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Title: Benjamin's Birth, the Absence of Jerusalem, and the Insertion of Bethlehem in Gen 35,16-21
Author(s): LEE-SAK, Yitzhak
Journal: Biblica
Volume: 103    Issue: 2   Date: 2022   
Pages: 165-185
DOI: 10.2143/BIB.103.2.3290910

Abstract :
Observing historical (or historiographical) and geographical features, this paper demonstrates that Gen 35,16-21 is composed of an original story in vv. 16-19a.20-21 and a later insertion in v. 19b. Synthesizing textual analysis and archaeological observations of the occupation profiles of the pertinent sites leads to the conclusion that the sixth-century story in Gen 35,16-19a.20-21 locates Benjamin’s nativity and Rachel’s sepulcher within the Benjamin area and refers to Migdar-‘eder rather than to Jerusalem because the land of Benjamin had flourished while Jerusalem was greatly diminished. The article also argues that verse 19b echoes the mid-Persian period setting when Jerusalem was only a small cultic center, whereas Ramat-Rachel continued to thrive instead of Mizpah, and the Benjaminites resettled in Yehud.

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