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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919

Abstract

BOLOJE, Blessing Onoriode. Trading Yahweh's Word for a Price: Ethical Implications of the Collusion of Prophets and Priests in Micah 3:5-7, 11. Old testam. essays [online]. 2018, vol.31, n.3, pp.630-650. ISSN 2312-3621.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2018/v31n3a13.

Trading Yahweh's word for a price is an attempt to articulate the implications of the mercenary attitude of prophets and priests in Micah 3:5-7, 11, in discharging their duties as religious functionaries. The article examines Micah's indictment of charismatic and cultic Judeans' self-centred leadership in commercialising Yahweh's word. This exploration is done against the background of the functions and responsibility of prophets and priests in the HB/OT. Prophets and priests both functioned in the religion of Ancient Israel and Judah as channels for the transmission of Yahweh's word to their people and nation. However, Micah presents a charismatic and cultic Judean leadership that was bereft of ethical standards of responsibility, reliability, constancy and integrity. Rather than embodying ethical character that could inspire confidence and commitment, they traded Yahweh's word for symbols of wealth and power and thus became stumbling blocks to genuine orthodoxy. Such attempts to lower the standard of God's demand on people so as to gratify oneself in a religious function that is designed to embody integrity, honesty, reliability and accountability constitute an affront to Yahweh. Additionally, it is an abuse of privilege and position, and amounts to religious deception and economic idolatry and creates a false sense of security.

Keywords : Micah; prophets and priests; inverted oracles and commercialised teachings; Yahweh's word; wealth and power; economic idolatry.

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