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The Deborah Harris Agency



By: ZAKOVITCH,Yair & SHINAN, Avigdor

Nonfiction, 2004

Over 20,000 copies sold; 30 weeks on the best sellers list.

Who parted the waters of the Sea of Reeds? Who killed Goliath? Why do Jews eat matzah at Passover? While the Bible has answers for these questions, the people of ancient Israel had other answers as well, which the biblical writers wanted us to forget. This book is a feat of literary archaeology.

WHEN WOMEN SEDUCED GODS explores the many stories told before the Holy Scriptures assumed its final form. These traditions were continued orally and were transmitted from generation to generation until they reached us in post-biblical sources.

In this book, two leading scholars recover thirty such “lost’ traditions. They pull apart the curtains of the Hebrew text and let us peer behind the written verses of the Bible to share in their exciting reconstruction of the stories that were known and told in ancient Israel.

Written in clear and accessible language, WHEN WOMEN SEDUCED GODS will interest not only lovers of the Bible but also anyone who wants to learn more about the traditions of ancient Israel. Scholars, students and the general reader will feel equally at home.


Rights Sold to:

Israel, Miskal – Yediot Achronot; USA, Jewish Publication Society (JPS)& University of Nebraska Press 


“In this remarkable volume, Avigdor Shinan and Yair Zakovitch have channeled their prodigious learning into a narrative about the legacy of the Bible that is not only readable but compelling. Anyone who loves the bible and the interpretive challenges it has bequeathed generations of readers will enjoy the encounter with these two illustrious commentators.” – Gary A. Anderson, Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Theology, University of Notre Dame

“Shinan and Zakovitch approach 30 specific Bible stories (e.g., Was Goliath really slain by a young boy named David?) as literary archaeologists. . . . Their thoughtful and sympathetic exegesis uncovers possible explanations why the biblical authors saw their interpretations of these stories as best suited to instruct a nation. Most important, they introduce the oral and literary traditions of ancient Israel with breathtaking clarity and ease.” – Christopher McConnell, Booklist

“A meticulously researched primer on the Hebrew Bible’s role as part of an evolving theological and political discourse. . . . Shinan and Zakovitch paint a richly nuanced portrait of the biblical literature as an interlocutor in the debates of its day. . . . An illuminating, challenging look at the original significance of many of the Bible’s stories.” – Kirkus

"This book is wonderful, not just for its scholarship or for its many fascinating themes, but also because it is, simply, a joy to read." – Bob Rickard, Fortean Times

"Readers interested in the legends of ancient Israelites or examining the possibilities of the biblical text from a different viewpoint will enjoy exploring the lessons of When Women Seduced Gods (From Gods to God)." –Rabbi Rachel Esserman, Reporter

"This is a well-researched book and shares some strong arguments on how we have come to be where we are today." – Christopher Lewis, Dad of Divas’ Reviews

"This book will open readers' eyes to a whole new way of reading our sacred texts. It could forever change the way its readers will approach the subject. The term "must read" may be overused, but I believe it is appropriate in describing this book." – Stuart Lewis, Jewish Chronicle