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Book: About Edom and Idumea in the Persian Period

Chapter: 16. The “Edom Texts” in Samuel–Kings in Inner- and Extrabiblical Perspective

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.42833


Stephen Germany, in his essay “The ‘Edom Texts’ in Samuel–Kings in Inner- and Extrabiblical Perspective,” investigates the observation that references to Edom and the Edomites in the books of Samuel and Kings, though relatively limited in number, present a variety of interpretive problems. In addition to complex textual issues, recent archaeological research in southern Jordan and the Negev has reopened the question of whether the references to Edom in Samuel–Kings may reflect historical realities from the early first millennium BCE. Nevertheless, both earlier and more recent attempts to interpret the “Edom texts” in Samuel–Kings in light of the extrabiblical evidence do not sufficiently take into account their literary function and intertextual relationships. His essay therefore begins by considering the literary development of the “Edom texts” in their own right before attempting to situate their composition within a particular historical context. Through such an approach, the essay argues that while a handful of the “Edom texts” in Samuel–Kings could preserve memories of historical realities from the eighth or seventh centuries BCE, the majority of these texts stem from the postmonarchic period.

Chapter Contributors

  • Stephen Germany ( - sgermany) 'Universität Basel'