By Shimon Bar-Efrat

This ebook bargains a scientific and finished evaluation of the basic literary facets of biblical narrative, investigating the features and issues of view of the narrator, the shaping of characters, the constitution of the plot, time and area, and eventually the fashion. Many examples are supplied to elucidate the problems mentioned in addition to to shed clean gentle at the narratives.

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Extra resources for Narrative Art in the Bible (JSOT Supplement)

Example text

2. N. Leibovitz, 'How to Read a Chapter of the Bible', Nefesh weShir (Jerusalem, 1953), pp. 100-101 (Hebrew). 1. The Narrator 37 And he took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away (v. 14). When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes (v. 15). And God heard the voice of the lad (v. 17). And God was with the lad, and he grew up (v. 20). Thus, for Sarah Ishmael is merely the son of Hagar, the Egyptian woman, for Abraham he is his son, for Hagar he is the child, her child, while for God he is what he is, namely, the lad.

In this case the tearing of the robe has another function in addition to the expression of grief and sorrow. Tamar's long robe also fulfils a symbolic role, indicating, as the narrator states in no uncertain terms, that Tamar is a virgin and the daughter of the king, someone with a very high rank. The tear symbolizes the drastic change which has taken place in her situation: she is no longer a virgin and has also been cast out by Amnon and his servant, in contrast to the treatment which should be accorded a king's daughter.

40 Narrative An in the Bible These ways of referring to David reflect the attitude of the character mentioned in the context. For Ittai, Zadok and Ziba he is the king, for Hushai and Shimei he is David. For Hushai this reflects the close relationship between the two men—Hushai is David's devoted friend—while for Shimei this expresses his contempt and refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of David's rule. The fact that at the second meeting between David and Shimei the narrator uses the term 'the king' indicates a change in Shimei's attitude, at least externally.

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