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image of Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions

AbstractScholars have long documented the ways in which the Bible’s descriptions of Solomon’s temple, as well as the biblical descriptions of the temple’s environs, evoke the Genesis 2–3 account of the Garden of Eden. In this paper, I suggest that Israelite tradition likewise understood Edenic imagery to manifest itself at other sanctuary sites, preeminently the sacred precinct at Tel Dan that is known to us both from textual accounts and archaeological remains. More specifically, Edenic imagery is evoked at Tel Dan by the site’s topography and by certain archaeological data, as well as in a surprisingly wide-ranging corpus of biblical, deuterocanonical, and pseudepigraphical texts.

Affiliations: 1: Dartmouth


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