Women's Divination In Biblical Literature: Prophecy, Necromancy, And Other Arts Of Knowledge by Esther J. HamoriWomen's Divination In Biblical Literature: Prophecy, Necromancy, And Other Arts Of Knowledge by Esther J. Hamori

Women's Divination In Biblical Literature: Prophecy, Necromancy, And Other Arts Of Knowledge

byEsther J. Hamori

Hardcover | April 28, 2015

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Divination, the use of special talents and techniques to gain divine knowledge, was practiced in many different forms in ancient Israel and throughout the ancient world. The Hebrew Bible reveals a variety of traditions of women associated with divination. This sensitive and incisive book by respected scholar Esther J. Hamori examines the wide scope of women’s divinatory activities as portrayed in the Hebrew texts, offering readers a new appreciation of the surprising breadth of women’s “arts of knowledge” in biblical times. Unlike earlier approaches to the subject that have viewed prophecy separately from other forms of divination, Hamori’s study encompasses the full range of divinatory practices and the personages who performed them, from the female prophets and the medium of En-dor to the matriarch who interprets a birth omen and the “wise women” of Tekoa and Abel and more. In doing so, the author brings into clearer focus the complex, rich, and diverse world of ancient Israelite divination.
Esther J. Hamori is associate professor of Hebrew Bible at Union Theological Seminary. Her publications include a book on divine anthropomorphism, “When Gods Were Men”: The Embodied God in Biblical and Near Eastern Literature. She lives in New York, NY.
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Title:Women's Divination In Biblical Literature: Prophecy, Necromancy, And Other Arts Of KnowledgeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1 inPublished:April 28, 2015Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300178913

ISBN - 13:9780300178913

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"Divination is an elusive and probably for many readers an insignificant phenomenon in the Hebrew Bible, but in Esther Hamori's hands, it comes to life as something fundamental to the world views of the biblical authors. With considerable erudition, lightly worn, and even more, great and penetrating discernment, Hamori gathers the biblical texts at issue, and shows how many-sided a phenomenon divination was in the Hebrew Bible and how varied, even contradictory, the biblical attitudes toward it were. Hamori is an outstanding reader of the ancient texts. Patiently and meticulously, she can crawl inside them and illuminate what they say and do not say. In the process, she carries on a lively conversation with previous interpreters, able and willing to build both on their insights and, as she gently but firmly demonstrates, on where they have gone astray. At the same time, she understands the importance of comparative study, and in a series of judicious forays into such other ancient Near Eastern cultures as the Mesopotamian and the Hittite, she finds just the analogy that will clarify what the often elliptical biblical text is assuming – all the while very much aware of the dangers of pressing the analogy too far. In sum, Hamori has not only opened up the phenomenon of divination in the biblical world in new and fascinating ways, but given us a model analysis that has ramifications for many other fields of study."—Peter Machinist, Harvard University