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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Festive Meals in Ancient Israel: Deuteronomy's Identity Politics in Their Ancient Near Eastern Context
Altmann, Peter

Berlin: de Gruyter, 2011 pp. xii + 299. $150.00

Series Information
Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 424


Description: The festive meal texts of Deuteronomy 12–26 depict Israel as a unified people participating in cultic banquets – a powerful and earthy image for both preexilic Judahite and later audiences. Comparison of Deuteronomy 12:13–27, 14:22–29, 16:1–17, and 26:1–15 with pentateuchal texts like Exodus 20–23 is broadened to highlight the rhetorical potential of the Deuteronomic meal texts in relation to the religious and political circumstances in Israel during the Neo-Assyrian and later periods. The texts employ the concrete and rich image of festive banquets, which the monograph investigates in relation to comparative ancient Near Eastern texts and iconography, the zooarchaeological remains of the ancient Levant, and the findings of cultural anthropology with regard to meals.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Deuteronomy, Literature

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Review by Stephen A. Reed
Published 3/10/2012
Citation: Stephen A. Reed, review of Peter Altmann, Festive Meals in Ancient Israel: Deuteronomy's Identity Politics in Their Ancient Near Eastern Context, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2012).


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