This study reads the Songs of Ascents (Psalms 120–134) from the perspective of the concept of "space" and argues that they form as a single, interrelated unit that tells a meaningful "story". By applying the principles of "critical spatiality" the spatial orientation of each poem is analysed. The conclusion is reached that the poems can be grouped together in five triads of three poems each. By mapping "space" and relating it to the content of the poems in the context of Book V of the Psalter, the "story" of these poems can be discerned. It is a meaningful story with a sad beginning but a happy end. The happy end resides especially in the expectation that YHWH "ascends" with his people towards the eschathological and Messianic future.
The hypothesis presented in this article offers a new way of explaining a number of discrepancies in the biblical text. Perhaps more importantly, it opens the door to the identification of a place known from the biblical tradition with a known site of archaeological importance. Finally, the identification of Ophra with Ramat Rahel, which in ancient times was very likely called hrp(-tyb@ / rp(-tyb@, sheds light on the tradition of connecting Ephratah (htrpa) with Judah, (1 Chr 1,19. 50), and the hitherto difficult hrp( tyb@ in Mic 1,10.
The so-called ostrich passage (39,13-18) has been much discussed by scholars both because of the difficulties it presents and the importance of its position in the book of Job. Discussions have focused on why an ostrich appears, rather than whether the Mynnr is, in fact, an ostrich. Quite a number of Hebrew words and expressions have to be emended or explained to make them fit an ostrich. Moreover, H.-P. Müller has shown that Mynnr is not the name for ostrich in Hebrew or any Semitic languages, is not translated "ostrich" in early Greek versions, the Peshitta, or Targums, and the translation "ostrich" probably came from a false identification in early Christian reflection on nature. This article uses contemporary ornithological literature and the information the passage provides on the nest, habitat, behaviours, and calls of the Mynnr to identify a more likely type of bird. The identification of the Mynnr as a sand grouse helps resolve a number of problems in the text and clarify the literary connections of the passage to the rest of the animal discourse, God speeches, and book of Job.
Following the Prologue (John 1,1-18), the Gospel of John is demarcated by an inclusio which extends from 1,19 ("And this is the witness of John") to 21,24 ("This is the disciple who bears witness"). This Gospel contains a multiple witness to Jesus as Messiah and as Son of God (cf. 20,31), organized around two main characters: John (1,19 -> 10,42) and the beloved disciple (13,1 -> 21,25). In the central unit (11, -> 12,50), which serves as a link between the two sections, the Father intervenes by rising up Lazarus (11,41-44) and makes His own voice heard from heaven (12,28); through these events the Father bears the supreme witness to Jesus. In this way, the Gospel appears as a testimonial triptych with a christological purpose.
Given the early development of the tradition about the divinity of Jesus and the Marcan, then Lucan conviction about his authority to forgive sins, it seems reasonable to see how Luke 7, 47-50 are not an addition from outside the story of the woman, Simon and Jesus. Rather, they can be seen as known by earliest editors of the story, with the story passed on and developed as circumstances required.
Considering the figure of N+#) in the Hebrew Bible, the attempt to reconstruct a figure which already existed in the imaginary world of Ancient Israel in biblical times must fail. Zech 3 and Job 1-2 obstruct the development of a precise image out of YHWH’s environment. The texts achieve that by their inherent vagueness of description. For this reason the antagonistic element necessary for the dramatic plot of both texts does not consist in an already existing, known being. It is rather named by the abstract term ‘the opponent’, in Hebrew "N+#)".
Commentators recognize a tri-polar messianism in 4Q175, based on the first three sections of the text. But the last section suggests that the text is in fact tetramessianic, featuring an eschatological Joshua. This is confirmed by similarities between 4Q175, the tetra-messianic "Four Craftsmen" baraitha, and Targ. Ps.-J. to Exod. 40,9-11; as well as by evidence that Joshua was a messianic type in postbiblical Judaism.