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A novel approach to Israelite kinship, arguing that maternal kinship bonds played key social, economic, and political roles for a son who aspired to inherit his father’s household

Upending traditional scholarship on patrilineal genealogy, Cynthia Chapman draws on twenty years of research to uncover an underappreciated yet socially significant kinship unit in the Bible: “the house of the mother.” In households where a man had two or more wives, siblings born to the same mother worked to promote and protect one another’s interests. Revealing the hierarchies of the maternal houses and political divisions within the national house of Israel, this book provides us with a nuanced understanding of domestic and political life in ancient Israel.

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