Michael O’Connor (whose 1980 opus, Hebrew Verse Structure, provides a compelling linguistically grounded description of the poetic line) has called the endurance of Lowthian parallelism a “horror” that wreaks havoc on lexical semantics and “is beyond the comprehension of any sensitive student of language.” Why does a model known to be a descriptive failure for a century persist in teaching resources and commentaries? It is because nothing compelling has risen to replace it. O’Connor’s linguistic analysis of the line offered the first piece to replacing the traditional model, but O’Connor’s model was more compelling for the structure of the poetic line than for the relationship of lines. In this study I take up interlineal syntax and offer an analysis that compliments and completes O’Connor’s approach, allowing us to provide a proper burial for the admirable but ultimately unworkable Lowthian parallelism.
With the emergence of the canonical approach to the Psalter, individual psalms are no longer studied as standalone compositions, but viewed along a continuum of psalms to provide meaning. While scholars have analysed alphabetic poems and how they add to meaning, the study of such poems has rarely gone beyond the individual psalm. This paper seeks to understand alphabetic poems within the horizon of the Psalter and whether they function together to provide meaning at the macrostructural level. The paper begins with analyses of eight generally accepted alphabetical acrostics in the Psalter. From their characteristics, a total of forty-six alphabetic poems are suggested. It is observed that these poems mark leitmotifs at prominent locations and develop the motif of David across the entire Psalter. The macrostructural logic of alphabetical poems, as a whole, is subservient to the overarching theological thrust of the Psalter.
The biblical portrayal of the Philistines is largely negative. Their military exploits, depicted extensively in the books of Judges and 1 Samuel—coupled with their religion, unaccustomed to the Israelite cult—have led several commentators to label them a prototypical “other.” To put it memorably, the Philistines are what Israel should not be. I attempt to nuance somewhat this overtly negative characterization of the Philistines by focusing on one incident in 1 Sam 6: the Philistines’ returning of the ark, accompanied with a peculiar offering of objects made of gold. I compare this ritual to the sacrificial actions of Eli’s sons in 1 Sam 2-4 to argue that, at least in 1 Sam 6, and with respect to what lies at the heart of Israel’s cult—the approach of the inscrutable and holy deity—the Israelites should be more like the Philistines.
It is general consensus that Malachi 3:23-24 is a redactional insertion to the book of Malachi. Scholars have argued that the insertion creates a closure either to the book of Malachi or to a larger corpus in the Hebrew Bible (e.g. the Law and the Prophets). In this article, I will present evidence that draws this consensus into question. I will examine a pattern of scriptural reuse found throughout the book of Malachi that is also found in Malachi 3:24. I will demonstrate that throughout Malachi and in Malachi 3:24, elements of Genesis 31-33 are reused. Based on this observation, I will compare the scribal mechanics and hermeneutic employed in the incorporation of the reused texts into the Malachi corpus with those used in Malachi 3.24. I will argue that there are enough similarities in the employed mechanics and hermeneutic to conclude that Malachi 3:24 is not a redactional insertion.
Three Hebrew ostraca, found near Khirbet Zanu’ (Ḥorvat Zanoaḥ) and published by Milevski and Naveh in 2005, were re-imaged using a high-end multispectral imaging technique. The re-imaging yielded dozens of changed or added characters and resulted in renewed, larger and improved readings, hereby published. In addition, we interpret the texts of the ostraca and place them in the context of the economy and administration of Judah in the seventh century BCE.
Several points tell against the usual translation of צור in Ps. 89:44a as the “edge” of the king’s sword. The Hebrew noun should be rendered as a divine epithet and vocative: “O Rock.” Verse 44 asserts that, far from being the Davidic king’s “Rock of salvation” (v. 27), Yahweh as Rock “turns back” the king’s sword.