The interpretation of Ps 144,14 remains unsettled, due primarily to the difficulty of identifying an overall context for the colon. Of the two major positions dominating the debate, one contends that the topic of the entire verse is bovine fecundity, whereas the other considers part of the colon (v. 14b-c) to be about national security. The author finds both views to be problematic and proposes another solution, which retains attractive elements from each position: Ps 144,14 promises the prosperity of livestock, by assuring that they will not become the spoils of war.
Due to the chosen vocabulary and to intertextual connections, Isa 40,9-11 hint covertly at the Persian king who is responsible for the political turmoil that also affected the Babylonian Gola. The Persian king is characterized as a triumphant warrior (V. 10) and a caring shepherd (V. 11). Since Cyros administers the duties of a shepherd in Isa 44:28, he might be the one who acts on behalf of Yahweh here.
For the composition of the oracles against the nations (Am 1,3–2,16) one historical background can be described. The disaster of the end of Israel 720 BCE was taken into consideration by Israelites living in a Judaean exile. Sorrow about Israelites deported to Edom, perhaps for working in copper mines, is connected with the threat of violence from neighbouring countries who kept some autonomy under the Assyrian reign. The oracles of Judah and Israel tell about religious and social problems in the Judaean exile as seen by the Israelite heirs of Amos’ and Hosea’s prophecies.
The article addresses the controversial interpretation of the phrase «my commandments» (plural) in the mouth of Jesus, in John’s Gospel. It is to be understood against the threefold background of the new covenant according to Jer 31,31-34 and Ezek 36,26-27, the tradition of the eschatological Prophet like Moses in Deut 18,15-19, and the intrinsic connection between loving God and keeping his commandments in Deut 6,4-5. The expression implies a very high Christological statement: Only he, who is one with the Father, can demand obedience to his own commandments as a sign of his followers’ love for him.
This article explores the conflict of John 8 within the larger context of the Gospel and in the light of the ancient rhetorical practice of prosopopoiia: the creation of speech for characters. These speeches add to the credibility of a narrative by being «appropriate» for both the person speaking and the situation in which the speech is given. Although perhaps not prosopopoiia in the traditional sense of speeches from Greek histories, this essay argues that the Gospel nevertheless includes prosopopoetics by creating appropriate, albeit unnerving, words for Jesus that elevate the audience and add to the persuasiveness of the work.
The parable discourse (Matt 13,1-53) belongs to a narrative structure that connects it to its two short bordering episodes. The first stages Jesus’ physical family (12,46-50) and the second stages his fatherland (13,54-58). This article purposes to show how this setting guides the discourse’s reading and how it highlights its effects on the hearers. The theme of the link passes through the three apparently independent stories. It also sets a high value on the new relationship with God. This relation is designated by Jesus and narrated from 12,46 to 13,58.