This study started life as a dissertation in Dutch, entitled Schriftuurlijke verhalen in het Oude Testament,1 defended at the University of Amsterdam in October 2000.
On the appearance of the English edition, thanks are again due first of all to my supervisor, Emeritus Professor Dr K.A. Deurloo. My gratitude is due not only for his wise guidance during the years of research and writing, but also for the form this support took: he was at the same time a critical colleague, an enthusiastic sympathiser, and a loyal friend.
I am also grateful to Dr P.C. Kuiper (†) and Dr B. Voorsluis for the unique way in which they showed their commitment. Surprisingly often, the boundaries of our various disciplines were crossed by unexpected signs of recognition.
Thanks are also due to two organisations; first of all to the 'Stichting Aanpakken', which together with the Commission for Theological Academic Education (TWO) enabled me to carry out my research as a guest researcher at the University of Amsterdam. Secondly, I should mention the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), whose financial support made it possible for the original dissertation to be translated into English.
I am grateful to Professor Dr J.C. de Moor, Ms Mattie Kuiper of Brill Academic Publishers, and Drs F. van der Steen of Eburon Publications Delft for their help during the preparation of this publication.
Finally, I would like to thank Drs Ch.E. Smit who has been responsible for the English translation. Her meticulous approach has resulted in a translation that not only does justice to the Dutch text, but also in some cases improves upon the original content. I am no less grateful for the patience she has shown throughout.
The English text of the passages from the Hebrew Bible discussed here is that of The New JPS Translation,2 sometimes adapted to my own translations in the original Dutch study.
Leiden, October 21st 2002
1 G.J. Venema, Schriftuurlijke verhalen in het Oude Testament: Deutero-
nomium 9–10;31, II Koningen 22–23, Jeremia 36 en Nehemia 8, Delft 2000.
2Tanakh/Tee Holy Scriptures: The New JPS Translation according to the
Traditional Hebrew Text, Philadelphia 1985.