This collection of essays examines the religion of ancient Israel within its ancient context: Egypt, Western Asia, and the Aegean. Particular emphasis is devoted to the problem of the divine image. Was the prohibition on depicting the deity expressed in the Hebrew Bible followed already in early Israel and Judah? Was the conception of the divine held by Israel’s neighbors really as unsophisticated as it is depicted by the Hebrew prophets?
Several monographs and collections of essays on the topic of aniconism have appeared in the past twenty years. The contributors to this volume had the advantage of responding to, and building upon, this earlier work. In addition, most earlier studies devoted only cursory attention to the religions of Israel's neighbors, whereas this book includes contributions from experts in these areas.
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