Recently a monograph series connected with the journal Theologica Wratislaviensia was launched with the publication of the first volume:
The Motif of Exile in the Hebrew Bible. An Analysis of a Basic Literary and Theological Pattern
by Dr Piotr Lorek
The motif of exile has been recognized in the Hebrew Bible by contemporary scholarship but it has never received separate treatment. The present study aims to fill this gap and does so from three main perspectives.
First, it applies the same set of questions to various passages that employ the motif of exile in order to investigate the particular form it takes in them. The investigation includes the exile of Adam and Eve, Cain, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Israel in Egypt, and the exile of Israel to Assyria and Babylon as presented in a variety of biblical texts. This task culminates in the delineation of a typical form of the motif of exile in the Hebrew Bible. The proposal helps in discerning the theological or ideological tendencies present in individual texts.
Second, the book seeks to show that both the Deuteronomistic History and the Patriarchal Story are structured in such a way that they progress towards the exile of Israel in Babylon and the exile of Israel in Egypt respectively. This implies that the motif of exile is of crucial importance in these writings, and constitutes part of the basic structure for the development of these narratives.
Third, it deals with other expressions of the motif of exile present in the Hebrew Bible that concern post-Babylonian exilic events and expectations. These expressions refer to the prolonged post-Babylonian exile of Israel outside the Promised Land (esp. Jeremiah 50-51) and within it (Ezra 9, Nehemiah 9, Daniel 9), as well as the expectation of the eschatological exile of Israel from Judah (esp. Zachariach 13-14) and the post-resurrection exile of some Israelites (Daniel 12:2).
The theme of exile in the Bible has received considerable attention in recent scholarship, and its central importance to the formation of much of the Hebrew Bible is increasingly recognized. Dr Lorek’s work argues that the motif provides a major literary and ideological infrastructure to a great deal of the biblical literature, and makes wide-ranging proposals at both the macrostructural and microstructural level. Many of these deserve careful study and make a useful contribution to a very important topic.
Department of Biblical Studies
University of Sheffield
The notion of exile echoes throughout the Hebrew Bible from the story of the fall right through to Israel’s deportation to Babylon – yet, surprisingly, it has received little or no separate and distinct treatment in biblical scholarship. Dr Piotr Lorek has filled this gap with his thoroughly researched study and draws attention to the importance of the exile not only in the individual texts where the theme occurs but also right across the books that make up the Hebrew Bible. This book is a major contribution to both biblical researchers and students of the Bible alike and will be highly acclaimed internationally.
Dr Martin O’Kane
Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies
University of Wales