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Abram’s Journey as Nexus

Literarkritik and Literary Criticism

Ronald Hendel


A plea for the complementarity of Literarkritik and literary criticism in biblical scholarship, with a partial genealogy of recent developments, followed by a detailed study of Abram’s journey in Gen 11:27-12:9 in the non-P and P texts. Particular attention is paid to stylistic repetitions and implicit links to other texts, yielding a nexus of foreshadowings and backshadowings in each of the component texts. Conclusions include the viability of this non-P text (formerly known as J) and the P text as continuous sources in the Pentateuch, each with a distinctive poetics.

Moshe Bar-Asher


In the phrase yom haqqahal, used three times in Deuteronomy, qahal functions as a verbal noun. The correct translation is “the day of assembling.”

Christine Mitchell


This note examines the use of the term “daric” in 1 Chr 29:7 for its ideological purposes, concluding that the anachronism was deployed purposely to signal resistance to imperial rule.

Niek Arentsen


Poetry complicates the diachronic study of Second Isaiah. However, the possibility of such a study is demonstrated through a diachronic explanation of the distribution of the prepositions את and עם in the Hebrew Bible. On the other hand, the Aramaisms in Second Isaiah are shown to be conscious and for poetic purposes and therefore labeled as single-word switches that do not prove the lateness of Second Isaiah.

Ken Brown


Job 18 depicts the destruction of the wicked as a kind of ambush by “the firstborn of death.” Much of the discussion of this passage has centered on this figure’s identification, and whether one should look primarily to Ugaritic or Mesopotamian mythological traditions for its background. Yet the passage as a whole concludes with a reference to a single “God,” knowledge of whom is determinative for human fate. This raises a basic question concerning the relation between “God” and the “firstborn of death.” Through a close comparison with the Ugaritic Baal Cycle and the Neo-Assyrian Underworld Vision on the one hand, and Job 5 and Deuteronomy 32 on the other, this paper argues that “the firstborn of death” most likely does represent a chthonic deity, but that such powers have been subordinated to the one God whom Bildad presumes to bear sole authority over life and death.