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By Mieke Bal

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Extra info for Anti-Covenant: Counter Reading Women's Lives in the Hebrew Bible (Bible and Literature Series)

Sample text

There is no felt personal guilt nor acts of divine intervention condemning their breaking of the taboo. Then, when the foreign authority figure is about to (or does) wreak havoc on his own household, it becomes a terrible sin to have completed the exchange. In the end, if the women had actually been a sister, intercouse would not have been sinful. There is a duplicity in the taboo. When wifeabduction benefits the patriarchs, it is allowed. If wife-abduction threatens the well-being of the male household, it is disallowed.

For example, Jesus says: 'If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children... he cannot be my disciple' (Lk. 56). Notice that he does not permit the wife the same right against the husband. ' (Mt. 48) He goes on to say that whoever does the will of God is his brother, sister and mother. Notice that he does not say father. 8 But let us return to the subject of child sacrifice. The Bible is itself ambivalent on this subject. 'Consecrate to me all the first born whatever is the first to open the womb of the people Israel' (Exod.

Both texts involve relations with the uncircumcised autochtonous population of Canaan. In Gen. 26, the action was motivated by a fear of intercourse; the deception on the part of Simon and Levi was because of the fact that Shechem Hamor had raped Dinah. As part of their deception they recommended covenantal ties. As noted, the episode with the Philistines in Gen. 26 concludes with the establishment of covenantal relations (1975: 25). In conclusion, he states that these insertions act as interludes which enhance the 'generative' power of the text.

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