Cook-mythic annihilation

theoutwardquest

In Reading Deuteronomy, Stephen Cook has already shown how the Israelite occupation of the Transjordan was conceived in Deuteronomy as a battle, not against actual Canaanite people and tribes, but against mythic, even occult, forces.

In Deuteronomy 7:16 we have another appalling call for ethnic cleansing

You must destroy all the people whom the Lord your God is about to deliver over to you; you must not pity them or worship their gods, for that will be a snare to you.

Once again Cook denies that this command was meant literally. After all, if this came from Josiah’s time, it was at least 600 years after the actual time of Moses. Canaanites no longer had armies or kingdoms within the land. Deuteronomy is relying on a Near Eastern combat myth so that chaos and death are God’s true enemies and the Canaanite pagans stand for these more mythic enemies…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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