Into the Hands of the Living God

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Into the Hands of the Living God is Lyle Eslinger's second study of Deuteronomistic literature. This book is devoted to studies of key texts (Joshua 1-9; Judges 1-2; 1 Samuel 12; 1 Kings 8; 2 Kings 17) or concepts (the success/failure of the conquest; the exile and theodicy) in these narratives. Eslinger's readings are unorthodox and challenging, both for readers from the communities of faith and for critical scholarship. The Deuteronomistic narratives are here shown to be far from being a vindication of the ways of God at Israel's expense. Rather, in these narratives God, no less than Israel's leaders, has his hands soiled in the machinations that end in Babylon. What the Deuteronomistic history offers is, rather, dispassionate analysis of the problems, some unavoidable, that predetermined the failure of the covenant relationship. The collection of carefully worked out close readings of the biblical text in this volume provides a new critical vantage point from which one can reassess conventional historical-critical readings of these colourful books.