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date: 20 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The book of Genesis has consistently attracted literary-critical attention to its stories. In addition to celebrating this rich tradition of critical engagement, this chapter examines how Genesis uses various narrative strategies to mark group boundaries, alternately establishing, maintaining, stretching, and crossing them, as well as debating the rules and conditions for boundary adjustments. Woven into the narrative fabric is a diverse range of questions, perspectives, and concerns that interrogate the moral dimensions of human experience against a backdrop where issues of communal identity and survival press with profound urgency. Genesis’s narrative multivalence constitutes fertile ground for political and social debate in Persian Yehud over the genesis of Israelite identity.

Keywords: Genesis, exile, ethnicity, identity, place, space, survival, trickery, tricksters, Yehud

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