The Intertextual Israelite Jonah Face À L’empire: The Post-Colonial Significance of The Book’s Cotexts and Purported Neo-Assyrian Context
Jonah's use of various antecedent HB texts and its purported Neo-Assyrian setting are prominent hermeneutical signposts that are integral to the book. Until now, however, the former question has not received sustained attention and the latter has been obscured by disagreement over the book's historical veracity. This paper broadens the scope of postcolonialist discussion by considering empire through the Israelite perspective that Jonah affords and through the Neo-Assyrian literature dealing with its conquest of nation-states in the first half of the first millennium BCE. Special attention is given to how Jonah the prophet and Jonah the book attribute different identities to the different groups that appear in the book and to the book's intertextual connections to other parts of the Hebrew Bible. The paper closes by reflecting on ways that different means of identification entail different responses to power.