Friday, April 07, 2017

Another review of Smoak, The Priestly Blessing in Inscription & Scripture

RELIGION AND LITERATURE OF ANCIENT PALESTINE BLOG: Review of Jeremy D. Smoak, The Priestly Blessing in Inscription & Scripture: The Early History of Numbers 6:24-26 (Oxford, 2016) (Ryan Thomas).
I found Smoak’s general thesis to be well-argued and supported. The book represents a significant contribution to the study of apotropaic ritual/magic in Israel-Judah, which will be of interest to both biblical scholars and students of ancient Near Eastern religion. The careful use of material culture and inscriptions from the broader region so as to illuminate the thought-world of the biblical texts is exemplary, building a historically-informed hermeneutical context without forcing the evidence.
Past posts on Jeremy Smoak's work on the priestly blessing are collected here. Past posts on the Ketef Hinnom silver amulets (which contain a version of the priestly blessing) and the priestly blessing itself are there and links.