Among the elements that contribute to the biblical presentation of the origins of Israel, there is the constant reference to the land, and one can observe different emphases with regard to this, in particular in the stories of the ancestors and those of the Exodus from Egypt. In the light of archaeological investigation and literary criticism, these are both considered by many as competing myths. In fact, although both myths affirm that the possession of the land was assigned by the divinity, the right to that possession was claimed and declared by immigrants either by means of a peaceful infiltration (ancestors) or, on the contrary, by a military invasion (the myth of the conquest). A recent proposal suggests reading the biblical narratives in the light of the foundation narratives – a literary genre well documented in Greek literature. By means of these narratives – connected with those societies which took on the form of a state at the end of the second millennium B.C. – the newly formed states distinguished themselves and were dissociated from the political and social structures which had preceded them. It must also be remembered that, although in the eastern Mediterranean and the Levant numerous accounts of migration and peregrination were known from a relatively early period, in the version of this offered by these recent creations the focus is shifted onto the ethnic identity of the tribe or people. The foundation accounts are attested in two forms which correspond to the duality observed in the biblical narrative where the two types of account are present together without being contrasted with each other. Finally, the canonical arrangement shows that the Torah as a whole is concerned with those preparing to enter the land, not just those who dwell there. Although ending with the exhortation to take possession of the land, the Torah does not include the conquest, implying that the scenario presented in the book of Joshua is not the necessary outcome of this journey. The Pentateuch concludes outside the land because, at its centre, lies not the land but the words spoken by God to Moses, the Torah given for living in the land but also outside it.
|Translated title of the contribution||[Autom. eng. transl.] The origins of the "people" defined as travel and migration|
|Number of pages||27|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
- Land Migration Conquest Etnicity
- Terra Migrazione Conquista Etnicità