A ‘programmatic settler colonial document’: Pekka Pitkänen, A Commentary on Numbers: Narrative, Ritual, and Colonialism, Routledge, 2017
Description: This book provides a new reading of the biblical book of Numbers in a commentary form. Mainstream readings have tended to see the book as a haphazard junkyard of material that connects Genesis-Leviticus with Deuteronomy (and Joshua) and that has been composed at a late stage in the history of ancient Israel. In contrast, this book reads Numbers as part of a wider work of Genesis-Joshua, a carefully crafted programmatic settler colonial document for a new society in Canaanite highlands in the late second millennium BCE that seeks to replace pre-existing indigenous societies. In the context of the tremendous influence that the biblical documents have had on the world in the last two to three thousand years, the book also offers pointers towards reading these texts today.
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