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A Nation of Immigrants

Sojourners in Biblical Israel’s Tradition and Law

by Richard H. Hiers

Foreword by David P. Gushee

Imprint: Resource Publications

126 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 x 0.25 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781725287723
  • Published: January 2021

$15.00 / £11.00 / AU$20.00

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  • Hardcover
  • 9781725287730
  • Published: January 2021

$30.00 / £22.00 / AU$39.00

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  • eBook
  • 9781725287747
  • Published: January 2021

$15.00 / £11.00 / AU$20.00

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Biblical Israelites were sojourners--immigrants, refugees, and resident aliens in lands other than their own--for the greater part of two thousand years. Experiences as sojourners shaped their attitudes toward foreigners who sojourned with them, and came to expression in laws providing immigrants equal rights along with various "safety net" measures intended to secure their well-being. Biblical laws did not bar immigrants of any age, nation, race, or class. Nor did they require prospective immigrants to prove they were unlikely to become "public charges." These biblical laws reflected core beliefs, values, and hopes emphasized in other biblical traditions, such as genealogies linking all peoples and nations as kin and prophetic texts affirming all humankind as the LORD's people. Familiarity with biblical law may have influenced those who formulated our country's constitutional assurances that any person within our borders is entitled to due process and the equal protection of the laws. Since colonial times, America has been "open to receive . . . the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions" (George Washington). These biblical texts challenge us all to recognize overt and latent bigotry not only in others and in our history, but also in ourselves.
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