Biblical Covenant in the Persian Period

Bautch, Richard J. & Gary N. Knoppers (eds.). 2015. Covenant in the Persian Period: from Genesis to Chronicles. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns.
The 22 essays in this new and comprehensive study explore how notions of covenant, especially the Sinaitic covenant, flourished during the Neo-Babylonian, Persian, and early Hellenistic periods. Following the upheaval of the Davidic monarchy, the temple’s destruction, the disenfranchisement of the Jerusalem priesthood, the deportation of Judeans to other lands, the struggles of Judeans who remained in the land, and the limited returns of some Judean groups from exile, the covenant motif proved to be an increasingly influential symbol in Judean intellectual life. The contributors to this volume, drawn from many different countries including Canada, Germany, Israel, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United States, document how Judean writers working within historiographic, Levitical, prophetic, priestly, and sapiential circles creatively reworked older notions of covenant to invent a new way of understanding this idea. These writers examine how new conceptions of the covenant made between YHWH and Israel at Mt. Sinai play a significant role in the process of early Jewish identity formation. Others focus on how transformations in the Abrahamic, Davidic, and Priestly covenants responded to cultural changes within Judean society, both in the homeland and in the diaspora. Cumulatively, the studies of biblical writings, from Genesis to Chronicles, demonstrate how Jewish literature in this period developed a striking diversity of ideas related to covenantal themes.

Table of Contents
Part 1: Pentateuch
  • Jakob Wöhrle: Abraham amidst the Nations: The Priestly Concept of Covenant and the Persian Imperial Ideology
  • Andreas Schüle: The “Eternal Covenant” in the Priestly Pentateuch and the Major Prophets
  • Wolfgang Oswald: Correlating the Covenants in Exodus 24 and Exodus 34
  • Thomas Hieke: The Covenant in Leviticus 26: A Concept of Admonition and Redemption
Part 2: Historical Books (Deuteronomistic History)
  • Reinhard Achenbach: “The Unwritten Text of the Covenant”: Torah in the Mouth of the Prophets
  • Ehud Ben Zvi: A Balancing Act: Settling and Unsettling Issues Concerning Past Divine Promises in Historiographical Texts Shaping Social Memory in the Late Persian Period
  • Cynthia Edenburg: From Covenant to Connubium: Persian Period Developments in the Perception of Covenant in the Deuteronomistic History
Part 3: Prophecy
  • Dalit Rom-Shiloni: The Covenant in the Book of Jeremiah: On the Employment of Family and Political Metaphors
  • Matthew Sjoberg: Inner-Biblical Interpretation in the Redaction of Jeremiah 33:14–26
  • J. Todd Hibbard: Breaking an Eternal Covenant: Isaiah 24:5 and Persian Period Discourse about the Covenant
  • James Nogalski: Presumptions of “Covenant” in Joel
  • John Kessler: Curse, Covenant, and Temple in the Book of Haggai
  • Richard J. Bautch: Zechariah 11 and the Shepherd’s Broken Covenant
  • Elie Assis: The Reproach of the Priests (Malachi 1:6–2:9) within Malachi’s Conception of Covenant
  • Christine Mitchell: Achaemenid Persian Concepts Pertaining to Covenant and Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi
Part 4: Wisdom Literature
  • W. H. Bellinger Jr.: The Psalms, Covenant, and the Persian Period
  • Carol J. Dempsey: Poems, Prayers and Promises: The Psalms and Israel’s Three Covenants
  • Jamie A. Grant: “When the Friendship of God Was upon My Tent”: Covenant as Essential Background to Lament in the Wisdom Literature
  • Thomas M. Bolin: Qohelet and the Covenant: Some Preliminary Observations
Part 5: Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah
  • D. J. E. Nykolaishen: Ezra 10:3: Solemn Oath? Renewed Covenant? New Covenant?
  • Mark J. Boda: Reenvisioning the Relationship: Covenant in Chronicles
  • Louis C. Jonker: “The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord”: The Place of Covenant in the Chronicler’s Theology
 *Via Khodadad Rezakhani