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Showing papers in "Old Testament essays in 2019"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors use the notion of "translation as negotiation" as a blueprint for eco-theologians and scholars of eco-hermeneutics to determine whether, and to what extent, translation has a role to play in promoting these efforts.
Abstract: The last two centuries have seen a growing focus on matters concerned with the natural environment. This is not only true for the natural sciences, but all fields of inquiry, including that of theology and religion. Building on the work of eco-theologians and scholars of eco-hermeneutics, this article aims to determine whether, and to what extent, translation has a role to play in promoting these efforts. Consequently, using Eco’s (2004) notion of “translation as negotiation” as blueprint, the author first delineates what an eco-conscious translation entails before showing its practical application in Jonah 3:1–10. In the end, such a rendering does not diverge too much from the Hebrew text or other more established English translations. However, the changes it introduces are ideologically significant. Moreover, the process may prove to be an important tool if the Judeo-Christian tradition still has a role to play in battling different environmental challenges. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n3a4

11 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A survey of the different ways in which the concept of life is employed in the book of Deuteronomy is given in this article, which is used to give an overview of this concept from a theological point of view.
Abstract: References to the concept of “life” (the root חיה) are found throughout the book of Deuteronomy. Yet very few surveys have been done on the concept of life in Deuteronomy. This article contributes to the discussion by giving a survey of the different ways in which the concept of life is employed in the book. The results of this survey are used to give an overview of this concept from a theological point of view by determining what Deuteronomy as a whole says about YHWH and Israel in terms of the concept of life. Among others, the article finds that YHWH is depicted as the only living God, who has no end or diminishing of life. Israel is to obey YHWH’s commands wholeheartedly to enjoy well-being or quality of life, which is the result of his blessing, especially in the form of prosperity, longevity and increase in the Promised Land.

9 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a decolonial reading of Ps 137 is presented in light of South African songs of struggle. But this reading is based on the assumption that Ps 137 was originally written by the golah community in response to the colonial relations between the oppressor and the oppressed.
Abstract: This article engages in a decolonial reading of Ps 137 in light of South African songs of struggle. In this reading, Ps 137 is regarded as an epic song which combines struggle songs which originated within the golah community in response to the colonial relations between the oppressor and the oppressed. The songs of struggle then gained new life during the post-exilic period as a result of the new colonial relation between the Yehud community and the Persian Empire. Therefore, Ps 137 should be viewed as not a mere song, but an anthology of songs of struggle: a protest song (vv. 1-4), a sorrow song (vv. 5-6), and a war song (vv. 7-9). https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n2a12

9 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors address the confrontation between Yahweh and Israel/Judah by juxtaposing two dominant spheres of Israel/judah's religious life; ritual and lifestyle.
Abstract: The phenomenon of ritual criticism in prophetic writings of the HB/OT is one that highlights the discrepancy between ritual and lifestyle on the one hand and emphasizes the significance of rituals for the improvement of ethical life of people. Rituals are viewed as Ancient Israelite’s vertical dimension of the relationship between God and man while ethics are its horizontal components (man to man relationship). In Micah, rituals are presented as acts of people’s relationship with Yahweh (worship, offering and sacrifices) that do not impact positively on the horizontal dimension (social justice). This dysfunction of relationship is poignantly addressed by Micah as his oracle switches from confrontation to reconciliation. This article addresses the confrontation between Yahweh and Israel/Judah by juxtaposing two dominant spheres of Israel/Judah’s religious life; ritual and lifestyle. Micah 6:6–8 stands in sharp contrast to the extravagance and mockery of rituals and as an alternative presents a message most profound and insightful for an invaluable decision. A truly ethical religion, Micah holds, is not about extravagant rituals but personal duty and responsibility for fulfilling that duty in society. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n3a3

9 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors show that the legal traditions of the OT are rather static and categorical regarding the differentiation of these types of strangers; they minimize the relationship with the נכרים, but provide protection and ensure provisions for the גרי, while the law codes are almost exclusively silent about the possibility of a certain stranger's transition from one category to another.
Abstract: Ancient Israelite thought – represented by biblical Hebrew terminology – is aware of the difference between a non-assimilated stranger (נכר / נכרי ; זר ) and that of a semi-assimilated stranger ( ; ). The legal traditions of the OT are rather static and categorical regarding the differentiation of these types of strangers; they minimize the relationship with the נכרים , but provide protection and ensure provisions for the גרים . In addition, the law codes are almost exclusively silent about the possibility of a certain stranger’s transition from one category to the other. Contrary to this, the narrative accounts of the OT are especially rich in representations of distinct strategies of stranger inclusion. Thus, it is evident that the ancient Israelite thought and everyday practice did not exclude the possibility of transitioning and transforming complete strangers into community members. In fact, the narrative representations of the treatment of strangers in the Books of Joshua and Judges encapsulate authentic ancient Israelite mentalities, cultural conventions, and social mechanisms – in a quite dynamic manner (cf. Rahab’s inclusion in Josh 2 and 6; the Kenites’ status in Judg 4–5; the Gibeonites’ inclusion in Josh 9).

9 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: By using the narrative device of contrastive characterization, the author of the book of Ruth demonstrates three return-from-exile scenarios that act as a model for the audience.
Abstract: By using the narrative device of contrastive characterization, the author of Ruth demonstrates three return-from-exile scenarios that act as a model for the audience. Orpah served as Ruth’s foil and represents a return to the pagan culture. Naomi and Ruth project a role reversal. While Naomi returns more like a pagan than a Jewess, Ruth has demonstrated covenant fidelity and illustrated loyalty to YHWH and Israel. She is thus a model for how Jews ought to return from exile to exodus. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n3a8

8 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present an intertextual reading of the two poems and argue that the pair should be read as a composition in the context of the late Torah-wisdom redaction of the Psalter.
Abstract: Psalms 111 and 112 are “twin” poems displaying similar characteristics such as the superscript הללו יה , an acrostic form, and shared vocabulary. Surprisingly, the shared characteristics are noted, but the poems often interpreted in isolation. Ps 111 is classified as a hymn or a song of thanksgiving and Ps 112 as a wisdom poem. The prominent presence of so-called “wisdom terminology” in Ps 112 plays a major role in its classification, while the presence of similar terminology in Ps 111 is ignored. The present study engages in an intertextual reading of the two poems. They are read as an intentional, artistic literary composition. Following Michael Fishbane’s notion of inner-biblical exegesis, I argue that Ps 112 is an intentional “midrash” on Ps 111, and that the pair should be read as a composition in the context of the late Torah-wisdom redaction of the Psalter in general and Book V of the Psalter in particular. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n2a19

7 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The link between the biblical Psalms and musicality is explored in this article, where interpretative engagement with texts as much as with music is indicated en route to taking a position on whether an authentic, accurate rendition of the ancient musicality of the Psalms can be recouped.
Abstract: The link between the biblical Psalms and musicality is explored in this contribution. The interpretative engagement with texts as much as with music is indicated en route to taking a position on whether an authentic, accurate rendition of the ancient musicality of the Psalms can be recouped. Some instances of reception of the Psalms in classical, rock and electronic music genres are given, with greater attention devoted to influential rock star Bono’s reflection on the role of Psalms and other music in shaping spirituality. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n2a25

7 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explore various approaches in which interpreters operate in recent attempts to apply ecological hermeneutics to biblical texts and draw critical evaluation, assessment and acknowledgment of the need of complementary insights from different reading stances.
Abstract: This article critically explores various approaches in which interpreters operate in recent attempts to apply ecological hermeneutics to biblical texts. It engages with the strengths and weaknesses of the works of the apologetic readers (reading of recovery), the Earth Bible Project (reading of resistance 1), the anti-ecological reading (reading of resistance 2), the revisionist readers (mostly the Exeter Project), the Eco-Feminists and the Eco-theological voices of African scholars. Finally, the article draws critical evaluation, assessment and acknowledgment of the need of complementary insights from different reading stances. Finally, the article argues that, for a fruitful ecological reading of the Bible, one must admit that biblical texts were formulated in a world that knew nothing about modern ecological problems. Thus, the aim of a fruitful reading should direct the reader towards the critical power and relevant stimulus of biblical texts for our questions. In whichever reading, the interpreter is invited not to mix in one mould the biblical statements and his/her current realities. This means that our realities should never dictate the direction of biblical interpretation, but both worlds should remain in a constantly enriching dialogue.

7 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A study of biblical lament psalms can help present-day sufferers express their own pain to God, and this can result in personal, social, and biological healing.
Abstract: A study of biblical lament psalms can help present-day sufferers express their own pain to God, and this can result in personal, social, and biological healing. In this empirical study, Zulu “pain-bearers” first studied Psalms 3 and 13 and then wrote and performed their own laments, using the biblical laments as a model. The use of poetic form is shown to have advantages over narrative therapy approaches. The empirical compositions and performances fit with the insights gained from cognitive psychotherapy approaches as well as the therapeutic steps proposed by Judith Herman. Moreover, apart from facilitating healing of the soul and interpersonal relations, the research insights of Cozolino and others suggest that lament can stimulate the biological healing of the brain, allowing for the healthy processing of the trauma memories. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n3a7

6 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors investigate the relationship between the various contributing constituents to the final form of Psalm 116 and find that it is a prime example of the tendency in late post-exilic Psalmography to compile new poems by using existing material from the Hebrew Bible.
Abstract: In studies on the biblical Psalms it is customary to ask why and for what purpose these poems came into existence. The present study departs from the observation that Psalm 116 can be regarded as an anthology which incorporated material from various other sources in the Hebrew Bible. The study aims to investigate the relationship between the various contributing constituents to the final form of Psalm 116. Therefore, it is necessary to add another question to those that are usually posed in studies on the Psalter, namely the “how?” question: How did the author/editors(s) use and incorporate different sources to come to the Psalm 116 as we know it in the Masoretic Text? The study argues that Psalm 116 is a prime example of the tendency in late post-exilic Psalmography to compile new poems by using existing material from the Hebrew Bible. Other examples of this style of writing are found inter alia in Pss 1; 19; 25; 34; 37; 86; and 119. This has been described in the past as an “anthological” style of composition. Very often in these psalms one can also detect a marked attempt to produce a symmetric pattern and also a marked influence from wisdom. All these tendencies are apparent in Ps 116. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n2a8

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors investigates the conceptualization of pain in Scripture from linguistic expressions and ceremonial practices and compares these findings with phenomenological perspectives of childbirth experiences and how these can assist to explain biblical labour metaphors.
Abstract: The concept of pain and grieving in the Hebrew Bible is often linked to the context of travail in the birthing process. This perspective suggests that experiences and emotions of pain are associated with feelings of deep distress which, when properly resolved, give way to positive dimensions of care, hope and empowerment as well as the vitality to face new challenges of life. This paper investigates the conceptualization of pain in Scripture from linguistic expressions and ceremonial practices. It compares these findings with phenomenological perspectives of childbirth experiences and how these can assist to explain biblical labour metaphors. The aim is to show how the conceptualization of pain in Scripture can assist to resolve pain in contemporary contexts. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n3a6

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examines Genesis' depiction of the contrast between patriarchal altar-building and pre-patriarchal city-building, and finds that the patriarchal building is qualitatively different because the altars are built in the place where, and after, YHWH appears to the patriarch, in the context of a word of blessing evocative of Genesis 12:1-3.
Abstract: This essay examines Genesis’ depiction of the contrast between patriarchal altar-building (בנה, 12:7, 8; 13:18; 22:9; 26:25; 35:7; cf. 8:20) and pre-patriarchal city-building (בנה, 4:17; 10:11; 11:4,). The patriarchal building is qualitatively different because the altars are built in the place where, and after, YHWH appears to the patriarch, in the context of a word of blessing evocative of Genesis 12:1-3. The patriarchal altars of Genesis anticipate the place YHWH chooses for his name to dwell (Deut 12:11, 21; 14:23, 24; 16:2, 6, 11).

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The reading of the book of Isaiah 7:3ff from a post-colonised perspective as discussed by the authors aims to provide a decolonised biblical trauma lens that would create an understanding of a decolocalised reader in a postcolonial South Africa.
Abstract: Anyone reading the Bible will attest that Biblical scriptures preserve a collection of struggles, trauma, and hardship in their ancient communities - the same trauma markers that many South Africans can attest to. On the same continuum, anyone who is reading the book of Isaiah, are confronted with not only a difficult book but also a difficult prophet. Isaiah did not in Isaiah 7:3ff only address his prophetic utterances at the King as an individual, but also at the people of Judah as a collective group and he did so through the metaphorical name-giving of his son “Shear-jashub.” The fear of imperialism and oppression was a reality, as it would later be in apartheid South Africa. The reading of Isaiah 7:3ff from a postcolonial perspective aims to provide a decolonised biblical trauma lens that would create an understanding of a decolonised reader in a postcolonial South Africa. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2018/v31n3a7

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In a Yoruba context, Psalm 35 appears to be one of the scariest Psalms because of the various expressions of hate and the Psalmist invoking wrath and death on his enemies as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: Psalm 35 appears to be one of the scariest Psalms because of the various expressions of hate and the Psalmist invoking wrath and death on his enemies. In the Western context, it is not one of the favourites of the Psalms. However, in a Yoruba context, Psalm 35 is one of the favourites because of its use for purposes of defence, victory, and protection. The purpose of this article is to discuss how Psalm 35 is used in a Yoruba context to meet the peculiar need of Yoruba people against enemies. Although there are similarities and differences between Psalm 35 and Yoruba ofo oro ogede, the similarities actually influence Yoruba Christians and non-Christians to use Psalm 35 like ofo or madarikan, orogede with a firm belief that it contains a more mysterious power from God than the Yoruba ofo, ogede and madarikan. Psalm 35 is, therefore, read, memorized, chanted, sung or inscribed in parchment to express the African faith, and their personal origin from God. Psalm 35 is also read in order to motivate God to perform a miracle as he has done originally with the people of ancient Israel. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n3a9

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors describes the chiasm that is embedded within the narrative structure of the psalm of Psalm 106, focusing on the need for repentance and forgiveness in any historical context, but especially in the exilic and post-exilic periods.
Abstract: This study describes the chiasm that is embedded within the narrative structure of Psalm 106. He classifies the psalm as a historical recital of Israel’s story, but within the psalm’s narrative structure is a chiasm that emphasizes key parallel elements. These elements draw the reader’s attention to the themes of praise, prayer, salvation, rebellion, and Moses, to name a few. Psalm 106 focuses on Israel’s past failures and Yahweh’s generous grace, motifs that highlight the need for repentance and forgiveness in any historical context, but especially in the exilic and postexilic periods. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2018/v31n3a6

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The role of these psalms in the shape and shaping of the story of the Psalter has been explored in this paper, where the authors explore the role of the psalm attributed to David in its shape and shape shaping.
Abstract: Book V of the Psalter (Pss 107-150) is an interesting collection of psalms. After the opening Ps 107, celebrating God’s rescue of humanity from various dangerous situations, psalms attributed to David appear again after a virtual absence since Book II. These Davidic psalms (Pss 108-110 and 138-145) “frame” a grouping of festival psalms that are introduced by two brief alphabetic acrostics (Pss 111 and 112). Seemingly tucked away just after the Songs of Ascents (Pss 120-134), and before the resumption of psalms of David, lie Psalms 135-137, two magnificent community hymns followed by a heartfelt community lament. This essay explores the role of these psalms in the “shape” and “shaping” of the story of the Psalter. It will conclude that the psalms offer a highly stylized recitation of Israel’s history that made a world for the postexilic community, recounting Yahweh’s work in creation, summarizing the Pentateuchal stories of the ancestors (Pss 135-136) and providing a snapshot of exilic life in Babylon (Ps 137). Their assurance of Yahweh’s presence and provisions allow David, in Psalms 138-145, to lead the postexilic people in blessing, praise, and thanks to the sovereign God. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n2a20

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the Tangale presupposition relating to the concept of brotherhood was analyzed and the significance of the virtue of solidarity and togetherness within the Tangales traditional kinship setting was highlighted.
Abstract: This article analyses the Tangale presupposition relating to the concept of brotherhood. It argues that the concept underscores the significance of the virtue of solidarity and togetherness within the Tangale traditional kinship setting. The Tangale background develops a new appreciation for the interaction between brotherhood and kinship and opens up a new perspective of exegesis of Genesis 19:1- 11—using irony as the hermeneutical lens. This assessment of biblical passage, hospitality as the interpretive context of the passage, provides a theological and ethical understanding of the concept of brotherhood that transcends ethnic boundaries. Such understanding, it is argued, has significant implications on the theological-ethical reflections that might help the Tangale and Kaltungo/Shongom ethnic nationalities to have a rethink and resist the negative persuasions that had resulted in the ongoing inter-tribal armed rivalry.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examined Mal 2:16 in relation to the prohibition of divorce today in some churches in Nigeria and found out that the passage relates to certain Jewish men who divorced their native wives and married women of foreign faiths.
Abstract: This article examined Mal 2:16 in relation to the prohibition of divorce today in some churches in Nigeria. The text is perhaps the most commonly quoted passage by preachers to support prohibition of divorce, possibly because many of the English versions make it a direct condemnation from God and preachers rarely consider other English versions that read differently. It was found out that the passage relates to certain Jewish men who divorced their native wives and married women of foreign faiths. It was also discovered that in view of Deut 24:1-4, among other OT texts, Mal 2:16 could not have prohibited divorce. Rather, what it condemns is the purpose of the divorce, namely to marry women of foreign faiths. Hence, Mal 2:16 is relevant in contemporary Nigeria, not as a prohibition of divorce, but in the context of marriage abandonment. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n3a5

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article examined the function of clothing and related accoutrements in the book of Esther and found that the motif of dressing and undressing oneself or another signals a shift in the investment or divestment of power and status.
Abstract: This essay examines the function of clothing and related accoutrements in the book of Esther. The motif of dressing and undressing oneself or another signals a shift in the investment or divestment of power andstatus. Identity, agency, and authority are also signified by vestments and appurtenances. Through synchronic and diachronic exegetical methodologies, Mordecai’s regalia of Esth 8:15 is the focus of this essay. This regalia evokes both princely and priestly ideology; therefore, the regalia is a significant symbol for the diasporic, post-monarchic Jewish people in the Persian period. The closest post-exilic analogue to Mordecai’s royal vestments and accessories is the diarchic portending prophecies of Zech 6; thus, extrapolations are made accordingly. Ultimately, a definite determination of the significance of Mordecai’s regalia cannot be made; nevertheless, the royal vestments are likely imbued with a complex intention—to ignite the imagination of the possibilities for the Jewish people’s open-ended future.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper identified the root metaphors used in Ps 32 and used these to identify the purpose and strategy of the psalm as a means of communication between its author and its original audience.
Abstract: The article identifies the root metaphors used in Ps 32 and uses these to identify the purpose and strategy of the psalm as a means of communication between its author and its original audience. It argues that the psalm should not be read as a psalm of thanksgiving with wisdom elements, but a wisdom-teaching psalm which replicates a psalm of thanksgiving. The author and/or editors used the composition, which is ascribed to King David, as a means of exhorting members of the in-group in a post-exilic setting in Judah to trust in YHWH and to stay faithful to him. The implied author’s experience of suffering because of pent-up guilt, as well as an authoritative first-person address by YHWH, was used in conjunction with a range of wisdom features by the author to communicate this message to its original audience.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper found that the received text of Genesis 35-50 both reflects and illumines the complexities of Israelite identity in the pre-exilic, Babylonian, and Persian periods.
Abstract: Several studies in recent years have sought to articulate the significance of the tribe of Benjamin for historical and literary studies of the Hebrew Bible. This paper suggests that the received text of Genesis 35–50 both reflects and illumines the complexities of Israelite identity in the pre-exilic, Babylonian, and Persian periods. The fact that Benjamin is the only son born to “Israel” (other sons are born to “Jacob”) points to Israel’s origins in the land that came to be called “Benjaminite.” Between Josephites to the north and Judahites to the south, Benjaminites preserved a unique identity within the polities of Israel, Judah, Babylonian Yehud, and Persian Yehud. In Genesis 35 and 42–45 in particular, the silent character Benjamin finds himself in the middle of a tug-of-war between his brothers, particularly his full-brother Joseph and his half-brother Judah. The conciliatory message of the narrative of Genesis 35–50 for later communities comes into sharper focus when we see the compromise between tribal identities embedded in the text. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n3a10

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The holistic worldview which embeds Ps 127:3-5, one that underlies many an African proverb, reveals the great store set by large families and the celebration of women's role as mothers in both contexts as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: African wisdom sayings have enjoyed and continue to enjoy some authoritative status in varying African contexts from time immemorial till today. As sacred texts, African proverbs have shaped and continue to shape, whether consciously or not, the worldview of African peoples, even in present day contexts. The holistic worldview which embeds Ps 127:3-5, one that underlies many an African proverb, reveals the great store set by large families and the celebration of women’s role as mothers in both contexts. The main question that this article seeks to engage is: If read from an (African) South African context, which insights may emerge from Ps 127:3-5? https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n2a9

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors focus on land conceptions in the Psalter, dealing with Psalms reflecting on Israel's history and argue that land is an integral part of remembrance and YHWH as a powerful and mighty saviour.
Abstract: This essay focuses on land conceptions in the Psalter, dealing with Psalms reflecting on Israel’s history regard land as an integral part of remembrance and YHWH as a powerful and mighty saviour. As he was able to fulfil his promise of land in former times, he is now able to rescue from distress and to grant land for the psalmist’s and subsequent generations. The essay distinguishes between a universal-cosmologic and a particular conception of “land”. Whereas a universal-cosmologic understanding is prevailing, few psalms refer to a particular understanding (i.e., Pss 25; 37; 61; 69). These psalms witness to a conception of “land as reward” in tight connection to a God-fearing life. This thesis of “land as reward” suggests a “metaphorical” application of the concept; further it is accompanied with notions of Zion theology and the theology of poor and poverty. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n2a21


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, it is argued that the multiple distinctive types of literary bonds between the two halves of the psalm point towards a form of complex antiphony known as steady responsa.
Abstract: Complex antiphony, which allows dialogue between non-linearly adjacent cola in a psalm, provides the potential for re-reading problematic Hebrew texts such as Psalm 132. This article studies the two main structural options that have been proposed for Psalm 132, arguing in preference for the minority view that places a major break after v. 9. It is then argued, based on this minority structure, that the multiple distinctive types of literary bonds between the two halves of the psalm point towards a form of complex antiphony known as steady responsa. It is then shown that such a steady responsa reading of Psalm 132 addresses some of the critical exegetical problems of the psalm, such as the referent of the pronominal suffixes in v. 6. In addition, this reading also reveals a coherent and rich petitionary rhetoric in Psalm 132.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a unified reading of the psalm is proposed, which uses ambiguity as a central technique for developing different experiences for those who pray this psalme within the subgroup of the prayers of the accused.
Abstract: The interpretation of Ps 139 remains a deeply contested matter. In particular, the psalm’s genre and integrity continue to be debated, with the key issues related to the place of vv. 19-22. Do these verses constitute the key to interpretation, or are they a later interpolation? If they are an interpolation, can we trace the psalm’s development back through the material in vv. 1-18 (possibly with some minor expansions), so that vv. 23-24 are seen as a unit displaced from the introduction? Conversely, if vv. 19-22 are original, how do we account for marked change of tone present so that instead of the seemingly bucolic reflections found in vv. 1-18 the text then shifts to an imprecation against the wicked? This paper proposes a unified reading of the psalm which uses ambiguity as a central technique for developing different experiences for those who pray this psalm within the subgroup of the prayers of the accused. It will be argued that ambiguity is an intentional compositional strategy within the psalm, with the effect of the ambiguity different for those who read the poem from the perspective of innocence as opposed to the experience of those who read from the perspective of guilt. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n2a13

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors apply the narratological categories narrated/ narrative voice, plot/build-up of tension, characters and characterization, as well as time and space to Psalm 64.
Abstract: Storytelling in the psalter is usually attributed to those psalms which relate stories of the history of Israel. Narratology, the theory and procedure of studying narrative representations, is usually applied to narratives. However, there are certain features in the psalms, which allow us to define them as narrative texts and therefore examine them by means of narratology. This paper aims to contribute to a genre-overlapping approach towards poetry by means of opening the way to showing the benefits, as well as limitations of narratology applied to poetical texts by applying the narratological categories narrator/ narrative voice, plot/build-up of tension, characters and characterization, as well as time and space to Psalm 64. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2019/v32n2a5

Journal Article
Richard D Moore1
TL;DR: In this paper, the Elisha story of the lost axe head in 2 Kings 6:1-7 has been studied in relation to a central theological theme of the Elijah-Elisha complex.
Abstract: Against a long-standing trend in biblical scholarship to demean and diminish the significance and purpose of the Elisha story of the lost axe head in 2 Kings 6:1-7, this paper shows this story’s strategic purpose in relation to a central theological theme of the Elijah-Elisha complex and the entire Kings corpus. By pointing out the striking literary parallels and connections between this Elisha story and the story of Elisha’s receiving the mantle of Elijah in 2 Kings 2, together with this latter story’s central thematic role not only in the Elijah-Elisha materials but in the Kings narrative as a whole, the story of the lost axe head reveals the pivotal divine purpose of transacting spiritual succession from one generation to the next. https://doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2018/v31n3a21

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors raise the context antecedent to this sequence where the hostility of Saul towards David leaves no shadow of a doubt, devoured by jealousy in the face of David's successes, Saul tries with a doggedness to eliminate the latter who dashes off desperately until golden opportunities are presented to him to eliminate Saul.
Abstract: This article takes root in the reading of the narrative sequence which we find 1S 24-26 where three narratives follow one after another: at first to David who leads Saul to Engaddi, then to Abigail who diverts David from his plan to avenge Nabal, and finally, to David who once more saves the life of Saul in the desert of Ziph. To emphasize the need for pity and nonviolence in the society, it seems interesting to us to raise the context antecedent to this sequence where the hostility of Saul towards David leaves no shadow of a doubt. Indeed, devoured by jealousy in the face of David's successes, Saul tries with a doggedness to eliminate the latter who dashes off desperately until golden opportunities are presented to him to eliminate Saul. He does not eliminate him, but he gets only the piece of his coat as he surprises him while he was covering his feet. Then, for a second time, he still saves his life when he perceives him sleeping near Abner. Refusing to hurt him, he takes the lance which was at his bedside as well as the gourd of water. Pity and non-violence towards enemies practised by David could be the resources which our society needs to strengthen to consolidate conviviality. In this context where wars, conflicts, hatred, vengeances and terrorism seem to gain ground, could the rediscovery of these two values be a challenge to reveal for our world?