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Title page for ETD etd-03222018-174156

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Weitze, Andrew Ronald
URN etd-03222018-174156
Title “They Shall Be To You As Citizens” – Prophets, Laws, and the “Resident Alien”
Degree Master of Arts
Department Religion
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Annalisa Azzoni Committee Chair
Douglas A. Knight Committee Member
  • ger
  • resident alien
Date of Defense 2018-03-22
Availability unrestricted
This thesis analyzes the use of the term gēr, meaning “resident alien” in the Hebrew Bible, and more specifically in the legal and prophetic materials. Through an examination of the biblical text within the context of similar ancient Near Eastern documents, this paper suggests that linguistically the term “resident alien” was distinguished from other generic words meaning “foreigner” in different ancient Semitic languages. The legal material from the ancient Near East generally shows a concern for the treatment of the “resident alien” within their ideal vision of justice. This is also evident in the biblical tradition, where this theme is also found in the prophetic material, in particular in Jeremiah, Zechariah, and Malachi, where we find references to the Deuteronomic Code in order to charge Israel to care for the “resident alien.” Ezekiel embraces this tradition, furthering the understanding by also incorporating the Holiness Code, and ultimately granting all “resident aliens” citizenship and a place within Israel’s idealized borders.
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