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Feasting like Royalty in a Time of Famine: Reflections on the Meaning and Composition of the Feast in Gen 43:15–34


Altmann, Peter (2018). Feasting like Royalty in a Time of Famine: Reflections on the Meaning and Composition of the Feast in Gen 43:15–34. Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 130(3):349-363.

Abstract

This investigation of the composite text of the feast in Gen 43 explores how Joseph’s banquet with his brothers—and the placement of Joseph’s cup in Gen 44—functions as performative action in establishing the relationships between the commensal parties. In this way, the feast takes part in the larger story’s narrative thread of the complex reconciliation of the brothers. The argument explores the nature of this meal from several angles: (1) insights provided by anthropological theory on power dynamics at feasts, (2) illumination cast by ancient comparative texts, especially related to Persian feasting, and (3) light shed on the feast’s meaning by the significance of the cup in Persian feasts, given the cup’s role in Gen 44 to concretize the feast’s performative action in Gen 43:31–34.

Abstract

This investigation of the composite text of the feast in Gen 43 explores how Joseph’s banquet with his brothers—and the placement of Joseph’s cup in Gen 44—functions as performative action in establishing the relationships between the commensal parties. In this way, the feast takes part in the larger story’s narrative thread of the complex reconciliation of the brothers. The argument explores the nature of this meal from several angles: (1) insights provided by anthropological theory on power dynamics at feasts, (2) illumination cast by ancient comparative texts, especially related to Persian feasting, and (3) light shed on the feast’s meaning by the significance of the cup in Persian feasts, given the cup’s role in Gen 44 to concretize the feast’s performative action in Gen 43:31–34.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology > Institute of Theology
Dewey Decimal Classification:230 Christianity & Christian theology
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:13 Sep 2018 08:33
Last Modified:17 Sep 2019 19:27
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:0044-2526
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/zaw-2018-3001
Official URL:https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/j/zatw.2018.130.issue-3/zaw-2018-3001/zaw-2018-3001.pdf
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDCRSII1_160785
  • : Project TitleThe History of the Pentateuch: Combining Literary and Archaeological Approaches

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