Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Did the Israelites ever ban their own cities?

PROF AARON DEMSKY: Was There Ever an Ir Hannidahat (Subverted City)? (
The rabbis claim that a “subverted” or “apostate” city, which Deuteronomy (13:13-18) condemns to destruction, “never was and never will be” (t. San. 14:1). Yet the account in Judges 19-21 of the destruction or ḥerem of Gibeah, its inhabitants, animals, and property, suggests that such “internal ḥerem” was an Israelite practice, and that Gibeah is being presented as a subverted city.
Or, more precisely, the story suggests that the Deuteronomistic Historian thought that it had once been an Israelite practice.

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