De Judese identiteit bestaat niet: Constructie van identiteit in Jehud

Translated title of the contribution: The Judean Identity Does not Exist: Construction of Identity in Jehud

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In the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, the identity of the community calling itself Judah is of paramount importance. Identity involves delimitation: who is considered a member of the community, and who is not? In a situation where physical borders are poriferous, other borders have to be created: religious, ethnical, and/or historical. This article traces how the Judeans view themselves and others. Their own sense of identity is strongly related to the Babylonian Exile, sometimes seen as a second Exodus. Other groups, sometimes quite closely related religiously and perhaps also genealogically, are framed as enemies and more specifically as foreigners. The article tries to establish the reason for this animosity: it can be related to real threats to the community, e.g., the risk of merging in a melting pot of ethnical groups, nonetheless the narrator of the story is far from impartial and plays a decisive role in his depiction and, thereby, in our perception of the events.
Methodically, this results in some modest conclusions about reading with suspicion while at the same time taking the characters in the narrative and the religious intentions of the narrator seriously.
Translated title of the contributionThe Judean Identity Does not Exist: Construction of Identity in Jehud
Original languageDutch
Article number4
Pages (from-to)33-44
Number of pages12
JournalAmsterdamse Cahiers voor Exegese van de Bijbel en Zijn Tradities
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Volume title: Ezra en Nehemia. - ISBN 978-94-92526-62-5.


  • Old Testament Exegesis
  • Biblical Theology
  • Ezra


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