This article is an attempt to show the following: (1) Galatians 1,11–2,21 is a unified argument in which vv. 11-12 constitute the propositio; (2) Gal 2,14b-21 represent a short speech bringing the argument to its climax, and (3) Gal 2,16 takes up the Jerusalem agreement about Paul’s Gospel and not only fulfills a rhetorical function within the short speech of v. 14b-21 but also provides the thesis of the argument that unfolds in Galatians 3–4.
This study argues that the source of the law constitutes the crucial ideological and practical difference between man-made and God-given codices. In the Mesopotamian codices, while the gods grant to the sovereign the authority to govern, it is he who ultimately creates the relevant laws. He is thus the source of the law and controls its application. God is the only source of biblical law, and is involved in its implementation. This crucial difference has far-reaching consequences. In particular, Mesopotamian laws focus on the redress of harm done to humans and on disruption of human order; further, legal procedures, sanctions and modes of compensation can be changed, forgiven or abolished. Biblical law regards some infractions as harms against humans, but others are also perceived as crimes against the Lord and a disruption of the divine order. Punishments are fixed by God in both cases, and are eternal and inalterable.
The present article investigates the basic constellation of life and death in Ancient Israel. Significant concepts are found in Prov 3, the blessing texts from Chirbet el- Qom and Ketef Hinnom, Ps 63 and Qoh 3,16-22. The basic constellation of life and death is characterized by (1) the connection of life to YHWH, (2) the asymmetry of life and death, (3) thematic aspects of life, which contain (a) the vital well-being during this life, (b) the blessed life at the border to death, and beyond that, (c) the connection to YHWH, (d) the elementary dimensions of eating, drinking and joy.
Seduction or rape of a virgin in the Biblical milieu did not signify her being defiled. The Hebrew verb t-imme) (to defile) applied to married or betrothed women only. The case of Dinah is an exception. In Genesis 34, it is stated three times that Jacob’s daughter was defiled by Shechem (vv. 5.13.27). A plausible explanation of this state of affairs is that Genesis 34 reflects the late, postexilic notion that the idolatrous gentiles are impure which implies the prohibition of intermarriage and intercourse with them (Ezra 9, 11-12). The concept of the impurity of idolaters persisted in post-biblical literature. Thus, the assertion that Dinah was defiled by Shechem betrays a late date of composition in respect of this story. This confirms Kuenen’s hypothesis that Genesis 34 in its present form is a late chapter, containing an anti-Samaritan polemic which originated in the Restoration Community of the Fifth-Fourth centuries BCE.
In Hab 3,14a the minimal emendation of wy+mb “with his staffs” into yw+mb “into the spun of” is suggested. Hab 3,14 is perceived as describing God on His chariot chasing the enemy’s fleeing horsemen, piercing the spun or braids at the back of their head. These horsemen have previously much enjoyed the chase and the loot when they attacked Judah.
The image of God as host in Ps 23,5-6 is best interpreted in light of the ancient custom of hospitality. The subsequent interpretation then emboldens us to translate Ps 23,6 more literally as “I shall return to the house of the Lord” rather than “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord”.
The thematic features relating to John’s depiction of the righteous in the intercalations of Rev 11,3-13 and 7,1-17 as well as how these features might affect our understanding of Revelation 7,1-17 are examined. Four foci pertaining to the righteous are explicitly present in the account of the Two Witnesses (11,3- 13). All four foci, also, materialize in the description of the 144,000 (7,1-8) and the Great Multitude (7,9-17). However, when we examine Rev 7,1-8, we find that John only incorporates the first two of the four foci (Divine Protection and Witnesses) while in the account of 7,9-17, only the latter two appear (Enduring Persecution and Vindication of the Righteous). If, however, we read Rev 7,1-17 as the account of one group, then the thematic parallels with the intercalation of Rev 11,3-13 are retained.
Derrière la légende d’Ananias et Saphira en Ac 5,1-11, le détail des reproches adressés par Pierre au couple est peu clair. La traduction du verset 4 résiste à l’entendement. On propose de comprendre le verset 4aa comme le rappel à Ananias de la conservation de l’usufruit sur son domaine, après la cession aux apôtres. Le verset 4ab serait, quant à lui, le rappel qu’Ananias a effectué le don de plein gré, d’où l’absurdité de la dissimulation d’une partie de la vente du domaine. La comparaison avec la communauté de biens décrite dans les écrits esséniens et qumrâniens soutient la possibilité de la conservation d’un usufruit sur le domaine cédé à la communauté.