Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Old Testament Essays]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1010-991920120002&lang=es vol. 25 num. 2 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Servant and suffering in Isaiah and Jeremiah: Who borrowed from whom?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192012000200001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In this paper I propose a reading of the fourth Servant Song that goes beyond the alternative of the "suffering servant" as either an individual or a collective body. The search for a combination of these two main approaches is indeed not a new venture.³ I hope to shed some new light, however, on the question by identifying the group of authors as formerly exiled temple-singers who presented themselves to post-exilic Israel as the suffering, atoning servant -using some elements of the literary portrait of Jeremiah. <![CDATA[<b>Psalm 91 and its wisdom connections</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192012000200002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The paper investigates the literary and theological provenance of Ps 91. It is shown that Ps 91 (in its present form) was composed by someone who had access to Proverbs, in particular Prov 3, while Ps 91 itself played a role in the composition of Job 5:17-26. As part of the "triptych " formed by Pss 90, 91 and 92, the psalm was intended to strengthen the conviction of its author that Yahweh is able and willing to provide protection to the individual believer who attaches himself or herself wholeheartedly to his or her God, saving the true and wise believer from the fate that will befall the wicked fools. <![CDATA[<b>Riddles of reference: "I" and "We" in the Books of Isaiah and Jeremiah: The relation of the suffering characters in the Books of Isaiah and Jeremiah</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192012000200003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The use of "I" and "We" in literature is a delicate issue, especially when the references are left open. In some cases authors wish to involve their audience more (A). This feature can also be observed in the Books of Isaiah (B) and Jeremiah (C), and in some instances it is connected with suffering figures. In Isaiah "YHWH's servant" is outstanding among them, in Jeremiah the prophet himself. Interestingly, their portrayals show a number of common traits, and even the same or similar expressions. A comparison and analysis of them (D) points in the direction that the figure of the prophet Jeremiah seems to be a realisation of the servant and his fate, even radicalized to some extent, and that the book of Jeremiah is later than Isaiah, as a whole. The servant in Isaiah, and in Jeremiah the prophet of the same name, both testify personally, speaking with "I, " to a common message, namely that God achieves his goals through the suffering of his elect. <![CDATA[<b>Judges 14:4' Yahweh uses Samson to provoke the Philistines</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192012000200004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Judges 14:4 presents an often overlooked hermeneutical key to the Samson story. It declares that Yahweh intended Samson's mission to provoke conflict between Israelites and Philistines. The context is potential Israelite assimilation to impressive, attractive Philistine society. The verse is set in context and analyzed in detail, including the hapax noun. <![CDATA[<b>The spectral nature of YHWH (Dtr): Perspectives from Derridean hauntology</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192012000200005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article brings postmodern Continental philosophy of history to bear on the theologies of the Book of Deuteronomy. It looks at the "hauntological" effects of the character of YHWH (Dtr) as a "spectre" in the reception history of the book's god-talk. The character of YHWH (Dtr) seems to have attained the status of a literary ghost already within the book of Deuteronomy, the theology of which continues to haunt even in the atheological rhetoric of the New Atheism, long after the collapse of realism in Deuteronomic/Deuteronomistic philosophies of history. <![CDATA[<b>Reading the Pentateuch's genealogies after the exile: The Chronicler's usage of Genesis 1-11 in negotiating an All-Israelite identity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192012000200006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es From the first nine chapters of Chronicles it becomes clear that not only Samuel-Kings were used as sources by the Chronicler, but also the Pentateuch. The Chronicler was certainly one of the earliest readers of the Pentateuch (in whatever form) after the exile. The peculiarity of the Chronicler's version of Israelite history starting with "Adam" has been noted by many scholars. It seems as if the Chronicler particularly found the genealogies in Gen 1-11 useful to legitimize a universal context for negotiating the identity of All-Israel in the late Persian Period. This contribution will examine some of the Chronicler's genealogies in synoptic comparison with the genealogies of the Urgeschichte in order to determine how and why this exilic literature was used in Chronicles at a later stage in the literary history of the Hebrew Bible, as well as to establish what we can learn about the literary history of the Pentateuch from the Chronicler's usage <![CDATA[<b>The dark side of beauty in the Old Testament</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192012000200007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Speaking of the dark side of beauty implies a bright side as well and therefore points to an ambivalence in the concept of beauty. Whereas this can perhaps be most clearly seen in the nineteenth-century romanticist idea of the beauty of repugnance, ancient Israel never regarded "the ugly" as beautiful. But she could and did consider as straight-forwardly beautiful that which conventional Western images would regard as failing beauty (e.g. the decay of old age). While this serves as a reminder of the historical and cross-cultural relativity of the topic, Israelites did find a dark side in what they themselves found beautiful. The focus of this article is on this ambivalence experienced by Israel itself. What it could delight in, could also be fearsome and what it could celebrate, could simultaneously have a dangerous dark side. This is investigated from several angles: as the moral danger of erotic beauty, the religious danger of cultic beauty, the gloomy and even terrorising mental effect of beauty, and the transience of beauty. Although the usual claim that ancient Israel had no abstract concept of beauty is not challenged, it is concluded that beauty was not regarded as a mere "concrete" thing either. Rather, beauty is the image(s) of an ominous force behind it. The images can manifest the threatening character of that lurking energy just as strongly or even more than its gratifying effects. <![CDATA[<b>Sapiential elements in the Joseph and Daniel narratives vis-à-vis woman wisdom -conjunctions and disjunctions</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192012000200008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es While similarities have been established between the wisdom in the Joseph narrative and in the Daniel narrative, this paper shows that disjunctions also exist between the two narratives. Both Joseph and Daniel may be considered as representative characters of Israelite wise men. That their wisdom functioned effectively in a Diaspora context indicates the universal appeal of wisdom, but that wisdom is limited to what has been recognized as pietistic and inspired wisdom. It is argued here that the two narratives appear to represent related but also different strands in the development of wisdom thought and that the character of the Woman Wisdom represents a contemporaneous and all-encompassing or comprehensive face of wisdom. <![CDATA[<b>Anteriority and justification: Pragmatic functions of the <i>W<sup>e</sup>x-qatal f</i>orm indirect speech in the book of Genesis</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192012000200009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Recognizing that scholarship has long struggled with the so-called "freeness " of Hebrew word order in direct speech, this study seeks to demonstrate that the primary pragmatic functions of the w e x-qatal form within direct speech in classical biblical Hebrew are justification and anteriority. Examining the issues of word order and the syntactical opposition between the wayyiqtol and w e x-qatal, the work concludes by presenting numerous examples of both functions in Genesis texts. The implications of the study are an improved understanding of clausal relationships within direct speech and improved translations and interpretations of these passages. <![CDATA[<b>Meteorological views in Qohelet 1</b>: <b>6-7</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192012000200010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Qohelet 1:4-7 is intended to demonstrate that permanent phenomena exist on earth, and thereby crystallize the question posed in 1:3. The context of Aristotle's Meteorology provides a convenient framework for explaining the meteorological references in vv. 6-7. Within this context, v. 4a represents the beat of time; v. 6a serves double duty, referring to both sun and wind; v. 6b deals with change in wind direction associated with sun's movement to its solstices; and, v. 7 might have in its background an evaporation process. It is likely that Qohelet was familiar with views that were similar to those of Aristotle in Meteorology. If he shared these views, then he adopted positions that were at variance with the normative biblical perceptions. <![CDATA[<b>Ecotheology: Transforming biblical metaphors - a response to Gunther Wittenberg's transformation of the dominion metaphor</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192012000200011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es As part of a larger debate on ecotheology in South Africa, Gunther Wittenberg suggested that the dominion metaphor in Gen 1:28 and Ps 8 should be transformed to have a less dominating character. In this he followed Vicky Balabanski 's idea that a Stoic interpretation of the Christ hymn in Col 1:15-20 could be used as a hermeneutic key to achieve such a transformation. Wittenberg's suggestions that ecotheology should involve more than analysing a few isolated texts and thus become central to biblical theology, that biblical metaphors should be transformed when necessary and that ecotheology should be informed by modern science, are appraised as important markers for doing ecotheology. The success of transforming the dominion metaphor by using the idea of interconnectedness is however questioned because of the fundamental difference between the biological and biblical concepts of interconnectedness. It is further suggested that ecotheology should be linked more deliberately to the larger hermeneutical frameworks of Rudolph Bultmann and HansGeorg Gadamer when exploring the transformation of biblical metaphors. Finally it is suggested that the biblical concept of wilderness may be a more fruitful metaphor when exploring such transformations. <![CDATA[<b>Jeremy Munday, <i>Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192012000200012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In the review that follows, I present a selective content summary of the sequence of chapters found in this book, accompanied by my critical comments and additions from the specific perspective of Bible translating. "Translation Studies " is a growing, interdisciplinary field, and therefore, it is important for Bible scholars to be aware of the main "theories and applications" that are popular nowadays. This is because the different viewpoints expressed concern not only the numerous Bible translations that are available in English and other languages, but they also relate, in varying degrees, to distinct hermeneutical approaches to the Scriptures. <![CDATA[<b>Book Reviews</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192012000200013&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In the review that follows, I present a selective content summary of the sequence of chapters found in this book, accompanied by my critical comments and additions from the specific perspective of Bible translating. "Translation Studies " is a growing, interdisciplinary field, and therefore, it is important for Bible scholars to be aware of the main "theories and applications" that are popular nowadays. This is because the different viewpoints expressed concern not only the numerous Bible translations that are available in English and other languages, but they also relate, in varying degrees, to distinct hermeneutical approaches to the Scriptures.