage to elude David even in pursuit of him; Saul’s support is depicted as top-down, while David’s appears to come from the bottom-up; Saul must plead for the support of Israel’s elders, but David’s actions naturally engender the favor of a subordinated demographic in Israel. This brings us to the passage that represents the central theological theme of the HDR, found in the context of YHWH’s advice to Samuel for selecting a king: “For YHWH sees not as man sees; man looks at the outward appearance, but YHWH looks on the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). There is a certain criterion for YHWH’s next king, according to the HDR, that is less than obvious to the mortal observer, a quality or characteristic that runs deeper than surface appearances. The women function, accordingly, as agents of YHWH’s will, the stand-in representatives of Israel who demand a new and better king, one who satisfies YHWH’s test of the heart. Tikva Frymer-Kensky helps us to understand why women are appropriate for the task with her explanation, discussed above, that subordinates of a hierarchy are not necessarily as committed to the arrangement of power as the head of the family is, and therefore tend to pursue

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higher goals even when they are at odds with the interests of the father.451 This includes Michal, Jonathan, and Abigail in particular. As subordinates, they are all once-removed from the mortal perspective that YHWH transcends. With respect to the purposes of the HDR, we might say that it is this liminal status that permits them first “to see” David’s potential for kingship in a manner that completes the foil of the (mortal) elders’ first demand for a king.

451 In

the Wake, 125–26.

B I BL I OGRA P H Y Ackerman, Susan. When Heroes Love: The Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. Alter, Robert. The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 and 2 Samuel. New York: W. W. Norton, 1999. Berlin, Adele. Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative. Bible and Literature Series, 9. Sheffield: Almond Press, 1983. (Reprint: Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1994). Brettler, Marc Zvi. The Creation of History in Ancient Israel. New York: Routledge, 1995. Brueggemann, Walter. “Narrative Coherence and Theological Intentionality in 1 Samuel 18.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 55 (1993): 225–43. Camp, Claudia V. “The Wise Women of 2 Samuel: A Role Model for Women in Early Israel?” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 43 (1981): 14– 29. Conrad, Joachim. “Zum geschichtlichen Hintergrund der Darstellung von Davids Aufstieg.” Theologische Literaturzeitung 97 (1972): 321– 32. Cross, Frank Moore, Jr., Donald W. Parry, Richard J. Saley and Eugene Ulrich, eds. Qumran Cave 4. XII: 1–2 Samuel. Discoveries in the Judean Desert, 17. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005. Cross, Frank Moore, Jr. From Epic to Canon: History and Literature in Ancient Israel. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Driver, Samuel Rolles. Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel. 2nd edition. Oxford: Clarendon, 1913. Flanagan, James W. “Court History or Succession Document? A Study of 2 Samuel 9–20 and 1 Kings 1–2.” Journal of Biblical Literature 91 (1972): 172–81. Freedman, David Noel. Review of Stanley Gevirtz, Patterns in the Early Poetry of Israel. In Journal of Biblical Literature 83 (1964): 201–203. Frymer-Kensky, Tikva. In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1992. ———. Reading the Women of the Bible. New York: Schocken Books, 2002.

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Gesenius, Wilhelm. Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar. Edited by E. Kautzsch and A. E. Cowley. 2nd English edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980. Gevirtz, Stanley. Patterns in the Early Poetry of Israel. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization, 32. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963. Levenson, Jon D. “1 Samuel 25 as Literature and as History.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 40 (1978): 11–28. Levenson, Jon D. and Baruch Halpern. “The Political Import of David’s Marriages.” Journal of Biblical Literature 99 (1980): 507–18. McCarter, P. Kyle, Jr. “The Apology of David.” Journal of Biblical Literature 99 (1980): 489–504. ———. I Samuel. Anchor Bible, 8. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1980. ———. II Samuel. Anchor Bible, 9. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1984. Moran, William L. “The Ancient Near Eastern Background of the Love of God in Deuteronomy.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 25 (1963): 77–87. Pigott, Susan M. “Wives, Witches and Wise Women: Prophetic Heralds of Kingship in 1 and 2 Samuel.” Review and Expositor 99 (2002): 145–73. Rost, Leonhard. Die Überlieferung von der Thronnachfolge Davids. Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1926. Thompson, J. A. “The Significance of the Verb Love in the DavidJonathan Narratives in 1 Samuel.” Vetus Testamentum 24 (1974): 334–38. Tov, Emanuel. Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992. Weiser, Artur. “Die Legitimation des Königs David. Zur Eigenart und Entstehung der sogen. Geschichte von Davids Aufstieg.”Vetus Testamentum 16 (1966): 325–54. Wellhausen, Julius. Der Text der Bücher Samuelis. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1871.

T HE FIRST ORIENTALIST? – FANTASY AND FOREIGNNESS IN T HE BOOK OF ESTHER Elna K. Solvang In In the Wake of the Goddesses, Dr. Frymer-Kensky undertook to correct mistaken notions of goddesses in ancient religions by giving serious attention to the issues behind those notions and by inviting the public into the lives of the goddesses and the religious systems in which they functioned. With remarkable thoroughness, exquisite insight and stunning clarity she argued that the public concept of the goddess neither fit the past, as was imagined, nor supplied a basis for gender equality, as was desired. The rigorous scholarship of Dr. Frymer-Kensky applied to the mismatch between ancient and modern notions of goddesses produced many startling—and sometimes controversial— observations about the Biblical portrayal of women and gender. She makes only passing mention of the Book of Esther—on the topic of beauty and lust— concluding that Esther employs neither as tools of persuasion in her appeal to King Ahasuerus for the lives of the Jews. The Biblical portrayal of women, Dr. Frymer-Kensky argued, differed from the “Western cultural tradition” in which beauty and lust were used “to emphasize the differences between male and female and to codify the woman as ‘other.’”452 In this paper I explore the influence of another Western cultural code—that of the “harem”—on the depiction and interpretation of women in the Book of Esther.

452 Tikva Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth (New York: The Free Press, 1992), 140, 141.

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The 1611 King James Version of Esther 2:3 renders the Hebrew this way: And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women…

The 1989 New Revised Standard Version reads: And let the king appoint commissioners in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in the citadel of Susa…

Over the years, the “house of the women” has become a “harem.” A similar shift in terminology occurs between the 1917 and 1985 Jewish Publication Society translations.453 Translations change to reflect new knowledge and to meet the challenge of communicating meaning to a new generation of readers. Certainly over the centuries—and particularly in the past eighty years— knowledge of monarchies and of the lives of women in the ancient world has changed remarkably, but is “the house of women” in Esther a “harem”? The King James “the house of the women” is a literal translation of My#i$n%Fha tyb@' which in the Book of Esther is a space in the citadel (hrFyb@ih)a of Susa,454 related to (2:8) but distinct from (2:13) the K7lem@eha tyb@' “the house of the king.” There is no word for harem in Hebrew but the term “harem” is widely and frequently used in describing the structures of ancient Near Eastern royal households and in interpreting the real lives and literary representations of women in those cultures. The term “harem” is a code providing instructions about how to view the characters and assess their actions. Using the Arabic harem to render the Hebrew K7lem@eha tyb@' assumes two things: (1) comparability between the literary world of Esther and the real

453 1917: “and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the castle, to the house of the women…” 1985: “Let Your Majesty appoint officers in every province of your realm to assemble all the beautiful young virgins at the fortress Shushan, in the harem...” 454 Esther 2:3, 8

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world of the harem; and (2) readers’ understanding of what a harem is. The stock image of harem in the West derives from contacts in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries between the empires of Europe and the powerful Ottoman Empire. As westerners came in contact with the Ottoman imperial and aristocratic households they encountered the absence of women from male view and male spaces. They also discerned the social, economic and political influence of those invisible women. There developed in the West—literally— portraits of large numbers of women guarded from public view in order to sexually satisfy the powerful and capricious male head of household, alongside characterizations of eastern potentates rendered powerless by the beautiful and scheming women of his household, seduced—not reasoned—into following their direction. The female residences—the harem space, off-limits to outsiders—were perceived as places of imprisonment, hence, as Ruth Bernard Yeazell notes, the adoption of “the Italian serraglio originally [meaning] a ‘cage for wild animals,’” in place of the “Turco-Persian word for palace, saray.”455 The marital fidelity of residents of the harem was depicted as erotic enslavement. In the absence of insider accounts and by ignoring contrary evidence, the harem of the western imagination flourished. Its representations of the exotic otherness of eastern society and gender roles have been polished and propagated over the centuries.456 The harem of western imagination is a code that instructs that the context be read and the characters assessed in terms of the superiority of the 455 Ruth

Bernard Yeazell, Harems of the Mind: Passages of Western Art and Literature (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), 62, 2. See also Norman Mosley Penzer, The Harem: An Account of the Institution as It Existed in the Palace of the Turkish Sultans with a History of the Grand Seraglio from Its Foundation to Modern Times (London: Spring Books, 1936), 16, quoted in Joyce Zonana, “The Sultan and the Slave: Feminist Orientalism and the Structure of Jane Eyre,” Signs 18, no. 3 (Spring 1993): 600; and see “Harem, haram,” def. 1a, Oxford English Dictionary Online, 2nd edition (1989). 456 Studies such as Yeazell, Harems of the Mind; Zonana, "The Sultan and the Slave;" Christine Isom-Verhaaren, “Royal French Women in the Ottoman Sultans' Harem: The Political Uses of Fabricated Accounts from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-First Century,” Journal of World History 17 no. 2 (2006): 159–96; and Roswitha Gost, Der Harem (Köln: Dumont Buchverlag, 1993), illustrate the range, ubiquity and functions of such representations.

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civilized, rational, modern West with its emphasis on human rights and personal freedom in contrast to a backwards East where male despots acquire women, keep them in idle ignorance and exercise total control over their lives and their loves. Esther, the focus of this paper, is a woman of the East. The western harem code is often used to interpret her accession into the Persian royal court.457 But if the “house of women” in Esther 2 is to be interpreted as a harem, it must be based on harems as practiced in the East, not as imagined in the West. Harems vary across cultures and over time. The studies and narratives drawn upon in this paper are imperial harems from the sixteenth to late nineteenth century CE, in Turkey, Zanzibar, Oman and Egypt.458 Arabic ˙ar•m derives from ˙aråm meaning “forbidden, prohibited,” and applies to sacred or sanctuary spaces—including the

457 Yehuda Radday describes Ahasuerus as “a caricature of a typical Oriental potentate” (Yehuda T. Radday, “Esther with Humour,” in On Humour and the Comic in the Hebrew Bible, ed. Yehuda T. Radday and Athalya Brenner, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 92; Bible and Literature Series, 23 [Sheffield: The Almond Press, 1990], 295). Michael Fox uses the term “seraglio” for K7lem@eha tyb@' noting that “[a]fter their night with the king, [the young women] retired to the seraglio, still, of course, under the supervision of a eunuch, there to live out a plush but pointless imprisonment unless fetched again” (Michael V. Fox, Character and Ideology in the Book of Esther, 2nd edition [Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2001], 35). Fox explains that his “view of the harem scene and the life into which the maidens were inducted has been coloured by Muffle d’Angerville’s description of Louis XV’s playground, the Deer Park” (Fox, Character and Ideology, 36). 458 In this paper I have not used examples from India or China because they are not the cultures generally envisioned in the western harem code nor the context out of which the term arises. However, as Ruby Lal’s study of the early Mughal imperial women richly demonstrates, such harems are crucial to understanding imperial development, ideals, hierarchy, decisions and activity, and they supply insight and analogies relevant to understanding women’s involvement in other empires (Ruby Lal, “Historicizing the Harem: The Challenge of a Princess’s Memoir,” Feminist Studies 30, no. 3 [Fall 2004]: 590–616, and Ruby Lal, Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World, Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization [Oxford: Cambridge University Press, 2005]).

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area around a mosque or the Ka>ba in Mecca459—“to which general access is forbidden or controlled and in which the presence of certain individuals or certain modes of behavior are forbidden.”460 The term harem in reference to “the private quarters in a domestic residence and ... its female residents,” Leslie Peirce explains, “comes from the Islamic practice of restricting access to these quarters, specifically access by males beyond a particular degree of consanguinity with the resident females.”461 The western notion of harem is a man’s space— a place of male sexual freedom and female restriction. The eastern harem is women’s space, with restrictions on male view and male access. In eastern imperial harems most of the women are not sexually involved with or sexually available to the ruler, since, in addition to the ruler’s wife or wives and concubines, harem residents may include the mother of the ruler, his sisters, unmarried female relations, widows, orphans, children—male and female—governesses, servants, administrators, and others needed to sustain the operation of the imperial household and its external interests. The size of this

459 Óaråm may also be applied to behaviors that are taboo and foods that are unlawful (A Dictionary of Modern Arabic, edited by J. M. Cowan [Ithaca, NY: Spoken Language Services, 1976], 171–72). 460 Leslie P. Peirce, The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire, Studies in Middle Eastern History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 4. 461 Peirce, Imperial Harem, 4–5.

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domestic society can be quite large.462 An estimate for the Ottoman imperial harem in the mid-eighteenth century is 444.463 The chief functions of harem society were to establish, advance and preserve the imperial family and its rule. That included, notes Leslie Peirce for the Ottoman imperial harem, “understanding...the sources and uses of sovereign power, the duty of training its users, and the responsibility of taking necessary measures for its preservation, including exercising it themselves when suitable male rulers were unavailable.”464 It also included religious observances and acts of public beneficence in the name of the imperial house, the arrangement of diplomatic marriages,465the promoting of allegiances, the controlling of administrative careers,466 the management of economic interests,467 and the negotiation of the politics of 462 Emmeline

Lott reported a population ranging from 150-200 in the Egyptian imperial harem in which she served as governess in the mid-1800s (Emmeline Lott, The Governess in Egypt: Harem Life in Egypt and Constantinople, Vol I [London: Richard Bentley, 1865], 184). Of her household, Princess Salme Saïd wrote: “Statistics being a thing quite unknown in Zanzibar, nobody of course could tell how many people actually lived in our house. I think I do not exaggerate, however, in estimating the total number of inhabitants at Bet il Mtoni at one thousand. To understand this it must be remembered that great numbers of servants are employed in the East by all people of quality and by those who want to appear rich. At least an equal number of persons were lodged in my father’s city palace, Bet il Sahel, or ‘Coastal House.’” (Emily Ruete, Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar,

Topics in World History [Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 1989], 4.) 463 Peirce, Imperial Harem, 134. 464 Ibid., 17. 465 Ibid., 144–48. 466 Ibid., 139–43. 467 Salme Saïd describes how the “laws of seclusion” governing the interaction between women and men, even men in their employ, were observed: “While I lived in town my overseer, Hassan, used to come once a week or fortnight from Kisimbani to hand in his report through my slaves and to ask for orders; but now that I purposed staying at Kisimbani for a time, honest Hassan was very much in my way. The poor fellow himself was made very uncomfortable at having to escape to all sorts of places lest he might even unintentionally happen to meet us. I therefore transferred him to another estate which he also managed, and replaced him by an Abyssinian slave, called Murdjān (Coral), a superior man for his station, who could also read and write…. I was now able to move and ride about as much as I liked without fear of confronting poor Hassan.” (Ruete, Memoirs of an

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reproduction and peaceful succession. While invisible to the public, harem society functioned to promote imperial rule in public; a well managed harem was, therefore, a matter of public interest, and members of the public sought to establish connections with harem residents. Whatever luxuries, idle pleasures and disengagement from the world might be enjoyed by harem residents, these were the privileges of wealth and status. Imperial harems were the sources, symbols and sustenance of imperial sovereignty. When one compares the real world of eastern imperial harems to the literary world of Esther, they are not a match. Esther’s world is not a harem, but the imperial harem can guide readers to see things in the Book of Esther that are overlooked or devalued by the western harem code. I point to three reasons why the royal setting in the Book of Esther cannot be termed a harem: First, is the king’s request that Queen Vashti show off her beauty publicly before the people and the officials (1:11). The visual boundaries between unrelated women and men that are preserved by most harem structures mark this violation not only as unthinkable but as heaping shame on the royal house. No queen would be expected to obey such a demand.468 The king might boast of his wife’s beauty but public confirmation would come through the wives of officials and other women with whom the queen feasted, invited to the harem quarters, did business and visited outside the palace. There would be no reason for King Ahasuerus to be outraged or his royal minions so

Arabian Princess, 250.) 468 Salme Saïd describes how gender segregation and visitation were coordinated in her household: “During visiting hours the master of the house does not come into the room of his wife, daughter, or mother. The sovereign only, and his nearest male relations, are dispensed from this rule; but whenever a lady cousin of equal rank from Oman was present, even our brothers and nephews were not allowed to enter without being announced. The husband of a married sister, upon whom I call, remains in his reception room until I have departed. If the master of the house is compelled to talk about some matter of moment to one of his female relations, he has her called into another room. The same is done by ladies who wish to speak to their male relations, when these are engaged with their friends. This custom is rigorously observed even if a lady stays with her friends all day, say from half-past five a.m. to seven o’clock p.m.; and the gentlemen are frequently put to a great deal of inconvenience to avoid coming across strange ladies.” (Ruete, Memoirs of an Arabian Princess, 171–72.)

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eager to protect his imperial ego if the royal household in the Book of Esther were arranged as a harem.469 A second reason the royal setting in Esther is not a harem is that the My#i$n%Fha tyb@' “the house of women,” is K7lem@eha syrIs; )gEh' dya— in the hands of Hegai, the king’s eunuch.470 A harem, in contrast, is a female social structure under female supervision. In her memoirs Salme Saïd of Zanzibar reports that her father had one first wife and seventy five other wives. “[H]is first wife,…a princess of Oman by birth, reigned as absolute mistress over the household.”471 The valide sultan in the centralized Ottoman dynasty, Leslie Peirce explains, was the “keystone of the harem institution.... invested with guardianship of the royal family as well as the administrative control of the day-to-day functioning of the harem household.”472 Eunuchs do carry out significant functions in the imperial household, such as providing protection for the king and the queen and guarding the domestic quarters from intrusion and disruption, preserving order and separation,473 and serving as administrators, including distributing supplies, food and assigning servants.474 469 Visibility

is a critical element in the Esther story. Vashti has to be free to be seen publicly by “the people and the (male) officials” (1:11) in order for there to be any surprise at her refusal to do so. Esther is admired by all who see her (2:15; a masculine plural form of the participle). The king is seated on his royal throne—presumably in a public space—when he sees Esther and holds out his scepter inviting her to approach (5:1–2). Esther must be visible to Haman for him to throw himself on the seat where she was reclining (7:8). Esther’s invitation to Haman to dine in person with her and the king would be very unlikely in most harem households. 470 In Esther 2:3 and 8, and in 2:14 in the hand of Shaashgaz, who was in charge of the concubines. 471 Ruete, Memoirs of an Arabian Princess, 7. 472 Peirce, Imperial Harem, 126. 473 Leylâ Saz Hanımefendi, recalling her observations of music instruction in the Turkish Çira¶an Palace harem, reports that “attentive” eunuchs “were always present” as male music instructors gave lessons to the kalfas (i.e., senior female slaves). (Leylâ Saz Hanımefendi, The Imperial Harem of the Sultans: Daily Life at the Çira¶an Palace During the 19th Century: Memoirs of Leyla (Saz) Hanımefendi, 1925, translated by Landon Thomas [Istanbul: Peva Publications, 1994], 44.) 474 Salme Saïd reports that when a new Sur•e, i.e., wife, entered the

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Eunuchs may serve those living inside harems but the administrative and service duties of the harem are generally carried out by women.475 Among the elite women of the Ottoman imperial harem was the Ketkhuda Khatun, the “senior administrative officer of the harem institution.”476 She was responsible for the “management of the assignment of jobs, and the training and the promotion of all women in the harem household,” most importantly, “the training of the select group who personally served the valide sultan and the sultan.”477 Some lower ranking harem women were assigned to the staff of “the chief officers of the black eunuch corps and other eunuch court companions of the sultan.”478 Peirce suggests that these women acted as “deputies, since [the eunuchs] ordinarily did not enter the harem proper.”479 Knowledge of the structure and activity of eastern imperial harems draws attention to a shift that takes place between Esther chapter 1 and chapter 2. In the first chapter Queen Vashti gives a banquet for women in the royal palace (tw%kl;ma@ha tyb@') and the king’s counselors fear that the noblewomen (twOr#f)& of Persia and Media will immediately spread word of Vashti’s refusal to the officials of the king (K7lem@eha yr'#)&f , resulting in endless contempt and anger (1:18). In chapter 1, the presence of women of rank and power, and their connection to the royal bureaucracy are clear. In chapter 2, there is nothing to suggest any female presence in the palace of King Ahasuerus480 and a search is initiated for a woman who will reign household she received jewelry in accord with her status from her husband and “had her servants assigned to her by the chief eunuch.” (Ruete, Memoirs of an Arabian Princess, 11.) 475 Salme Saïd reports, “Our own personal attendants were, of course, all women; the menservants were dismissed every evening to their homes and families, and the eunuchs slept also outside the house.” (Ruete, Memoirs of an Arabian Princess, 54.) Leylâ Saz Hanımefendi reports that “the chief of eunuchs…was responsible for the eunuchs and the male domestics of the Harem.” (Saz, Imperial Harem of the Sultans, 93.) 476 Peirce, Imperial Harem, 131. 477 Ibid., 132. 478 Ibid., 135. 479 Ibid., 136. 480 The “house of women” is located in the citadel (2:3). The women are taken from the “house of women” to “the house of the king” (2:13).

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(K7lom;t@i) in Vashti’s place. If the decree that concludes chapter 1 was to ensure that “every man should be master in his house” (1:22), in the “house of the king” there do not appear to be any women to be “master over.”481 Esther 2 begins with King Ahasuerus remembering “Vashti, what she had done,482 and what had been decreed against her.” What he is remembering is unspecified and causes the reader to ponder what—besides what she didn’t do, i.e., display her beauty at the banquet—Vashti might have done as Queen. The western harem code, as a reading guide, sets limits on what might be desired and possible for a queen to do. From the perspective of eastern harems, it is clear that a queen is significant to the symbolism, operation, effectiveness and future of the monarchy. The absence of a queen is a matter of consequence for the nation. This leads to the third reason the “house of women” in Esther is not a harem: Harems are not bordellos. They accommodate and they also regulate the sexual activity of the ruler, in order to protect and advance the sovereignty of the imperial house. The massive

481 The verse in the

Masoretic Text concludes that every man should also “speak according to the language of his people.” It is not clear what this means, though it is not hard to imagine the imperial household and those of senior government officials including spouses, servants and slaves from different language backgrounds. In Salme Saïd’s household, “Arabic was the only language really sanctioned in [her] father’s presence. But as soon as he turned his back, a truly Babylonian confusion of tongues commenced, and Arabian, Persian, Turkish, Circassian, Swahili, Nubian, and Abyssinian were spoken and mixed up together, not to mention the various dialects of these tongues…. [Her] father…had got quite accustomed to it, and never interposed.” (Ruete, Memoirs of an Arabian Princess, 32.) If the declaration in Esther 1:22 is an assertion of dominance directed at the women of a household, ironically, the king finds himself needing to search “in all the provinces of his kingdom”—provinces with different languages—for women to bring to his house. 482 Some commentators find in this a sexual innuendo, giving rise to the search for a beautiful virgin to satisfy the king (see e.g., Susan Niditch, “Esther: Folklore, Wisdom, Feminism and Authority,” in Feminist Companion to Esther, Judith and Susanna, ed. Athalya Brenner [Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995], 34). Nevertheless, in both 2:4 and 2:17 the goal of the search is finding someone to reign as queen (K7lom;t@i and hfkeylim;y,aw)A in place of Vashti.

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gathering483 of “beautiful young virgins” in Esther 2 and the “pleasing to the king” criteria applied to the selection of a queen give no attention to the origin, status, alliances, compatibility and capability of the potential candidates for queen. The western harem code sees the sexual prerogative of the king and the sexual powerlessness and anonymity of the young maidens in Esther 2 as “the way things are” in eastern courts and without connection to matters of imperial rule. From the perspective of eastern harems, however, this is a kingdom in profound disorder. The elaborate, male-only bureaucracy in chapter 2 of king’s servants, provincial commissioners and eunuchs over the house of women is out of touch with the realities of imperial harems. From the perspective of the eastern harem, one notices in this passage the absence of senior women in the selection of a queen484 and the 483 The nif >al form of Cbq refers to assembling. It does not appear to involve coercion or external force. It is used to refer to assembling for a meeting (1 Chr 11:1; 2 Chr 15:10), for battle (Josh 10:6; 1 Sam 28:4), to hear a father’s last words (Gen 49:2), for a funeral (1 Sam 25:1), to face judgment (Joel 4:11 MT//3:11 Eng), to ask for forgiveness (1 Sam 7:6) or to worship (Ps 102:23 MT//102:22 Eng). Sometimes it is animals who gather (Isa 34:15; Ezek 39:17). Sometimes it refers to compatriots (Jer 40:15; 2 Chr 13:7). Most often it appears in the context of the gathering of nations and outcasts in expectation of the Restoration (e.g., Isa 43:9; 48:14; 56:8; Hos 2:2 MT//1:11 Eng). The use of this form in the servants’ plan in Esther 2:3 and 8 casts an aura of ordinariness over this major social disruption. 484 Leslie Peirce observes that with “the unification of the [Ottoman] royal family into a single household in the second half of the sixteenth century…. [t]he prominence and authority of the elder generation, which consisted of …the valide sultan, was inevitable, as was the expectation that she would exert control over the sultan’s concubines” (Peirce, Imperial Harem, 281). The valide sultan had “considerable opportunity to shape the networks and alliances that cemented the loyalty of the dynasty’s most important servants…. [by arranging] the marriages not only of her own daughters but also of the daughters of her son and his concubines” (Peirce, Imperial Harem, 147). Under the management of the valide sultan, the harem secured, trained, employed, promoted and arranged futures for all the women (slave, royal, captive or free) residing in the imperial palace. Leylâ Saz Hanımefendi tells of a beautiful Circassian woman whom the valide sultan Pertevniyal heard about and purchased for presentation to her son the Sultan Abdül Aziz. As Saz describes it, the Sultan “was not a bit taken with her chilly beauty and lack of animation and showed very little

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foolishness of thinking that the young women gathered into Susa would be content to occupy themselves solely with beauty treatments and anticipating their one night with the king. If all the wives of the kingdom might “look with contempt on their husbands” because of Vashti’s refusal to come to King Ahasuerus (1:17), should we expect their daughters to be more favorably inclined to meet every male demand? The fear of King Ahasuerus’ counselors was that the women would follow the queen in exercising choice and power. Imperial harems are not places where females—or males—are at liberty to do or get whatever they want, but harems are social systems that expect females to exercise choice and power. From this perspective, readers of Esther 2 can anticipate that the maiden who will emerge from the “house of women” to reign in Vashti’s place will exercise choice and power. It is not surprising, then, that after the notice that Esther is among the young women who are taken (xqalf@t@i) into “the house of women,” that she becomes the subject of the verbs that follow: She pleases (b+ayt@i and obtains favor (wynFpfl; dsexe )#&%ft@iwA) with Hegai (2:9) who then responds by expediting her supply of cosmetics and food, assigning her seven female attendants from the king’s palace, and setting them all in the best of the house of women. She does not disclose (hdFygI@hi-)lo) her people or her kindred (2:10), in accordance with the command Mordecai had given her.485 When it is her turn to go to the king, she requests (2:15; h#f$q;b@i) only what Hegai has advised, she obtains grace in the eyes of everyone who sees her (t)#&'nO hfy)er-o lk@f yn'y('b;@ Nx') and obtains grace and favor with the king (wynFpfl; dsexewF Nx')#&%ft@iw)A . The western harem code views her as totally passive, interest in this poor wretch who was then relegated to the service of haznedars [i.e., treasurer], after which she received a rich dowry and was married off to a member of the ulema [i.e., the community of Islamic scholars] of very high birth and with a high rank. She was very happy in this household and lived there for a long time with her husband and her children” (Saz, Imperial Harem of the Sultans, 63). 485 This statement is repeated in 2:20 where an additional phrase underscores that Esther carried out Mordecai’s command, just as she had done when he was raising her. Esther may have exercised choice in obeying Mordecai’s command (rma)jm)a , just as Vashti exercised choice in refusing the king’s command (rma)jm;a 1:15).

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therefore pleasing to the king. In the context of an eastern imperial harem, her ability to develop and advance alliances, employ counsel, secure advantage and receive public admiration make her very attractive as a royal candidate. We need not assume Esther is the only beautiful Jewish maiden in the citadel of Susa, but at the end of chapter 2 she surpasses any Diaspora woman and all the other women of the Persian Empire to receive the crown of royalty (tw%kl;ma rtek)@e —the crown that had belonged to Vashti (1:11). The western construction of the “harem” misconstrues the term and misrepresents the harem’s organization and activity. By projecting its construction on the East, the western harem code directs readers to see a legitimate place for—and find amusement in—a society where women are in full submission to men and men have unlimited access to the women they desire. Does the author of Esther share in such pleasures? Is the writer of Esther the first orientalist?486 I believe not. First, the author does not provide a perspective that allows us to gaze upon the women and when it is Esther’s turn to go to the king, it is announced that she is taken to the wOtw%kl;ma tyb@'—his royal palace (2:16). This variation on K7lem@eha tyb@'—the house of the king—where each young woman would be taken (2:13) broadens the focus from nighttime visits to imperial office. The royal palace (tw%kl;ma@ha tyb@') is where Queen Vashti had given her banquet (1:9) and will be where the king is sitting on his royal throne (tw%kl;ma@ha tyb'b@; wOtw%kl;ma )s@'k-@i l(a) when Esther approaches unbidden (5:1). The narration 486 This paper focuses on the appropriateness of the application of the term “harem” to “the house of women” in Esther 2. It does not take up the orientalist view of the Persian Empire reflected in Greek historiography. Though there are parallels in themes and function between the western image of harems and the Greek portrayal of the Persian court, the Greek sources are not attempting to describe Persian “harems” and the western image of harems is an inaccurate depiction of actual harems and their role in imperial rule. (See the discussions of the Greek sources in Heleen SancisiWeerdenburg, “Exit Atossa: Images of Women in Greek Historiography on Persia,” in Images of Women in Antiquity, ed. Averil Cameron and Amélie Kuhrt [Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1983], 20–33; and in Adele Berlin, Esther: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation, The JPS Bible Commentary [Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2001], xxvii– xxxiii.)

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also switches to calendar details: “Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus in his royal palace in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign (2:16). Since the first banquet had taken place during the third year of the king’s reign (1:3), these details draw attention to the king’s lack of success in identifying a queen to replace Vashti.487 Second, the author guides readers to draw a connection between the young women gathered into “the house of women” and Diaspora Jews. At the beginning of chapter 2, right after reporting the king’s pleasure at and implementation of the plan to “gather all the beautiful young virgins to the house of women in the citadel of Susa,” the narrative abruptly switches to introducing “a Jew in the citadel of Susa whose name was Mordecai” (2:5). What is emphasized about Mordecai is his status as a descendent of those carried away from their land into exile by King Nebuchadnezzar, and his residence in the citadel area of Susa where the house of women is located. Mordecai is a Diaspora Jew. The introduction of Mordecai leads to the introduction of Esther (2:7) and continues into the announcement that Esther was among those “taken into the king’s palace” (2:8). While the chapter is silent on how the kingdom responded to the ingathering of the young women, it weaves the disruption, disorder and displacement of the Exile into the narrative of the servants’ plan and the fate of the beautiful young women of the kingdom as that plan is implemented. By juxtaposition and through Esther, the “house of women” and the Jews of the Diaspora are linked. In this paper I have argued that the western image and use of the term “harem” bear no resemblance to the social structure and responsibilities of imperial harems, nor to the authority and activity of the harem women. I also conclude that the “house of women” in Esther is not a harem. However, the dynamics, strictures and stories of imperial harems provide readers of Esther with “real” alternatives to the perceptions of palace women promulgated in the western harem fantasy. Women living in harems also have something in common with the Book of Esther: In a world they do not completely control, harem 487 The dates may also have a connection to the second point since the tenth month (Jer 39:1), and specifically the tenth day (2 Kgs 25:1; Jer 52:4; Ezek 24:1), marks the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s siege leading to the fall of Jerusalem and the beginning of the Exile.

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residents are not expected nor can they afford to keep silent and do nothing. They must establish an identity, create alliances and make choices. In those ways they parallel the women and men of the Diaspora and set an example for men and women of the twenty-first century.

B I BL I OGRA P H Y Berlin, Adele. Esther: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation. The JPS Bible Commentary. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2001. Fox, Michael V. Character and Ideology in the Book of Esther. 2nd edition. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2001. Frymer-Kensky, Tikva. In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth. New York: The Free Press, 1992. Gost, Roswitha. Der Harem. 2nd revised edition. Köln: Dumont Buchverlag, 1993. Isom-Verhaaren, Christine. “Royal French Women in the Ottoman Sultans' Harem: The Political Uses of Fabricated Accounts from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-First Century.” Journal of World History 17, no. 2 (2006): 159–96. Lal, Ruby. Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World. Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. ———. “Historicizing the Harem: The Challenge of a Princess’s Memoir.” Feminist Studies 30, no. 3 (Fall 2004): 590–616. Lott, Emmeline. The Governess in Egypt: Harem Life in Egypt and Constantinople, Vol I. London: Richard Bentley, 1865. Niditch, Susan. “Esther: Folklore, Wisdom, Feminism and Authority.” In Feminist Companion to Esther, Judith and Susanna. Edited by Athalya Brenner, 26–46. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995. Peirce, Leslie P. The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. Studies in Middle Eastern History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. Penzer, Norman Mosley. The ÓarŸm: An Account of the Institution as It Existed in the Palace of the Turkish Sultans with a History of the Grand Seraglio from Its Foundation to Modern Times. London: Spring Books, 1936. Radday, Yehuda T. “Esther with Humour.” In On Humour and the Comic in the Hebrew Bible. Edited by Yehuda T. Radday and Athalya Brenner, 295–313. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 92. Sheffield: The Almond Press, 1990. 215

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Ruete, Emily. Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar. Topics in World History. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 1989 [1888 German original]. Sancisi-Weerdenburg, Heleen. “Exit Atossa: Images of Women in Greek Historiography on Persia.” In Images of Women in Antiquity. Edited by Averil Cameron and Amélie Kuhrt, 20–33. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1983. Saz, Leylâ Hanımefendi. The Imperial Harem of the Sultans: Daily Life at the Çira¶an Palace During the 19th Century: Memoirs of Leyla (Saz) Hanımefendi. 1925. Translated by Landon Thomas. Istanbul: Peva Publications, 1994. Yeazell, Ruth Bernard. Harems of the Mind: Passages of Western Art and Literature. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. Zonana, Joyce. “The Sultan and the Slave: Feminist Orientalism and the Structure of Jane Eyre.” Signs 18, no. 3 (Spring 1993): 592– 617.

118 Black, J. A. · 47, 88 Blenkinsopp, J. · 122, 160 Boer, R. · 85 Borger, R. · 73, 75, 81 Boulter, C. G. · 134 Bowra, C. M. · 134 Braulik, G. · 172, 179 Brenner, A. · 3, 11, 202, 208, 215–16 Brettler, M. Z. · 182, 193 Briant, P. · 138 Bright, J. · 78 Brueggemann, W. · 183 Bryce, T. · 113 Buber, M. · 6 Burn, A. R. · 134 Butler, J. · 106

I NDICES Index of Authors

A Abu-Lughod, L. · 160 Abusch, T. · 54, 56, 85, 89, 100 Ackerman, S · 188 Ackroyd, P. R. · 122 Alter, R. · 19, 20, 144, 147, 184 Andersen, B. R. · 60, 70 Angehrn, E. · 95, 101 Arnaoutoglou, I. A. · 126 Asher-Greve, J. · 46, 107

C Cameron, A. · 211, 216 Camp, C. V. · 181 Campbell Thompson, R. · 78 Chapman, C. R. · 108 Cohen, D. · 126, 140 Cohen, J. J. · 97, 99 Cohen, S. J. D. · 109 Conrad, J. · 182 Cowan, J. M. · 203 Craigie, P. C. · 173, 179 Culican, W. · 79 Cunningham, G. · 47, 57, 88, 99

B Bachofen, J. J. · 105 Bahrani, Z. · 48–49, 92, 106 Bar-Efrat, S. · 20 Barré, M. L. · 92 Beal, R. H. · 114 Beauvoir, S. de · 106 Berger, P.-R. · 73, 75, 77, 80 Berlin, A. · 19, 181, 189, 211 Bernat, D. · 111 Bidmead, J. · 85 Biggs, R. D. · 13, 17, 108,

D d’Angerville, M. · 202 213

214

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

Dahill, L. E. · 32, 41 Dalley, S. · 65, 85, 89, 113 Daly, M. · 6 Damrosch, D. · 20 Dante Alighieri · 6 Davies, J. K. · 132 Day, P. L. · 146, 168 De Vaux, R. · 149 Dever, W. G. · 115, 173 Dick, M. · 87 Dor, Y. · 122 Doumani, B. · 162,–63 Driver, S. R. · 186 Dube, L. · 160 Durand, J.-M. · 109 Dykstra, C. · 32

E Ebeling, J. · 47, 57, 88, 99 Edel, E. · 73, 77, 81 Edelman, D. · 19 Eisler, R. · 104 Eller, C. · 104 Eph’al, I. · 72, 79 Eskenazi, T. C. · 125 Eslinger, L. M. · 173, 179 Eyre, J. · 201, 216

F Fant, M. B. · 60, 69 Farber-Flügge, G. · 107 Fausto-Sterling, A. · 106 Fensham, F. C. · 122 Fishbane, M. · 123 Flanagan, J. W. · 194 Flückiger-Hawker, E. · 88, 99

Forsdyke, S. · 126 Foster, B. R. · 62, 91 Foster, C. R. · 31, 32 Fox, M. V. · 202 Frame, G. · 76, 82 Franklin, S. · 161, 168 Frazer, J. G. · 105 Fredriksen, P. · 34 Freedman, D. N. · 183 Freedman, S. M. · 49 Freeman, P. R. · 8 Frymer-Kensky, T. · 3–5, 7– 8, 11–17, 19, 20–21, 23, 25–26, 28–29, 31, 33–41, 43–46, 48–49, 50, 56, 61– 62, 64, 69, 71, 85–86, 94, 99, 103–105, 114–15, 118, 121, 143, 146, 154–55, 167, 171–79, 182, 189, 195, 197, 199, 215

G Gabbay, U. · 108 Gadd, C. J. · 43, 81 Gagarin, M. · 126, 140 Geller, M. J. · 89, 100 Geller, S. A. · 33 George, A. R. · 87 Gerhard, E. · 104 Gevirtz, S. · 183, 197 Gimbutas, M. · 104 Glover, D. · 106 Golemon, L. A. · 32, 41 Goodison, L. · 104, 120 Gordon, C. H. · 173 Gost, R. · 201 Grayson, A. K. · 76, 82 Groneberg, B. · 108 Gruber, M. I. · 33, 176

INDICES Gunn, D. M. · 19

H Haas, V. · 108, 119 Hackett, J. A. · 105 Hadley, J. M. · 21, 177 Hall, H. R. · 78 Hallo, W. W. · 61, 63–67, 69–70, 114, 116 Halpern, B. · 23, 181, 198 Hammond, N. G. L. · 126 Harris, R. · 13, 17, 91–94, 100 Harrison, A. R. W. · 134 Harrison, J. E. · 105 Hayes, C. E. · 123 Herman, G. · 136 Hignett, C. · 134 Hilton, L. · 185 Hoffner, H. A. · 107 Holloway, S. W. · 43, 71, 103 Holmgren, F. C. · 122 Horowitz, W. · 85, 90, 100 Hruška, B. · 107 Huehnergard, J. · 85, 100 Humphreys, S. C. · 136 Hunger, H. · 75 Hurowitz, V. A. · 87

I Isom-Verhaaren, C. · 201, 215

J Jacobsen, T. · 54

215 Jacoby, F. · 129 James, T. G. H. · 79 Janzen, D. · 122 Jefferson, T. · 36 Jobling, D. · 146, 168 Johnston, S. I. · 175 Jones, L. · 47, 58 Jones, N. F. · 128 Jones, P. · 85

K Kamionkowski, S. T. · 107 Kaplan, C. · 106, 118 Katzenstein, H. J. · 80–81 Keel, O. · 115, 177 Kensky, M. · 3 Kessler Guinan, A. · 43, 49 Kien. J. · 172 King, P. J. · 160 Klawans, J. · 124 Kletter, R. · 177 Knafl, A. · 4 Kogan, L. · 106, 120 Kramer, S. N. · 49, 57, 153, 169 Kraus, F. R. · 50 Kuhrt, A. · 211, 216

L Lal, R. · 202 Lambdin, T. O. · 81 Lambert, W. G. · 60, 69, 89, 90–91, 100, 109, 119 Langdon, S. H. · 73, 77, 82 Lape, S. · 127 Leahy, A. · 73, 76 Lefkowitz, M R. · 60

216

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

Leichty, E. · 76–77, 82 Leick, G. · 47, 58, 89, 108, 153 Lemche, N. P. · 24 Levenson, J. D. · 181, 190 Levin, Y. · 126, 139 Lipka, H. B. · 111 Livingstone, A. · 66–68, 92 Lott, E. · 204, 215

Myers, J. M. · 122

N Niditch, S. · 208, 215 Nissinen, M. · 108, 112 Notley, R. S. · 77, 82

O M Manville, P. B. · 126 Maul, S. M. · 108 Maynes, M. J. · 161 McCaffrey, K. · 108, 112 McCarter, P. K., Jr., · 182, 183 McGregor, M. F. · 134 McHugh, J. · 149, 167 McKinnon, S. · 161, 167, 168 McLennan, J. F. · 105 Melville, S. C. · 93 Meshel, Z. · 21 Metzler, K. A. · 87 Meyers, C. · 15, 146, 160 Michalowski, P. · 85, 91, 95, 100 Millard, A. R. · 64 Miller, P. D. · 177 Mills, D. H. · 89 Mitchell, T. C. · 73–75, 77, 82 Mobley, G. · 158 Moors, A. · 164 Moran, W. L. · 85, 100, 189 Morris, C. · 104, 118, 120 Mowinckel, S. · 122 Mundy, M. · 163 Myers, J. · 108, 118

Ogden, D. · 127 Oldenburg, U. · 172 Olyan, S. M. · 123 Oppenheim, A. L. · 13, 17, 71, 73–76, 82 Osborne, R. · 132

P Parkin, R. · 161 Parpola, S. · 43, 47, 49, 56– 57, 87–89, 99, 100–101, 106–108, 116–17, 119 Patterson, C. B. · 126–27 Peirce, L. P. · 203–204, 206– 207, 209, 215 Peletz, M. G. · 161 Penzer, N. M. · 201, 215 Perdue, L. G. · 160 Phillips, W. · 36, 42 Pinches, T. G. · 72, 82 Piper, V. L. · 176 Pomeroy, S. B. · 60, 126, 140 Pongratz-Leisten, B. · 75, 81, 85 Postgate, J. N. · 61 Pritchard, J. B. · 71, 73, 82, 176

INDICES

R Radday, Y. T. · 202 Rainey, A. F. · 77, 82 Reiner, E. · 13, 54 Roberts, N. · 6 Robson, E. · 47, 88, 99 Röllig, W. · 82 Römer, W. H. Ph. · 107 Rost, L. · 182 Roth, M. T. · 108, 118 Ruete, E. · 204–208, 216

S Saggs, H. W. F. · 66 Saïd, S. · 204–208 Samons, L. J., II · 136 Sancisi-Weerdenburg, H. · 211, 216 Sarna, N. · 145 Sasson, J. M. · 90, 100, 146 Saz, L. · 206, 207, 209, 215 Scharen, C. · 31 Schipper, M. · 89, 100 Schmidt, J. Z. · 8 Schneider, D. · 161 Scullion, J. J. · 145, 169 Scurlock, J.-A. · 59–60, 62, 71 Selz, G. J. · 113 Setel, D. O. · 34 Shectman, S. · 103, 111 Sheppard, G. T. · 146, 168 Smith, R. S. · 163, 168 Smith-Christopher, D. L. · 123 Snell, D. C. · 86, 100 Solvang, E. K. · 199

217 Spalinger, A. J. · 73, 82 Speiser, E. A. · 146 Stager, L. E. · 158, 160, 167 Stanton, G. R. · 126 Steinberg, N. · 149 Steinkeller, P. · 85, 100 Sternberg, M. · 20 Stjerna, K. · 108, 119 Stol, M. · 93 Stone, L. · 161, 168 Stone, M. · 16, 104 Strassmaier, J. N. · 72, 82 Sullivan, W. M. · 32

T Talon, P. · 87 Taylor, J. · 88, 99 Thomas, L. · 206, 215 Thompson, J. A. · 188 Thompson, T. L. · 24, 149 Tolentino, B. W. · 32, 41 Tov, E. · 184 Trapp, T. H. · 115, 119, 177, 179

U Uehlinger, C. · 115, 119, 177, 179

V Van der Toorn, K. · 54, 56, 115 Van Seters, J. · 24 Von Rad, G. · 144 Von Soden, W. · 75

218

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

W Waerzeggers, C. · 76, 83 Walker, C. B. F. · 76–77, 82, 87 Waterston, A. · 173 Weinfeld, M. · 21 Weisberg, D. B. · 71–72, 82 Weiser, A. · 182 Wellhausen, J. · 187 Westenholz, J. G. · 47, 104, 109 Westermann, C. · 145 Wharton, A. S. · 106 Whiting, R. M. · 43, 47, 49, 56–57, 88–89, 99–101, 106–108, 116–17, 119 Wiggermann, F. A. M. · 85, 87, 101 Wiggins, S. A. · 115, 120, 171–72, 175, 180 Wilcke, C. · 95, 101

Williams, J. G. · 145 Williamson, H. G. M. · 122 Winckler, H. · 73 Wiseman, D. J. · 72–73, 75– 76, 83 Wolf, M. · 160 Wolkstein, D. · 153 Wyke, M. · 43, 47, 56, 57

Y Yeazell, R. B. · 201, 216 Younger, K. L. · 61, 63–67, 69, 70, 114, 116

Z Zehnpfund, R. · 73, 82 Zólyomi, G. · 88, 99 Zonana, J. · 201, 216 Zsolnay, I. · 103, 106

I NDEX

OF

R E F ERE NCES

Bible Genesis 17 · 111 17:1–14 · 110 22:20–24 · 145 24 · 144 24:1 · 144, 154 24:1–4 · 144 24:5–9 · 144 24:10 · 144 24:16–21 · 145 24:22 · 145, 146 24:24 · 145, 146 24:28 · 146, 150 24:30 · 147 24:30–33 · 147 24:35 · 147 24:36 · 147 24:49–53 · 148 24:50–51 · 148 24:53 · 148, 165–66 24:55–60 · 148 24:61 · 187 25:31–34, 27–33 · 158 27:41–45 · 158, 166 29 · 157 29:1–14 · 144 29:16 · 157 30:29–43 · 159 31:1 · 158 34:3–6 · 155 34:5, 7 · 156 34:7 · 154, 155 34:8–9 · 155 219

220

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

34:10 · 155 34:11 · 156 34:12 · 155 34:13–14 · 156 34:17 · 156 34:18–19 · 156 34:21–24 · 110 34:25 · 156 34:25–26 · 156 34:26 · 155, 166 34:27–29 · 156 34:30–31 · 156 49:2 · 209 Exodus 2:1–2 · 158 2:5 · 187 2:11–15 · 158 2:15–22 · 157 2:15b–21 · 144 2:16 · 157 2:21–22 · 158 3:1 · 159 4:24–26 · 110 15:20–21 · 183 19:6 · 123 Leviticus 12:1–2 · 109 12:3 · 109 12:5 · 109 18:22 · 111 20:13 · 111 20:26 · 123 Numbers 26:33 · 159 27:1–11 · 159 36:1–12 · 159 Deuteronomy 14:2 · 123 16.21 · 175 18:11 · 28

INDICES 22:5 · 112 23:2 · 111 23:3–8 · 124 32:8 · 22 Joshua 2 · 12 6 · 12 8:35 · 192 10:6 · 209 17:3–6 · 159 Judges 5 · 183 11:34 · 183 19:2 · 151 Ruth 1:4–8 · 150 1:8 · 146, 150 1:8–14 · 166 1:9 · 150 1 Samuel 8:4 · 186 8:4–5 · 195 8:4–8 · 182 8:5, 20 · 185 8:20 · 185 8:22 · 186 10:1 · 195 10:23 · 195 11:1–3 · 185 11:11–12 · 185 11:12 · 186 11:14–15 · 185 14:47–48 · 193 14:49–51 · 194 14:52 · 193, 194 15 · 194 15:2–3 · 194 15:28–30 · 193, 194 15:30 · 193 16–18 · 184

221

222

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

16:7 · 195 16:11, 16–23 · 158 16:21–23 · 159 17 · 184 17:55–18:5 · 184 18–19 · 159 18 · 188, 189, 191 18:1–4 · 158 18:2 · 158 18:6 · 184, 186 18:6–7 · 183, 186, 189, 195 18:6–8 · 186, 187 18:9 · 183, 184 18:16 · 184 18:16, 28 · 189 18:17–28 · 157 18:20 · 188, 189 18:28 · 184, 189 19:17 · 188 20:8, 14–15, 17, 41–42 · 188 20:30 · 186, 188, 192, 195 20:31 · 189 21:11 · 183 24 · 190 25 · 186, 189, 190, 195 25:1 · 209 25:10 · 192 25:42 · 187 26 · 190 26:2 · 190 26:3 · 190, 191 26:10 · 191 26:11 · 191 26:23–28, 41 · 191 26:25 · 190 26:36 · 191 26:38 · 191 26:39–42 · 191 28:4 · 209 2 Samuel

INDICES 1:26 · 186, 188, 195 11:1 · 185 12:28 · 185 13 · 157 13:20 · 166 20:23–26 · 194 2 Kings 5:2, 4 · 187 6 · 192 6:16 · 192 6:19 · 192 6:20 · 192 6:20–22 · 193 6:20–23 · 182, 186, 193, 194, 195 6:22 · 193 7 · 194 8 · 193, 194 8:1–15 · 194 8:12 · 193 8:15 · 193, 194 8:16–18 · 194 9:30 · 192 18:4 · 24 23:4–7 · 24 23:11 · 24 25:1 · 212 1 Chronicles 11:1 · 209 2 Chronicles 13:7 · 209 15:10 · 209 Ezra 9:1 · 124 9:1–2 · 121 10:10–12 · 121 Nehemiah 6:18 · 138 13:1–3 · 124 13:23–25 · 125 13:28 · 138

223

224

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

13:4 · 138 Esther 1 · 207 1:9 · 211 1:11 · 205, 206, 211 1:15 · 210 1:17 · 210 1:18 · 207 1:22 · 208 2 · 207, 208, 209, 210, 211 2:3 · 200, 206, 207, 209 2:4 · 208 2:5 · 212 2:7 · 212 2:8 · 200, 206, 209, 212 2:9 · 210 2:10 · 210 2:13 · 200, 207, 211 2:14 · 206 2:15 · 206, 210 2:16 · 211, 212 2:17 · 208 2:20 · 210 5:1 · 211 5:1–2 · 206 7:8 · 206 Psalms 91:7 · 183 102:23 (MT) · 209 118:26 · 12 Proverbs 30:22 · 190 Song of Solomon 1:6 · 152 3:4 · 146, 150, 151 3:11 · 151 4:8, 9, 10, 11, 12 · 151 5:1 · 151 8:1–2 · 152 8:2 · 146, 150

INDICES 8:8 · 151 8:8–9 · 152 Isaiah 32:6 · 190 34:15 · 209 43:9 · 209 Jeremiah 17:11 · 190 31:4, 13 · 183 39:1 · 212 40:15 · 209 43:8–13 · 78 44:15–19 · 24 52:4 · 212 Ezekiel 8:14 · 24 8:16 · 24 24:1 · 212 39:17 · 209 Hosea 2:2 (MT) · 209 Joel 4:11 (MT) · 209 1 Esdras 8:66 · 124 Ot he r Jewi s h Sou rces 4QSamb · 187 Josephus, Antiquities XI:2 · 138 XII iv. 160 · 138 Pirkei Avot 2:21 · 41 Cune iform Te xts an d Co mpo sit ions 78-10-15,22 + 78-10-15,37 · 72

225

226

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

Atra∆asis · 114 BM 29440 · 76 33041 · 72, 73, 75, 77, 80 33041 ll.1–12 · 74 33041 ll.13–22 · 74 33053 · 73, 74 CT 39:43–46 · 43 39:44:17 · 52 39:44:18 · 52 39:44:19 · 52 39:44:8 · 51, 54 39:45:20 · 52

Enki and Ninhursag · 92 Enlil and Ninlil · 114 En¥ma eliš · 115 I 1–5 · 86 I 9 · 87 I 14 · 90 I 16 · 90 I 33 · 88 I 33–34 · 90 I 34 · 88 I 36 · 88 I 65–66 · 91 I 67–68 · 88 I 75 · 91 I 95 · 92 I 105–10 · 92 I 117–21 · 91 I 133–40 · 95 II 47–72 · 94 II 92 · 87 II 116 · 87 II 143 · 87 IV 79 · 96 IV 79–80 · 93 IV 79–84 · 96 IV 80 · 96

INDICES V 1–65 · 87 V 57 · 96 V 59 · 96 Epic of Gilgameš · 114 Gilgameš OB II 46–49 · 89 Gilgameš SB I 194–202 · 88 IM 63414 · 61 64058 · 66 Inanna and Enki II vi. 20 · 107 F 29–30 · 88 KTU 1.4 ii 2–11 · 178 1.5–6 · 172 1.6 i 39–43 · 172 1.14 iv 31–43 · 173 Maqlû III l. 16 · 54 Middle Assyrian Laws A §§7–8 · 61 §9 · 60 §22 · 61 §35 · 61 §59 · 61 ND 2307 · 61 2480 · 66 Šurpu V–VI ll. 11–12 · 54 Ten Year Annals of Great King Muršili II of Óatti · 114 UET IV 171 · 75 Gree k an d La tin So urces Andocides, On the Mysteries 1.106 · 129

227

228

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

Aristotle, Athenian Constitution 3.3 5 · 134 5 a 1 · 126 6.131 · 131 12.4 · 126 13.4–15.3 · 128 13.5 · 129, 135 20 · 130 20.1 · 130 20.1–3 · 129 21 · 130 26:3 · 132 Demosthenes, Against Neaira XLIII.51 · 127 XLVI.14 · 127 LIX.16 · 133 LIX.52 · 133 Herodotus, History I.59–61 · 128 V.71 · 129 V.72 · 129–30 V.74.1 · 130 Justinian’s Digest 47.22.4 · 128 Plutarch, Pericles 37.2 · 131 37.3–4 · 132 Plutarch, Solon 20.2–3 · 127

I NDEX

OF

Anat · 114, 172, 174, 178 ancestors · 26, 28 ancient Near East · 12–13, 15, 33, 39–40, 43, 59, 103–104, 106, 109, 114, 143, 144, 149, 200 ancient Near Eastern religions · 11 Angerville, Muffle d’· 202 animals, wild · 88 Anšar · 87, 90, 96 anthropology · 143, 159, 160, 161 anthropomorphism · 87 anti-carnal · 55 Antu · 65 Anu · 63–64, 68, 90 Anunnaki · 69 Anunn•tum · 114 Anzu · 86 Aphrodite · 59 apodosis · 49 Apsu · 86–96 apû · 87 Arabic · 200, 202 Arabs · 208 archon · 128 Areopagos · 131 Argive mercenaries · 128 aristocratic factions · 136 aristocratic families · 128, 131, 136–37 Aristotle · 126, 130, 134 ark of the covenant · 192 Artaxerxes · 67 Artemis · 59, 69 artisans · 129 Asclepius · 63 Ashdod · 125 Asherah · 21–24, 115, 171–

S U B J ECTS

A Abdül Aziz · 209 Abigail · 189–92, 195–196 Abraham · 110, 144–45, 147, 148, 154, 164, 165–66 Abram · 110 Absalom · 157, 166 abundance · 173 Abyssinian · 208 acquiescence · 108 active vs. obedient · 108 Adam · 16 administrative control · 206 Adonis · 59 adultery · 51, 54, 67 adversary in court · 51, 54 advocacy · 163 aging · 91–92, 94 Ahasuerus · 199, 202, 205, 207–208, 210, 212 akītu · 66 Akkadian · 5, 33 Albright, William Foxwell · 19, 21, 29 alcoholic beverages · 67 Alexander III of Macedon · 80 altar · 22 altar of Athena · 129 Amalek · 193–194 Amasis · 72, 78 Ammon · 138 Ammonites · 185, 193 Amnon · 157 Anahita · 67 229

230

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

78 Asher-Greve, Julia · 46 ass · 147 assemblies · 135 Aššur, god · 66–67 Aššurbanipal · 67 Assyrian empire · 67 Assyrian pantheon · 67 Assyrian women · 60 Assyrians · 36, 59–61, 64–66, 68–69, 78–79, 135 Assyriology · 13, 19, 47 Astarte · 177 astrologers · 59 Athena · 60 Athenian assembly · 130–31 Athenian citizenship · 126– 34 Athenian League · 136 Athens · 121, 125, 128, 131, 133–38 Athtart · 174 attendants · 207 Atthar · 173 ax · 107

B Ba‘al · 22, 24, 26, 114, 172, 173 Ba‘al Cycle · 172 Babylon · 64, 71, 80, 85 Babylonia · 26, 71, 79 Babylonian exile · 78 Babylonians · 26, 36, 63–64, 67–68, 80, 135, 149 Bahrani, Zainab · 48 båmôt · 22 banû · 87

barrenness · 147, 150 bastard · 127, 131, 132 Bathsheba · 190 battle leader · 185 beauty · 107, 199 beauty, public display of · 205 bedding · 153 bedroom · 66 beer · 64, 67 behavior, human · 50 BŸlet Ekallim · 114 Bethuel · 143, 145–46, 148– 49, 157 betrothal · 143–44, 150–51, 154, 157, 163 Beyond-the-River · 137 Bible · See Hebrew Bible Biblical divinity · 35 Biblical Israel · 26, 29 Biblical rhetoric · 24 Biblical studies · 13–14 Biblical thought · 20 Biblical times · 14 Biblical version, Greek · 184 binary oppositions · 55 biologism · 161 birth · 16, 86, 88, 95 birth, foreign · 137 birth, illegal · 132 birth, impure · 121, 128–30, 132, 135, 138 birthing · 12. See also childbirth black eunuch · 207 boundary crosser · 92 bracelets · 145, 147 bread · 64 bridal linen · 153 bridal songs of Inanna · 150,

INDICES 153 bride · 144–46, 151, 156, 163–65 bride price · 60, 146, 155, 163, 165 bride’s brother · 143, 146– 50, 153–57, 164–66 bride’s family · 164 bride’s father · 143, 148–50, 155, 157, 163, 166 bride’s mother · 148–49, 154, 164–66 bride’s mother’s brother · 163–64 brides, problem · 150 British intellectuals · 59 brother · 65, 135, 145, 158, 188, 205 brother, full · 151, 156 brother, natal · 147, 151–53, 156–57, 159–60, 162–67 brother, uterine · See brother, natal Bulluãsa-rabi · 63 burial society · 128

C cabinet officers · 194 Calebite · 190 camel · 144–47 Canaan · 14, 144, 148, 166 Canaanites · 121, 123–24, 144 Carchemish · 79 castrated · 111 cattle · 147 cautionary tale · 97 Central Asia · 68

231

Chaldaean · 59 Chaldaean Kings · 72 chaos · 95 character, exposition of · 147 chastity · 152–53, 166 Chicago, University of · 3–4 childbearing · 92 childbirth · 62 childbirth death · 60 childhood disease · 62 childless · 127, 150–51, 166 childless widowhood · 150 child-rearing · 109 children · 90–91, 93–94, 96, 124, 203 children, conflict with grown · 94 chosenness · 12 Christian · 13 Christian, early · 65 Christianity · 11–12 Çira¶an Palace · 206 Circassians · 208–209 circumcision · 109, 110–11, 155 cities · 186, 187 City College of New York · 5 city god · 68 city-laments · 28 civic scrutiny · 128–29, 132– 33 civilization · 86–89, 93–94, 96, 125 civilizing force · 89 clergy education · 31–32 close reading · 19 clothing · 112 code of behavior · 50, 53 cognitive apprenticeship · 32–33, 35

232

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

coitus · 52 collective norms · 54 comb · 107 commentators · 143 commercial expedition · 128 community norms · 54 conception · 60 concubine · 67, 127, 145, 151, 160, 203, 206, 209 congregation of Yahweh · 124 constructionist theologian · 13 conversion · 124 cosmic eroticism · 55 cosmos · 48 cosmos, genderized and sexualized · 45, 49 cosmos, Mesopotamian · 46, 48 couplet · 184 court of appeal · 131 courtship · 151 covenant · 12, 110–11, 158, 188–189 creation · 15, 86–87, 89, 93, 95 Creation Epic, Babylonian · 85 creativity · 94 creator gods · 66 Creatress · 86 crone · 93 cross-dressing · 112 cuckold · 50 cult prostitute · 176 cult statue · 67 cultic apparatus · 174 cultic object · 173 cultic role for women · 176

cultic society · 128 cultural ideology · 54 cultural memory · 162 cultures, comparative · 11 cunt, cosmic · 4, 44, 55 curse · 92, 129, 186–88, 195 cursed people · 129 Cyprus · 67

D Damkina · 90, 94 Damu · 62 daughter · 59, 62–64, 68, 110, 114, 121, 127, 135, 137, 143, 145–46, 150, 154–60, 162–63, 165–66, 193, 205, 209–210 daughter, marrying-out · 143, 150, 157, 159–60, 164, 166 daughter-in-law · 150–51 David · 157–59, 182–95 dead · 65 debt relief · 126 deer park of Louis XV · 202 defilement · 88, 124 defloration · 67 deities, aggressive · 114 deities, male or female · 113, 116 deities, minor · 62 deities, misbehaving · 114 deities, power-hungry · 115 Delian League · 131, 136 Delphi, oracle of · 176 deme · 130 Demeter · 59 democracy · 131, 135 democratic factions · 136 demos · 128

INDICES deportation · 26 desexualization · 37, 39 Deuteronomist · 37 deuteronomistic movement · 174 deuteronomistic outlook · 174 Deuteronomy · 7 diapsŸphismos · 128 diaspora · 16 Dinah · 154–57, 166 DINGIR · 113 divination · 43, 49, 53–55 divine council · 21 divine counsel · 195 divine dalliance · 66 divine determinative · 87 divine eroticism · 53 divine image · 46 divine inspiration · 104 divine language · 53 divine oneself · 55 divine orchestration · 145, 158 divine origin · 115 divine plurality · 45 divine principles · 88 divine providence · 145 divine realm · 48, 105, 173, 177 divine relatives · 94 divine sign · 145 divine spouse · 66 divinity · 45, 48, 53, 55, 104– 105, 112–13, 177 divorce, mandatory · 121, 124–25, 133 dog-like · 190 dogs · 63 domestic duties · 107

domestic society · 204 Don Giovanni · 50, 52 Doumani, Beshara · 162 dower property · 66 dowry · 135, 164–65, 210 drachma · 127, 133 Dumuzi · 154

E Ea · 63, 88, 90–91, 94–95 earring · 66 ecology · 12 economic interests · 204 Edom · 193 egalitarian · 104 Egypt · 65, 74, 77–80, 121, 124, 132, 194 Egypt, Khedival · 204 Egyptian religion, ancient · 176 Egyptians · 79, 124 ejaculation · 88 El · 26, 172–74, 178 El Elyon · 22 El Shaddai · 110 Elamaeus · 70 elders · 182, 185, 186, 190– 96 elemental entity · 87 Eliashib · 138 elitism · 191 Enheduanna · 34 Enki · 92 Enki and Ninhursag · 92 Enkidu · 88–89 Enlil · 63, 68, 114 En¥ma eliš 26,· 85–86, 89, 92–95, 97

233

234

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

Epic of Gilgameš · 89 equality · 16 Ereškigal · 64–65, 69 Erkalla · 65 erotic activity · 49 erotic behavior · 55 erotic desire · 55 erotic ecstasy · 55 erotic enslavement · 201 erotic goddess · 176 erotic mutuality · 52 erotic perferences · 50 erotic pleasure · 52 erotic poetry · 151, 153 eroticism · 48, 51, 53, 55 Esagila · 64 Ešarra temple · 63 Esau · 158 Esther · 199–200, 202, 205– 206, 210–12 Esther, Book of · 199–200, 205, 211–12 Ethics of the Fathers · 40 ethnography · 143–44, 159, 162–63, 165–66 eunuch · 202, 206, 207, 209 Europe · 123 Eve · 39 evolutionary models · 161 exchange · 155 exchange of gifts · 137 exegesis · 124 exemplum · 190 Exile, Babylonian · 212 Ezra · 121, 123, 137 Ezra, Book of · 121–22, 124–25

F faith · 14 faith discourse · 12 familial drama · 93 family · 15, 48, 130, 189, 195 family, extended · 162 family history · 162–63 family, natal · 160–62, 164, 166 family, nuclear · 161–62 family representative · 149 family, uterine · 160 farmer · 154, 174 father · 63–64, 91, 96, 110, 116, 127, 132, 135, 148– 49, 151, 154, 157, 188–89, 192–93, 196 father’s estate · 164 father’s house · 130 father-in-law · 63, 158 fecundity · 105 female · 16, 107 female agency · 52 female cult functionaries · 176 female divine · 55, 60, 69 female enticement · 39 female equalily · 90 female figurines · 176 female, independent · 94 female literacy · 63 female physicians · 61 female profession · 62 female, proper domestic · 95 female scribes · 61 female stewards · 61 femaleness of eroticism · 53 feminine · 107, 111, 115–16 feminine god · 12

INDICES feminine paradigm · 94 feminine roles · 108 femininity · 86, 107–108, 114–115 feminism, Second Wave · 104 feminist approaches · 47 feminist awareness · 34 feminist issues · 12 feminist perspectives · 11–12 feminist positions, polemical · 37 feminist role model · 34 feminist texts · 39 feminist works · 16 feminists · 17, 60, 62 feminists, Jewish · 14, 16 fertility · 104–106, 172–73, 176–77 fertility cult · 105 fertility sex-cult · 39 figurines · 177 figurines, female · 176 flax · 153 flocks · 159 foam, poisonous · 95 food · 14 footbath · 62 fratriarch · 149 fratriarchy · 149 freedoms · 36 Frymer, Tikva Simone · See Frymer-Kensky, Tikva Frymer-Kensky, Tikva · 3–9, 11–16, 19–23, 25–29, 33– 41, 43–46, 49–51, 55–56, 61–64, 69, 86, 94, 103– 105, 115, 121, 143, 154, 171–75, 177–78, 182, 189, 195, 199

235

fugitive · 158

G garden · 66, 153 garment, role of · 193 garments · 165 gathering · 209 Geller, Stephen A. · 37, 38– 39 gender · 11–14, 27, 34–35, 44–46, 48, 51, 53, 85–86, 92, 104–107, 109, 111–13, 115–16, 162, 199 gender, ambiguous · 111 gender analysis · 103 gender distinctions · 108 gender division · 112 gender egalitarianism · 15 gender equality · 14–15, 199 gender, fourth · 112 gender neutrality · 37 gender of deities · 14, 113 gender of Yahweh · 115 gender paradigms · 104 gender prejudices · 16 gender relations · 15 gender role, woman’s · 95– 97 gender roles · 86, 105, 108– 109, 201 gender roles, alternative · 111 gender roles of deities · 112 gender segregation · 205 gender studies · 46–47, 143 gender, third · 112 gender unity · 14–15 genderless God · 36 genealogy · 90, 145, 156 Genesis · 16, 27

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Germany, Medieval · 60 Geštinanna · 65 Gilead · 159 Gilgameš · 114 Girra and Elamatum · 86 glasses, thorn-colored · 69 God · 14–15 God and humanity · 46 god of ground water · 173 god of justice · 114 god of rain · 172 god of storms· 113–14 god of the moon · 62, 68 god of the sky· 68 god of the sun 24, 113–14, 153 God of your fathers · 121 god, personal · 53 goddess · 7, 13, 15–16, 29, 34–36, 42–46, 48–49, 61– 63, 66, 68–69, 87, 92, 103–104, 113–15, 171–75, 177–78, 199 goddess of healing · 62, 77 goddess of human reproduction · 173 goddess of marriage · 59, 67, 69 goddess of prophecy · 68 goddess of queenship · 113 goddess of the moon · 59, 68–70 goddess of the sun 113–14 goddess of the underworld sun 113 goddess of trees · 175 goddess of warfare · 114 goddess, power-hungry · 114 goddess, proper role of · 86, 95

goddess, spoiled · 68, 114 goddess status · 22 goddess stories · 15 goddess, superstar · 68 goddess, unwed mother · 59 goddess worship · 16 goddesses, Greek · 59 goddess-ism · 34 gods · 86 gold · 64, 147, 164, 183 Goliath · 185 Gorgon · 97 governess · 203–204 grain · 132, 137, 153, 163 Granqvist, Hilma · 163 Greek goddesses · 59 Greek historiography · 211 Greeks · 38, 59–60, 67, 69, 77, 79, 134 groom · 144–45, 147, 153– 55, 158–59, 163, 165 groom, marrying-in · 159 groom’s family · 163 groom’s father · 147, 155 ground water, god of · 173 Gruber, Mayer I. · 33 guardian · 60 guidance narrative · 145 Gula · 62, 63–64, 76–77, 80 Gula’s healing shrine · 63

H Hades · 59 hairdo · 65 halakhah · 12–14 Halpern, Baruch · 23 Haman · 206 Hamor · 110, 155, 156 happiness · 53

INDICES ˙aråm · 202–203

harem · 61, 63, 200–212 harem code · 199–202, 205, 208–211 harem, Ottoman Imperial · 204–205, 207 harem, women administrators of · 61, 207 Ôarrån · 68 Harris, Rivkah · 13, 92 haznedars · 210 headband decorated with gold coins · 163 head-of-state · See king healing · 12, 28 healing arts · 63 healing, goddess of · 77 Hebrew · 155, 166, 187, 200 Hebrew Bible · 11–16, 19– 22, 24–27, 33–34, 37–40, 44–49, 51, 55, 78, 80, 104–106, 109, 111, 115, 143, 149, 150, 154, 157, 159, 160–62, 165, 172–76, 183–84, 199 Hebrew Bible studies · 20 Hegai · 206, 210 heir · 90, 96, 127, 145, 147, 150, 157–59 heiress · 127 Hellenism · 39 Hellenistic culture · 39 Hellenistic influences · 16 Hellenistic period · 49, 55, 67–68 Hellenistic world · 14 helots · 136 Hera · 59, 67, 69 hermeneutical models · 161 hero · 92, 183, 185

237

hero gods · 86 Herodotus · 67, 129, 176 heroism · 107 heroship · 107 high places · 174 high priest · 138 history · 26, 28 History of David’s Rise · 182–83, 190, 192–96 Hittites · 6, 113, 114 holy food · 151 holy people · 123–24 holy seed · 121, 123 homeland · 144 honor or dishonor · 186, 192–94 honor, masculine · 60 Hophra · 77 horned–crown · 113 horses · 68 hospitality · 147 host · 147 house of the father · 143–44, 146, 149–51, 154, 157–61, 165–66 house of the father-in-law · 159 house of the husband · 150, 155–56, 162–64 house of the king · 200, 207– 208, 211 house of the mother · 143, 146–54, 157, 159–61, 165–67 house of the wife · 61, 65, 158 house of women · 200, 202, 207–12 household management · 15 household, mistress of · 60

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housewife · 59, 62–64, 69 hubris · 129 Hubur · 95 Huldah · 176 human reproduction, goddess of · 173 human rights · 202 husband · 59–61, 63–67, 90, 96, 133, 151, 164, 166, 189, 191, 205, 207 husband, levirate · 150 hymn · 66

I Iaman · 77 ideology · 16 Igigi · 66, 68 image of God · 36 images · 175 images, cult · 87, 175 imperial family · 204 impurity · 109 Inanna · 4, 15, 44, 48, 50, 92, 114–15, 150, 153–54, 178 Inanna and Enki · 88 inauspicious · 51–52 incest · 90 incestuous intercourse · 90 India · 123 individual · 56, 94 inheritance · 127, 135, 137, 158–59, 164, 165 inheritance, land · 164 inheritance, post-mortem · 135 inheritance, pre-mortem · 135 innocence · 88 intercourse, marital,

required · 127 intermarriage · 121–25, 133– 35 Ionians · 79 Isaac · 144–48, 154, 158, 166 Isagoras · 128, 130 Isin · 62–63 Israel · 15, 21–22, 24–26, 45, 62, 111, 115, 121, 144, 177, 183, 185–87, 189, 191–93 Israel, a people · 121, 123 Israel, Kingdom of · 21, 23– 24, 26, 28–29, 78, 184, 189, 195 Israelite goddess · 22, 175 Israelite identity · 125 Israelite kinship · 145, 160, 167 Israelite monotheism · 19, 21–23 Israelite poetry · 21 Israelite religion · 21 Israelite society · 109, 112 Ištar · 48, 50, 61, 68, 92, 112, 114 Ištar of Arbela · 68 Ištar of Durna · 92 Ištar of Ôarrån · 67–68 Ištar of Nineveh · 68 Ištar of Nippur · 68 Ištar of Uruk · 67–68 Ištar-goddesses · 68 Italian · 201

J Jabal Nablus · 164 Jabesh-Gilead · 185

INDICES Jacob · 27, 147, 154–60, 166 Jeremiah · 27, 78 Jerusalem · 78, 121, 125, 192, 212 Jesse · 158, 191 Jethro · 157–58 jewelry · 59, 207 jewelry, gold · 145–48, 164– 65 Jewish community · 184 Jewish constructionist discourse · 12 Jewish intermarriage · 123 Jewish scholarship · 14 Jewish theologians · 16 Jewish Theological Seminary ·5 Jewish tradition · 16 Jewish women · 12–13, 17, 122, 211 Jewishness · 13 Jews · 199, 212 Jews, Diaspora · 212–13 Jezebel · 7 Joab · 185 Jonathan · 158, 186–89, 192, 195–96 Josephus, Flavius · 138 Judah · 4, 151 Judah, Kingdom of · 21, 23– 26, 28–29, 78, 162, 184, 189, 195 Judah, province of · 121, 123, 135, 137–38 Judaism · 11–12, 14, 16 Judean · 166 Judeans · 135, 144 judge · 64 Juno · 67 juries · 131

239

juror, paid · 131 justice, god/goddess of · 114

K Ka˓ba · 203 Kal∆u · 66 Kensky, Eitan · 5 Ketkhuda Khatun · 207 killing all the males · 156 Kimon · 131, 136–37 kin · 110, 144–45, 162, 210 kin, co-resident · 167 king · 48, 59, 66–68, 71–72, 74, 78, 80, 93, 110, 114, 115, 181, 185–86, 191–92, 193–95, 200, 202, 205–12 King of the Gods · 64, 96 kingdom · 184 kingmaker · 96 kingship · 61, 74, 96, 182, 185, 191–93, 196 kingship, god of · 114 kinship · 137, 159, 160, 162, 167 kinship, covenant · 188 kinship structures · 160 kinship studies · 143, 161 kinship unit · 143–44, 165, 166 Kirta · 173 Kišar · 90 kissing · 67 Kleisthenes · 128–31 Knafl, Anne · 4 Kuntillet ‘Ajrud · 21–22, 174 Kylon · 129

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L Laban · 143, 147–49, 153, 157–58, 166 Labbu · 86 Lahamu · 90 Lahmu and Lahamu · 87, 90, 96 Lakedaimonios · 136 Lamentations · 28 land · 128, 135, 137 land tenure · 28, 127–28 language · 208 lapis lazuli · 64 laundry · 178 law · 12–13, 15, 48, 50, 54, 60–61, 65, 114, 126, 127– 28, 133–37, 163 Law of Associations · 127 Leah · 154, 156–57, 161 legal status · 130 legitimacy · 127, 130 legitimation · 194 Lelwani · 113 Lemche, Niels Peter · 25 Lesbos · 77 Levi · 156–157, 166 Levite’s concubine · 151 Levites · 121, 124 Leylâ Hanımefendi. See Saz, Leylâ Hanımefendi liberty · 36 liminal sexuality · 89 liminality · 15, 63, 89, 196 linen · 153 literature · 45, 47, 144–45, 162, 186 livestock · 163 locusts · 68 lordship · 66, 96

loss of a spouse · 94 loss of civic rights · 129, 133 Louis XIV · 185 Louis XV · 202 love · 14 lovemaking · 66–67 lover · 61, 63, 66, 91, 151–53 lust · 199

M magic · 91 magical anesthetic · 96 mahr · 163–64 maids · 161 maidservants · 147, 192–93 male · 16, 107 Manasseh · 159 manservant · 147, 207 mantic ecstasis · 55 manus · 67 man-woman · 112 Marduk · 26, 62, 64, 66–67, 85–86, 90–92, 94–96, 115 marriage · 127, 133, 144–46 marriage alliances · 138 marriage and social class · 123 marriage between close kin · 59, 127, 163 marriage blessing · 148 marriage brokering · 143, 145, 149, 157–59, 161–63, 165–66 marriage consent · 148 marriage contract · 61 marriage contract, Muslim · 163 marriage gifts · 144, 146, 148, 155, 163, 165–66

INDICES marriage, goddess of · 59, 67, 69 marriage, manus vs. nonmanus · 67 marriage material · 145 marriage negotiations · 143– 45, 147–60, 163, 165–66, 204, 209 marriage negotiations by brother · 156, 162 marriage negotiations by father · 157–59, 163 marriage, patrilocal · 143–44, 155, 157, 159–60, 162 marriage, patroness of · 67, 69 marriage request · 148 marriage treaty · 155, 157 marriages, foreign · 135–37 martyr · 60 masculine · 107, 111, 115–16 masculine agency · 52–53 masculine identity · 53 masculine social space · 53 masculinity · 107–108, 115 masculinization · 37 maßߟbah · 22 master of the house · 191, 205 master’s god · 146 masturbation · 52 maternal grandfather · 135 maternal kin · 164 matriarchy · 105 ME-s · 88, 107, 115 meat · 64 Mecca · 203 Media · 207 medicine, patroness of · 62 melammu · 88

241

men of Israel · 182, 186 men outside the power structure · 14 Mesopotamia · 11, 13–15, 26, 28–29, 34–35, 43–51, 53, 55–56, 60–63, 65–66, 69, 71, 78, 85, 88, 93, 104– 107, 111–13, 115, 149, 166, 171 messmates · 128 meteorological events · 53 metoikia · 130 metoikos · 126 Meyers, Carol L. · 15 Mezzulla · 114 Michal · 157–58, 188–89, 192–196 Middle Assyrian · 60 Middle-Babylonian period · 63 Middle East · 60, 162 Midian · 158 midwife · 68 midwifery · 62 Milcah · 145 milk and cream · 154 misfortune · 55 misogyny · 38, 55, 62 mistress of heaven · 44 mistress over the household · 206 Moab · 193 monarchy · 200, 208 monarchy, Israelite · 181, 185 monogamy · 61 monotheism · 19, 21, 23–24, 26, 28–29, 37–39, 44–46, 49, 61, 174 monster · 86, 92, 95–97

242

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

moon god · 62, 68 moon goddess · 59, 68–69 Moors, Annelies · 164 moral allegory · 190 moral practices · 124 moral responsibility · 40 Mordecai · 210, 212 Moses · 12, 157–59 mother · 59, 63, 86–87, 92, 94, 96, 127, 132, 148, 151, 154, 160, 163, 165, 178, 187–88, 203, 205 mother goddess · 66, 92 mother of the gods · 62, 86, 173 motherhood · 92 mother-in-law · 150 mother-worship · 35, 103 Mughals · 202 Mulissu · 67, 69 multitude of Israel · 192 Mummu · 88, 90–91, 94 Mundy, Martha · 163 music · 206 music instructors · 206 musician · 159 Mylitta · 67 myth · 13, 15, 44, 85–86, 116 myth, Babylonian · 85 myth, Mesopotamian · 11, 15 mythology · 62 mythology, Mesopotamian · 93

N Nabal · 189–92, 195 Nablus · 164 Nabû · 66–67 nagging · 14

Nahash · 185 Nahor · 145 Nannaya · 67–69 Naomi · 150 Napatan Dynasty · 78 narrative · 25, 45–46, 93, 143–48, 150–51, 154, 156–57, 159, 161–62, 166, 181–82, 184, 186, 189, 193–94 narrative function · 181, 183–84, 190 national survival · 48 naval power · 80 Nazism · 122 Nebuchadnezzar II · 62, 72, 74, 76–80, 212 Necho II · 79 Nehemiah · 137 Nehemiah, Book of · 138 Nehushtan · 24 Neo-Assyrian · 75 Neo-Assyrian court · 68 Neo-Assyrian empire · 66 Neo-Assyrian period · 64–66 Neo-Babylonian period · 64, 68, 75 neo-paganism · 103–104 nephews · 205 Nergal · 64–65 Nergal and Ereškigal · 64 Netherworld · 59, 63–64, 69 niece · 145 Nimrud · 66 NIN · 113 Nin.šen.šen · 114 Ningal · 66, 153 Ninhursag · 92 Ninisin · 114 Ninlil · 114

INDICES Ninma∆ 62

Ninsi’anna · 114 Ninšubar · 112 Ninurta · 63 noise · 90–91, 93–95 normative behavior · 55 North-West Semitic · 113, 176 nose ring · 147 nose ring, gold · 145 nothoi · 127 nourishment · 177 Nubians · 208 Nudimmud · 90 nun · 13 nurse · 148 Nuzi · 149

O obedient vs. active · 108 objectivist models · 161 objectivity · 13, 16 obol · 131 Old Assyrian period · 60 Old Babylonian period · 59, 69, 88, 149 oligarchy · 128, 130, 136 Oman · 205–206 omen genre · 51 omens · 44, 50–55 omens, Akkadian · 43, 49, 51 omens, human behavioral · 49–50 omens, Mesopotamian · 43, 49, 51 omens, sexual · 49–54 omens, terrestrial · 49 ominous sign · 49

243

orientalism · 211 ornaments · 166 Orpah · 150, 166 otherness · 97 Ottoman Empire · 201 Ottomans · 204, 206–207, 209 oven, woman as · 59

P palace steward · 61 Palestine · 164 Palestinian · 163 pantheon · 44, 85, 92 parents · 89 passivity · 86, 90–91, 95, 114 pastoral imagination apprenticeship · 34, 35–36 pastoral skills apprenticeship · 34, 35 pastoralism · 190 pasturing · 153 patriarchal authority · 149 patriarchal narratives · 27 patriarchy · 16, 35, 104, 113 patrilineal groups · 137 patrilineal households · 160 patrilineal societies · 143, 159, 160, 164 patroness of marriage · 67, 69 Peisistratos · 128–29 Peloponnesian War · 132, 136 penis · 52 people, the · 128, 184, 192 people’s will · 182 Pericles · 131–34, 136–38 Pericles’ Citizenship Law ·

244

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

131, 133–34, 136–38 Persephone · 59, 59 Persia · 131, 136–38, 207 Persians · 135, 202, 211 Persians, Islamic · 208 personal god · 53 personhood · 53 personhood, female · 63 personhood, male · 55–56 Pertevniyal · 209 Pharaoh · 158 pharmacist · 63, 68 Philippe I, Duc d’Orleans · 185 Philistines · 125, 183, 185, 193 Phillips, Wendell · 36 Phoenicia · 78 Phoenicians · 6 phratry · 127–29, 131 phylai · 130 physician · 63, 68 physician, female · 61 physician, male · 62 pillar figurines · 177 pilpul · 16 Pisistratus · 128–29 Pittakos · 77 playing, girls’· 64 plundering expedition · 128 poetry · 12, 183 poetry, erotic · 151, 153 poetry, Ugaritic · 183 polis · 127, 128, 131 polygynous societies · 162 polytheism · 21, 23, 39, 44 polytheism, Canaanite · 19 popular court · 131 popularity · 184 Poseidon · 59

prayer · 12 priapus-figurines · 67 priest · 121, 124 priest’s daughter, widowed · 151 priest’s household · 151 priesthood · 158 primordial calm · 90 private prosecution · 129 professional identity apprenticeship · 34 progenitor · 94–95 property · 61, 132–33, 137, 155, 162, 165 prophecy · 176, 181 prophecy, goddess of · 68 prophetess · 68 prophets · 39 prostitute · 88, 89. See also whore protasis · 49 psychic energy · 54 psychological turmoil · 92 purification, postpartum · 109 Put · 77 Putu · 77 Puţu-Iaman · 74

Q qedeshot · 176 Qingu · 93, 96 Qudshu · 174 queen · 66–69, 93, 205–210, 212 queen, Assyrian 61 queen mother · 61, 173 Queen of Heaven · 24

INDICES queen, role of · 208 queenship, goddess of · 113

R Rabbah of the Ammonites · 185 Rabbi · 13 Rabbinic discourse · 38 rab•tu · 173 Rachel · 27, 161 racial purity · 122, 134–35 Rahab · 12 rain, god of · 172 rape · 52, 59, 155, 157 rational thought · 89 reader response · 19 Rebekah · 143–50, 156, 164– 66 rebellion · 188 reciprocity · 167 reciprocity, economic · 143, 162–63, 165 re-constructionist · 16 refeminization · 37 regents · 61 Reiner, Erica · 13 religion of women · 35, 103 religious humanism · 39–40 religious image · 12 religious observances · 204 remarriage · 150 representatives of Israel · 195 reproduction · 95 reproduction, human · 176 rescue from death · 65 resident alien · 130 restoration community · 124 Reuel · 157–58

245

revelation · 12 revelers · 128 revenge · 157 rites · 64 Roman period · 67 Roman Republic · 67 Romans · 14, 67 Rome · 67 Romulus, Laws of · 67 Rosengarten, Richard · 4 royal palace · 211 royal robe · 158 ruler · 203–204, 208. See also king. Ruth · 150, 166 Ruth, Book of · 150

S Ša’uška · 114 sacred marriage · 44, 66 sacred marriage ritual · 48 sacred prostitution · 4, 176 sacrificial worship · 39 Saïte dynasties · 80 šakintu · 63 Saïd, Salme · 204–208 Samaria · 21–22, 78, 138 Šamaš · 68 Šamhat · 88–89 Samuel · 181, 186, 193, 194, 195 Samuha · 114 Samu-ramat · 61 Sanballat · 138 sanctuary · 129 Sarah · 147 saray · 201 Sargon II · 66, 68

246

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

satrapy · 135 Saul · 157–59, 182–89, 191– 95 Saz, Leylâ Hanımefendi · 206 Schneider, David · 161 school texts · 76, 80 scripture · 145 Scylla · 97 sea and land powers · 79 seclusion, laws of · 204 seduction · 52, 59 seed · 60 segregation, gender · 205 Selene · 59 Semiramis. See Samu-ramat Semites · 59 seraglio · 201–202 serpents · 95 servant girls · 187 servant, role of · 144–45, 147–48, 164–66 servants · 191–92, 204, 206– 207 Setel, Drorah · 40 sex, ambiguous biological · 111–12 sex, biological · 44, 105–107 sex, biological of deities · 112, 116 sex, biological of Yahweh · 115 sex omens · 43, 49, 50–54 sexual activity · 208 sexual attraction · 46 sexual behavior · 43, 48, 50, 53–55 sexual conquest · 50 sexual consciousness · 89 sexual cult · 172 sexual desire · 48

sexual domination · 52 sexual energy · 52 sexual experience · 88 sexual harassment · 60 sexual intercourse · 88–89, 105 sexual knowledge · 88 sexual life · 55 sexual partners · 61 sexual relations · 38 sexuality · 38, 45–46, 48–49, 53–56, 89 sexuality, female · 55 sexuality, Mesopotamian · 43 sexually available · 203 Shaashgaz · 206 Shaddai · 12 Shapshu · 174 Shechem · 110, 154–56 sheep · 147 shekel · 145 shepherd · 154 ship-command · 128 Shushan · 200 siblings, natal · 143, 162, 165 sign · 145. See also omen silence · 95 silent vs. vocal · 108 silver · 64, 147, 183 Simeon · 156–57, 166 Sîn · 62, 68 Sîn of Ôarrån · 66 sister · 116, 147, 149, 152– 54, 156–57, 162, 165–67, 178, 203, 205 skills apprenticeship · 33 skin, black · 152 skygod · 68 slave · 110 slavery · 132–33

INDICES sleep · 91 Smith, Richard Saumarez · 163 social control · 143 social identities · 54 social identity · 53 social imperatives · 54 social structure · 192 social validation · 55 sodomy · 111 Solomon · 151 Solon · 126–29 son · 61, 90, 94, 121, 127–28, 135, 144–45, 147–50, 152, 155–61, 163, 166, 186, 191 son, first born · 158 son, second-born · 158 son, younger · 158 son-in-law · 159 Song of Songs · 15, 151–53, 157 sophism · 16 source criticism · 19, 193–94 sovereign · 205 Sparta · 136 Spartan mercenaries · 128– 30 spider · 60 spindle · 107, 178 status of women · 60 stepfather · 93 stereotype · 189, 195 Stormgod · 113–14 strength · 107 suitors · 153 sultan · 207, 209 Sumerian · 5, 33, 48, 88, 113, 150 Sumerians · 34–35, 59–62, 69, 114

247

Sumerology · 13, 19 ¡umma ålu · 43, 49–50 sun god · 153 sun(-god) · 24, 113 Sun(-goddess) · 113 Sungod of Heaven · 113–14 Sungoddess of Arinna · 113– 14 Sungoddess of the Underworld · 113 Susa · 138, 200, 210–212 sword · 158 syncretism · 68

T taboo · 203 Tamar · 4, 151, 157, 166 Tammuz · 24 Tarphon, Rabbi · 41 Tašmetum · 66 Teman · 21 temple gardens · 66 temple in Jerusalem · 24 testicles, crushed · 61, 111 theologies · 12 theology · 11, 14–15, 44, 49, 61, 144–45, 195 theriomorphism · 87 Thompson, Thomas L. · 24– 25 throne · 64, 66 Tiamat · 86–87, 89–97, 115 Tobiah · 138 Torah · 16, 124–25 traders · 129 tradesmen · 128 trading rights · 155 traditio-historical · 19

248

IN THE WAKE OF TIKVA FRYMER-KENSKY

transgressive power · 48 trees · 175–77 trees, goddess of · 175 tribes · 130–31, 159 Trible, Phyllis · 13, 15 tribute · 131, 136, 138 triremes · 131 Turco-Persian word · 201 Turks · 208 Turks, Ottoman · 204, 206– 207, 209 twin · 68 tyranny · 128, 130, 135 Tyre · 79–80

U Ugarit · 6, 114, 172–75, 178 Ugaritic · 26 ulema · 210 understanding · 89 United States of America · 123 unwed mother goddess · 59 UR.SAL · 112 Uriah · 190 Uruk · 67, 114 Utu · 153–54

V vagina · 52 Vagina Dialogs · 43 vagina, divine · 48 valide sultan · 206–207, 209 value, economic · 144–50, 154–55, 162, 164–66 Vashti · 205–208, 210–212 vengeance · 132

vessels, gold · 165 vessels, gold and silver · 166 vessels, silver · 165 victory · 66, 79, 96, 185–86, 193 victory chorus · 183 vineyard · 152–53 virgin · 59, 145, 200, 208– 209, 212 virgin blood · 67 visibility of women · 206 visiting · 205 visual images · 47 vizier · 88 vocal vs. silent · 108 vulva · 48

W wandering about · 92 warfare · 109 warfare, goddess of · 114 wash the feet · 147 water for the dead · 63 waters, primordial · 86, 95 weapon · 107 weaving · 60 wedding preparations · 153 Weidner Chronicle · 64 Weird Sister · 97 well · 144, 145 West Semitic · 183 Westenholz, Joan Goodnick · 46 wet-nurse · 68 whore · 59. See also prostitute whoring · 38 widow · 60, 151 wife · 62–63, 66, 86–87, 91, 94, 110, 121, 125, 127,

INDICES 133, 144–45, 148–49, 160, 173, 178, 191, 203, 205– 206, 210 wife beating · 61 wife, divinely chosen · 146 wife, social status of · 60 wife, strategies of · 162 wife, usefulness of · 60 wife’s property · 67 window-watcher · 192 wisdom · 63 Wisdom literature, Israelite · 190 wise council · 66 witch · 93, 122, 138 witchcraft · 59 woman-centered religious movement · 103 women · 14, 16 women, abilities of · 59–60, 63 women as ovens · 59 women as perpetual children · 59 women celebrants · 195 women, dancing · 184 women, family roles · 36 women, minds of · 59–60 women of Israel · 181–84, 186–87, 189–93, 195 women, property rights of · 60 women, running off · 61 women singers · 183, 191 women, singing · 185 women, social roles of · 35, 44 women, status of Athenian · 132 women’s agency · 146, 160

249

women’s space · 203 women’s strategies · 164 work, outside · 152 worship, Canaanite · 23 Wurušemu · 113

X xenos · 126

Y Yahweh · 21–23, 37, 48, 61– 62, 105, 115, 121, 124, 147, 175, 182, 191, 193– 94, 195–196 Yahweh of Samaria · 21 Yahweh of Teman · 21

Z Zanzibar · 204–206 Zelophehad · 159 Zipporah · 110, 157 Zobah · 193