Parables and Conflict in the Hebrew Bible examines the intimate relationship between parables and conflict in the Hebrew Bible. Challenging the scholarly consensus, Jeremy Schipper argues that parables do not function as appeals to change their audience’s behavior. Nor do they serve to diffuse tensions in regards to the various conflicts in which their audiences are involved. Rather, the parables function to help create, intensify, and justify judgments and hostile actions against their audiences. In order to examine how the parables accomplish these functions, this book pays particular attention to issues of genre and recent developments in genre theory, shifting the central issues in the interpretation of Hebrew Bible parables.
1. Breaking down parables: introductory issues; 2. Devouring parables: Jotham's parabolic curse in Judges 9; 3. Over-allegorizing and other Davidic misinterpretations in 2 Samuel 11–12; 4. Changing face and saving face: parabolic petitions in 2 Samuel 14; 5. Grasping the conflict: Ahab's negotiation of conflicts and parables in 1 Kings 20; 6. Intellectual weapons: the parable's function in 2 Kings 14 and 2 Chronicles 25; 7. Conclusions and implications for the study of Hebrew Bible parables.