Thursday, August 18, 2011

Journal of Hebrew Scriptures - Volume 11: Article 13 (2011)

Talia Sutskover, "Lot and His Daughters (Gen 19:30–38). Further Literary and
Stylistic Examinations"


Although the biblical text contains no explicit condemnation of the sexual
act that takes place between Lot and his daughters in Gen 19:30-38, this
article suggest that analysis of micro-structures and stylistic patterns may
reveal that a negative impression of this sexual act lurks sotto voce in the
text. A literary analysis shows that repetitions of terms from the semantic
fields of kinship and sexual intercourse provide special emphasis to the
theme of a sexual act occurring between father and daughters. Instead of the
expected relations in which fathers own their daughters, the daughters
depicted here possess and manipulate their father. Moreover, taking into
account that the general initiative and focalization are assigned to the
elder sister, the constructed narrative pattern departs from the more common
biblical pattern in which the younger siblings are more dominant and
theologically prominent. While some scholars have suggested that the
daughters had no choice, and even acted heroically, the analysis suggested
here may lead to a reading that considers the reported sexual acts as
negative and uncommon among Israelites.

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