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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Women's Divination in Biblical Literature: Prophecy, Necromancy, and Other Arts of Knowledge
Hamori, Esther J.

New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015 pp. xiii+269. $66.17

Series Information
Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library


Description: Divination, the use of special talents and techniques to gain divine knowledge, was practiced in many different forms in ancient Israel and throughout the ancient world. The Hebrew Bible reveals a variety of traditions of women associated with divination. This sensitive and incisive book by respected scholar Esther J. Hamori examines the wide scope of women’s divinatory activities as portrayed in the Hebrew texts, offering readers a new appreciation of the surprising breadth of women’s “arts of knowledge” in biblical times. Unlike earlier approaches to the subject that have viewed prophecy separately from other forms of divination, Hamori’s study encompasses the full range of divinatory practices and the personages who performed them, from the female prophets and the medium of En-dor to the matriarch who interprets a birth omen and the “wise women” of Tekoa and Abel and more. In doing so, the author brings into clearer focus the complex, rich, and diverse world of ancient Israelite divination.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Israel

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Review by Gerhard Karner
Published 12/21/2017
Citation: Gerhard Karner, review of Esther J. Hamori, Women's Divination in Biblical Literature: Prophecy, Necromancy, and Other Arts of Knowledge, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


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