Prophetism et alliance: Des Archives royales de Mari a la Bible hebraique.

Author:Miglio, Adam E.
Position:Book review

Prophetism et alliance: Des Archives royales de Mari a la Bible hebraique. By jean-georges Heintz. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis, vol. 271. Pp. x + 373, illus. Fribourg: Academic Press, 2015. FS113.

Within a decade or so after the recovery of the ancient city of Mari from the ruins at Tell Hariri in 1933-34 the first significant attempts at comparing this material with the Hebrew Bible were well underway. At least initially, the "holy grail" of such studies, as Jack M. Sasson has described it, was a proposed connection between the events of Zimri-Lim's reign and Genesis 14 (Sasson 2006). At the same time, the prospects for studying "Mari and the Bible" have never been limited to direct historical connections between the eighteenth-century history of the central Euphrates and the first-millennium texts of the Hebrew Bible. Rather, much like archaeologists of the second half of the past century, who grew increasingly interested in the study of social patterns and cultural mentalities of ancient peoples and focused less on the great men or iconic events of the past, biblical scholars and Near Eastern historians have sought out connections between Mari and ancient Israel in phenomena that developed and changed at the levels of conjoncture and la tongue duree.

The volume under review contains a total of nineteen essays by Heintz that have been reprinted from previous publications over the long course of his career, from 1969-2001. The initial chapter frames the collection, as the author navigates the pitfalls as well as articulates possible benefits of comparative studies in his programmatic essay entitled "Bible et Orient." The collection of Heintz's writings, as a whole, showcases the author's breadth of knowledge--from Syro-Mesopotamian and biblical studies to Northwest Semitic epigraphy, textual criticism, and archaeology. The essays are arranged into three main sections. The first and the third sections deal with the topics of prophecy and covenant, respectively, and these two sections not only contain the majority of essays, but also give the book its title. The middle section, then, is a melange of essays that addresses diverse themes related to biblical and Near Eastern studies, from an examination of the image of YHWH as a "consuming fire" to a text-critical analysis of the book of Isaiah. In all, the author's interactions with several types of ancient Near Eastern sources--from archival cuneiform texts, to Northwest Semitic...

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