cover of book

Dismembering the Whole: Composition and Purpose of Judges 19-21
by Cynthia Edenburg
SBL Press, 2016
eISBN: 978-1-62837-125-3 | Cloth: 978-1-62837-126-0 | Paper: 978-1-62837-124-6
Library of Congress Classification BS1305.52.E345 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 222.3206


A fresh literary analysis of political polemic in the Bible

The Book of Judges ends with a bizarre narrative of sex and violence that starts with a domestic tiff and ends with the decimation of a tribe that is restored by means of abduction and rape. Cynthia Edenburg applies a fresh literary analysis, recent understandings of historical linguistics, and historical geography in her exploration of the origin of the anti-Benjamin polemic found in Judges 19–21, the growth and provenance of the book of Judges, and the shape of the Deuteronomistic History. Her study exposes how Judges 19–21 function as political polemic reflecting not the pre-monarchic period but instead the historical realities of the settlement of Benjamin during the Babylonian and Persian period.


  • Methodological discussions that open each chapter

  • Charts and tables

  • Engagement with current research produced by scholars from around the world

See other books on: Composition | Exegesis & Hermeneutics | History & Culture | Purpose | Whole
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