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Lucidly written by leading biblical scholar Michael D. Coogan, this balanced, engaging, and up-to-date introduction to the Hebrew scriptures distills the best of current scholarship. Employing the narrative chronology of the Bible itself and the history of the ancient Near East as a framework, Coogan covers all the books of the Hebrew Bible, along with the deuterocanonical books included in the Bible used by many Christians. He works from a primarily historical and critical methodology but also introduces students to literary analysis and other interpretive strategies.
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Michael D. Coogan is Lecturer on Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at the Harvard Divinity School and the Director of Publications for the Harvard Semitic Museum. He is the author of A Reader of Ancient Near Eastern Texts (2012), A Brief Introduction to the New Testament, Second Edition (2011), and The OldTestament: A Very Short Introduction (2008), all published by Oxford University Press.
Table of Contents
*=New to this Edition Preface Abbreviations Credits PART ONE. INTRODUCTORY 1. What is the Old Testament? The Jewish Canon Box 1.1 Chapter and Verse The Christian Canons Box 1.2 The Canons of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament A Look Back and Ahead 2. The Promised Land: Geography, History, and Importance Geography History Box 2.1 Timeline Box 2.2 The Land of Israel in Jewish and Christian Tradition Importance A Look Back and Ahead PART TWO. COSMIC ORIGINS 3. Creations (Genesis 1-3 ) The Book of Genesis Genesis 1 and the Sabbath Box 3.1 Genesis and Science Box 3.2 The Sabbath in Jewish and Christian Tradition The Second Account of Creation Box 3.3 Myth and the Bible Box 3.4 The Garden of Eden Box 3.5 "God" and "the LORD (God)" A Look Back and Ahead Box 3.6 Adam and Eve in Jewish and Christian Tradition 4. The Formation of the Pentateuch The Traditional View The Development of Modern Interpretation A Summary of the Documentary Hypothesis * Box 4.1 The Documentary Hypothesis at Work The Formation of the Pentateuch Challenges to the Documentary Hypothesis Other Strategies for Interpreting the Pentateuch A Look Back and Ahead 5. Primeval History (Genesis 4-11) J (the Yahwist Source) Box 5.1 Cain and Abel Box 5.2 Noah's Drunkenness Box 5.3 The Sons of God P (the Priestly Source) Box 5.4 The Tower of Babel Box 5.5 The Table of Nations Box 5.6 Enoch The Flood A Look Back and Ahead PART THREE. NATIONAL ORIGINS 6. The Ancestors of Israel (Genesis 12-50) The Nature of the Narratives Source Criticism Box 6.1 Abram and Abraham, Sarai and Sarah Box 6.2 The Binding of Isaac Form Criticism Box 6.3 Circumcision Ancient Near Eastern Parallels The Joseph Narrative Box 6.4 The Ugaritic Texts The Ancestors of Israel Box 6.5 Abraham, Father of Believers History and the Ancestors of Israel The Religion of the Ancestors A Look Back and Ahead 7. Escape from Egypt (Exodus 1-5) The Book of Exodus Exodus 1-15 Box 7.1 Hebrew and Hebrews Box 7.2 Legends of Rescue Box 7.3 The Divine Name Yahweh Box 7.4 The Hardening of the Pharaoh's Heart Box 7.5 The Development of the Passover Celebration The Exodus and History The Exodus and the History of Religions A Look Back and Ahead 8. From Egypt to Sinai (Exodus 16-20, 24) Itineraries Incidents on the Journey Box 8.1 Manna Box 8.2 The Location of Sinai At Sinai Covenant Box 8.3 Excerpts from a Hittite Suzerainty Treaty The Ten Commandments The Ratification of the Covenant Box 8.4 The Status and Numbering of the Ten Commandments A Look Back and Ahead 9. Law and Ritual (Exodus 20.22-23.33 and 25-40) Law in the Ancient Near East Box 9.1 Excerpt from the Code of Hammurapi The Covenant Code Box 9.2 "An Eye for an Eye" The Ark, the Tabernacle, and the Priestly Vestments and Ordination The Golden Calf Box 9.3 "Forty Days and Forty Nights" The Ritual Decalogue Box 9.4 An Ancient Hebrew Agricultural Calendar Sequel A Look Back and Ahead 10. Ritual and Holiness (Leviticus) The Book of Leviticus Sacrifices (Lev 1-7) The Consecration Ceremonies and Their Aftermath (Lev 8-10) Purity and Impurity (Lev 11-15) The Day of Atonement (Lev 16) The Holiness Code (Lev 17-26) Box 10.1 Anointing * A Narrative Interlude: The Case of the Blasphemer (Lev 24.10-23) Women in Israelite Ritual and Law Box 10.2 Capital Punishment The Ethics of Leviticus A Look Back and Ahead 11. In the Wilderness (Numbers) The Book of Numbers Preparations for the Journey Law, Ritual, and Purity The Chronology and Geography of the Wanderings Rebellions in the Wilderness Box 11.1 The Rebellions of the Israelites in Christian and Muslim Scriptures Box 11.2 Miriam Box 11.3 The Amalekites Opposition on the Journey Box 11.4 Excerpt from the Deir Alla Texts Preparations for the Entry into the Land A Look Back and Ahead 12. The End of the Journey to the Promised Land (Deuteronomy) The Book of Deuteronomy Box 12.1 The Shema The Origins of Deuteronomy The Deuteronomic School Box 12.2 Parallel Curses in the Treaties of Esar-haddon and in Deuteronomy Moses in the Pentateuch Box 12.3 The Meanings of "Torah" A Look Back and Ahead 13. Joshua and the Conquest of the Land of Canaan (Joshua) The Deuteronomistic History The Book of Joshua Box 13.1 Parallels Between Deuteronomy 27 and Joshua 8 Box 13.2 Shechem in Biblical Tradition Box 13.3 Circumcision a Second Time? A Look Back and Ahead 14. The Emergence of Israel in the Land of Canaan (Judges and Ruth) The Book of Judges Box 14.1 The Judges of Israel in the Book of Judges Box 14.2 The Moabites and the Ammonites Box 14.3 The Song of Deborah Box 14.4 The Philistines History and the Israelite Confederation The Book of Ruth A Look Back and Ahead PART FOUR. KINGS AND PROPHETS 15. The Establishment of the Monarchy (1 Samuel) The Book(s) of Samuel 1 Samuel Box 15.1 Samuel in Other Traditions Box 15.2 Positive Assessments of Saul A Look Back and Ahead 16. The Reign of David (2 Samuel, 1 Kings 1-2, and Psalm 132) 2 Samuel Box 16.1 David's Compositions Box 16.2 Jerusalem A Look Back and Ahead Box 16.3 Psalm 132 17. The Reign of Solomon (1 Kings 1-11 and Psalm 89) The Book(s) of Kings 1 Kings 1-11 Box 17.1 Solomon in Later Tradition Box 17.2 The Royal Psalms The Ideology of the Davidic Monarchy Box 17.3 The Psalms of Zion Box 17.4 The Royal Ideology in Later Traditions A Look Back and Ahead 18. The Divided Kingdoms of Israel and Judah from the Late Tenth to the Early Eighth Centuries BCE (1 Kings 12-2 Kings 14) History Box 18.1 Chronology of the Kings of Israel and Judah Late Tenth to Mid-eighth Centuries BCE Institutions and Society Prophets and Prophecy * Box 18.2 An Ancient Mesopotamian Prophecy Box 18.3 Prophets in Later Traditions The Legends of Elijah and Elisha Box 18.4 Elijah in Later Traditions A Look Back and Ahead 19. The Northern Kingdom of Israel in the Eighth Century BCE (2 Kings 14-17, Amos, and Hosea) History Box 19.1 Chronology of the Eighth Century BCE Prophetic Books and "Classical" Prophecy The Book of Amos Box 19.2 The Day of the Lord The Book of Hosea Box 19.3 Prophetic Attacks on Rituals Box 19.4 Marriage in Ancient Israel Box 19.5 God as Parent: Father or Mother? A Look Back and Ahead 20. The Kingdom of Judah in the Eighth and Early Seventh Centuries BCE (2 Kings 15-20, 2 Chronicles 29-32, Isaiah 1-39, and Micah) History Box 20.1 Chronology of the Eighth and Seventh Centuries BCE The Book of Isaiah Box 20.2 Isaiah in Later Traditions The Siege of Jerusalem in 734 BCE Box 20.3 The Identification of Immanuel The Assyrian Invasion of Judah in 701 BCE Box 20.4 Sennacherib's Third Campaign (701 BCE) According to the Assyrian Annals The Book of Micah Box 20.5 Hezekiah's Tunnel Box 20.6 The King From Bethlehem A Look Back and Ahead 21. Judah in the Seventh Century BCE: The End of Assyrian Domination (2 Kings 21-23, 2 Chronicles 33-35, Zephaniah, Nahum, and the Prayer of Manasseh) History Box 21.1 Chronology of the Seventh Century BCE The Reign of Manasseh Box 21.2 Ashurbanipal's Library The Reign of Josiah Box 21.3 Megiddo and Armageddon The Book of Zephaniah The Book of Nahum A Look Back and Ahead 22. The Fall of Jerusalem (2 Kings 23.31-25.30, 2 Chronicles 36, Habakkuk, Jeremiah, and the Letter of Jeremiah) History Box 22.1 Chronology of the Late Seventh and Early Sixth Centuries BCE Box 22.2 Throne Names of Kings of Judah The Book of Habakkuk The Book of Jeremiah * Box 22.3 Jeremiah and the Lost Ark Box 22.4 Parallels Between Psalms and Jeremiah's Confessions Box 22.5 Jeremiah and the History of Bookmaking A Look Back and Ahead PART FIVE. EXILE AND RETURN 23. After the Fall: Jews in Judah and Babylon (Lamentations, Psalm 137, Obadiah, and Ezekiel) History The Book of Lamentations Box 23.1 Acrostic Poems The Jews in Babylonia Box 23.2 Nebuchadrezzar's Wonders Psalm 137 The Book of Obadiah The Book of Ezekiel Box 23.3 Yahweh as a Violent Husband Box 23.4 Leadership in the Restored Community Box 23.5 Gog of Magog A Look Back and Ahead 24. Return From Exile (Ezra 1-2 and Isaiah 34-35 and 40-55) History Box 24.1 Chronology of the Sixth Century BCE The Priestly Source of the Pentateuch The Exilic Edition of the Deuteronomistic History Isaiah 40- 55 Box 24.2 The Development of Monotheism Box 24.3 Female Images of God A Look Back and Ahead PART SIX. RECONSTRUCTION AND CONSOLIDATION 25. The Early Restoration (Ezra 3-6, 1 Esdras, Haggai, Zechariah 1-8, and Isaiah 56-66) History * Box 25.1 Chronology of the Late Sixth Century BCE Ezra 3-6 Box 25.2 Aramaic Box 25.3 The Books of Esdras The Book of Haggai Zechariah 1-8 Isaiah 56-66 A Look Back and Ahead 26. Judah in the Fifth Century BCE (Ezra 7-10, Nehemiah, Isaiah 24-27, Zechariah 9-14, Joel, Malachi, and 2 Esdras) History The Book(s) of Ezra and Nehemiah Box 26.1 Chronology of the Late Sixth to the Late Fourth Centuries BCE Box 26.2 The Elephantine Papyri Apocalyptic Literature The "Isaiah Apocalypse" (Isa 24- 27) Zechariah 9-14 The Book of Joel The Book of Malachi Box 26.3 Second Esdras A Look Back and Ahead 27. Traditions Rewritten and Consolidated (1-2 Chronicles, Psalms, and Proverbs) The Books of Chronicles Box 27.1 Samaria and the Samaritans Box 27.2 The Arrangement of the Genealogies of the Sons of Jacob (The Tribes of Israel) in Chronicles Box 27.3 Comparison of 2 Samuel 24.1-9 and 1 Chronicles 21.1-7 The Book of Psalms Box 27.4 Parallelism Box 27.5 The Forms of the Psalms Box 27.6 Form-Critical Analysis of Psalm 3 Music in Ancient Israel Wisdom Literature Box 27.7 Ahiqar and Proverbs The Book of Proverbs A Look Back and Ahead PART SEVEN. CONTROVERSY AND CHALLENGE 28. Dissidents and Lovers (Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon) The Book of Job Box 28.1 The Satan Box 28.2 "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth" Box 28.3 Behemoth and Leviathan Box 28.4 Job's Wife and Daughters Box 28.5 Job in Later Traditions The Book of Ecclesiastes The Development of Beliefs in Life after Death in Ancient Israel The Song of Solomon A Look Back and Ahead 29. Encounters with the Greeks (1-2 Maccabees, Baruch, Sirach, the Wisdom of Solomon, and 4 Maccabees) History Box 29.1 Rulers of Persia and Greece (Sixth to Fourth Centuries BCE) Box 29.2 Rulers of Egypt and Syria (Third to Second Centuries BCE) * Box 29.3 Chronology of High Priests in Jerusalem and of the Maccabees (Hasmoneans) Box 29.4 The Dead Sea Scrolls 1 Maccabees Box 29.5 Hanukkah 2 Maccabees The Book of Baruch The Wisdom of Jesus, Son of Sirach (also known as Ben Sira and Ecclesiasticus) Box 29.6 Different Views of Immortality in the Hebrew and Greek Texts of Ben Sira The Wisdom of Solomon Box 29.7 Contrasts in the Divine Treatment of the Egyptians and the Israelites During the Exodus Box 29.8 4 Maccabees A Look Back and Ahead 30. Heroes under Foreign Rulers (Jonah, Esther, Additions to Esther, Judith, Tobit, 3 Maccabees, Daniel, and Additions to Daniel) The Book of Jonah The Book of Esther Box 30.1 The Festival of Purim The Book of Judith Box 30.2 Widows The Book of Tobit Box 30.3 Angels and Demons 3 Maccabees The Book of Daniel Box 30.4 "Son of Man" Box 30.5 Outline of the Visions of Successive Kingdoms in the Book of Daniel A Look Back and Ahead Chronology General Bibliography Glossary * Weights and Measures Index