The old economy was nothing favor our economy. When we read the Bible, we have a tendency to take our modern presuppositions and also our principles of wealth and poverty and salary and also income and also jobs and also land are all vastly various from the right of ancient Israel. So, the old economy, I would argue, is what is called “socially embedded” and by that ns mean, that the economic situation was not propelled by it is provided or demand or through price. The economic situation of ancient Israel was thrust by society relationships.

For one example, in 1Kgs 10, we have the Queen the Sheba; she’s traveling down from the Arabian peninsula through all these commodities and she goes approximately Solomon. She beginning Solomon’s palace and also doesn’t negotiate trade however she actually has a bunch the riddles for Solomon; and only once Solomon answers this riddles walk she offer all these presents to Solomon. Then, Solomon reciprocates by providing all these gifts back to Sheba.

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So what I would say is, Sheba and also Solomon, they’re no doing some type of mercantile partnership, they’re not business partners, yet rather they have developed a social bond with this exchange. This happens at the elite level; it likewise happens at the peasant level. So, Elijah will come visit a foreign widow and also say, “hey, offer me some water and give me part bread.” In a capitalist modern-day assumption that sounds like a freeloader, it’s sounds like someone lazy make the efforts to gain a free meal, however in a socially installed economy, what Elijah is in reality doing is inviting this many disenfranchised human being to come sign up with him in a society bond with the sharing of a meal. So, she offers the meal; Elijah climate prophecies for her and also this is much more striking since Elijah rejected presents from generals and also kings, but chose to have the bond v a many disenfranchised person of the old Near East, of a foreign widow.

A contemporary day example would it is in a wedding. You walk to a wedding, you have a pretty meal and also you carry out a gift; it’s not an economic exchange, however you provide the gift because there’s a society relationship. So, ns think a many the economic situation of ancient Israel was dominated by presents which were given, no for supply and demand, yet to reinforce and sometimes to rest social bonds.


Roger Nam is assistant professor of biblical researches at George Fox Evangelical Seminary. His study interests encompass Late Bronze age civilizations and also the economic climate of the old Near East. He is the writer of Portrayals of Exchange in the publication of Kings (Brill, 2012).

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A an ar notable because that its early old civilizations, geographically encompassing the modern Middle East, Egypt, and contemporary Turkey.

1Kgs 10

Visit of the Queen the Sheba1When the queen the Sheba heard of the call of Solomon, (fame because of the name of the Lord), she came to test the with tough questions. ... Check out more