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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Dust or Dew: Immortality in the Ancient Near East and in Psalm 49
Smith, Janet

Cambridge: James Clarke, 2012 pp. xvi + 269. £19.50

Description: Dust or Dew addresses the question of Israelís 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 Israelís developing concepts of sheol and redemption for the righteous. The Korahite clan of Israel also emerges from the historical shadows as key developers of this tradition. Finally, new light on Genesis 1Ė3 enriches understanding of Psalm 49, while a survey of the icons of ancient goddess worship informs our understanding of Genesis 1Ė3.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Writings, Literature, Psalms

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Review by Ilaria L. E. Ramelli
Published 3/22/2013
Citation: Ilaria L. E. Ramelli, 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] (2013).


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