Commentators on 1 Samuel 8 offer a variety of interpretations about what the requested king is expected to replace: judgeship, YHWH himself, or Israel's covenant identity. This article demonstrates that none of these proposals account for the Biblical text adequately. It is proposed instead that the king is intended to replace the Ark of the Covenant. The king will then manipulate YHWH into leading in battle. This is what ancient Near Eastern kings were able to do with their gods, and what the ark failed to do in 1 Samuel 4.
In this article I compared Assyrian expansion as presented in the Bible with that presented in the Assyrian sources. Then I pointed out the problems of the historical events presented in the Bible. Combining these problems with the results of source-criticism I argued that the biblical 'distortion' of the historical events was intentional. The writers probably did it to offer their interpretation of the downfall of Assyria. This presentation and organization of the events can be explained in terms of the historiography of representation. By applying this concept it is possible to explain several textual and historical problems of these chapters.
Nadav Na’aman has recently proposed
that the Judean appropriation of Israel’s identity occurred as a result of the struggle for the patrimony of ancient Israel. This paper locates textual evidence for such a struggle in the Judean reworking of the Jacob tradition, particularly the Bethel account (Gen 28,10- 22), and argues that taking over the northern Israelite shrine myth after the fall of northern Israel was part of the ongoing Judean reconceptualization of their identity as «Israel» that continued to be developed afterwards.
This is not a story of failed or deceptive prophecy, but rather an account of Israel’s failure in the face of opposition. YAHWEH’s promise was inherently contingent upon Israel’s willingness to bring it to completion. Their failure to do so is not surprising. Jehoram’s partial success in battle ironically mirrors his partial commitment to YAHWEH (vv. 1-3). As such, the concluding report of Israel’s retreat combines with the introductory report to form a thematic inclusio for the chapter: Those whose commitment to YAHWEH is half-hearted invariably forfeit his blessing.
By applying various exegetical methodologies to 2 Kings 15, I have tried to identify the dynamics responsible for the fall of the Northern Kingdom, such as its instability, financial problems, tribal tensions, wrong international policy, etc. By analyzing some Assyrian documents it was shown that these dynamics were often in play during Assyrian invasions.
How did ancient Israelite authors make it clear that they were purposefully alluding to other texts? After all, the presence of verbal parallels between two texts can be attributed to coincidence, to unconscious dependence, or to the use of formulaic language where words assume a fixed shape because of the social setting and literary genres in which they are used. This paper examines two techniques by which the biblical authors could mark allusions so as to make them more conspicuous and highlight their purposeful nature: inversion of elements, and splitting and redistribution of elements. Examples of these techniques are taken from the book of Ezekiel.
This article is about the problematic identity of Malky-sedeq, in relation to his 'adherents' (qdc yklm lrwn) and YHWH. The method adopted analyzes the 11QMelch text, considered one of the most important Qumran MSS that mentions the figure of an 'anointed' person, the biblical passages cited in the same MS and a few other MSS from Qumran. In the eschatological jubilee Malky-sedeq, 'anointed' by a divine decree, performs the duties of a prophet-herald, a priest and a king for the benefit of his 'adherents' (lrwn), and proclaims freedom through the expiation of sins and the defeat of the 'adherents of Belial' (l(ylb lrwn).
This article re-examines the historical role of the Jebusites in the early monarchical period. The Jebusites, whose name is derived from the verb YBŚ («to be dry»), were a West Semitic pastoral clan that split into two segments, one settling in western Gilead and the other around Jerusalem. The two segments kept their tribal solidarity, as indicated by Saul’s campaign to rescue Jabesh-gilead. The Jebusite stronghold was one of Saul’s power bases, and David took it over. The biased description of David’s conquest influenced the way the Jebusites were presented in the late (Deuteronomistic) biblical historiography and in Israelite cultural memory.
The final oracle of Haggai is often viewed as royalist in orientation, with the prophet promoting Zerubbabel as a royal (or even messianic) figure. This study seeks to dispute the majority view. Neither the election terms used nor the metaphor of the “seal” assign a royal identity to him. The focus is on the dual leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua. Nowhere in the prophecy is Zerubbabel identified unequivocally as a Davidide. The temple orientation and the highlighting of divine action show that the establishment of God’s kingdom is in view, not the promotion of Zerubbabel as God’s vice-regent.
The Kingdom of God does not play a central role in the Gospel of John. John sees it as a transcendent reality promised to humans by a 'rebirth' or a 'birth from above' (John 3,3.5). The 'Kingdom' of Jesus is not of political nature, but consists in Jesus' testimony to the truth (John 18,33-37). Besides the texts which speak expressly of the 'Kingdom' of 'God' or of 'Jesus', there are others in the Gospel of John which describe the reality of the Kingdom of God using some basic terms like peace, joy and the Holy Spirit. The roots of this tradition can be traced back to the Gospel of Luke (24,36-49) and even to the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East with its royal ideology: the ruler as bringer of justice, peace and joy.
The Chronicler constantly adapts the story of Israel’s kingship from the narrative in Samuel-Kings to show his great interest in the temple. With regard to the division of the united kingdom, recent scholarship has correctly shown how he has removed all the blame from Solomon due to his successful construction of the temple, but it has not come to any firm conclusion on whom the Chronicler does find guilty. This article contends that the Chronicler blames Rehoboam for ignoring the plea of «all Israel», an essential facet of the nation’s temple worship.
This paper traces the development of the textual form and the interpretation of Zech 13,7 in the earliest known Christian texts in which this OT passage is quoted or alluded to (Mark 14,27; Matt 26,31; John 16,32; Barn. 5,12; Justin, Dial. 53,5-6). It starts with some observations on the Hebrew text and on some of the ancient versions, notably the LXX, which offers a peculiar rendering. Next, the early Christian versions and interpretations are discussed, and their relations are detected. Obscure apocalyptic texts often generate multiple meanings. Zech 13,7 proves to be no exception.
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.
In Q 12,22b-31, a kingdom-saying functions as the climax to a sapiential collection, but it is not self-evident that this message is sapiential. Q 12,31 uses traditional wisdom structures and forms to advance what appears to be an «eschatological» message. In this study, I re-examine the nature of the wisdom in Q 12,22b-31 and argue that the theme of God’s providence can be understood in relation to eschatological ideals of the restoration of creation and a «Son of God»/Adamic christology.
In Chronicles Solomon is represented as one who was born under normal circumstances. He appears in the center of David’s nineteen descendants, and as the youngest of Bathsheba’s four sons, but still gained the kingship. The name «Solomon» was given to the child by God prior to his birth and He elected him as king. The root of the name was interpreted twice, but there is no mention of «Yedidyah». The allusions to or ignorance of the name «Yedidyah» in Psalms, Nehemiah, Chronicles, and Josephus, as well as the question if «Qoheleth» is Solomon’s third name, are also discussed.
Samson’s recorded thoughts in Judg 16,20 seem to contradict the narrator’s statements in 16,17.18 that Samson «told [Delilah] his whole heart». This article will discuss this apparent contradiction by examining some of the costs and benefits of Samson’s divinely inspired strength.