The present volume seeks to identify the underlying code of meanings about the Israelite king operating in various ways in texts and other artifacts surviving from the culture. The focus is upon the (living) body of the king, its anatomical characteristics, its constitution through ritual, and the conventions concerning its proper self-display by the king. Combining linguistic and historical-critical analysis of biblical and ancient Near Eastern texts, this book argues that the royal psalms contain a set of officially sanctioned notions about the royal body and its use. Other texts, often from circles outside the royal court, significantly altered these notions. The king’s body was thus for ancient Israelites the locus of reflection on power, gender, religion, and even international relations.
Mark W. Hamilton (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible at Abilene Christian University. His current research focuses upon Israelite and ancient Near Eastern notions of sovereignty, human and divine, both in their historical contexts and in their implications for contemporary communities of faith.
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