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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

House of Weeping: The Motif of Tears in Akkadian and Hebrew Prayers
Bosworth, David A.

Atlanta: SBL Press, 2019 pp. xv + 166. $29.95

Series Information
Ancient Near Eastern Monographs, 24

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Description: David A. Bosworth draws on scientific research on weeping to understand references to a petitionerís tears in biblical and other ancient Near Eastern prayers. Drawing from Hebrew and Akkadian texts, Bosworth illustrates how weeping reflects helplessness and being overwhelmed with emotion as well as how tears often motivate others to help. Because people turn to prayer at times of extreme distress, weeping and prayer may reinforce one another as strategies to move the deity to offer assistance. For example, when prayers that mention weeping assume that the deity is angry, tears function as part of calming divine wrath. Bosworthís substantive engagement with the sciences demonstrates how scientific scholarship can enhance humanities research and vice versa.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Writings, Ancient Near East, Mesopotamian Literature, Babylonian Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Ancient Near Eastern History, Literary Approaches, Social-Scientific Approaches, Psychology, Psalms

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Review by Ekaterina Kozlova
Published 3/19/2020
Citation: Ekaterina Kozlova, review of David A. Bosworth, House of Weeping: The Motif of Tears in Akkadian and Hebrew Prayers, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2020).

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