Chapter

<i>Ḥērem</i> Ideology and the Politics of Destruction

Lauren A. S. Monroe

in Josiah's Reform and the Dynamics of Defilement

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199774166
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897377 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199774166.003.0003
Ḥērem Ideology and the Politics of Destruction

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This chapter examines the political and theological implications of the biblical war ḥērem and how the idea of ḥērem permeates and shapes the account of Josiah's reform in its final form. Deut 7 and 12 associate the Israelites' imposition of ḥērem on the Canaanites with the purity and centralization of Israel's worship. By using ḥērem language to describe Josiah's efforts to purify and centralize worship at the Jerusalem temple, a postmonarchic Deuteronomistic author portrayed Josiah as a ḥērem-warrior, who, like Joshua before him, loosed the land from the clutches of Canaanite idolatry, renewed the covenant, and (re)established Israel as the land that Yahweh promised.

Keywords: Deuteronomy; centralization; Deuteronomistic; Joshua; Canaanites; idolatry; covenant

Chapter.  14024 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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