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Evil LordsTheories and Representations of Tyranny from Antiquity to the Renaissance$
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Nikos Panou and Hester Schadee

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199394852

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199394852.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2019

‘A King Like the Other Nations’

‘A King Like the Other Nations’

The Foreignness of Tyranny in the Hebrew Bible

Chapter:
(p.27) 2 ‘A King Like the Other Nations’
Source:
Evil Lords
Author(s):

Jennie Grillo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199394852.003.0003

From Greek thought, this chapter moves to another foundational corpus, exploring the—not unrelated—question of what it means to be a bad king in the Hebrew Bible. The answer to this question focuses on a particular type of marginality, to wit foreignness in various forms. Exotic otherness is shown to have served as a basic negative trait already in the central strata of the biblical corpus, while originally Greek conceptions of oriental despotism influenced the depiction of bad kingship in post-exilic texts. By contrast, in textual layers of a still later date, all earthly kingship is dismissed as evil: as the chapter describes, a long history of disappointment with bad Jewish kings led to the biblical proclamation of Yahweh as the only lord fit to rule over Israel.

Keywords:   monarchy, tyranny, Hebrew Bible, exoticism, foreignness, Israel

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