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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Enemy in the Household: Family Violence in Deuteronomy and Beyond
Reeder, Caryn A.

Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2012 pp. viii + 216. $26.99

Description: Three laws in Deuteronomy command violence against a family member--the enemy in the household--who leads others away from covenantal obligations to God. Several biblical and post-biblical narratives make use of such violence. In this fresh approach to troubling biblical texts, Caryn Reeder explores the "family violence" passages in Deuteronomy, tracing their ancient interpretation and assessing their contemporary significance. The Enemy in the Household examines such "constructive" violence carried out to protect the covenant community by investigating the reading practices of ancient Jewish and Christian interpreters of Scripture and their applications of these passages. It also provides modern readers with a model for the ethical interpretation of these difficult texts. The book will appeal to professors and students in Old Testament/Deuteronomy courses as well as those covering ethics and the Bible. Pastors will also value this work.

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

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Review by Sung Jin Park
Published 6/21/2013
Citation: Sung Jin Park, review of Caryn A. Reeder, The Enemy in the Household: Family Violence in Deuteronomy and Beyond, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2013).

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