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The trouble with Benjamin

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Chapter Summary

The tribe and territory of Benjamin is an intriguing phenomenon, and remarkably underplayed in biblical scholarship. The self-identity and allegiance of Benjaminites under the reinstated dominion of Jerusalem (from the mid-fifth century or later, onwards) and under the label of 'Judaean/Jew' provides scope for interesting and significant questions, which can be approached first through portraits of individual Benjaminites. Benjamin's incorporation in Judah implicates a quite different relationship, that of between Israel and Judah. The rivalry between Mizpah and Jerusalem is illustrated in the account of the assassination of Gedaliah by a Davidide. But the rivalry between Bethel and Jerusalem is much more fully attested throughout the biblical corpus.

Keywords: Benjamin; Jerusalem; Judah



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