Description: In this study, Jonathan Huddleston examines Genesis as a rhetorical whole, addressing Persian-era Judean expectations. While some have contrasted Genesis’ account of origins with prophetic accounts of the future, literary and historical evidence suggests that Genesis narrates Israel’s origins precisely in order to ground Judea’s hopes for an eschatological restoration. Promises to the ancestors semiotically apply to those who preserved, composed, and received the text of Genesis. Judea imagines its mythic destiny as a great nation exemplifying and spreading blessing among the families of the earth. Genesis’ vision of Israel’s destiny coheres with the postexilic prophetic eschatology, identifying Israel as a precious seed to carry forward promises of a yet-to-be-realized creation fruitfulness. Because this future requires a coming divine visitation, Genesis cannot be attributed to an anti-eschatological hierocracy. Rather, it reflects the same Persian-era Judean synthesis that produced the temple-oriented restoration eschatology of the prophetic corpus.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Genesis, Literature
Review by James S. Lee
Citation: James S. Lee, review of Jonathan Huddleston, Eschatology in Genesis, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2014).
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