The Conversation

Famine in the Bible is more than a curse: It is a signal of change and a chance for a new beginning

The famine in Samaria was one of many depicted in the Bible. PHAS/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesAs the coronavirus spread rapidly around the world last year, the United Nations warned that the economic disruption of the pandemic could result in famines of “biblical proportions.” The choice of words conveys more than just scale. Biblical stories of devastating famines are familiar to many. As a scholar of the Hebrew Bible, I understand that famines in biblical times were interpreted as more than mere natural occurrences. The authors of the Hebrew Bible used famine as a mechanism of divine wrath and destruction – but

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