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date: 22 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article outlines an eco-agrarian perspective on the Hebrew Bible. Countless passages treat the multifaceted interdependency of arable land, animals, and human communities, as well as the social dynamics of force, which deprived small farmers of land tenancy or control throughout the biblical period. Works by Walter Brueggemann, Wendell Berry, and Edward Said take account of the social and material knowledge and experience of rural communities in modern North America and Africa as well as ancient Israel. Elements of a “prophetic ecology,” drawn from Former and Latter Prophets, suggest that the flourishing of the land, the possibility of shalom, and even the status of the land of Canaan as holy are all connected to attention to the land by small farmers. From both biblical and modern perspectives, agriculture that sustains local communities is the only alternative to war.

Keywords: eco-agrarian perspective, Hebrew Bible, force, land tenancy, knowledge, ecology, land-community, holy, farmers, war

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