LAND, FARMING AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN YEHUD: A QUEST FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT TOWARDS POVERTY REDUCTION IN ZIMBABWE

Temba Rugwiji

Abstract


 

The Hebrew Bible portrays the view that the Jewish lifestyle was predominantly agrarian. The ideology that Jewish socio-economic survival depended largely on subsistence farming is a depiction that the biblical text presents in terms of ‘themes’ pertaining to agriculture, such as: land tax, temple-tax, sheep, goats, cattle, and slaughtering and sacrificing animals. Significant archaeological discoveries to date have illumined the claim that agricultural production was critical in the sustenance of socio-economic life for both household consumption and national demand in the ancient Near East (hereafter, ANE). First, although issues surrounding land and socio-economic development (hereafter, SED) during the pre-monarchic, monar-chic, and exilic periods as depicted in the biblical text will be considered, the main focus of the present discourse is the Judean postexilic period. In this essay, postexilic literature (e.g. Trito-Isaiah, Ezra-Nehemiah, Zechariah, Haggai, Malachi, etc.) will be explored. Second, this study employs an approach called ‘hermeneutics of appropriation’ in which significant ‘themes’ which fondled issues of land and farming in ancient Israel are investigated in view of the dynamics surrounding the land debate in post-independence Zimbabwe. Third, it is argued that in spite of the turbulence that has plagued the Zimbabwean economy in recent years, agriculture continues to play a pivotal role in averting starvation in the country. Fourth, this article concludes with a ‘theology of reconstruction’ in which strategies towards maximum utilisation of land, sustainable development and poverty reduction are explored.

 


Keywords


Land; Agriculture; Postexilic Literature; Socio-Economic Development; Poverty Reduction; Theology of Reconstruction

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/116-1-1336

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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