Description: Dust or Dew addresses the question of Israel's unique contribution to beliefs about afterlife in the Ancient Near East as hinted at in Psalm 49. Reading this obscure psalm separately from other diverse contexts is often unrewarding. Dust or Dew shows which other readings, from the literature of both ancient Israel and its neighbors, enriches our understanding not only of the psalm and but also of Israel's developing concepts of sheol and redemption for the righteous. The Korahite clan of Israel emerges from the historical shadows. Finally, new light on Genesis 1-3 enriches understanding of the Psalm 49, while a survey of the icons of ancient goddess worship informs our understanding of Genesis 1-3.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Writings, Literature, Psalms
Review by Philippus J. Botha
Citation: Philippus J. Botha, review of Janet Smith, Dust or Dew: Immortality in the Ancient Near East and in Psalm 49, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2012).
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