Over on his blog, blogger @bibhistctxt has posted the latest in his series on the origins of ancient Israel, this time covering the Song of Deborah found in Judges 5. There is a general consensus among scholars that the Song of Deborah is old, perhaps even one of the oldest texts in the Hebrew Bible. As @bibhistctxt points out, the primary reason for thinking this has to do with the stage of Hebrew in which it appears to have been written – early biblical Hebrew. Such an old text offers readers into a glimpse of Israel’s history or, rather, its prehistory since it describes a situation in which the nation was not yet in existence but rather consisted of confederated tribes. But what is most interesting about this is that there are three tribes missing from Deborah’s song: Judah, Simeon, and Levi. Why are they missing? Well, I don’t want to spoil anything, so you need to read the post. There @bibhistctxt only addresses the reasons for Judah’s and Simeon’s absence, not Levi’s. But I’ve got a pretty good idea of where he will be going when it comes to the priestly tribe’s whereabouts.
I should also note that this post is part twelve of the series and so if you haven’t had a chance to read the previous pieces then you should probably do that. Two things are striking about @bibhistctxt’s work: it is written with great clarity and it is well documented. In fact, I find reading his work to often be far more palatable than some of the more scholarly volumes I devour.