Old Testament Essays
On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
EFTHIMIADIS-KEITH, Helen. Genealogy, retribution and identity: re-interpreting the cause of suffering in the Book of Judith. Old testam. essays [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.3, pp. 860-878. ISSN 2312-3621.
This article examines the role of Judith's1 genealogy (Jdt 8:1) in constituting the identity of YHWH'S faithful community ca. 63 B.C.E.. It argues that Judith's author uses the heroine's genealogy to legitimate this community's rootedness in the major traditions of Israel and challenge them to act as Judith did in their time of crisis. The genealogy also legitimates the community's right to re-interpret the ultra-retribu-tional view that suffering is proof of sin and so to see themselves as those sanctified to YHWH (6:19). Judith's author challenges YHWH'S community to accept her/his views through Judith's speech to the elders (8:11-27) and her genealogy. The essay first deals with the dating of Judith and general genealogical theory before applying this theory to 8:1 and extrapolating the author's possible message/s to YHWH'S community through it.