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Old Testament Essays

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

Old testam. essays vol.29 n.3 Pretoria  2016 




Gerrie F. Snyman




It is a privilege to present the third issue of Old Testament Essays (New Series) for 2016. There are twelve essays with a variety of topics: three authors wrestle with Job, two essays focus on the Psalms, two studies on aspects of the Pentateuch, two studies on the prophets, one study on Maccabees, two essays dealing with biblical characters such as Naaman and Cain, four authors consciously bring into play their own interpretive contexts in their reading of the biblical text, such as ecology, postcoloniality, decoloniality, the ethics of translation theory.

Foster, Pinker and Esala shares Job as a topic for their respective essays. Foster looks at Elihu's use of Job's name. He finds that Elihu is disrespectful in his use of Job's name and compares Mozambican, English, French and Portuguese patterns of name usage. Pinker looks at Elihu's second speech in Job 34:26-30 in order to construct a sound thematic flow in a text that is thematic incoherent and ambiguous. Looking at Job 3, Esala explores how Christiane Nord's notion of translator ethic loyalty can be of use in African Bible translation.

Gosse and Simango looks at Psalms. Gosse's article in French compares Jer 8:18-9:7 with Psalm 84:8. He provides an encyclopedic study to explain the hostility of the Asaphites in Jeremiah towards the Korahites. Simango's research is on the imprecatory psalms, focusing on reformed and evangelical perspectives. He concludes that reformed and evangelical scholars' interpretations of imprecatory Psalms are largely based on their presuppositions regarding the relation between the Old and New Testament.

Kilchör and Leder present us with studies from the Pentateuch. Kilchör argues his reservation in presenting absolute dates for Pentateuchal texts. His problem is twofold: most dating suggestions in Pentateuchal research are speculative, and subsequently, the presupposition of a speculative historical framework makes one blind for observations that do not fit the presupposed framework. Leder looks at the desert itinerary in Numbers 10:11-36 and 20:22-22:1. Studies in Numbers are hard to come by, and Leder's reading provides us with the opportunity to look closely at the text itself.

Whereas Gosse looked at Jeremiah, Kavuso provides us with a reading of Hosea 4:1-3. His reading is ecologically rooted and he draws a link between the corruption of the Israelite society and the wounds of the Earth community. Coetzer's text of investigation is 2 Maccabees. He utilises traditional rhetorical analysis to highlight a neglected aspect in Maccabees studies, namely communicative strategy. The latter strategy enables the reader to adopt the main proposition in the book, namely the fate of the Jews as closely connected to God's wrath and mercy. Olojede calls into question the assumption that angels are sexless or genderless. Her article offers a textual review of biblical women's encounter with angelic beings and of instances in Scripture where angelic beings appear in what seem to be gendered forms.

Berman and Snyman look at two biblical characters with an eye on the issue of coloniality. Berman looks at Naaman and draws a link between Naaman's oppressive actions and his disease. He draws parallels between attitudes and power imbalances in the narrative and in colonial relationships. Snyman proceeds with his study of a hermeneutic of vulnerability within the decolonial option, this time looking at Cain as perpetrator in the Jewish tradition.

It is with sadness that as editor of OTE I have to retract an article that has been published in the first issue of OTE 29 (1) 2016 because of inappropriate use of material that has been published elsewhere. Articles are scrutinised electronically when they are submitted, but the programmes are not foolproof. The journal relies on its readers and peer reviewers to detect inappropriate behaviour in its articles. Any academic activity, in the journal's case, a written essay, is expected to be the result of a person's own skill and labour. Plagiarism comes into effect when one appropriates the work of someone else, intentionally or unintentionally, without proper acknowledgement. It constitutes a particular misrepresentation and brings academic integrity into question.


Gerrie Snyman, General Editor, Old Testament Essays. Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, Unisa. Email: or

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