By Susan Niditch
This booklet demanding situations many conventional assumptions in regards to the bible, together with the way it got here to be written. It discusses the hallmarks of orality within the Hebrew bible and the way the spoken and written be aware operates jointly in artistic pressure.
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Additional resources for Oral World and Written Word: Ancient Israelite Literature (Library of Ancient Israel)
Wilson, and Douglas A. Knight, the able editor of this series. The manuscript was prepared by Diane Beck with her usual grace, patience, and expertise. I thank my dear husband, Robert Doran, for helping me to sort out my ideas, as always, and for his constant and good-humored support. I thank my daughter Rebecca for her genuine interest in my work and for the beautiful music that stays with me as I write. I thank my daughter Elizabeth for reminding me that too much work is a bad thing and for teaching me the conga.
The metaphor works beautifully (note the double entendres and see the discussion by Westermann38) and is no doubt related to a perception of Issachar's status at some point in Israelite history or to an actual sociological/historical situation for one of the early Israelite groups. As we seek to understand the use of the "see and it was good" phrase in this and the other contexts, we note that once again the phrase is associated with founding or beginning, for Gen. 49:1415 is a founding myth that addresses Issachar's settling into a particular portion of land.
E. cummings or a novel by Dostoyevsky, on the other hand, the oral-traditional signals will be much more faint. One of our present interests is to explore that "oral register" or "tradi- Page 5 tional style'' as it is found in the Hebrew Bible, and to uncover and describe some of the various oral styles employed by Israelite authors and preserved in the written texts of scripture. Clearly the Hebrew Bible presents a case in which "written" and "oral" interact, for characteristics of oral-style works are exhibited in biblical literature as Gunkel saw, although we may define the traits of orality differently and more variously than did Gunkel.