The Use of Africans
in Old Testament Poetry
Randall C. Bailey
For so long the tendency in Old Testament scholarship has been to deny that African nations and individuals either play a role in the text of the Hebrew Canon or had an influence upon it. Sometimes the methods used to deny the presence of Africans within the text have been subtle. Other times they have been not so subtle.
One strategy for achieving this is seen in the fact that for the past century the thrust of biblical scholarship has been on Mesopotamian and ancient Near Eastern studies.1 This is most dramatically seen as one peruses the various current introductions to the Old Testament and
I am indebted to the Interdenominational Theological Center for a faculty development
grant that was supported through the Lilly Endowment. The grant assisted me greatly in
the completion of the research for this project.
1. See Ronald E. Clements, One Hundred Years of Old Testament Interpretation (Phila-
delphia: Westminster, 1976); and Douglas A. Knight and Gene M. Tucker, eds., The Hebrew
Bible and Its Modern Interpreters (Chico, Calif.: Scholars Press, 1985).