Commentators have long been divided in appraising Gideon. Some consider him an outstanding champion of Yahweh’s cause. Others judge him as, at best, flawed, at worst a vainglorious manipulator who corrupted Israel’s relationship with Yahweh and weakened her hold on the Promised Land. Despite abundant commentary on Gideon, the Midianite’s dream has attracted little specific exegetical attention beyond recognition that, on hearing its interpretation, Gideon was transformed. Yet it must surely rank as one of the most remarkable episodes in Judges. This study considers the dream’s hermeneutical function in illuminating Gideon’s character and changing relationship with Yahweh. It examines the dream’s place in the Gideon narrative and explores the meaning of its symbolism for the writer’s time and readership. It demonstrates that the narrative’s structure, and the dream’s place within it, were carefully planned and crucial to its interpretation. Finally, it analyses heuristic literary devices used in the narrative.
This paper demonstrates that the bird and the mountains phrase in Ps 11:1 compares well with a common metaphor relating to siege warfare and military conquest found in Neo-Assyrian royal inscriptions and considers the resulting implications.
While Lady Wisdom, Zion and Jerusalem, for example, are well-known and frequently analyzed personifications in the Old Testament, the study of personifications in the book of psalms is a research desideratum. After presenting the theoretical background of the term personification with special focus on the function of the verb, I will present the results of verb personifications in the psalter followed by a textual analysis of the personified virtues of steadfast love, truth, justice and peace in Ps 85:11. One example of the encounter between justice and peace in the form of a kiss, from Christian reception history, forms the last part of the article. The paper aims to contribute to the broad and intense discussion of metaphor analysis in psalms research on the three levels of theory, of textual analysis of the whole book of psalms and of Ps 85,11 and the reception history of metaphors.
The biblical or non-biblical nature of the manuscripts currently identified as 4QReworked Pentateuch (4Q158; 4Q364–67) has been the subject of much scholarly discussion. This paper addresses a facet of those texts which has unfortunately been ignored in most of those discussions, namely their treatment of the legal material in the Pentateuch. An examination of the surviving legal portions of 4QReworked Pentateuch, manuscript by manuscript, indicates that much greater freedom is shown in handling the laws than in any known pentateuchal textual tradition. We find that laws are omitted from their original locations in the Pentateuch, and, almost without exception, do not reappear in a new location. There also appears to be almost no exegetical reworking of the laws. We conclude that we should not presume that the 4QRP texts included the entire Pentateuch, and that their omission of legal material should probably lead us to characterize some, if not all, of them as non-biblical.