Hate and Enmity in Biblical Law (Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies #562) (Hardcover)

Hate and Enmity in Biblical Law (Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies #562) By Klaus-Peter Adam Cover Image

Hate and Enmity in Biblical Law (Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies #562) (Hardcover)


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Enmity between individuals was an ubiquitious phenomenon in the ancient world. Using the method of legal anthropology this book examines patterns of hate-driven feuding in kinship-based and segmentary societies and applies these insights to biblical law. It defines the fundamental categories of enmity, love, revenge, honor and shame in the context of feuding and it illustrates certain legal actions, such giving false witness, and shows how they are expressions of hateful relationships.

Adam proposes that we should understand hate between individuals as a legal construct that becomes visible when lived out as private enmity, a social status that exhibits distinct hallmarks. In kinship-based societies, private hate/enmity was publicly declared and, consequently, was publicly known in one's own kin and beyond. Private enmity was acted out in feud-like patterns, with a flexibility that allowed opponents to choose between various measures to hurt their opponent. Acting out hate was reciprocal, and it typically escalated and swiftly expanded into one party's attempt to kill the other and to trigger a blood feud. Finally, private enmity was "transitive" in the sense that opponents at enmity naturally expected solidarity from kin and friends.

Adam uses textual analysis to illustrate how the legal construct of hate informs biblical law from the Covenant Code, to Deuteronomic and Priestly Legislation, including the Holiness Code. He also demonstrates how hate forms the backdrop of conflict settlement. Ultimately, by ways of tracing back through the category of private hate and enmity, this book unpacks the meaning of the quintessential command to "Love your neighbor
Klaus-Peter Adam is Associate Professor of Old Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, USA.
Product Details ISBN: 9780567681898
ISBN-10: 0567681890
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: June 16th, 2022
Pages: 320
Language: English
Series: Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies