Friday, December 04, 2015

Doak on the giants

The Embarrassing and Alluring Biblical Giant

Whatever interpretive paths we choose, the giant remains alluring, even if a bit embarrassing. After the Hebrew Bible had (mostly) been completed, giants lived on, prolifically, in the traditions of third–first century BCE Judaism, most notably in 1 Enoch and the Qumran Book of Giants. These early Jewish traditions cannot simply be attributed to an arcane exegetical fascination with the weirdness or ambiguity of the giant; rather, early interpreters saw in these figures deeply meaningful opportunities to speak of the persistence of evil and the meaning of empire.

See also: The Last of the Rephaim: Conquest and Cataclysm in the Heroic Ages of Ancient Israel (Ilex Series 7; Ilex Foundation and the Center for Hellenic Studies; via Harvard University Press, 2012); Consider Leviathan: Narratives of Nature and the Self in Job (Fortress Press, 2014)

By Brian R. Doak
Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies
Faculty Fellow, William Penn Honors Program
George Fox University
December 2015
There are far too many PaleoJudaica posts on giants to give as background links. I wouldn't know where to start. But if you are curious, run "book of giants" and "og the giant" through the search engine and that will bring up lots of them. Posts, not giants.