Family in the Political Economy of Monarchic Judah

Ronald A. Simkins


Family in ancient Israel was shaped by the political economy. In the domestic mode of production of early (pre-monarchic) and post-exilic Israel, the social relations of production were fellow kin, and the nuclear family was embedded within the context of a large kinship network. The monarchic state was characterised by a shift from a domestic mode of production to a mode in which the social relations of production were structured by patronage. Because kinship relations tended to undermine patron-client relations, the biblical texts produced by the state function to strengthen the conjugal, ‘nuclear’, family at the expense of the ‘extended’ family.


family; political economy; monarchic Judah

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391