Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Old Testament Essays]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1010-991920100002&lang=pt vol. 23 num. 2 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Connais mon coeur! Nouvelle étude structurelle du Psaume 139</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192010000200001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt L'auteur a déjà tenté par deux fois (en 1982 et 1997) de déceler la structure littéraire du Ps 139, et Marc Girard entre temps (en 1994). Il lui a pourtant semblé qu'on pouvait encore ajuster la dernière proposition. En allant méthodiquement des plus petites unités à des ensembles de plus en plus englobants, pour parvenir au terme a l'ensemble du psaume, il étudie successivement 1-10, 11-12, 13-24, puis l'ensemble du psaume. Il apparaît alors que, autour de 11-12, 1-10 et 13-24 se répondent étroitement et encadrent cette partie centrale a la fois fortement originale et pourtant bien articulée aux deux parties extrêmes.<hr/>The author has already tried twice (in 1982 and 1997) to reveal the literary structure of Psalm 139 while Marc Girard tried in 1994. Nevertheless, it seemed to him that one need to adjust the last proposition. In looking methodologically at the very small units and then into the more comprehensive sections, in order to arrive at an understanding of the entire psalm, the author inquires successively into verses 1-10, 11-12, 13-24 and then to the psalm in its entirety. It appears that around verses 11-12, Psalm 139:1-10 and 13-24 closely corresponds to each other and frames this central section, which is both original and well articulated in comparison to the two enclosing sections. <![CDATA[<b>When it all falls apart: A survey of the interpretational maze concerning the "final poem" of the book of Qohelet (Qoh 12:1-7)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192010000200002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt For many centuries, readers of the Book of Qohelet have been puzzled by the words of this ancient wisdom teacher. Particularly the masterly finale of the book, conventionally called the "final poem" (Qoh 12:1-7), has given rise to a divergence of interpretations. Beginning with the early Jewish rabbi's, several attempts have been made to connect each of the respective images with particular parts of the old man's deteriorating body. In the end, however, this reading of the poem as an "allegory of old age " proved incapable of solving all the ambiguities. Therefore, ancient and modern commentators alike have proposed alternative interpretations, but they have equally met with the poem's resistance to being encapsulated in a single explanation. The present contribution intends to provide a critical survey of the major lines of development in the interpretation of this pericope, pointing out the inconsistencies, textual difficulties, and conjectural elements in each of them. After having discussed each of them, it will make a plea to appreciate the poem as a remarkable piece of poetry that will always remain open to multiple interpretations. <![CDATA[<b>Descriptive varieties of philosophical commentary</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192010000200003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In this article, the author argues that philosophical criticism as a form of biblical criticism can supplement literary-historical interpretation. Descriptive philosophical analysis has as its primary aim the clarification of meaning, namely understanding - not the justification or critique - of truth-claims. Three forms of functional philosophical commentary are discussed: presupposition reconstruction, conceptual analysis and philosophical translation. The objective is to demonstrate how these varieties of philosophical exegesis aimed at understanding rather than at adjudication are able to reveal dimensions in the text otherwise inaccessible to non-philosophical approaches to the Hebrew Bible. <![CDATA[<b>Revisiting the Saul narrative in Chronicles: Interacting with the Persian imperial context?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192010000200004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt It is well-known among biblical scholars and other Bible readers that the Chronicler's presentation of King Saul of Israel differs significantly from the version in 1 Samuel. Many studies have been conducted on this and commentators normally dedicate extensive space to the peculiarity. In line with Knoppers's suggestions of how to approach this peculiarity, this article will investigate whether it could benefit our discussion of the Chronicler's portrayal of King Saul if the perspective of identity formation forms our interpretative key. <![CDATA[<b>The translator as an agent of change and transformation: The case of translating biblical Proverbs</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192010000200005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article explores the notion of the translator as an agent of cultural mediation with respect to a very difficult aspect of translation: the translation of biblical proverbs into Sudanese languages. Particular attention is paid to a recent argument concerning strategies for indigenisation and foreignisation as well as the matter of hegemony in translation. These possibilities and challenges are especially acute in the translation of proverbs. Differing strategies of foreignisation and indigenisation produce different kinds of translations, which, on the one hand, may fulfil differing needs within the community, and which, on the other hand, effect different kinds of change. <![CDATA[<b>'Global warming' and the movement of the settlers to the highlands of Palestine <i>(circa</i> 1200 - 1000 B.C.E.)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192010000200006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Scholars are divided as to the origins of the settlers in the highlands of Palestine, during Iron Age I. Some (e.g. Rainey) are convinced that they came from the east, while others (e.g. Dever) are of the opinion that they came from the coastal plain. Irrespective of their origins, however, in this article it is proposed that the migration to the highlands was due, at least in part, to the fact that Palestine, from the late 13th century to about 900 B.C.E., became significantly drier. <![CDATA[<b>The effect of Neo-Assyrian non-interference policy on the Southern Levant: An archaeological investigation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192010000200007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The socio-political scene and economic structure of the Neo-Assyrian Empire influenced the Ancient Near East in many ways. An overview of the interpretation of Neo-Assyrian records¹ in the light of archaeological evidence, mainly from seventh century Ekron (Tell Miqne), may contribute to understand why this city seemed to flourish during the seventh century B.C.E.. The article is an attempt to demonstrate that archaeological data dating from the 7th century B.C.E. in Israel/Palestine opens new perspectives when interpreted keeping the socio-political and economic structures of the Neo Assyrian Empire in mind. <![CDATA[<b>The Arrangement of Psalms 3-8</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192010000200008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt An exhaustive analysis of Psalms 3-8 suggests that the editors of the Psalter juxtaposed psalms on the basis of link words. The headings and verbal links suggest that Psalms 3 and 7 belong together, as do Psalms 4-6. In this article, we propose that the editors formed this collection by inserting Psalms 4-6 between Psalms 3 and 7, which were neighbours in another collection. The strong verbal links between Psalms 3 and 4 provide the rationale for this merger. They then rounded off this miniature collection by joining Psalm 8 to Psalm 7, based on the hook word "name. " <![CDATA[<b>Magic, myth and monotheism when reading Genesis 30:37-39</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192010000200009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Genesis 30:37-39 may be interpreted in various ways by modern readers, depending on the assumed underlying cosmology (world-view) of the text and how the scientific cosmology of the modern reader interacts with the ancient cosmology. In this process of interpretation the main sources of errors are either that the cosmology of the text is constructed incorrectly (e.g. in the case of Tylor and Frazer's idealistic scheme of religion), or because modern readers may mistakenly assume that the biblical cosmology is identical to their current scientific one. Five different cosmologies (i.e. magical, magico-mythical, monotheistic, deistic and atheistic) are discussed and their assumptions (regarding the mechanisms of the cosmos) applied to elucidate the Genesis 30 text. Finally, it is concluded that the most appropriate cosmology against which Genesis 30:37-39 should be interpreted, is the monotheistic cosmology, while recognising that the magical layer is especially prominent in the immediate context of Genesis 30. <![CDATA[<b>"Dann wird er sein wie ein Baum ..." (Psalm 1,3) Zu den Sprachbildern von Psalm 1</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192010000200010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article begins by making a number of general observations on the meaning of (biblical) figures of speech. The images found in Psalm 1 are subsequently investigated in more detail. This is done with the help of syntactic, semantic and tradition-historic and intertextual inquiries. The comparison of the righteous person with a tree is examined in great detail, while the comparison with chaff and the metaphor of life as a journey on a road are treated more cursorily. From the discussion it transpires how carefully and purposefully the image of the tree is implemented in the opening chapter of the Psalter. With this image, flashbacks are made to (canonical) scriptural contexts; but previews are also created of contexts within the Psalter itself, thereby creating significant additional facets of meaning. <![CDATA[<b>Book Reviews</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192010000200011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt This article begins by making a number of general observations on the meaning of (biblical) figures of speech. The images found in Psalm 1 are subsequently investigated in more detail. This is done with the help of syntactic, semantic and tradition-historic and intertextual inquiries. The comparison of the righteous person with a tree is examined in great detail, while the comparison with chaff and the metaphor of life as a journey on a road are treated more cursorily. From the discussion it transpires how carefully and purposefully the image of the tree is implemented in the opening chapter of the Psalter. With this image, flashbacks are made to (canonical) scriptural contexts; but previews are also created of contexts within the Psalter itself, thereby creating significant additional facets of meaning.