Herem (was terminology)

Charles David Isbell cisbell at
Sat Feb 10 17:59:57 EST 2001

Dear Samuel,
Liz is right on target about the language of the Mesha stela.  I would like
to add another point.  The language used in Joshua, etc., is stylized and
used to describe a situation that may have been the vision of editors who
longed for a pure society free of non-Yahwists, but other biblical texts
indicate that total destruction of these populations [herem] does not
describe what was actually done.  The very people supposedly totally
exterminated under Joshua remained a constant source of religious temptation
and political opposition for hundreds of years after the era of Joshua, as
even a cursory reading of the Deuteronomic History shows.
Charles David Isbell>

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