Added: October 25, 2008 – Last updated: October 7, 2017


Author: Frank M. Yamada

Title: Configurations of Rape in the Hebrew Bible

Subtitle: A Literary Analysis of Three Rape Narratives

Place: New York

Publisher: Peter Lang

Year: 2008

Pages: xiv + 164pp.

Series: Studies in Biblical Literature 109

ISBN-13: 9781433101670 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Cases: Offenders / Amnon, Shechem; Cases: Victims / Dinah, Tamar; Representations: Biblical Texts / Book of Genesis, Book of Judges, Books of Samuel; Types: Gang Rape



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Author: Frank Yamada, Association of Theological Schools


  Editor's Preface (p. ix)
  Acknowledgments (p. xi)
  Abbreviations (p. xiii)
  1. Introduction: The Problem of Rape in the Biblical Texts and Culture (p. 1)
    Introduction (p. 1)
    Scope of the Study (p. 6)
      Reading the Rape Texts Collectively (p. 6)
    Survey of Research on the Rape Narratives (p. 9)
      Feminist Interpretations of the Rape Texts (p. 10)
      Cultural Interpretations of the Rape Texts: Explorations in Honor and Shame (p. 14)
      Reading Connections between the Rape Texts (p. 19)
      Legal Material on Rape (p. 21)
    Summary (p. 25)
  2. Genesis 34: The Rape of Dinah, the Disputes of Men and the Division of a Family (p. 27)
    Introduction (p. 27)
    The Context of Rape (p. 28)
    The Rape Text Progression (p. 30)
      The Rape of Dinah (p. 30)
        Excursus: Was Dinah Raped? (p. 35)
      Male Responses to Rape: Negotiations and Retributive Violence (p. 46)
        The Response of Jacob (p. 46)
        The Response of Shechem and Hamor (p. 49)
        The Response of Jacob's Sons (p. 55)
      Social Fragmentation: Severed Ties and Family Dissension (p. 61)
    Conclusion (p. 64)
  3. Judges 19: The Rape of the Nameless Concubine, Hospitality Gone Awry and the Decline of a Nation (p. 67)
    Introduction (p. 67)
    The Context of Rape (p. 69)
      The Narrative Context of Judges 17-21: Social and Moral Decline (p. 70)
      Framing the Rape: Two Hospitality Scenes (p. 72)
        Hospitality Scene One: The Father's Excessive Hospitality (p. 73)
        Hospitality Scene Two: Gibeah and an Old Ephraimite Man (p. 79)
    The Rape Text Progression (p. 85)
      The Rape of the Unnamed Woman (p. 86)
      Male Responses to Rape (p. 90)
        The Levite's Response (p. 90)
        The Tribes' Respone (p. 95)
      Social Fragmentation: Social and Moral Collapse in a Time without a King (p. 989)
    Conclusion (p. 99)
  4. 2 Samuel 13:1-22: The Rape of Tamar and the Fragmentation of a Kingdom (p. 101)
    Introduction (p. 101)
    The Context of Rape: Judgment and Succession (p. 103)
    The Rape Text Progression (p. 106)
      The Rape of Tamar (p. 107)
        The Relational Dynamics of Rape in David's House (p. 107)
        Setting the Stage for Rape: The Plot to Seduce Tamar (p. 110)
        Rape and Resistance (p. 114)
      Male Responses to Rape: Dynamics of Love and Hate (p. 122)
        Initial Responses to Rape: Absalom and David (p. 123)
        Absalom's Violent Response: Revenge against Amnon (p. 126)
      Social Fragmentation: Family Strife and Royal Succession (p. 128)
    Conclusion (p. 131)
  5. Conclusion: Configurations of Rape (p. 133)
    Summary (p. 133)
    Implications for Research (p. 137)
  Bibliography (p. 141)
  Index of Biblical References (p. 153)
  Index of Authors and Subjects (p. 159)

Description: »In Configurations of Rape in the Hebrew Bible, Frank M. Yamada explores the compelling similarity among three rape narratives found in the Hebrew Scriptures. These three stories - the rape of Dinah (Genesis 34), the rape of an unnamed concubine (Judges 19), and the rape of Tamar, daughter of David (2 Samuel 13) - move through the same plot progression: an initial sexual violation of a woman leads to escalating violence among men, resulting in some form of social fragmentation. In this intriguing study, Yamada draws from the disciplines of literary and narrative criticism, feminist biblical interpretation, and cultural anthropology to argue for a family resemblance among these three stories about rape.« (Source: Peter Lang)


– Kuan, K. Jeffrey. »Configurations of Rape: Some Issues for Conversation.« Reviews in Religion & Theology 17(3) (July 2010): 256-260. – Full Text: Wiley Online Library (Restricted Access)

– Scholz, Susanne. Review of Biblical Literature (September 19, 2009). – Full Text: Review of Biblical Literature (Restricted Access)

– Schroeder, Joy A. Biblical Interpretation 18(4-5) (2010): 443-448. – Full Text: Brill Online Books and Journals (Restricted Access)

Thesis: Yamada, Frank M. Configurations of Rape in the Hebrew Bible: A Literary Analysis of Three Rape Narratives. Ph.D. Thesis, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2004. – Bibliographic Entry: Info

Wikipedia: Bible: Old Testament / Book of Genesis, Book of Judges, Books of Samuel | Crime and punishment in the Bible: Rape in the Hebrew Bible / Amnon, Dinah, Tamar (daughter of David) | Sex and the law: Gang rape