It is argued here that the Hebrew word ’obnayim, which appears in Exodus 1,16 and Jeremiah 18,3 refers to either birthing equipment or equipment used in ceramic production. The particular type of birthing equipment referred to by this word is identified as a “birth brick”, which is well attested in Near Eastern literature and one of which has been uncovered in archaeological excavations at Abydos in Egypt. It is further argued that the semantic range of this word is not surprising given the conceptual link between child birth and ceramic manufacture in the ancient Near East.
The references to Zion and Jerusalem (41,27; 44,26.28; 45,13; 46,13) in the section Isa 40–48 dedicated to Jacob and Israel and which follows the Prologue in 40,1-11, require an explanation because they present the perspective of the return from the point of view of the Jewish homeland, which for the first time appears only in Isa 49,14. Synchronically Isa 41,27 interrupts the parallel double structure of the dispute with the foreign gods in 41,21-24.25-29. Diachronically Isa 41,27 is not attributable to the redactor of the first collection, composed between 539 and 520 BC, but to a more recent hand, which — starting from the first Servant Song with its expansion and reinterpretation with Darius I in mind — introduces the perspective of the return into the dispute with foreign gods. JHWH proves his unique and overpowering sovereignty over history not only with regard to Cyrus but also to Darius I.
Prior to the 1980’s the definition of the Hebrew term mas%s%a4) as a reference to prophetic speech or literature, was largely dominated by etymological argumentation. However, Richard Weis, in his 1986 Claremont dissertation leveraged form-critical categories and evidence to argue that this term was a formal tag defining a particular type of literature, an argument that has been applied and developed by the subsequent work of Marvin Sweeney (Isaiah, FOTL; Book of the Twelve, Berit Olam) and Michael Floyd (JBL 12.1  401- 422). This paper offers a critical review of this history of research with a view to its impact on the interpretation of Zechariah 9–14. A new proposal is put forward for the use of this term in Zechariah 9–14, one that reveals the influence of Jeremianic tradition and highlights concern over certain prophetic streams in the community that produced these texts.
This study suggests a reading of Isaiah 57, 14-15 in the Hebrew Bible which goes against the theological Tendenz of some Versions and the interpretation of some contemporary scholars. It explores how both the Versions and contemporary scholarship have interpreted the passage, draws a parallel between the two interpretations, and suggests that their either/or distinction of what the passage means may not reflect the complex nature of sacred space and Divine Presence in the BH. This study suggests that the text holds two meanings that are complementary. Yet these meanings are placed in a respective foreground and background which reveals their levels of emphasis intended by the author/redactor of Trito-Isaiah.
The Babylon of Revelation 17–18 has been interpreted as imperial Rome since antiquity, but some twenty interpreters have rejected such a solution in recent centuries and have held that Babylon instead should be Jerusalem. This is not a minor question since it changes the interpretation of the whole book, because Rev would become all of a sudden an anti-Jewish libel, after having been an anti- Roman one. This article discusses the pros and cons of the two interpretations and concludes that the traditional one matches both the details and the plot of the book much more than any other.
Thus, by means of the symbolic act of measuring ‘the temple’, which is composed of those who will suffer martyrdom (‘the altar’) and those who remain faithful to the end (‘the worshippers’) John reassures the entire covenant community that their eternal destiny is firmly within the sovereign judge’s control. The epexegetical use of ka1/ in 11,1b explains why it is ‘the altar’ and not some other piece of furniture that is measured. Finally, the distinction between the righteous who are martyred and those who are not confirms that John did not perceive all of the righteous as suffering martyrdom.
The collocation yh MwOy in the Biblical language is not a term, as it does not answer the criterion of being a term: one, specific and unchanged expression referring to one, specific and unchanged concept: Rather, this collocation may be replaced by other ones (e.g. yhl Mwy, yh P) Mwy, yhl Mq@n Mwy, Kp)/wp) Mwy) and on the other hand the concept is referred to also (mostly!) by another expression ( )whh Mwyh); nor does it refer exclusively to the concept of ‘The Day of the Lord’. None of the cultures continuing the Biblical one refer to the concept by this collocation or by a translation of it.
Though it is recognized that Exod 18,1-12 contains treaty making elements, there seems to be very little evidence of the nature of this treaty. The term h)lth is reexamined and redefined as “the suffering that is encountered due to the helpless nature of being forsaken”. The phrase wnt)cm r#) h)lth lk, found in Exod 18,8, is demonstrated to be a technical phrase with certain common characteristics that is used as surety that Israel will be fully restored to their land. In addition to providing more details of Jethro’s covenant, this phrase, in combination with several other terms in Exod 18,1-12, narrows the possibilities regarding the covenant’s nature and function.
Isaiah 23,15-18 has often been regarded as part of a Josianic redaction, aligning the temporal parameters of Isaiah’s oracle against Tyre with Josiah’s reign. Previous investigations into this passage, however, have relied on matters of strict chronology to establish this Josianic connection. The Josianic character of the passage is more readily evident through its invocation of an important cuneiform document from the reign of Esarhaddon, corresponding with other Josianicera literary works strongly influenced by Assyrian rhetoric. Tyre’s “70 Years” deploys language once reserved for the Mesopotamian deity Marduk, contributing to the way in which a Judean audience in the 7th century should conceive of their own deity YHWH.
This article revaluates a proposed legal interpretation of the qxr in Ezek 8,6; 11,15-17; and 44,10 arguing that the use of qxr in those texts in no way resembles the use of qxr in the legal formulae of the Aramaic papyri from Elephantine.