The fall of Jerusalem and the rise of the Torah

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  • The destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 587 BCE is arguably the most tremendous disaster in the Hebrew Bible. How this decisive date relates to the development of the Pentateuch, however, is highly controversial. Is the trauma of Jerusalem reflected in the five books of Moses? This question is addressed from multiple perspectives in this volume. Israel Finkelstein and Lester L. Grabbe discuss the archaeological and historical data. Experts in Pentateuchal criticism from diverse international backgrounds present a rich panorama of relevant themes, including biblical historiography, contacts with Mesopotamian culture before and during the Babylonian exile, and the issue of cultic discontinuity caused by the destruction and restoration of Jerusalem's temple. -book flap


  • Papers from unnamed conference held at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, 27-28, March 2015.
  • Includes bibliographical references and indexes.


  • Jerusalem and Judah 600-200 BCE: implications for understanding Pentateuchal texts / Israel Finkelstein -- The last days of Judah and the roots of the Pentateuch: what does history tell us? / Lester L. Grabbe -- Suspicious similarities: a comparative study of the falls of Samaria and Jerusalem / Peter Dubovský -- The siege of Jerusalem between rhetorical maximalism (Deuteronomy 28) and narrative minimalism (2 Kings 25) / Jean-Pierre Sonnet -- Living in the land of Shinar: reflections on exile in Genesis 11:1-9? / Angelika Berlejung -- Why does the Pentateuch speak so much of Torah and so little of Jerusalem? / Jean Louis Ska -- Divine legislation in the Pentateuch in its late Judean and neo-Babylonian context / Konrad Schmid -- Born out of ruins: the catastrophe of Jerusalem as accoucheur to the Pentateuch in the book of Deuteronomy / Echart Otto -- The law of the king (Deuteronomy 17:14-20) in the light of empire and destruction / Nili Wazana -- Aaron's failure and the fall of the Hebrew kingdoms / Nathan Mac Donald -- Political allegory in the priestly source: the destruction of Jerusalem, the exile and their alternatives / Jeffrey Stackert -- The wilderness sanctuary as the archetype of continuity between the pre- and the postexilic temples of Jerusalem / Dominik Markl -- Cult centralization and the Torah traditions in Chronicles / Christophe Nihan -- Don't forget Jerusalem's destruction!: the perspective of the book of Jeremiah / Georg Fischer -- Zedekiah's release of slaves as the Babylonians besiege Jerusalem: Jeremiah 34 and the formation of the Pentateuch / Bernard M. Levinson -- Remembering the exodus in the wake of catastrophe / Ronald Hendel -- Writing the disaster: trauma, resilience and Fortschreibung / Jean-Pierre Sonnet
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