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Bedouin Culture in the Bible$
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Clinton Bailey

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300121827

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300121827.001.0001

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Desert Oral Traditions

Desert Oral Traditions

(p.167) 6 Desert Oral Traditions
Bedouin Culture in the Bible

Clinton Bailey

Yale University Press

The Bedouin oral literary product—proverbs, genealogies, tribal stories, and poetry—shares many likenesses with these genres as they appear in the Hebrew Bible. This commonality pertains, even though some Bedouin oral traditions survived until the late twentieth century CE, when they were still heard recited, while the biblical traditions existed orally only until their ancient transcription in the Bible. This chapter brings examples from the various genres of oral tradition in both societies, comparing them in form, content, background, and initiative, and offering insights into their use in the biblical texts. Bedouin poetry also sheds light on the Bible’s oldest poems, “The Song of the Sea” and “The Song of Deborah.”

Keywords:   Proverbs, Genealogies, Tribal stories, Poetry, The song of Deborah

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