“The Priestly Blessing in Inscription & Scripture” by Jeremy D. Smoak

The Biblical Review

Jeremy SmoakJeremy D. Smoak. The Priestly Blessing in Inscription & Scripture: The Early History of Numbers 6:24-26. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, November 2015, xvii + 242 pp., $74.00 (hardcover).

*I’d like to express my gratitude to Oxford University Press for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Jeremy D. Smoak, Continuing Lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA, attempts to establish a firmer understanding of Judah during the Iron Age and biblical literature through an approach combining inscriptions throughout the Levant and intertextual interpretation. His unique approach results in an exemplary work which sheds light on both history and the Hebrew Bible. The Ketef Hinnom amulets, discovered tombs dating from the seventh to fifth centuries BCE, provide a launch pad for his analysis.

Chapter One examines the Ketef Hinnom amulets as some of the earliest examples of the priestly blessing in ancient…

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