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Israelite, Moabite and Sabaean War-h&#803&#275rem Traditions and the Forging of National Identity: Reconsidering the Sabaean Text RES 3945 in Light of Biblical and Moabite Evidence

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In the biblical conquest accounts,hērem signifies ritual destruction and consecration to the deity of entire enemy populations and towns. The root hrm also appears in two extrabiblical conquest accounts: the Mesha Inscription and the Sabaean text, RES 3945. This article revisits the interpretation of the Sabaean text in light of recent scholarship in South Arabian Studies, and argues that RES 3945 should be placed on equal footing with the Mesha Inscription for its relevance for understanding the biblical hērem. Taken together, these sources situate the war-hērem in the context of early state formation, and suggest that the tripartite relationship between people, land and god, expressed in terms of b&ebrever&icaront, or &#147covenant,&#148 in ancient Israel, may in fact have found expression more widely, in a tribal, inland Palestinian setting with cultural connections extending into the South Arabian Peninsula.

Affiliations: 1: Ithaca

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853307x215509
2007-06-01
2016-12-06

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