About Ronald S. Hendel

Ronald S. Hendel

Ronald Hendel is the Norma and Sam Dabby Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of many scholarly works on biblical religion, language, literature, and history. His latest book is Genesis 1-11: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, a Yale Anchor Bible Commentary. He is also general editor for The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition.

Presenter at

Bible & Archaeology Fest XXVII, November 22 – 24, 2024
Giants and the Conquest of Canaan

An exploration – with slides – of the giants of ancient Canaan, who were destroyed by Yahweh and the Israelites in the biblical accounts of the Conquest. We will show how the memories of indigenous giants are related to monumental stone ruins in the landscape of Israel and Transjordan. This is a twist in biblical archaeology, redirected to the history of memory.

Bible & Archaeology Fest XIV, November 18 – 20, 2011
The Exodus and Cultural Memory

The Exodus is a focus of cultural memory in the Hebrew Bible—it recalls how Israel came into being as a people and nation. This presentation argues that this is the function of the Exodus story from the beginning. As the historical and archaeological evidence indicate, the story does not refer to actual events. Rather it is a cultural memory that effected the coalescence of a group of highland villages into a people and nation. How this story arose and why the early Israelites adopted this memory are key questions, which find coherent answers in the relationship between Canaan and the Egyptian Empire during the Late Bronze Age. By fusing historical and fictional memories, the story, in a sense, created the conditions for the birth of Israel as a people.