Taboo or Not Taboo: Sexuality and Family in the Hebrew Bible

Ilona Rashkow
PhD, 1989
Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2000

In a changing society, Christians and Jews have looked to the Bible to find values and models. But the Hebrew Bible does not offer just a single model for family behavior or relationships. This volume explores the positive and negative aspects of family life in ancient Israel as portrayed in the Bible. Rashkow examines the relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and siblings, looking at the variety of conflicts that emerged: incest, rape, abuse, murder, and hatred. Ultimately, Rashkow's analysis provides a reflection on family, which is given texture and depth through her use of psychoanalysis and literary theory. This text traces the influence of the biblical images on later Western literature and society and provides comparative discussions of other ancient Near Eastern literatures. Also useful as a textbook for courses in Hebrew Bible, feminist studies, and psychological interpretations of the Bible.