Description: The figure Balaam has interested exegetes and scribes for millennia. Jonathan Miles Robker examines the different versions of the literary character Balaam as attested in biblical and epigraphic literature. By contrasting the distinct information about Balaam presented in the various sources (the plaster inscription from Deʿir Alla, Numbers 22Ė24; 31; Deuteronomy 23; Joshua 13; 24; Judges 11; Micah 6; and Nehemiah 13), the author seeks to trace the development of characterizations of Balaam from the oldest available material to the youngest in the Hebrew Bible. In this way, Jonathan Miles Robker advances discourse about the literary and tradition-historical development of the texts that became the Hebrew Bible. Beyond the text of the Hebrew Bible, he also traces the continued development of Balaam's characterization through the texts of Qumran and the New Testament. To this end, the author contributes discussions of the history of religion in Antiquity.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Numbers, Septuagint, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Israel, History of Judaism, Form, Tradition and Redaction Criticism, Textual Criticism, Reception History
Review by Clinton J. Moyer
Citation: Clinton J. Moyer, review of Jonathan Miles Robker, Balaam in Text and Tradition, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).
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