Major Department

Religious Studies


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2018

Honors Major Advisor

Ahmed E. Souaiaia

Thesis Mentor

Jay A. Holstein


When reading the narratives of the Hebrew Bible, readers face a constant uphill battle against expectation, tradition, translation, and the sparse economy of biblical prose. This thesis is an exploration of biblical darkness—addressing stories wherein the biblical authors set events at night. To what end might an author imagine a narrative taking place in the dark? What do we gain from shadow, ambiguity, and obscurity? What goes seen and what goes unseen? Over the course of three narrative case studies—Abram’s nighttime military action in Genesis 14, the violent drama of Judges 19, and the peculiar midnight encounter of Genesis 32—this brief study examines how biblical authors wield darkness and ambiguity to their literary advantage. In doing so, we hope to unravel and shed light on certain curiosities and difficulties inherent to biblical narrative.


biblical studies, Hebrew Bible, darkness, night, narrative, literary criticism

Total Pages

39 pages


Copyright © 2018 Leon Hedstrom