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Growing Up in Ancient Israel: Children in Material Culture and Biblical Texts
Kristine Henriksen Garroway
ABS 23
Publication Date
November 2018


Winner of the Biblical Archaeology Society 2019 Publication Award for Best Book Relating to the Hebrew Bible

The first expansive reference examining the texts and material culture related to children in ancient Israel

Growing Up in Ancient Israel uses a child-centered methodology to investigate the world of children in ancient Israel. Where sources from ancient Israel are lacking, the book turns to cross-cultural materials from the ancient Near East as well as archaeological, anthropological, and ethnographic sources. Acknowledging that childhood is both biologically determined and culturally constructed, the book explores conception, birth, infancy, dangers in childhood, the growing child, dress, play, and death. To bridge the gap between the ancient world and today’s world, Kristine Henriksen Garroway introduces examples from contemporary society to illustrate how the Hebrew Bible compares with a Western understanding of children and childhood.


  • More than fifty-five illustrations illuminating the world of the ancient Israelite child
  • An extensive investigation of parental reactions to the high rate of infant mortality and the deaths of infants and children
  • An examination of what the gendering and enculturation process involved for an Israelite child

Kristine Henriksen Garroway serves as the Visiting Assistant Professor of Bible at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Jack H. Skirball Campus. She is the author of Children in the Ancient Near Eastern Household (2014).

Download volume front matter, including table of contents and introduction.

Download a printable publication sheet that you can put in your files or give to your librarian or bookstore.