Chapter

Holy War in the Bible

Reuven Firestone

in Holy War in Judaism

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199860302
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950621 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860302.003.0002
Holy War in the Bible

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In the ancient Near East, war was prosecuted by humans in partnership with their gods, so all wars were in some sense divinely authorized. War in the Hebrew Bible likewise is authorized by the God of Israel. The Hebrew Bible thus articulates a notion of war that can be defined as holy war, and the articulation is most developed and systematized in the Deuteronomic literature. Never intended as a means to propagate the faith or gain converts, divinely commanded war in the Hebrew Bible is justified for conquest and control of the Land of Israel and the elimination of idolatry within it.

Keywords: Deuteronomic literature; idolatry; Canaanites; Deuteronomy

Chapter.  4177 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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