Abstract and Keywords
Deportation and migration were formative for ancient Judaism and seminal for its literature. Dislocation, whether conceived of as forced or voluntary, influenced Israel’s recollection of her more distant past. Early pre-exilic narratives of Israel’s beginnings were redacted during and in response to Israel’s experience of exile, so that, for example, earlier Abraham and Joseph traditions were reshaped drawing on the realities of the Babylonian exile and the related Diaspora; these reworked traditions, in turn, informed narratives, such as Esther and Daniel, that took exile and diaspora as their explicit subject. The stories of Israel’s origins and its accounts of post-exilic and diasporic existence exerted a reciprocal influence on each other; and thus Israelite history came to be narrated as a series of exiles and returns, in which current dislocations were understood in terms of primeval patterns, and ancestral stories were revised in light of current dislocations.
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