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Josiah's Reform and the Dynamics of DefilementIsraelite Rites of Violence and the Making of a Biblical Text$
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Lauren A. S. Monroe

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199774166

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199774166.001.0001

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Ḥērem Ideology and the Politics of Destruction

Ḥērem Ideology and the Politics of Destruction

Josiah's Reform in Deuteronomistic Perspective

(p.45) 3 Ḥērem Ideology and the Politics of Destruction
Josiah's Reform and the Dynamics of Defilement

Lauren A. S. Monroe

Oxford University Press

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

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