Land Tenure and the Biblical Jubilee
Uncovering Hebrew Ethics through the Sociology of Knowledge
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 135
The biblical jubilee represents one of the most radical programmes for land reform from the ancient Near East, yet it was never practised in ancient Israel. What then is the meaning of this sacred law that was never enforced? This cogently argued book attempts to answer that question by using the tools of sociological analysis. Fager examines three levels of meaning within the jubilee legislation, which was produced by the priestly intellectuals during the period of exile. The actual words of the text carry one meaning and the priests intended a slightly different meaning, but underlying both was a moral world view that guided them. The laws of the biblical jubilee thus enable us to examine the deepest level of the ancient Israelites' understanding of land and justice.