De-Demonising the Old Testament
An Investigation of Azazel, Lilith, Deber,
Qeteb & Reshef in the Hebrew Bible

Forschungen zum Alten Testament
Series No. 2, Vol. 37

By Judit M. Blair
December 2009
Mohr Siebeck
Distributed by Coronet Books
ISBN: 9783161501319
266 pages
$117.50 Paper Original

Judit M. Blair challenges the common view that azazel, lilith, deber, qeteb and reshef are names of 'demons' in the Hebrew Bible, claiming that major works on the subject proceed from the assumption that these terms were demons in the ancient Near East and /or later, or that they were deities who became 'demonised' by the authors of the Hebrew Bible.

Without questioning the validity of traditional methods she supplements the existing works by making an exegesis based on a close reading of all the relevant texts of the Hebrew Bible in which these five terms occur. Close attention is paid to the linguistic, semantic, and structural levels of the texts. The emphasis is on a close examination of the immediate context in order to determine the function of each term. The author notes different signals within the texts, especially the use of the various poetical/rhetorical devices: personification, parallelism, similes, irony, and mythological elements.



Return to Coronet Books main page