By Francesca Stavrakopoulou

The biblical motif of a land divinely-promised and given to Abraham and his descendants is argued to be an ideological reflex of post-monarchic, territorial disputes among competing socio-religious groups. The vital biblical motif of a Promised Land is based upon the traditional close to jap proposal of ancestral land: hereditary house upon which households lived, labored, died and have been buried. a vital component to idea of ancestral land used to be the idea within the autopsy lifestyles of the ancestors, who have been honored with grave choices, mortuary feasts, bone rituals and status stones.

The Hebrew Bible is plagued by tales referring to those practices and ideology, but the explicit correlation of ancestor veneration and likely biblical land claims has long gone unrecognized. The publication treatments this in providing proof for the very important and chronic impression of ancestor veneration upon land claims. It proposes that ancestor veneration, which shaped a standard flooring within the reviews of varied socio-religious teams in historical Israel, grew to become within the Hebrew Bible an ideological battlefield upon which claims to the land have been gained and lost. 

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M. Whiting, Earliest Land Tenure Systems in the Near East: Ancient Kudurrus (2 vols. Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago Press, 1991). 14 Land of Our Fathers cairns (Josh. 7:26; 8:29; 10:27; 2 Sam. 49 Elsewhere, the boundary wall of Jerusalem is defined with reference to the seemingly visible tombs of the Davidic dead (Neh. 50 The display of the dead in this way resonates with an ideological tone within the portrayed mortuary culture of the Hebrew Bible. Ideally, the dead are exhibited not by means of corpse-exposure, but through the constructed, ordered, ‘built’ environment: a tomb, a memorial, a boundary marker.

1. 63 Though this important proposal might find some support in the present discussion, Cooper and Goldstein appear unaware of the ways in which some traditional societies mark land with the graves or mortuary symbols of the territorial dead, nor do they reflect upon biblical texts which appear to be more overt in engaging with this expression of territorialism. 66 It also assumes a fixed form of cultural meaning for twbcm which is socio-culturally improbable, even within the crafted context of the biblical literature.

N. D. Mettinger, No Graven Image? Israelite Aniconism in Its Ancient Near Eastern Context (ConBOT, 42; Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1995); Z. Zevit, The Religions of Ancient Israel: A Synthesis of Parallactic Approaches (London: Continuum, 2001), 256–62. There is some evidence to suggest that the cultic status of standing stones, and their close identification with the divine, led in some cases to their deification, see K. van der Toorn, ‘Worshipping Stones: On the Deification of Cult Symbols’, JNSL 23 (1997), 1–14.

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