In the book of Isaiah, as opposed to other prophets, the topic of the poor is especially important. The socially speaking needy but independent small landholder (Amos) becomes a privileged favourite of Yhwh in the message of Isaiah. In the eschatological registrations the poor are taken to Zion. During the Babylonian exile, in the "furnace of distress" (Isa 48,10) arises the servant of Yhwh, i.e. the Gola willing to return to their country. In the last part of the book the servants, descendants of the oppressed Ebed and the humiliated woman Zion emerge from the Gola. The constellation of different motifs concerning the poor, Zion and the servants gives the book of Isaiah in its final redaction quite a special appearance.
An examination of the miracle stories in the context of the fourth gospel shows that the Evangelist, using different literary techniques, presents his tradition as an important part of his narrative. The Johannine signs are closely linked to the context and by no means subordinate to the other literary genres. By means of the signs basic reactions to the eschatological event of the coming of the Son of God are pointed out. Through the encounter with the revealer represented in the text possible readers are invited to accept him as a pledge for eternal life.
This essay has contended that Pauls reference to "new creation" and the pronouncement of "peace and mercy" on the readers in Gal 6,15-16 is best understood against the background of Isa 54,10 and the surrounding context of similar new creation themes elsewhere in Isa 3266, which are echoed also earlier in Galatians, especially in 5,22-26. The analysis confirms those prior studies which have concluded that "the Israel of God" refers to all Christians in Galatia, whether Jewish or Christian. Lastly, the demonstration of an Isaianic background for the concept of new creation in Gal 6,15-16 falls in line with Pauls other reference to "new creation" in 2 Cor 5,17 and Johns allusion to new creation in Rev 3,14, where Isa 43 and 6566 stand behind both passages. Isa 54,10 was likely not the sole influence on Gal 6,16, but such texts as Psalm 84 (LXX), the Qumran Hymn Scroll (1QH 13,5), and Jub 22,9 may have formed a collective impression on Paul, with the Isaiah text most in focus; alternatively, the texts in Qumran and Jubilees may be mere examples of a similar use of Isaiah 54 on a parallel trajectory with that of Pauls in Galatians 6.
The comparative method is of limited value in locating the Sabbatical/Jubilee cycle of Leviticus 25 within the framework of similar institutions in the ancient Near East. Not only is the character of the biblical institution distinctively Israelite, but so is the manner in which the Levitical lawgiver devised the entire cycle. The lawgiver formulated rules to ensure that the Israelites do not do what the Egyptians did in their land (Lev 18,3). Borrowing details from the Genesis account of the seven-year famine in Egypt, the lawgiver set out Yahwehs scheme for his peoples welfare. The scheme stands opposed to the pharaohs for the Egyptians at the time of the famine.
The washing of the feet in John 13,1-20 is a ritual of inversion which transforms the ritual of receiving someone into one’s home, carried out by slaves and common to many cultures in the ancient world, into a ritual of admission to discipleship. Aesop’s Novel confirms that John 1,1-20 has to be set against the background of Graeco-Roman banqueting customs, especially as regards the slaves’ function and the use of the linen cloth (le/ntion) for washing feet. A parallel to the ritual of inversion in John 13 may be found in the feast of Saturnalia during which masters served their own slaves at table.
In the recent debate concerning the relationship of David and Jonathan as described in 1 Sam 1820 and 2 Sam 1 the main issue has been whether or not the love between these male persons should be characterized as "homosexual". Since the concept of homosexuality is not inherent in the biblical text but rather reflects the modern interpretation of gender, its use has been justly questioned. It is argued in this article that neither the story of David and Jonathan nor such texts as Gen 19,1-11, Judg 19 and Lev 18,22 and 20,13 can be interpreted as reflecting an overall concept of homosexuality. The relationship of David and Jonathan may be understood as a socially acceptable male bonding between equals, in which mutual love and affection is depicted with some homoerotic traits but in which the differentiation of active and passive, i.e. male and female sexual roles plays no role. The biblical text does not disclose homosexual orientation, thus it is up to the modern reader to decide to what extent the relationship of David and Jonathan corresponds to what is today called homosexuality.
Offering the enumeration of all the places in which the water turns into blood, Exod 7,19 concludes with the formula Mynb)bw Myc(bw. Its meaning is dubious and difficult to understand. However, a meticulous comparison of the usage of this formula in Exod 7,19 with its functioning in other parts of the Old Testament demonstrates that Mynb)bw Myc(bw in Exod 7,19 refers to the Egyptian gods or idols.
The omission of wyh wdybw and the addition of lkw in 1 Chr 18,10 are deliberate. The last part of v. 10 now connects with v. 11 and refers to the spoil of Hadadezer instead of to the gift of King Toi. This interpretation is confirmed by three other Chronistic changes in v. 11.