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'She Came to Test Him with Hard Questions': Foreign Women and their View on Israel

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image of Biblical Interpretation

Focusing on two foreign women, the queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10) and Rahab the prostitute (Joshua 2), this article shows how their otherness is shaped and used as a literary tool. Both women are introduced as strangers, but simultaneously they are portrayed with characteristic traits of good Israelites. The multifarious literary image of these women are used as a mirror for Israel. Hence inside and outside, self and other, and also superiority and inferiority are intermingled. Whereas the women themselves vanish from the stories, the interwoven aspects of their literary otherness cast a new light on Israel and its self-perception.

Affiliations: 1: RWTH Aachen University


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