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Flame of Yahweh: Sexuality in the Old Testament

by Richard M. Davidson

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Price: $29.95
Size: 6 x 9 inches
Binding: Paper
Pages: 850
Pub Date: June 2007
ISBN: 9781565638471
Item Number: 638476
Categories: Biblical Studies and Interpretation

Product Description

Flame of Yahweh offers a thorough exploration of gender relationships and sexual activity in the Old Testament. Topics include sexuality in Eden, the elevation vs. the denigration of women, exclusivity vs. adultery and premarital sex, permanence vs. divorce and remarriage, intimacy vs. incest, and sexuality in the Song of Songs.

Written from a theologically conservative perspective, Richard Davidson provides a meticulously researched work which makes extensive use of other Ancient Near Eastern documents on subjects ranging from homosexuality to gender relations. At the same time, the author offers clear explanations of terms and historical context that make the work accessible to the reader.


“In Flame of Yahweh: Sexuality in the Old Testament, Richard M. Davidson presents a conservative perspective that explores the theology of sexuality in the final canonical form of the Old Testament. This compilation balances both the exegesis of specific passages and traces the development of sexuality throughout the many eras of Israelite history.

“Davidson clearly states in the preface that the purpose of this work is to present a “wholistic theology of sexuality in the OT” (p. 2). His research has led him to the conclusion that the Old Testament attests to a unified theology of human sexuality. This conclusion is a result of his analysis of the final form of the canonical text, with an emphasis on literary criticism and new biblical theology. A second crux of interpretation for Davidson is his focus on the importance of creation theology as the foundation for the interpretation of the Old Testament. Genesis 1-3 is the lens through which he interprets the development of human sexuality. In the opening chapters of his book, he lays out basic tenets found in Genesis 1-3 that become the standard by which he judges sexual practices found in the Old Testament. . .

“Davidson has produced an enormous volume dealing with every conceivable facet of human sexuality as it appears in the Old Testament. It is a rich resource that helps to situate the development of sexual practices in the Old Testament. A particular strength of this work is the continual comparison and contrast between the law codes of the ancient Near East and those of Israel. Although Davidson does not employ a feminist hermeneutic, he continually interacts and dialogues with feminist scholars. He outlines the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of views before advancing his own argument. Moreover, he makes an admirable effort to mediate between both liberal and conservative perspectives on gender relations. . .

“Davidson has produced a useful volume detailing many areas of human sexuality in the Old Testament. The bibliography is more than extensive and provides a wealth of helpful information.”
Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

“This study is encyclopedic, examining every passage in the Hebrew Bible that deals with human sexuality. Davidson is interested in the final or canonical form of the biblical text and employs synchronic methods of new literary criticism and new biblical theology. According to him, focus on the unity of the final form allows him to propose one theology of sexuality rather than several. This massive volume is divided into three major parts. The first part treats Genesis 1-3 separately. The second addresses sexuality ‘outside the garden,’ in the rest of the Bible. The third brings the reader back to the garden with its examination of the Song of Songs. The issues treated include various forms of marriage, heterosexuality and homosexuality, sex as part of cultic worship, procreativity, and rape. This is less a book to read than a valuable resource to consult.”
The Bible Today

Author Bio

Richard M. Davidson is Chair of the Old Testament Department at Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan and J. N. Andrews Professor of Old Testament Interpretation.

Explore This Book

Table of contents
Sample Chapter

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