Ezra's Social Drama: Identity Formation, Marriage and Social Conflict in Ezra 9 and 10
Moffat, Donald P.
London: Bloomsbury, 2013 pp. xiv + 218. $110
Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 579
Description: Moffat aims to provide further insight into the mixed
marriage narrative by exposing the social and cultural factors on which it is
based. He also identifies historical traces in the narrative that can
contribute to a historical reconstruction of the post-exilic era.
The socio-cultural analysis highlights previously unobserved
aspects of the narrative as it understands that the narrative reflects a
context in which identity formation issues were prominent in Persian Yehud.
Moffat argues that the rituals of mourning and penitential prayer are important
acts that shaped the mixed marriage controversy. The label Ďforeign women' is
identified as a symbol which carried considerable freight and connected the
mixed marriages with wider social discourse on identity. Further, the Exodus
traditions are shown to be significant for the conceptual foundations
underlying the narrative and the society that produced it. The analysis also
gives reason to understand Ezra as the pivotal character in narrative plot. This
not only affects how the narrative is understood but has implications for
historical reconstruction that utilises this narrative.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Historical Books, Ezra, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches, Narrative Criticism
Review by Hannah K. Harrington
Citation: Hannah K. Harrington, review of Donald P. Moffat, Ezra's Social Drama: Identity Formation, Marriage and Social Conflict in Ezra 9 and 10, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2014).
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