Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Old Testament Essays]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1010-991920130001&lang=en vol. 26 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>The prohibition of cross-dressing in Deuteronomy 22:5 as a basis for the controversy among churches in Nigeria on female wearing of trousers</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192013000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The research¹ which this writer conducted recently reveals that one major controversy among churches in Nigeria is on wearing of trousers by women, particularly female Christians. While the majority of the mainline churches still teach that women are not allowed to wear trousers, some of the neo-pentecostals claim that the text is being misapplied; hence many of their female members wear trousers even to church on Sundays. The present study therefore critically examines the Deuteronomic text vis-á-vis this controversy with a view to ascertaining what relevance it has for wearing of trousers by women in contemporary Africa, particularly Nigeria. <![CDATA[<b>Against <i>Floccinaucinihilipilification</i> of the counterfactual sense of the BH suffix conjugation - or an Explanation of why the "Indicative" <i>Qatal</i> expresses conditions, hypotheses and wishes</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192013000100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The present paper demonstrates that the counterfactual value displayed by the BH qatal is a rightful and logical component of the total meaning of the suffix conjugation, understood as a network of conceptually and historically connected senses. The chaining procedure built on the framework of universal paths (viz. a theory of typologically highly plausible evolutionary scenarios) enables the author to relate six specific values of the counterfactual domain (real and unreal optative, real and unreal hypothetical, as well as real and unreal conditional), and to establish their diachronic and synchronic (i.e. conceptual) arrangement. Furthermore, by employing an analogical chaining method, the entire counterfactual block is linked to the dominant indicative type of the qatal and, in particular, to its perfect, perfective and past values. The results of the article also demonstrate that - contrary to widespread opinion -the optative use of the BH qatal does not reflect a loss or omission of an original apodosis. Quite the reverse, the optative value was the initial modal meaning that the Proto-Semitic *qatal- acquired in the vicinity of the particle *law and its negative varieties: the BH optative examples are, simply then, remnants of such an ancient usage. <![CDATA[<b>Selon la grandeur de ton bras</b>: <b>Nouvelle étude structurelle du Psaume 79</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192013000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Based on the proposals of Marc Girard (1994) and himself (1993), the author revisits the structural study of Ps 79, going about as methodically as possible, that is to say, considering first (if applicable) the structure of each unit, then partial sets, and finally the whole psalm. He asserts that there is a concentric arrangement of material around v. 7, but vv. 1-6 and 8-13 respectively also form a parallel. The author concludes by pointing out how the first unit remarkably announces the elements found in the subsequent units. <![CDATA[<b>And the Word became prophet</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192013000100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en When scribes and priests in the post-exilic period of Israel's history started to write down or to compile the word of God, a process was initiated whereby prophecy was no longer transmitted orally, but through texts. This was part of the first steps for the written word to "become prophet." However, during this process, it was not just the text that exerted prophetic power, but also the interpreter. This meant that although the post-exilic Jewish community had a text-centred orientation, the illiterate were dependent on the literate interpretations of the texts. This brought a new dilemma for the listener: which interpretation would be more accurate than others? This dilemma can also be expressed in terms of the authority of the text versus the authority of the interpreter. By writing down the word of God, the seeds were sown by which the authority of texts was also undermined. The problem is that no text can on its own act as prophet without the aid of an interpreter. <![CDATA[<b>Le Psaume 15</b>: <b>Psaume sapientiel?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192013000100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The literary genre of Ps 15 has been for quite a long time among scholars topic for discussion. This Psalm has been classified since the works of Gunkel and Mowinckel as an entrance liturgy or Tora liturgy. Using comparison with the Decalogue and exploring reflexive and structural dimensions of the psalm, this article tries to enlighten sapiential dimensions of Ps 15. In fact Ps 15 together with the nucleus of texts that gave birth to the Decalogue belongs to a tradition originating from sapiential milieu. The conclusion is that this psalm is a sapiential psalm though it may have served in liturgical settings. <![CDATA[<b>Saul's prophetic representations and its parody in 1 Samuel</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192013000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The paper engages the intrigue of Saul's description as a "prophetic figure" in the beginning of 1 Samuel and his description as the "patron" of witchcraft at Endor. In these conflicting representations of Saul, one of the hidden agenda of the narrator of Samuel is clearly achieved because he has successfully transformed a prophetic tradition which appears originally to attribute prophetic feats to the first Israelite king, and creatively turned the same tradition against itself by amusingly portraying the same character as the practitioner of witchcraft. Consequently, through the technique of parody, the original prophetic figure Saul is humorously no longer among the prophets, but now in consultation of a witch. In the continuum of ancient guidance, Saul's parody has come full circle because he is tragically moved from prophecy to divination/witchcraft. <![CDATA[<b>The dissolution of the monarchy, the collapse of the temple <i>and</i> the "elevation" of women in the post-exilic period</b>: <b>Any relevance for African women's theologies?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192013000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The profound changes which accompanied state formation in ancient Israel would have had a profound impact on the gender parity which, according to some feminist scholars, typified the settlement period. In the absence of the monarchy and the Jerusalem temple during the post-exilic period, the family, with woman as household manager, regained significance as the locus of divine authority. Based on the preceding claims, scholars such as Claudia Camp and Tamara Eskenazi argue that women's status was elevated during the post-exilic period. With the views of such scholars in mind and given the place enjoyed by the Christian Bible in many an African context, the present article will engage the following main questions: Could biblical women's lives have something positive to offer to African women today? If the alleged elevated status of women was usually linked with woman's position in the family, could such a link enable a woman-affirming African women's theology on the family? <![CDATA[<b>Isaiah's Oracle (4:2-6; 11:1-9): Hope for the Congolese if they benefit from the </b><b>צֶמַח meaningful senses</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192013000100008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Isaiah's oracle (4:2; 11:1-2) respectively on <img border=0 width=32 height=32 src="../../../../../img/revistas/ote/v26n1/08s02.jpg">and <img border=0 width=32 height=32 src="../../../../../img/revistas/ote/v26n1/08s02.jpg">is meaningful in the social situation of hopelessness in Judah. This hopeless socio-religious¹ situation in Zion-Jerusalem elicited Isaiah's oracle in order to challenge the leaders as regards their exercise of authority. In a literary style (the synonymous and repetitive parallelisms)the oracle relates <img border=0 width=32 height=32 src="../../../../../img/revistas/ote/v26n1/08s02.jpg">from its literal usage (germination of the plants) to its metaphoric sense (the sprouting forth of a rightful leadership) from the Davidic line. This twofold meaning of <img border=0 width=32 height=32 src="../../../../../img/revistas/ote/v26n1/08s02.jpg">in Isaiah's message had challenged the Judean leadership as regards its moral values improvement which would have led the people of the time to enjoy the wealth of the land. This paper, firstly, analyses twofold meaning of <img border=0 width=32 height=32 src="../../../../../img/revistas/ote/v26n1/08s02.jpg">in Isaiah's oracle. Secondly, it discusses the leadership's exercise of authority and its managerial responsibilities of the wealth of the land in the Democratic Republic of Congo (thereafter DRC). Thirdly, an appropriative reading of <img border=0 width=32 height=32 src="../../../../../img/revistas/ote/v26n1/08s02.jpg">texts in their contexts provides the leadership in the Congo with insight on how to take advantage of the land fertility. <![CDATA[<b>Hiram's relations with Solomon viewed from the perspective of the relation between Africa and foreign powers: a postcolonial reading of 1 Kings 5:1-18</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192013000100009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In a world that has become a global village some countries are seeing their sovereignty significantly curtailed because of the interest they represent for external powers. Small countries often see their stability jeopardised by interference of external powers interested in conflict. The present essay argues that external interests are part of the factors that jeopardised national unity in monarchic Israel. The article proposes a dialogical discussion between the socio-political context of Israel's monarchical period and the contemporary context in African countries. It contends that in Israel, like in many African countries, external interference has often been the factor determining the outcome of internal conflicts. Such interference aims more at promoting the interests of the intervening powers than it is rooted in a genuine concern for the powerless countries and their people. The discussion of the socio-political effects of foreign intervention in African countries, using the case of Rwanda as an example, is followed by an examination of foreign intervention in monarchical Israel which focuses on Hiram's involvement in Solomon's empire. Before engaging this contextual dialogue, the essay begins with a brief description of the postcolonial approach guiding the discussion. http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1010-99192013000100010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en