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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621

Old testam. essays vol.24 n.1 Pretoria  2011

 

Resurrection or miraculous cures? The Elijah and Elisha narrative against its ancient Near Eastern background

 

 

Shaul Bar

University of Memphis

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

The Elijah and Elisha cycles have similar stories where the prophet brings a dead child back to life. In addition, in the Elisha story, a corpse is thrown into the prophet's grave; when it comes into contact with one of his bones, the man returns to life. Thus the question is do these stories allude to resurrection, or "only" miraculous cures? What was the purpose of the inclusion of these stories and what message did they convey? In this paper we will show that these are legends that were intended to lend greater credence to prophetic activity and to indicate the Lord's power over death.


 

 

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Achard, Robert Martin. From Death to Life. Translated by Joseph Penney Smith. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1960.         [ Links ]

Braude, William G, trans. The Midrash on Psalms. 2 vols. Yale Judaica. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959.         [ Links ]

Bronner, Leila Leah. "The Resurrection Motif in the Hebrew Bible: Allusions or Illusions?" JBQ 30 (2002): 143-154.         [ Links ]

_____. The Stories of Elijah and Elisha: As Polemics against Baal Worship. Pretoria Oriental Series 6. Leiden: Brill, 1968.         [ Links ]

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Collins, John J. Daniel. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993.         [ Links ]

Gevaryahu, Haim. "On Elisha the Prophet." BethM 113 (1988): 189-208.         [ Links ]

Pritchard, James B., ed. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. 3rd ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969.         [ Links ]

Gray, John. I & II Kings. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1963.         [ Links ]

Miqra'oth Gedoloth [The Rabbinic Bible], commentaries of Rashi, Abraham ibn Ezra, David Kimchi, and Mesudoth. Jerusalem: Eshkol, 1976.         [ Links ]

Mitchell, T. C. "The Old Testament Usage of nesamâ" VT 11 (1961): 177-187.         [ Links ]

Rentería, Tamis Hoover. "The Elijah/Elijah Stories: A Socio-cultural Analysis of Prophets and People in Ninth-Century B.C.E. Israel." Pages 75-126 in Elijah and Elisha in Socioliterary Perspective. Edited by Robert B. Coote. Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press, 1992.         [ Links ]

Rofé, Alexander. The Prophetical Stories. Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1988.         [ Links ]

Sawyer, John F. A. "Hebrew Words for the Resurrection of the Dead." VT 23 (1973): 218-234.         [ Links ]

Spronk, Klaas. Beatific Afterlife in Ancient Israel and in the Ancient Near East. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 219. Kevelaer: Verlag Butzon & Bercker, 1986).         [ Links ]

Sweeney, Marvin A. I & II Kings: A Commentary. Westminster John Knox Press: Louisville, 2007.         [ Links ]

 

 

Correspondence:
Dr. Shaul Bar
Bornblum Judaic Studies, The University of Memphis
Mitchell Hall 301, Memphis, Tenn
Email: sbar@memphis.edu