Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Old Testament Essays]]> vol. 21 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>'Rescue me from the young lions'</b>: <b>An animal metaphor in Psalm 35:17</b>]]> References to enemies who ceaselessly orchestrate the downfall of the righteous abound in the psalms of lamentation. Whereas the identity of the wicked remains a point of debate among scholars, their evil character is beyond dispute. A salient feature of the psalms of lament is the poet's employment of an array of metaphors to describe the malevolence of the enemy. Often the portrayal of the adversaries is cast in animal imagery to accentuate their belligerence. A favourite among the animal metaphors utilised by the psalmist is that of the lion. It is reasonable to assume that the threat posed by lions accounts for the occurrence of leonine metaphors as a poetical strategy to depict the hostile forces. Given the prevalence of lion imagery in the psalms of lamentation, this paper endeavours to elucidate the reference to 'young lions' in Psalm 35:17 in terms of the conceptual metaphor theory. It is argued that the threatening associations of lions serve as an apt metaphorical source domain to explicate the abstract experience of antagonistic human behaviour in terms of a particular animal metaphor. <![CDATA[<b>'Killing them softly with this song the literary structure of Psalm 3 and its Psalmic and Davidic contexts</b>: <b>Part I: An intratextual interpretation of Psalm 3</b>]]> This is the first article in a series of two which investigate the meaning of Psalm 3. In this contribution, the syntax of the verbs and the aspects of time in Psalm 3 are analysed. This is correlated with a poetic analysis of the psalm. A division of three stanzas (2-4\\5-7\ \8-9) is proposed in which each of the three sections is seen to describe a movement from prayer to a confession of trust. The first and the last stanza seem to be two parts of a prayer in the present tense, spoken by a suppliant who is under attack from a large number of enemies. The central stanza seems to contain a description of a prayer by the same person in the past, as well as the nocturnal answer of YHWH to this prayer, something that gave the suppliant the courage in his present situation of distress to react with confidence to the fear instilled by the enemies and their words. <![CDATA[<b>La connaissance de YHWH selon Jérémie</b>: <b>Une étude intra-intertextuelle</b>]]> 'Knowledge of God' is one of the key concepts in the book of Jeremiah. This essay attempts to define its meaning. It also shows that an 'inner-intertextual' study of this concept can help (1) to demonstrate the progress of the deterioration of the relationship between YHWH and Israel, (2) to underline the unity of the first part of the book of Jeremiah, and (3) to show that the relationship between the deuteronomistic history and Jeremiah is due to the fact that the prophet's mission was not to proclaim a new message but to remind the people of their covenant responsibilities. <![CDATA[<b>Translation technique and the reconstruction of texts</b>]]> This article argues that, because of the complicated history of origin and transmission histories of texts, more avenues need to be pursued than only primary textual witnesses in the task of textual criticism. It argues that the translation technique followed by individual translators is basic to such endeavours. It uses the Septuagint version of Proverbs as a case study and demonstrates that stylistic and translation technical considerations should be taken into account in addition to, or in conjunction with, any 'hard textual evidence' in the reconstruction of texts. <![CDATA[<b>The Israelites in Palestine during the Babylonian exile</b>]]> This paper analyses the identity and conditions of the Israelite community who did not go into the Babylonian exile. Their identity, religious background, and socio-economic conditions are investigated. Despite the fact that they were the majority, they were left poor through the redistribution plan of the Babylonians. They continued to worship at the site of the temple, and the people who returned after the exile therefore had no right to exclude them from rebuilding the temple. <![CDATA[<b>Psalm 16 (LXX Ps 15) and Acts of the Apostles - Part I</b>]]> Psalm 16 is one of the most well-known Psalm texts of the Psalter. This can be attributed, among other reasons, to the fact that the NT, specifically the Acts of the Apostles, applied this text to the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The quotations from Psalm 16 in the book of Acts thus got a messianic-Christological meaning. If we, however, take a look at the text of Psalm 16, it seems that this psalm does not contain any direct messianic conceptions. Neither does it refer to the resurrection of the flesh. There are, however, features in the Greek translation (LXX) of this psalm which offered an opportunity to the New Testament authors to apply the text to Jesus - specifically to his resurrection from death. In part I this article will focus on the MT text of Psalm 16. Part II will focus on its application in Acts of the Apostles, as well as the hermeneutical background of the au-thor(s) of the Acts. <![CDATA[<b>The ethical-religious precondition for miracle performance in Rashi's biblical commentary</b>]]> This article explores the explicit occurrence of the term 'nes ' (miracle) in Rashi's biblical commentary. Seven examples from Rashi's commentary are presented which illustrate his tendency to draw attention to the theological principle that there are preconditions for G-d's miraculous intervention. Each example is preceded by the narrative background necessary to understand it and Rashi's commentary in each case is delineated, with emphasis placed upon the philosophical principle he introduces. According to Rashi there is a link between human behaviour and G-d's salvation, both regarding salvation of the individual and of the collective, Israel. In order to merit receiving miraculous intervention, the recipient may draw upon merit accruing from one of three sources: the recipient's present-day merits, his future merits, or his forefathers' past merits. <![CDATA[<b>Lament, the language for our times</b>]]> Lament has many faces. The kind of lament addressed in this paper is indeed a form of mourning but not about death, not for a purpose, but an existential wail as primal as a child's need to cry. Through the ages it was a way of bearing the unbearable, a supremely human need. In Israel it was integral to the people's relationship with God. The paper discusses particular cases of lament in the Hebrew Bible as well as expressions of lament during painful moments in our world history. Lamenting is healing and the need for healing is paramount the world over, therefore the loss of lament in Western culture is lamentable. <![CDATA[<b>Strategies for survival or recipes for oppression?</b>: <b>A critical discussion of the work of Daniel Smith-Christopher</b>]]> This article is a critical engagement with the work of Daniel Smith-Christopher who has attempted to describe the social impact of the exile on the group of people who were taken to Babylon. Suffering changed their identity and their understanding of who they were. In order to survive, they had to develop strategies to cope with their new reality. The exiles understood themselves as a group 'purified ' by the experience of exile. In their own eyes they were the 'true ' Israel. Smith-Christopher has consistently argued that what they did when they returned to the province of Yehud should be understood in this light. His work is contrasted with that of other scholars who were more interested in the plight of those who remained in the land which leads to questions such as the following: Is it responsible to only present the side of the deported elite as Smith-Christopher is doing? And: When do strategies developed for the sake of survival change into recipes for oppression? <![CDATA[<b>Remember the 'spring' of your youth</b>: <b>The vanity of male power in Qohelet 12</b>]]> In patriarchal and phallic cultures the loss of power to create life as well as the implicit loss of potency are symbolized in the decaying or breaking of the phallic simulacrum representing the male genital member - often at the very 'fountain' of its power exhibition. This paper is a close reading of Qoh 11:7-12:8 (a highly contested text in critical reading). What follows is an analysis of the metaphoric references whereby an argument is construed in favour of the idea that, according to Qohelet, male power and virility are the ultimate expressions of meaningful life. Should fate strike in this realm it is also considered the worst of disasters (hebel) that may befall man. The passage centre-stages the opposition between youth and old age, and accordingly, the teacher advises the young man to celebrate his youth and carnal pleasures before the bodily deterioration of old age and impotence brings him to the brink of the grave. <![CDATA[<b>Tränenschlauch und lebensbuch syntax und semantik von Psalm 56,9</b>]]> The focus of this publication is on Psalm 56:9. The Masoretic text is analysed in a text-critical and syntactic manner and, where necessary, conjectured. The semantics of the individual lexemes used in this verse is then scrutinised. The manner in which these words are used in other Old Testament texts, as well as the images and metaphors within which they occur, are discussed. The position and the intention of verse 9 within the context of the whole Psalm is subsequently outlined. <![CDATA[<b>Deadly traits</b>: <b>A narratological analysis of character in 2 Samuel 11</b>]]> This narratological study takes a closer look at the characters of the ambiguous story of David, Uriah and Bathsheba. First, different theories of character are discussed to highlight the nature of narrative character. Special attention is given to the nature of biblical characters. A combination of these theories is then used to analyse the characters of 2 Samuel 11. <![CDATA[<b>Makarismus und Eulogie im Psalter</b>: <b>Buch- und kanontheologische Erwägungen</b>]]>