Love in the Hebrew Bible (Paper)

  • 9780664261450
  • 6 x 9
  • 158
  • 50.00
  • Paper
  • 0664261450
  • 5/29/2023
  • 7-10 days processing
$ 28.00


Christians insist that love stands at the heart of who God is. Yet, when we talk about love in the Hebrew Bible, how much do we really know?

Possessing such a belief alone does not mean that we possess a clear understanding of what love is. Are we aware of how often divine and human love are tied up with the idea of preference for one individual or group over another? Do we know how often descriptions of love involve questions of power, authority, and gender? Do we see that love is connected to suffering, betrayal, and sometimes death in the Hebrew Scriptures? In Love in the Hebrew Bible, one of the first book-length studies of its kind, Suzie Park provides fascinating and essential insights into these questions, refreshing our understanding of the meaning of love in the Hebrew Bible. Pushing against characterizations of the loving God of the New Testament narrative universe versus the wrathful God of the Old Testament, Park shows that love is integral to the ways in which relationships, both among people and also between humanity and God, are imagined in the Hebrew text. Reflecting matrices of meaning and associations, love thus is a vital component of the ideology and theology of the Hebrew Scriptures, and an understanding of it remains fundamental to our knowledge of the biblical text.

Product Excerpts and Related Resources


"Song-Mi Park shows how the biblical language of love is not merely sentimental or personal, but also political, societal, public, covenantal, and physical. Her analysis of this difficult topic offers not only a scholar’s informed reading of all key texts dealing with love in the Hebrew Scriptures, but also a highly readable and practical study, through which we can learn to see an ancient text with new eyes." - Brian R. Doak, Professor of Biblical Studies, George Fox University

"Love can be sweet, beautiful, and joyous. It can also be daunting, jealous, and violent. The descriptions of love in the literature of ancient Israel are no different. In Love in the Hebrew Bible, Song-Mi Suzie Park takes readers on a compelling and sensitive journey through passages in the Pentateuch, the Former Prophets, and the Song of Songs in which love plays a central role. In her analysis, Park does not shy from the fraught complexities of these descriptions of love–by parents, siblings, friends, lovers, and God. Rather, she shows how these stories and poems portray unique ancient cultural understandings of what it means to love and be loved and how perspectives on love were intertwined with ancient Israelite conceptions of kinship, gender, and politics. Love in the Hebrew Bible is a must read for anyone interested in what the Hebrew Bible has to say about love." - Jonathan Kaplan, Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Austin

"What is love? [That is] the question that biblical scholar Song-Mi Suzie Park explores in her excellent new book...Park shows how the biblical narratives suggest that love might be its own entity, perhaps even one that has authority over God. In the Hebrew Bible, Park demonstrates, love is "fraught and complicated." It is "neither one thing or another, but instead is irreducible, everchanging, mysterious, and ultimately unknowable." - Christian Century

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