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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Longing for Egypt and Other Unexpected Biblical Tales
Lipton, Diana

Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2008 pp. xii + 285. $85.00

Series Information
Hebrew Bible Monographs, 15

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Description: Readers of all persuasions have a tendency to privilege simple interpretations over complex, unsettling, readings. Longing for Egypt and Other Unexpected Biblical Tales explores seven cases of textual complexity masked by simple readings. One chapter uncovers a counter-intuitive longing for Egypt alongside the Exodus account of liberation from persecution. Another shows how what appears to be a critical attitude in the Bible towards other gods may reflect inner-Israelite tensions rather than some principled antipathy toward others. Yet another confronts the praise of God as a perfect king with the use of the language of divine kingship as a vehicle for constructive criticism. All seven chapters share a focus on the formation of identity. Arguably the Bibleís most sensitive subject, for its authors and for present-day readers, this topic has generated a host of simple readings that conceal immense complexity.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature

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Review by Amelia Devin Freedman
Published 5/23/2009
Citation: Amelia Devin Freedman, review of Diana Lipton, Longing for Egypt and Other Unexpected Biblical Tales, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2009).

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